“Bathrooms sell houses” is a bit of a truism in our business. But now that I have your attention, I want to talk about something a lot less sexy: Toilets.
I see a lot of renovations where people reuse the existing toilets. Okay. You save a few dollars, but not that much when compared to your overall renovation budget. And think of your buyer’s reaction to walking into a beautifully redone bathroom, lifting the lid, and seeing a toilet ring from a decade of limestone accumulation.
That’s why we always budget to replace every toilet in every one of our projects. When we catch a sale—like we did with the Roadrunner project—we come out ahead. But even when we pay our regular price, new toilets make a good impression on buyers, and we come out ahead.
But toilets aren’t always inexpensive, as we found out on the Ash House. The architect who designed that house used modern wall-mounted toilets. Both bathrooms in that house had beautiful brick floors, which we wanted to keep. Replacing the wall-mount toilets with freestanding ones would have required jackhammering out the brick floors to rerun the drain lines. Worse, it could have required replacing the drain lines throughout the house.
Still, we didn’t have a choice. The toilets in the house when we bought it looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned in more than a decade. No way they were coming clean!—no matter how hard we scrubbed. As you can see if you follow the link on the picture of the toilet, the replacements were expensive, but I believe they were well worth the price when you see how beautiful the bathrooms ended up.
So the bottom line is simple. Budget to replace the toilets in all your renovations. They’re not sexy, especially not like a jetted tub is sexy. You’ll never hear a potential buyer exclaim how excited they are about the toilets. But old toilets can kill a deal. Spend a few more dollars to make your buyers happy, even if they don’t know it.