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Home Improvement 2006  

Favorite projects

  Our interactive package takes you on a room-by-room tour of new ideas at various cost levels.
Remodeling room by room

Project: Bathroom remodel
Remodeling a bathroom can actually add value to your house, but only if you keep the changes reasonable. A midlevel bathroom remodel averages about $10,499, according to Remodeling magazine's 2005 Cost vs. Value report. But you'll recoup 102.2 percent of that when you sell, the report says. An upscale renovation will average $26,052, but you'll get back 93.2 percent at resale time.
Separate tub and shower units, featuring large multihead showers, steam rooms, oversized tubs, soaking tubs and jetted tubs, preferably with a little soft lighting, are among the favorite upgrades.
If you're planning a bathroom remodel, think low maintenance, high comfort and energy efficiency: The color palette is neutral, often soft white, with as much light as possible, thanks to features such as skylights, solar tubes, indirect lighting and windows of etched glass or glass brick.
"If you've never done any do-it-yourself projects, the bathroom is not the place to start," says Lou Manfredini, co-author of the "House Smarts" book series. Instead, stick to small items that make a big impact: adding new vanity knobs or pulls, changing the shower curtain or shower head, painting, putting up wallpaper or adding accent tile. If you have more ability, you can consider replacing a faucet or toilet, he says.

-- Posted: April 12, 2006

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