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Bathroom renovations have become extremely popular in recent years. Many consumers choose to renovate their bathroom before any other room; not only is the bathroom a major focal point when it comes time to sell, but square footage is limited and depending on the plans, the cost can be affordable—especially for homeowners willing to add some elbow grease.

A great place to start your project is at the local library or bookstore and, of course, the Internet. There are countless books and reputable websites available that can help guide you through the process whether your primary focus is design, functionality or cost. If you choose to simply paint and install new fixtures you won’t need to consult a contractor, but for more extensive projects you should absolutely talk to a professional. Make sure to have the blue prints of your home available and never give your only set away, keep the originals and make copies.

For those homeowners that are looking to complete a bathroom renovation project, like installing new tile or appliances, think about taking a class or attending a seminar. Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to add value to your home if completed properly. If done wrong, they can end up costing twice as much to fix as a contractor would have charged in the first place. Check with your local hardware store; many of them offer classes for consumers to heighten the success rate of do-it-yourself projects.

If your home is on the market and your bathroom is outdated, you’d be surprised what a deep scrub of the tile and grout, new coat of paint and some updated fixtures can do to update the space. Hardware stores are always getting in new inventory so it is easy to find fixtures on sale that will suit your taste.

Kelly O’Ryan is Office Manager at Coldwell Banker in Lexington, MA.

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