Successful real estate pros know that every decision you make in a home remodel, from adding a new bathroom to updating tile and fixtures, impacts your home value and, moreover for those looking to sell, an increase in offers.

Most buyers have a hard number of bathrooms in mind when looking at homes on the market, and now more than ever, they are disappointed to find a basement that lacks one. Gone are the days when a finished basement meant wood paneling, mold-resistant indoor/outdoor carpeting, and a dank crawlspace to store the artificial Christmas tree. Modern basements have expanded our living spaces to create additional family rooms, exercise rooms, recreational gaming areas, wet bars, and more. The addition of a full or half-bath in these spaces provides a cohesive, finishing touch that brings even an older home into the modern age.

If adding a bathroom is beyond the scope of your current project, remodeling an existing one is the next best way to up your home’s wow factor. Gutting an old tub and surround, replacing outdated fixtures (that 1980s brass faucet/handle combo and stained wainscoting are crying out for eternal rest), and investing in quality materials will increase your house value, and homeowners can expect to recoup at least 50 percent of the cost of the project when it comes time to sell.

The success of a bathroom remodel depends not only on structural fixtures and design elements, but more critically, on the skill of the contractor. Professional contractors will provide you with examples of their work, and a reputable business guarantees budget, time, and a game plan in the event of overages. A reliable contractor has a business license and insurance and will handle securing a building permit for you in addition to the painstaking work of the remodel itself.

Renovating an old or unattractive bathroom is key to increasing the value of your home. Due diligence on contractor research is the essential first step.