Whether you’ve just closed on your first fixer-upper or have been in your home for years, home renovation projects will always find their way onto your to-do list. If kitchen and bathroom renovations are at the top of your list, as they are for so many homeowners, you’ve no doubt wondered where you should start. 

Should you complete a kitchen remodel before moving on to your bathroom makeover? Or, should your bathroom upgrade take precedence while your new kitchen design takes a backseat? While there is no universal answer in this debate, this post includes a series of questions that will help you arrive at the right solution for YOU.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself First Before Any Renovation or Remodel:

Does one room NEED renovation to restore function or safety?

If you answered yes, you need not go any further: renovate the room that needs repairs. By triaging your home renovation plans, you can first focus your time and budget on where you have the greatest need, completing aesthetic changes alongside necessary repairs. 

Why do you want to renovate?

There are as many answers to this question as there are rooms to renovate. If you want to spruce up your space so it suits your style, you may need a different approach than you’d take to increase your home’s resale value. No matter your motivation, your renovation goal is the most reliable foundation upon which you can build your plans.

What is your budget? 

There are lots of small scale and DIY improvements you can make to refresh your home. When you have big plans, however, you’ll also need a bigger budget. When deciding whether to renovate your kitchen or bathroom first, consider what your budget will allow. If you don’t have enough saved for the upscale kitchen remodel you envision, but can afford your small bathroom renovation, you could upgrade the bathroom now and continue saving toward the kitchen of your dreams. 

What do you feel your home is lacking? 

The way you feel in your home can tell you a lot about which renovations to tackle first. If your kitchen design is so inefficient you’d rather make reservations than dinner, the heart of your home may need a jumpstart—stat. However,  if you find yourself without a quiet space to unwind, adding a new soaking tub to the master bath might be your higher priority.

How much time do you have? 

Work and school schedules can also play a part in your planning—reducing your working bathrooms from 2 to 1 may cause less hassle during the summer when morning schedules are less rigid for school-aged children, for example. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a holiday feast next month, your kitchen remodel will have to wait.

An Argument for Renovating Your Kitchen First:

Kitchen renovations may increase resale value

If you’re planning to sell your home, a kitchen renovation could fetch a higher price. According to the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvalue.com), sellers nationwide saw an average return of 80.5% of their total investment in minor kitchen remodels. Before you order new quartz countertops, though, talk to your real estate agent about your local market trends. A professional home inspection will also help to ensure you’re funneling your renovation funds to the areas that need them most.

The kitchen has greater visibility than your bathrooms 

With the popularity of open floor plans, the modern kitchen is a highly visible and communal part of our homes. Unless you have a very unique floorplan indeed, you can expect visitors to see and spend time in your kitchen than your bathroom. With such an outsized influence on your home’s appearance, renovating your kitchen can also enhance the character of all its adjoining rooms.

The kitchen is the heart of the home

When your kitchen makes it difficult or unpleasant to prepare meals, you could say that your home is lacking a healthy heart. If you can’t comfortably and efficiently prepare meals, you’re more likely to skip the family table, trading it instead for a noisy restaurant or unhealthy fast food. Food storage and preparation are a kitchen’s primary purpose—if your kitchen design impedes that purpose, renovating it should be a top priority.

An Argument for Renovating Your Bathroom First:

According to the US Census Bureau’s Construction Survey, 306,000 of the 840,000 new single-family homes built in 2018 had three or more bathrooms, while only 31,000 had 1.5 or fewer. While these rooms are typically the smallest in the house, they are crucial to our comfort and can often add to a home’s value as much or more than the kitchen.   

You spend more time in the bathroom than you think 

Nearly 66% of respondents to a 2016 survey reported spending 30-60 minutes per day in the bathroom. Whether it’s our phones or the lack of other private, four-walled rooms that have us holed up behind our bathroom doors is a matter of debate. What is clear is that the modern bathroom serves more functions than its name might suggest, and even a small bathroom makeover can have a significant impact on a home’s inhabitants. 

Your new bathroom may cost less than a new kitchen

While small price tags are never a guarantee with small space renovations, there are significant differences between kitchens and bathrooms that may reduce renovation costs. Most new homes have multiple bathrooms; while it might be a minor inconvenience to do without one of them, it can be a gift to your budget. Instead of hiring contractors, DIY-savvy homeowners can stretch their bathroom makeover over as many evenings and weekends as needed to complete the job without labor costs.

Small bathroom renovations could help sell your home

You may hear that kitchen renovation is the key to selling your home, but that’s not always the case. What sells in Fresno may not sell in Flagstaff, and you might find that extra storage and a shower renovation in the master bathroom is the key to selling in your local market. By taking the time to talk to local experts and your real estate agent before you list your home, you can make the upgrades that matter and ignore those that don’t.


Ultimately, only you can decide whether your bathroom or kitchen renovation should come first. No matter which project you choose to tackle first, your local experts at HomCo Lumber and Hardware can help you make your home remodeling plans a reality. 

HomCo is your one-stop-shop for kitchen and bathroom renovations. Whether you’re updating the hall powder room with a new coat of paint and hardware or taking the kitchen down to the studs for a major remodel, we’re here to help make every project easier with all the tools, materials, and expert advice you need.