Adding a bathroom can increase the value of a home by around 9%. With that in mind, we might purchase a house knowing we need to add a bathroom either right away or at some point in the future. One bathroom in a household might be fine for a single person or even a couple, but as families grow it can be difficult to share time and space in a single bathroom. While adding a bathroom probably won’t recoup the entire cost of the installation on resale, the value it will add to your family’s day-to-day life cannot be oversold.
Whether you’re thinking of adding a bathroom to your home or buying a house that will require an additional bathroom, here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your options.
Where to Put It?
You might think that adding a bathroom will require building an addition to your home, but statistically that is unlikely. Remodel contractors agree that it’s rare to find a home with absolutely no space that could be repurposed as a bathroom. Bath fixtures fit into much less space than people think; even a 3’ x 5’ space can become a half bath. Some places you might find suitable for an additional bathroom include:
- Hallway – if you have untraveled space at the end of a hallway, especially if it has a window, this can make for a great bathroom space. You might find as much as 30–40 square feet here, enough for a simple bathroom.
- Back-to-Back Closets – By knocking out the wall between two closets, you might end up with enough space for a half bath.
- Laundry Room – You can acquire some extra space in your laundry room with a washer/dryer combo that puts the dryer up top, which should give you at least enough space for a half bath.
- Existing Bath – If you currently have one large bathroom, you may be able to split it in two by relocating some fixtures.
- Under a Staircase – Make sure you have enough headroom for it to work, but you can usually fit a sink and toilet into this space.
- A Portion of a Bedroom – Master bedrooms are usually larger, incorporating space that might be more useful as a bathroom.
- Walk-In Closet – A large closet can be converted into a half bath with minimal structural changes.
With a reasonable, low-end estimate starting around $3,000, repurposing existing space in your home is by far the least-costly way to add a bathroom. If you need to add on to your home’s structure, the cost can easily climb to $25,000, so it’s worth it to consider carefully what space you might be willing to sacrifice from another purpose to create a new bathroom.
When starting from scratch, the first step toward creating your new bathroom should be flipping through magazines or online to find inspiration from other bathrooms. You may have a lot of freedom in terms of the placement of fixtures, so it’s worth having some patience as you consider your options and see what others have done with their space.
Putting your new bathroom and fixtures near existing plumbing will both reduce the cost of building it, as well as reduce the likelihood of problems in the future. All pipes will eventually require replacement, so think carefully before running long new pipes if you have an easier option.
Bathroom fixtures, especially tubs, are heavy, and the structure underneath them might need to be beefed-up accordingly. Closets and hallways are usually not meant to withstand the weight of a bathroom, and doubling the amount of floor joists might be necessary.
If the space where you’re installing your bathroom already has a door, the addition of fixtures might make it problematic. If the door swings out, you’re likely in the clear, but an inward-swinging door is probably a no-go in a small bathroom. Consider rearranging the door jamb so it swings outward, or install a pocket door.
Bathrooms require a way for the humidity to escape, or mold can grow and other moisture-related problems can develop. Make sure to install an exhaust fan or you could be headed for trouble down the line.
Home Forever Baths Can Help
With over 100 years of combined experience, Home Forever Baths is the premier bathroom modeling company in Northern Illinois. Call us today for a free consultation and see what we can do to help you add a new bathroom that you’ll be happy with for decades to come.