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Bathroom Considerations When Renovating

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Bathroom En Suite Suite Bath Shower Wet

We live in a world today where the ideal seems to be to have a bathroom for every bedroom. Increasingly even ‘normal’ new build houses have at least one en suite as well as a family bathroom. Still as increasing pressure on space leads to three storey homes becoming more common, at least it saves on those trips up and down the stairs. If you are considering revamping a bathroom, or adding one, it does seem that buyers will appreciate it.

Choose Wisely For Maximum Profit

On their own, bathrooms do not add a lot of value to a house though. If you’re doing up a property to sell it on, then a new, clean, contemporary bathroom will not add a great deal to the selling price. But as part of the whole package, if the rest of the house is the same standard, it can lift the whole property and make it sell faster than dowdier competition in the area. And if that means a couple of months’ mortgage payments saved, as well as getting the best price that a property can get in the area, then so much the better.

Revitalising an Existing Bathroom

Revamping an existing bathroom can be as simple as you want it to be. If you keep the bathroom, basin and toilet in the same locations then fitting a new suite and redecorating, perhaps with new flooring and tiling can make a big difference to a bathroom for a lot less than a thousand pounds and a weekend’s work. If you’re renovating a tired property for a quick turnaround, then this is probably the option to go for, but make sure you select fittings that are good quality while not luxuriously overboard.

If the project is a period home and the fittings are original and good quality, get estimates for reconditioning and re-enamelling them. It will probably be more expensive than replacing them but original pieces are what buyers want to see these days.

En Suite as Part of an Extension

If you’re extending and adding a bedroom, it makes sense to include an en suite bathroom if you’ve got the space. It’s a lot easier if it can be sited close to the existing bathroom, or above the kitchen, so that the pipe work can be joined to existing plumbing with ease.

It’s actually the waste pipe work that’s more the problem than getting hot and cold water to the new bathroom. Building Regulations stipulate minimum lengths between fittings and soil stacks, but if you cannot get close enough there are pumped macerator systems that will get round the problem.

Lose a Bedroom for a Bathroom?

You might consider turning a bedroom into a bathroom, as it’s likely to be more spacious than the usual bathroom. Because of the way that houses are valued in the United Kingdom, on the number of bedrooms rather than the overall amount of space, it’s a tricky decision.

If you are likely to be in the property for the long term, then you can have the bathroom you want and when it comes to selling, convert it back to a bedroom. If you feel the value of the house will go up significantly if it goes from, say, a three bed back to a four bed house again, then the conversion back to a bedroom is much more straight-forward than the other way round.

Luxury Bathrooms

Wet rooms are becoming popular in trendy apartments now, but consider your target market before putting one in. The idea is to have a room that is effectively one big shower and the water drains into the middle of the floor. The UK climate is not kind to these rooms though, and you would be wise to put in some serious heating and ventilation to allow the room to dry out properly.

Jacuzzi baths are luxury items that are beginning to become more common, but, like the wet room, make sure they are right for the area and the sort of people who are likely to buy your property before investing in one.

Have Fun!

Bathrooms are areas where there’s a lot of choice and you can have a lot of fun picking out fittings. There are so many to choose from, and they seem to be getting cheaper every day. A plain white suite with taps and fittings can now be bought for less than two hundred pounds, and although you’d have to be careful where you used it, for a quick turnaround job you can hardly go wrong. Spend a bit more money on higher-grade taps, bath panels and toilet seat and many buyers wouldn’t know the difference.

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