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Add a bathroom to your home

A guide to planning and installing an additional bathroom in your existing home.

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One of the most popular home renovation additions is a bathroom, and with good reason. An extra bathroom makes your home more functional and makes it more attractive to potential buyers. If you can find the space in your home, adding a bathroom is a sound renovation decision.

add a bathroomThe key issue when adding a bathroom is where to put it. This will depend on your family's needs and available space. Popular bathroom additions include master baths and powder rooms. Master baths, which are almost always ensuite, give privacy to the adults of the family. A powder room can add a much-needed extra toilet and sink, and is generally located near the public areas of the house and accessible to all family members and guests.

No matter where you choose to put your new bathroom, there are a number of items to keep in mind:

  • Size: Generally adding a bathroom to your home requires stealing space from another room. This might lead you to make the new bathroom smaller in order to take as little space away from the other room as possible. Resist this temptation.
    • In general, a five-foot by eight-foot bathroom is the smallest size that can comfortably accommodate a standard-size sink, toilet, and tub/shower combination.

  • Design: This ties in with the above caveat on size. When a bathroom layout is well designed it can take up less space than you might think.
    • This is the stage where you choose the fixtures you want to include.
    • Have a professional draw up a floor plan for you, or do it yourself using software available on many home building sites.

  • Cost: Cost is closely linked to size and design. A larger bathroom will cost more. You can spend a lot or a little on bathroom fixtures such as showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets and finishes such as cabinets, countertops, shower surrounds, and flooring.
    • Consider, though, that inexpensive materials often don't last for a long time, meaning that if you plan to stay in your home for a while, you might face another bathroom renovation in the future.

  • Building permit: It is always advisable to get a building permit when doing residential remodeling. This is particularly true when you are working with plumbing and electricity, to ensure they are properly and safely installed.
    • When you sell, an inspection certificate proves to potential purchasers that the job was done right.

  • Contractors: Reply! can provide you with a list of qualified contractors in your area who specialize in residential remodeling. Contact several and get written quotes and references before you chose.

When you need an extra bathroom in your home, you'll know it. Think of how much you'll enjoy your new privacy, and not having to wait to use the bathroom. With these thoughts as an incentive, get creative and find space in your house for the addition of a bathroom. It will bring peace to your home now and added resale value later.

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