Stop Standing in Line to Use the Bathroom with
a new Bathroom Addition
By: Mark J. Donovan
If you have a growing family or have
an older home, a bathroom addition is a great way to resolve having to stand in
line in the morning. Bathroom additions can also increase the value of a home. Typically you
can recoup nearly all of your investment in a bathroom addition when you
eventually sell your home, and in some cases it can mean the difference between
selling and not selling your home.
A few decades ago a single bathroom
in the home was fairly common. Today most home buyers prefer to see two or more
bathrooms in the home.
They preferably like to see a
master bathroom suite in the master bedroom, along with a full bath near the
other bedrooms. In addition, most homebuyers like to see a half bath or
powder room on the first floor. So if your home is older, and you are tired
of standing in line to use the bathroom, then a bathroom addition may be an
excellent investment in your home.
After deciding upon installing a
bathroom addition the next big question that arises is where to put it.
In some cases a bump out on the
existing home may be necessary, however in other cases it can be possibly carved
out of existing home living space. If you are building a large home addition,
then a bathroom addition may also be part of it.
When developing a bathroom design it
is important to keep in mind the necessary space required for the various work
stations within the bathroom. For example a standard size shower stall area
typically needs about 30 to 40 square feet, a bathroom vanity area about 16-20
square feet, and a toilet area approximately 9 square feet.
If you are installing a Jacuzzi tub
you will need approximately 30 square feet for it alone. The size and amenities
of your bathroom addition really depend upon your personal needs, and who you
anticipate using the bathroom regularly. However, it is also important to key in
mind resale value. Make sure you develop a bathroom design that is attractive to
eventual home buyers.
Also as part of the bathroom design
you want to carefully consider the bathroom floor layout.
|It is important that
your bathroom addition is functional and that you have plenty of room to
maneuver in it. The location of your bathroom addition will also impact building
costs, so it is important that the size and location be carefully considered
during the bathroom addition planning stage.
Bathroom lighting is another major
consideration when designing bathroom additions. Natural lighting is
always preferable to include in a bathroom addition.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Spot lighting over key work areas of
the bathroom is also extremely important. You want to make sure that you have
sufficient lighting over the bathroom vanity and the shower/tub areas.
Fixtures and Bathroom Flooring
When it comes to bathroom additions
there is also a myriad of choices as it relates to bathroom fixtures, flooring
and cabinetry. Today most home buyers prefer to see plentiful use of ceramic
tile. Custom ceramic tile showers are extremely popular today, however special
shower pans need to be constructed before installing a ceramic tile shower. See
my Shower Pan Membrane Liner Ebook to learn how to install your own shower pan
membrane liner for your custom ceramic tile shower.
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The use of ceramic tile on the
and walls is also highly desirable in bathrooms today. Marble bathroom
countertops, as well as pedestal bathroom sinks are also something you may want
to consider in your bathroom addition.
Once you have captured on paper a
sketch of your bathroom addition and a list of desired bathroom fixtures and
features you can then move on to finding a bathroom addition remodeling
Bathroom additions can be very
expensive depending upon the features of it. For example a simple powder room is
relatively inexpensive compared to a large master suite bathroom with a custom
ceramic tile shower area and a separate Jacuzzi bath. In addition, plumbing
contractors and bathroom fixtures are not cheap.
Consequently, for most folks,
financing will typically be required for at least a portion of the bathroom
addition. When adding a bathroom addition, there are a couple of loan options
you can typically choose from, either obtaining a home equity loan, or totally
refinancing your home and increasing your overall home mortgage. The right
answer depends upon your particular financial situation.
Hiring a Bathroom
Once your bathroom addition plans and
financing terms are in order you can then begin the process of finding a
bathroom addition contractor and/or subcontractors for the project. Hiring the
right bathroom addition contractor is critical for ensuring a smooth bathroom
remodeling or bathroom addition project. Hiring the wrong bathroom contractor
can result in cost overruns, schedule slips and a bathroom that in no way
resembles your plans.
An excellent way to locate a
qualified bathroom addition contractor is to use a national home contractor
referral company. They have a large database of
pre-screened and qualified
bathroom remodeling contractors in their system, that are located all over the country. In addition,
their services are free to you. Simply fill out a free online form for your
specific bathroom addition needs and they will forward the information on to 3
or 4 bathroom addition contractors in your area. The contractors will then
contact you to set up a time to meet with you and review your bathroom addition
When obtaining bathroom addition
estimates it is important to make sure that each potential contractor provides
you with a complete bathroom addition cost breakdown list for every phase of the
project. The more detail in the bathroom addition cost breakdown list, the
higher probability that the estimate will be accurate and indicative of the true
cost of your bathroom addition.
To help in obtaining accurate and
consistent bathroom addition contractor quotes, see my Bathroom Addition Bid
Bathroom Addition Bid Sheet provides a request for quote section that
you can provide to prospective bathroom remodeling contractors. It also includes
a comprehensive bathroom addition cost breakdown list, in Microsoft Excel
format, that allows the contractor to include his projected bathroom addition
costs for every phase of the project.
When interviewing bathroom remodeling
contractors, make sure you check their references. I typically prefer to check 3
to 4 references. Normally I check a couple references associated with recent
projects and a couple that were done out in time, e.g. approximately 3 to 5
years ago. By doing this, I get a better feel of their current work habits, as
well as a sense of how their work stands the test of time.
Usually a good yard stick for
evaluating a bathroom addition contractor is to see how long their reference
list is. The longer the list the contractor provides to you, the higher the
likelihood that he has a good track record. A long reference list also helps to
get a feel for how long he has been in business and his level of pride in his
Finally, it is important to remember
that the cost per square foot for a bathroom addition is typically higher than
building a brand new home. The reason for this is that a bathroom addition
requires additional work and time to integrate it into the existing home. In
addition, a brand new home construction project offers economies of scale. With
a bathroom addition you may be adding only 40-50 square feet of new living
space, whereas with a new home construction project you may be building 2,000 to
4,000 square feet of living space.
So with a solid bathroom design and
upfront conversations with the local building inspector and the bank, the
probability of a successful bathroom addition project are greatly improved. Just
remember that a bathroom remodeling project, as is the case with any home
addition, will cause some temporary family disruptions. However, the new
bathroom addition will be well worth the temporary pain and annoyances. In
addition, with the upfront planning described above the annoyances and setbacks
should be greatly reduced.
For more help on bathroom remodeling, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet.
Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet
provides you with the knowledge and information you need to plan a bathroom addition
project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. It
also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and a spreadsheet for estimating
your own new bathroom remodeling building costs.
Bathroom Remodeling and Bathroom Design Information
Additional Bathroom Design and Remodeling Resources
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