The Value of a New Bathroom

Before you start making building plans, you probably want to know how much value does a bathroom add to my home? In terms of financial value, that answer is difficult to pin down, but you can be sure that many potential buyers will prioritize finding a home with a minimum of two full baths and possibly more. One study found that adding a bathroom increased the home’s sale price by 8.7%, which is more than twice the increase you would see if you added a bedroom.

If you’re not looking to sell any time soon, then the value you gain is added functionality. The National Association of Realtors found that over half of homeowners who added a new bathroom to their homes wanted to be home more and had an increased sense of enjoyment since the project was completed. If you’ve ever had to wait to use the toilet or take a shower, you’ve likely daydreamed about how nice it would be to have another bathroom in your home.

Build to code

Your city or state might have different building codes than what Lindberg or Cederlind adhere to in Seattle, but you should always ensure that your bathroom configuration is legal and that you have the correct amount of space around the fixtures.

To really make sure your bathroom is up to code, it’s best to get a permit for the work.

“Having a permit for your work usually makes buyers feel better, because they know the work was inspected. We’ve had to rip out a lot of poorly done DIY projects in the homes we remodel and start from scratch,” Cederlind says.

Although getting a permit and working to code might take more time, it’s worth it in the end. Plus, it can guarantee that whoever is doing the work does it the right way.

“We know our contractors, and they always do things to code, whether we get a permit or not. But if I were a homeowner hiring contractors for the first time, I’d want to know they’re being checked,” Lindberg says.

Cederlind and Lindberg also advise working with licensed, bonded, and insured contractors so you’re protected in case anything goes awry.

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Common questions about adding a bathroom

Is there existing water and waste piping near your new bathroom?

Before installing, check to make sure that water flow exists for your new bathroom. If it doesn’t, you may need to hire a professional plumber to sort out your needs and get water flow to the room of your choice.

Do you have enough space for a bathroom?

An important question to consider, as not every space can fit all the bathroom necessities you may require. The starting point for most bathrooms is roughly 25 square feet-this size gives you just enough room for a small bathtub, a toilet and a sink, though keep in mind this size may be too small for you.

Does your city code allow you to add a bathroom in your designated space?

Another tricky subject as every city will be different and it is important for you to consult your nearest authority on the matter. Many cities do not permit alterations to your home or some extensions may be too large for city code without the right permits, so it is best to understand what you can and cannot do to your house before you begin.

Should you have a professional assist with adding a bathroom?

The short answer is yes. In many cases, electrical and plumbing alterations must be handled by a trained professional. If you are confident of your abilities and have the requisite experience, then some steps can be DIY, but ultimately, utilities must be handled by a professional.

Adding a bathroom to your home can help to increase the value of your home, but it would be best to consult a professional to assess your situation to prevent any unnecessary building mishaps that may occur and further costs as well.  

Converting a Half Bath to a Full Bath

What if you want to convert that downstairs half bath to a full-sized one? According to HomeAdvisor, this can cost you anywhere between $5,000–$25,000. This range of costs depends on if you're using existing space, if there are difficult installations, and if you use high-end materials.

To save money, consider going for a three-quarter bathroom rather than a full bathroom. A three-quarter bathroom includes a sink, toilet, and a shower, but no bathtub. If you already have a bathtub in another bathroom, a three-quarter bathroom addition is a great money-saving solution.

Affordable Touches That Work With Any Option

No matter where you opt to build your new bathroom, Richard Fungowner of Forever Homes based in London, Ontario recommended being cost efficient with your flooring choice. “Even if you are a fan of tiling, you should think twice about it, considering the financial consequences,” he said.

Make Your Money Work for You

Instead, he advised using luxury vinyl tiling, which is also water resistant, but more affordable. If you build your new bathroom in an existing room that has vinyl flooring, he also suggested the low-maintenance option of simply cleaning it.

“Just by using a cupboard staple, you get this flooring gleam instantly,” he said. “The best part is, it doesn’t even cost you much.”

Explore: 26 Home Makeover Ideas That Each Cost Less Than $500

When it comes to choosing a door for your new bathroom, Fungowner recommended installing a sliding door or one that swings out.

“It will help to make maximum use of the existing space,” he said. “Also, it will allow the guests to easily navigate inside the bathroom.”

Every bathroom needs fixtures, and he said placing them strategically can save you a great deal of money as well.

“For that, you need to place the new fixtures closer to your water and waste lines,” he said. “It will help to minimize your construction cost. Even the plumbing cost will come down.”

Learn: Avoid These Home Renovation Horror Stories

6 Common areas for a new bathroom:

Although it is quite tempting to immediately want a new bathroom addition to your home, consider that there are plenty of spaces in your existing home that can be multi-purposed into a decent bath space, therefore, saving you a fair bit of money as entirely new additions to your house can be quite time consuming and heavy on the budget.

Closet

If your house is lacking a large enough room for another bathroom, the closet actually serves as a space friendly alternative. Since many homes come equipped with a walk-in closet, you can simply convert your closet into a bathroom so long as you have roughly 25 square feet. 25 square feet is equivalent to a half bath, which can easily fit a shower, a sink and a toilet, though it might be a little more cozy than a full bath. The negative with this is that full baths add about twice the value to your home whereas half baths only increase your home’s value by roughly 10%. A bathroom of this size on average will run around $3,000.

Hallway

Hallway

Similar to the idea of a closet, hall bathrooms are another flexible option. If your home has a long hallway with a fair bit of empty space between rooms, a hall bathroom can be ideal. Depending on the size of your space available, this can either be a half or full size bath, just consider the rooms adjacent to it and plan accordingly. For example, a sliding door can help to make this bathroom style more accessible. Just be sure that your utilities can support this bathroom before carving out the area, otherwise you may need to hire a plumber to help support this bathroom. For this style of bathroom, installation should run anywhere from $3,000-5,000 depending on the size.

Bedroom

Bedroom

Another popular choice is adding a bathroom into a master bedroom as they are typically built with more space than is actually utilized. A common idea is to carve out a space in your bedroom to serve as the area for your bathroom. Just be sure that your utilities can support this, otherwise you may need to pay more to install further plumbing and electrical functions. The price for this will generally float around $3,000 as you are adding onto an existing space rather than installing an entirely new bathroom.

Garage

Garage

Since most garages are spacious enough to accommodate two cars, there is also ample space to install a bathroom if needed. Since it is ground level and most houses are designed to have the utilities in the basement, this means that a garage bathroom wouldn’t have much issues connecting to the power and water. The only issues that may arise would be accounting for humidity as standard housing code requires a window to provide ventilation so that the moisture does not damage your walls. Installing one of these bathrooms will typically run anywhere from $3,000-5,000 as it is just adding onto your existing area.

Basement

Basement

Quite similar to a garage setup, a basement installation would be below ground, which means that condensation and moisture buildup should be considered, especially if you want to add a shower or bath to your bathroom. If you do include a shower in your basement bathroom, make sure it is properly ventilated and the walls have some protective coating, otherwise you will face rot. Since the basement forms a key structural component of your home, this specific location will be a little more price heavy as it is best to consult a professional so that you do not risk any accidental damages to the foundation of your home. Starting rate for these type of projects is $5,000, but can easily climb to $10-15,000.

Under a staircase

Under a staircase

Similar to a closet space bathroom, another option for placing your bathroom would be under or above a staircase, as many of these areas have shoe closets or pantry locations. So long as the space is around 25 square feet, your shower, sink and toilet should fit quite easily with at least 1 square foot size window for proper ventilation. The benefits of this location is accessibility as the stairs in a home typically don’t see that much foot traffic and everyone can easily access this bathroom. The average cost of this installation type will start at $3,000 minimum.

Different Bathroom Layout/Plan Options

Half-bath (powder room): If you really just need a

Half-bath (powder room): If you really just need an additional bathroom for guests so they don’t have to use the same bathroom as the household members, a half-bath will work great. It’s comprised of just a toilet and a vanity/sink, so you can skip the expense of a shower/bathtub. A half-bath can be pretty compact and fit into as little as 25 square feet, so it’s sometimes possible to create this bathroom from a closet or other small interior space.

Full bath (or ¾ bath): This type of bathroom includes a shower or shower/tub combo and is ideal for use by the residents of the home, especially if too many people are currently sharing one bathroom (a ¾ bath has no tub, just a shower).  A standard size full bathroom is approximately 40sf (8ft long x 5ft wide), but may need to be larger if the homeowner wants double sinks, linen cabinets, etc.

Master bath: Clearly, a master bath needs to be located adjacent to the master bedroom within a suite that should include the bedroom, bathroom & closet.  The size can range from a standard 40sf layout up to 200sf or bigger depending on what you want to include.  Often a master bath has double vanities/sinks, a toilet, and a separate tub and shower. It can also include a linen cabinet or a full closet.

Choosing lighting for your en-suite bathroom

The most important factor you need to consider when you’re planning bathroom lighting is safety. There are strict regulations on what lighting can be used in a potentially wet environment. A lights IP rating depends on its distance to the water source, and that determines the type of light you can use. The higher the rating, the better protected the light. The bathroom is then broken up into zones that correspond with the IP ratings of certain lights.

Bathroom addition: A real-life example

We reached out to Holmes to get the scoop on a recent real-life bathroom addition. Holmes specializes in ground-up new construction and rehauling existing construction. He kindly provided an example quote for a recent bathroom addition under an existing room. Here’s a breakdown of the major costs and labor, including time and materials:

Bathroom Addition Under Existing Roof Labor Materials (Estimate) Cost
Design & Permits (this included all permitting for the project, as well as architectural designs) $2,700 $2,700
Site Prep $600 $600
Demolition & Temporary Support $1,230 $1,230
Excavation (to prep the area for running the plumbing, electric, & HVAC lines) $1,800 $1,800
Foundation $2,200 $2,200
Framing $3,200 $3,200
Windows & Doors $644 Door: $60

Two Windows: $296

$1,000
Siding $1,320 $6 per square foot (labor & materials)

220 sq. ft.

$1,320
Drywall & Paint $1,520 $4 per square foot (labor & materials)

380 sq. ft.

$1,520
Tile $900 $15 per square foot (labor & materials)

60 sq. ft.

$900
Trim $600 Included with labor $600
Bath Finishes $890 Toilet: $200

Vanity: $500

Sink: $160

$1,750
Plumbing $3,400 Included materials, plumbing to client purchased bathtub $3,400
Electric $1,300 $1,300
HVAC $2,600 $2,600
TOTAL $26,120

In this project, and in Holmes’ experience working with clients adding bathrooms, many of them aren’t aware how much installing plumbing, electric, and HVAC will drive up their budget.

Think Home Climates for Bathroom Plumbing

Plumbing is an integral part of a bathroom remodels. Home Climates offers bathroom plumbing services from shower and toilet installations to leak detection and repair. You could do it yourself, but when you have access to professionals who will do the job correctly, quickly and at a reasonable price with over-the-top service, why should you? If you’re interested in making your life easier by adding a half-bath or a full bathroom to your home in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mount Joy or Hershey, Pennsylvania, contact Home Climates. We’ll give you guidance on all of your plumbing needs. We know plumbing disasters happen at the worst times, so remember we offer emergency service for no extra fee.

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