Jump to content

Bathroom Remodel - Need Opinions


Recommended Posts

Hi - I am currently redoing the master bath in my house and considering two different options, I'd like some opinions on which option would be more desirable when we sell the house. I'm a young first time home owner so I'd like some opinions to get a plan in place before I really get going on this project.

For reference the house is ~1800sq ft with 4 bedrooms & 2 baths, located just west of the Heights. The master bath I am working on is a very small bathroom (7.5 ft x 6.5 ft.) with single vanity, corner shower stall, and toilet. Option #1 consists of keeping the existing floorplan and doing a complete renovation to the bathroom. Option #2 would be to enlarge the master bath , however, this would require combining two of the bedrooms, essentially creating a master suite and thus reducing the number of bedrooms in the house to a total of 3.

Which option do you think is the way to go here and what effect would small bath/large bath vs 4/3 bedrooms have on resale of the house?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is money an object here?

If not, I'd go with the master suite with enlarged bath. Three bedrooms instead of a four is a good tradeoff IMO, especially in an area like yours. Large families aren't looking to move into homes in that area, so a fourth bedroom would be wasted. Three bedrooms (master, guest, study/kid's room) is plenty, especially if you're getting a nice master suite/bath out of the deal.

When you're done, can you come over and help us with our bathroom project, too? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we're talking Timbergrove or Lazybrook then I would say trade the bedroom for the larger bath. If you're west of the heights outside the loop, then your target audience is a family of Mexicans....keep the bedroom, and consider turning the second bathroom into yet another bedroom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enlarge it..the money spent will be about the same, and you will get more useable space. Guessing you have a modular shower contraption..you will be able to get rid of that and install a real shower...think about how much a nice shower is worth over a few yrs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Combining 2 bedrooms is clearly more expensive, but for resle purposes, a large new bathroom and a walkin closet as part of a master suite would be far more valuable. I'm guessing that 4 bedrooms in an 1800 foot house means that all 4 are small. That is a negative rather than a positive. Opening up some walls for a better use of the space is a good idea.

Costwise, moving walls around is not the most expensive part of the job. Building a new bathroom from scratch is where the hurt comes in. Also, pick and choose where you splurge on accessories. You can get very nice fixtures from some place like Lowe's, spending $300 or $400 on a sink, for instance, and look twice as good as buying a $200 sink. However, paying $2000 for an "ultra cool" sink will likely not look 5 times better than the $400 one. Plus, a mondo expensive fixture will look out of place in an otherwise middle of the road bathroom. Potential buyers understand that it is an older house. They do not expect tract home gaudiness. They do expect things to match, however. Old school tile floors and wainscoting on the walls will cost less and look better in an old house than travertine.

Just a humble opinion from one who turned a utility room into a master bath and lived to tell about it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice. I already have the bathroom completely gutted so I'm ready to get going, all these decisions are stressing me out though:)

Redscare - You are correct that the rooms are somewhat small. A kingsize bed will only fit in one of the spare bedrooms. The master bedroom with attached bath is actually a smaller room, I have it setup as guest bedroom right now.

One more question, it seems all my friends (from the burbs) and girlfriend insist that if I undertake this project I need to add a tub to the bathroom. I would prefer to have a walk-in tiled shower only as I have a tub in the hall bath. Adding a tub will make things extremely tight along with the complication and additional expense of an additional drain line. Is a tub in master a huge selling point? Personally, I would prefer to have a larger shower, I guess I need some female opinions here:)

I'm working on some 3D cad layouts, I'll post them in the next couple of days for more critique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had some friends say that I needed a tub, as well. The problem was, it would require making the shower smaller, and worse, I would lose the walkin closet. Again, buyers of older houses recognize that there are tradeoffs, so you will need to decide which is more important.

This is how I managed the tradeoffs. I wanted a shower for ME...not some future buyer. I saw no sense in suffering with a tub for years thinking that someday, a buyer would like it. Besides, if I wanted a shower so badly, is it REALLY a negative? I don't think so. Secondly, the other bathroom has a tub. The big deal with tubs is they are good for soaking. My other bath is exactly 4 feet from the master bedroom...hardly an inconvenience for the lady of the house. Plus, she can decorate that bath to suit her tastes. Finally, I live alone. Adding a shower AND a bath to my new master would give me THREE baths for one guy. Can you say STUPID? In the end, I put in a 3 foot by 5 foot shower with 2 showerheads, plus a handheld shower, and kept the closet in the plans. Realtors I have spoken to say that two baths versus one is what adds the value...up to $30,000...not whether it has a tub or a shower. As long as you have a tub somewhere in the house, a shower in the master is not a deal killer. In fact, the tub may make the room look smaller, actually lessening its value.

Now, about those tubs, should you decide to go that route. Your suburban friends may tell you that you HAVE to get a spa tub. They sound great for soaking after running or a long bike ride. That's the problem. They sound great, but after about 2 months, most people stop using them. Worse, mold grows in the piping if they are not used often. After the first couple of times that you turn on the faucet and black crap comes out of the jets, you start thinking what would really feel good right now is a nice hot...you guessed it...shower. Save the money on a spa tub, put in two showerheads for an extra few hundred bucks, and buy a nice teak stool to sit on while your hot shower loosens those tight muscles. My only problem now is that I stay in the shower so long that I run out of hot water.

In the end, two baths are better than one, and build it tastefully, but the way YOU want it. You'll be happier now, and when you sell it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice. I already have the bathroom completely gutted so I'm ready to get going, all these decisions are stressing me out though:)

Redscare - You are correct that the rooms are somewhat small. A kingsize bed will only fit in one of the spare bedrooms. The master bedroom with attached bath is actually a smaller room, I have it setup as guest bedroom right now.

One more question, it seems all my friends (from the burbs) and girlfriend insist that if I undertake this project I need to add a tub to the bathroom. I would prefer to have a walk-in tiled shower only as I have a tub in the hall bath. Adding a tub will make things extremely tight along with the complication and additional expense of an additional drain line. Is a tub in master a huge selling point? Personally, I would prefer to have a larger shower, I guess I need some female opinions here:)

I'm working on some 3D cad layouts, I'll post them in the next couple of days for more critique.

Wow, that's ballsy to already have ripped everything out without a plan as to what you're going to do with it. You must not be married. :lol:

We live in a 3/2 in Timbergrove and have redone and enlarged both bathrooms, although we were able to take space from a couple of extra closets and an oversized master bedroom to do it. That said, most houses in this part of town just have three bedrooms, so you wouldn't be making your house less comparable by getting rid of one and that floorspace is probably worth more to a potential buyer as a bigger bathroom than as a bedroom, anyway.

I see you mention making your own drawings. Are you doing the work yourself? If so, the usual cautions about inspections and code come into play. I agree with Red that you need to make things to your own preferences, but that only applies very generally (shower vs tub kind of stuff) - be very careful that whatever you do you still follow code requirements for setbacks and centerlines and fixture placement, etc etc. It's amazing just how much minutia is in the plumbing codes for that kind of stuff, and even if you perform your own work and avoid the building inspectors (which I don't recommend, btw), if you ever sell the house the buyer's inspector will rip that kind of stuff apart and you could end up losing all of the "extra" money you were counting on from your remodel.

You might not mind that the centerline of your bathroom sink is only 9 inches from the wall, but the standard is 15 inches (I think) and it's a telltale sign that you avoided the building department if anyone ever inspected your house for sale, which then would open up a whole other can of worms.

Also, I advise you to go here if you want more technical advice. It's nominally about tilework, but there's all kind of DIY bathroom remodel information there, too, including design tips like in your OP.

Edited by cottonmather0
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The City of Houston will not sell a homeowner any electrical permits, and thus won't inspect any homeowner work, and if you do ANYTHING short of changing a light bulb, the law says you have to get a permit. It's a bit frustrating because as long as you can do basic arithmetic and follow a wiring diagram most electrical projects are pretty easy to do, even wiring a whole bathroom. But the City won't let you do it and if they catch you doing it without a permit that's a big no-no. I found an electrician who was willing to let me do most of the easy work and then inspected my work on his permit and claimed it as his own, but most guys won't let you do that and will want the whole job for themselves.

The city will let you do anything else you want as long as you get a building plan approved and buy the relevant permits. My first bathroom remodel was mostly DIY and I'm glad I did it because I learned a lot, but the headaches of having to sub out the electrical and the plumbing (my wife wouldn't let me do that myself, either) - plus just having to deal with the building department myself for the stuff I did do - led me to just pay a GC for the second bathroom to avoid the hassle.

It's not hard to go down there and apply for a permit and get your plans approved, but it's a bit confusing at first and since they're all city workers they don't give a flip about your time or your trouble. Just be ready for that.

Edited by cottonmather0
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

mind if i tag along (threadjack, but on topic)???

ok, so i'm eyeballing two houses, and both of them need some bathroom work... (ok, not need, but i would want to make some changes).

how easy/difficult is it to:

1. Relocate a toilet? There is a room that has a shower and a toilet - i want to move the toilet to another place in the bathroom and make a large shower out of that room.

2. Put in a toilet where none exists (but there is plumbing in the vicinity)? There is a wet bar under the stairs that i'd want to turn into a half bath. The walls, sink, and door would be the easy part. There is no toilet there. (Similar to Red's utility closet, perhaps?) If I can't do this, I can't do #1 above. The toilet is currently the master and the 'community' toilet. Terrible.

3. Relocate a shower to where a sink exists? There is a sink, a wall behind it, and behind that, a closet for another room. I'd want to make all of this into a larger shower. I'd close off the closet (obviously) and make the room the closet is part of an office/study. I'd relocate the sink to where the current tub/shower is now (i guess this is the equivalent of moving a shower - gotta move pipes. I'd have to turn some pipes (probably easy) to run down another wall, and put in a drain (probably not as easy.)

obviously i'll be taking a look at the JB forums. i'm not going to do the work myself, but want to know what I'm in for (or if I'm biting off more than I should.

thx.

edit: both houses on slab. first floor. i don't know anything about the underlying plumbing (not my house yet, and part of the purchase decision for either will include these bath projects.) of course, i'm going to have someone look at it, but want to get some feedback.

Edited by TAK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm... looks like putting in a toilet where none existed will not be something I want to do... who wants to share their master bath with the rest of the house? (yes, it would allow me to 'show off' the bathroom, but that means keeping it pristine... not with a wife and two kids!!!

and it think that destroys the toilet move idea, too... (it would go where the 'common' door currently sits. boo.

maybe that's why the house is for sale and the price is falling. darn toilets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how easy/difficult is it to:

1. Relocate a toilet? There is a room that has a shower and a toilet - i want to move the toilet to another place in the bathroom and make a large shower out of that room.

2. Put in a toilet where none exists (but there is plumbing in the vicinity)? There is a wet bar under the stairs that i'd want to turn into a half bath. The walls, sink, and door would be the easy part. There is no toilet there. (Similar to Red's utility closet, perhaps?) If I can't do this, I can't do #1 above. The toilet is currently the master and the 'community' toilet. Terrible.

Both items will likely be VERY expensive....they'd either have to bust up the slab all the way through the house from the toilet to wherever the main line is, possibly re-plumbing the entire house to get the pitch correct (turds don't run uphill), or they'd have to tunnel under the house to run the line. Now...if you find an under-slab plumbing leak and get the sellers to give you a credit for it, then that would serve to offset a lot of the expense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I love the subway tile look. Have put it in two houses and a garage apartment. Made mistakes on both, but hey, it's a rental. And my wife hates the look, so I guess they will stay rentals.....

I love the subway tile look. Have put it in two houses and a garage apartment. Made mistakes on both, but hey, it's a rental. And my wife hates the look, so I guess they will stay rentals.....

One more...

post-322-1231575603_thumb.jpg

post-322-1231575626_thumb.jpg

post-322-1231575836_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...