opinion on adding a bathroom?

7 Replies

roughly how much value does it add to a house?

is it worth just popping in a bathroom when ever possible?

someone wants to convert a walk in attic into a bedroom but i do not think it is do able..

Updated almost 3 years ago


You need to run the numbers.  This question is too broad to answer in generalities.

are you going from 1 to 2, 1.5 to 2.5, or 2 to 3 baths?

Lets' assume you are talking about going from 2 baths to 3.  You need to ask yourself some questions...

How much more are 3 baths selling for vs. 2 baths in the specific neighborhood? If a 3 bath goes for 20K more,  that is your answer.

How much will it cost for the additional bath?   If it costs more than the added value,  I say don't do it.

As far as converting an attic to a bedroom.  That is also a case by case, question.   I don't know enough to answer, but would ask a GC to spec it out for you.

@Danny Woodson

This is a great exercise in running comps.  You'll get your answers for both bedrooms AND bathrooms.  Know where to put your money on flips and you'll be a much happier investor.

Also, check out various publications on value adds:

This old house talks about "project that pay"

Money magazine used to run a value-add issue each year.  I'm not sure they still do.

Originally posted by @Danny Woodson :

roughly how much value does it add to a house?

is it worth just popping in a bathroom when ever possible?

someone wants to convert a walk in attic into a bedroom but i do not think it is do able..

If it's short on a bathroom, I would consider it (example: 4 bedroom/1 bathroom OR 5 bedroom/1 bathroom).  Otherwise do not.  Do not add a bathroom when it is not clearly needed.  It is unlikely that the numbers will justify it.

If it has sufficient bathrooms and the design is such that you can add a bedroom at lower cost, it's worth evaluating.  That said, it is unlikely that the payback will be worth it. 

@Danny Woodson I come across this dilemma sometimes myself. I agree with everyone above ... you just have to run the numbers and look at the comps to see if it makes sense. 

I know for me and in my area a lot depends on the neighborhood. There is a project I'm working on right now in an area that sales at over $200 a sq ft ... and it only has a 1.5 bath so by adding a master bedroom and bath which will help sale my house faster and increase my profit margin. 

Now in most neighborhoods this isn't the case. Recently finished a 3 bed 1 bath in a mediocre neighborhood and it just didn't make any sense to add to it. These are just some examples. I hope that helps but really the only way to know is by running the comps. Good Luck friend!

We added a bathroom to a 4/2 house. Now 4/3. Moved a laundry room to a stackable laundry in a coat closet. Got permits and licensed contractors for the job. With new bathroom, widening one bathroom door, upgrading a toilet in master, granite on kitchen island (had ugly tile), hardwood flooring, upgrading lighting in dining and kitchen to can LED lights and paint, we spent about $19K in upgrades. Paid a premium for the house at $211K in a very nice neighborhood (bidding war). House is currently valued (after 1 year) at $240K. 

Going in, it wasn't a fix and flip property, but a home for my father-in-law with alzheimer's and a live in nurse. We decided to lease the property to a care home agency who has 3 residents in the home now covering the costs. So we paid cash for the house and the updates which earns $2,000 monthly in rent - $350 in expenses (taxes/insurance/home warranty) which net's us about 8.6% on our investment. Better than a CD or Fund. And we have an appreciating asset now.

So, was adding a 3rd bathroom a wise investment, not for a short term flip but for passive income yes as leasing the home to a care home organization commands higher rents than for single family (could only rent to single family for $1,600 monthly). 

Lesson learned: If purchasing a home to make money, know your options and ways out. In my case, I knew that home appreciation was at a good pace but also knew that I could rent to a care home organization if appreciation wasn't strong enough in the short term.

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