Small bathroom remodel

11 Replies

Hello all, I’m 7 months into a huge gut remodel job. Just happens to be my first home purchase. Got a good deal on it, and I’m doing most of the work myself. (Been living in it too). I have most of the major stuff done (heat, house sill, insulation, walls, kitchen, cosmetic). Basement is still unfinished. Now I’m onto the bathroom. Unfortunately it’s a tiny bathroom (raised ranch) 7’-8” x 7’-8”. I opened up the dining room closet which gave me a little more room (54”x32”), but soon found out I can’t really do a whole lot with it. I guess my question is: how much does a tub add resale value to a home? I’m off about 4” in every direction with what I’d like to do for a design. I could do a 54” tub? Any input is appreciated. Thanks Brian
Originally posted by @Brian Ellis :
Hello all,

I’m 7 months into a huge gut remodel job. Just happens to be my first home purchase. Got a good deal on it, and I’m doing most of the work myself. (Been living in it too).

I have most of the major stuff done (heat, house sill, insulation, walls, kitchen, cosmetic). Basement is still unfinished.

Now I’m onto the bathroom. Unfortunately it’s a tiny bathroom (raised ranch) 7’-8” x 7’-8”. I opened up the dining room closet which gave me a little more room (54”x32”), but soon found out I can’t really do a whole lot with it.

I guess my question is: how much does a tub add resale value to a home? I’m off about 4” in every direction with what I’d like to do for a design. I could do a 54” tub?

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks Brian

 Is it the only bathroom in the house?  people with kids will require at least 1 tub

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Illinois (#471.018287) and Wisconsin (#57846-90)

There is a bathroom on the lower level that is unfinished. But I might not want to refinish it before I sell it. That would take me another 4 months to remodel.

Have you taken a look at corner tubs? Something like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-48-ft-Corner-Drop-In-Non-Whirlpool-Bathtub-in-White-LPI303-S/300134565

What is your market you're trying to sell this home to?

Is it more of a single or dual income no kids type home. Is this a place that's far away from any schools or playgrounds? Is this house closer to many sources of employment?

I see NOT having a tub in a house as a great deterrent to those that may have or want to have kids or pets.

I do  not know what the housing market is like in your area, but you eliminate potential buyers without a tub in the house even if there is the potential to install one in the basement/lower level.

You will get your money back if you add the tub, but more than that you will get more interest in the home and potential for those bidding up/against each other. Without a tub you limit the buyers.

What I'm not understanding from your post however is the dimensions of your bathroom. You say that you have a 7'8" x 7'8" space to work with. That's plenty of room for a tub/toilet combo on one side and vanity/sink/mirror on the other.

If the house has been gutted, you are not under the constraints of where the door, plumbing or electrical has to go. You've got a nice blank pallet to work with to create a masterpiece! While in my opinion 7'8" squared is HUGE check out some small bathrooms on IKEA or European  schematics. You'll see some great ideas to make use of every square inch of a small space.

Thank you Steve,

I lucked out getting a home in the area, it is in Sagamore Beach, MA. And there are a lot of families with children around here.

School systems great too.

So it is definitely essential I have a tub upstairs.

I wanted to try and keep the bathroom minimal with a separate free standing shower/tub. To really give it a “Master” bathroom feel.

I think I finally have a layout, but it would entail a Greek style soaking tub. (Only 48” long).

Thank you
Brian

@Sean Ridlon that was my initial idea, and what I ultimately wanted to do. But it seems like the space is too tight in every direction.

Do you have any examples? I am really having a tough time with this one. I keep having to change layouts because I’m off by a couple inches no matter what I do.

I have a few properties in the same town, and faced a similar challenge with a house in Monument Beach.   We did a total rehab on a small ranch with one bathroom, and decided to install a bathtub for resale.   The main reason is that we wanted to keep the options open for the starter families.   

This was a tough decision for us as we would prefer a nice walk in shower, but in the end it really did not make a big difference and we still have a very nice bathroom.  The are some pretty cool bathtubs out there. We installed a 5' Kohler Archer tub with 19" sides.

One last thing you should keep in mind is that the majority of folks in this area will qualify for a $250K - $275K house.   Houses in this price range will move very quickly.   Once you go over $300K for a 2 bed one bath it will be harder to move.

Originally posted by @Brian Ellis :

@Sean Ridlon that was my initial idea, and what I ultimately wanted to do. But it seems like the space is too tight in every direction.

Do you have any examples? I am really having a tough time with this one. I keep having to change layouts because I’m off by a couple inches no matter what I do.

 Brian, first step is do a little research on your local code requirements for clearances inside the shower area. Next thing is I'd look into the following:
https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us/en_US/Shower-...

In a recent remodel, I was able to convert a standard tub size opening into a 3x5 walk-in shower which was a serious upgrade from a boring old tub and tile surround.

The toughest part of the job is going to be the drain location. Most of us like a centered drain and if you're dealing with concrete removal it can be a bit of a PITA. But still easier than trying to shoehorn that tub in there.

What I like about the custom pan is that an size over what is legally allowed is possible, and if you're handy enough any shape.

The pan you'll be making will be sloped slightly toward the drain, and the pan will be covered with small (>2") tile while the wall tiles can be as large as you like. 

The expense on a DIY will be in the schluter kit itself, with the tile being relatively inexpensive. It is possible with enough research or experience to get all the necessary components together to avoid buying the kit. IMO it's worth it though.

Good luck either way you go! I think you'll be happy with the results from the pan.

Why would remodeling the bathroom downstairs take 4 extra months? 

John Colburn thank you for the input. This is actually a 3br raised ranch (1189 sqft each floor). So maybe a nice walk in shower upstairs and then a full tub/shower in the lower level down the road?

The bathroom was very tight to begin with. I opened up the dining room closet to allow a 54”x34” walk in shower, while still leaving me with a smaller dining room closet and access to the attic. I felt removing that closet completely would be detrimental.

If I do just a walk in shower then this will leave me a very spacious bathroom.

If I add a tub adjoining the shower it would have to be a 48” Greek soaking tub directly under the window. This would allow the 30” code requirement for a toilet. The only problem is $$. That’s an additional $1200, and time. I’m 30 days away from having everything completed to satisfy my homeowners insurance. Do you think a stand up shower alone upstairs is going to ruin my chances of selling this for more then $350k?

Nikolai,
Because I would have to refinish the basement completely (1189 sqft). I do 90% of the work myself, and I’m limited to how much I can spend.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.