How Hard Is It to Add a Bathroom?

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How Hard Is It to Add a Bathroom?

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From: Zillow Blog


“I love sharing a bathroom with my whole family,” said no homeowner ever. Learn how to add a bathroom and keep the peace.

If your home was built before 1970, you likely have one bathroom for your entire household. This probably means that everyone scrounges for counter space and fights over shower time, leaving you wishing for another bathroom.

But how hard is it to add one? What kind of design do you need? Where would you even find room for it in your home?

We posed all these questions and more to Lora Lindberg and Debbie Cederlind, house flipping pros and owners of Seattle-based Urban Squirrel. Here’s their expert advice on adding a bathroom to your home.


Location, location, location

According to Lindberg and Cederlind, finding a good location for your extra bathroom is half the battle — and completely depends on your home’s layout.

When the designers were restoring a 1920s craftsman in Seattle, they added a powder room to the main floor to increase accessibility for guests who may not be able to use the stairs to get to the main bath.

“First, we called our plumber. He had to figure out how to get water lines and waste lines [to the powder room]. We had to make sure it worked before we framed it in,” Lindberg recalls.

To find a good spot in your own home, look at where the existing water and waste lines are, and make sure you have an existing wall that’s at least 2 feet by 4 feet.

“The best scenario is keeping all your water in one area of the home,” advises Cederlind. “If you’re totally moving it to another side of the home, proximity to the waste lines is always important.”

Another thing to keep in mind, the designers say, is that you have to run water and waste lines between floors, which can make adding a bathroom upstairs rather tricky, but not impossible.

“Look at existing plumbing, then see if you can put another bathroom above or below and still tie into the existing waste lines. That’s key,” says Cederlind.

Homeowners with single-story layouts will have the easiest time adding in a bathroom because they can simply run the water and waste lines through a crawl space below.

But the duo says that no matter how many stories your home has, you still have to factor in an exhaust fan, which must vent to the home’s exterior, and the proper slope for the waste line, which must run downhill.

Additionally, Cederlind and Lindberg always make sure they include a tub somewhere in the home, which can boost resale value. Master showers with double heads or seating are nice, but it’s important to have a tub somewhere in case you — or a future buyer — have kids.


Read more here.