Remodeling Duplex

bob_cvilleApril 11, 2013

We recently purchased an older duplex that has been rented out for some time. The resident of one half moved out and we were starting the process of fixing it up to rent again, and decided to remove the ugly sheet flooring and replace it with something new.

Upon pulling it up we discovered massive water damage to the floor and sub-floor and consequently needed to remove the cabinets to be able to access all of the damaged sub-floor, and the leaking drain pipe in the wall.

We also then found the tub had been leaking damaging the drywall, the floor and sub-floor, and many of the wall studs. Yay.

I've removed the sink and the tub and (soon) the toilet as well as most of the drywall, floor and sub-floor, and now need to decide the design for putting it all back.

Its small 5'2"x 8'5" so theres not much that can be done.

The easiest answer would be to put it all back the way it was:

but with the toilet being the first thing you see on the way in, it might not look so great.

An alternative that I have thought of is:

which might look better, but then there would be a window in the shower, and given my experience with water damage, this gives me pause. It would also require relocating the shower drain and the toilet drain. Maybe the potential better look isn't worth the extra effort.

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I'd think about putting the vanity where the toilet is in picture #1, and the toilet next to the wall alcove where the vanity is in your #1. I'd keep the tub where it is. When you walk into the room you would see the beautiful vanity, mirror, and sconces :)

It looks like there will be enough room for the toilet along the door wall without being in the way. You could get a shorter toilet for fit the space.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:22PM
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I like your remodel idea better, but I wouldn't spend the money on a rental. The existing layout looks fine, and resolves the window issue.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Something to think about is that the window, if in the shower may need to be safety glass to meet code.

I didn't notice that the window was at the existing toilet position, I guess changing vanity with toilet wouldn't work.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:24PM
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I like the second layout better. That's what I have in my main/guest bathroom. My parents have owned their home for about 28 years and the primary tub/shower has a nice big window. So far they've never had any problems with water. I suspect there are proper ways to handle windows and waterproofing that this forum can help you with.

If that's not feasible, the first layout is certainly functional.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Unless there's a hall or room with a straight view of the toilet, I wouldn't change the layout. When people open a door to walk into a room, they typically look at the wall that is revealed first -- in this case, the vanity wall. Unless, of course, they throw the door wide open before even stepping in!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:39PM
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It's a rental. I recommend you simply repair the damage and leave things located where they are.

Understand that the hardest thing to move due to drainage and vent considerations is the toilet.

Rental units? Keep it simple, keep it safe. Minimize the opportunity for future damage. Design for apathy. No window in the shower.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:33PM
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