bathroom bumpout or leave it cramped

lyviaOctober 28, 2012

My upstairs hall bath is 5x7, with an end door, circa 1963 so it is definitely overdue for an update. My options are to keep the cramped layout, or bump out two feet or so. There's no way to borrow space from other rooms. We have yet to begin this bathroom, and I have to redo the old wood siding and sheathing on the outside wall first.

Right now, it is my kid's bathroom, the guest bath for elderly guests, and the only tub in the house. My kid is getting close to college. But we might sell in a year or two, and the market for this house is young couples with small kids. But not too tall, due to unfortunate soffits downstairs. If it was just me, I would optimize for bathtub soaks with candles and music. I like the Trajet Bimini (theoretically), which is shorter 48 inches allowing a bench at the end, and deeper, 21 inches, but not so deep as to be impossible to wash kids or slide into.

The wet wall currently has 24 inches for the vanity, 30 for the toilet and 30 for the tub. The toilet is offset towards the vanity to allow better access to the tub, but that will not be code, because it wants 15 inches on each side of the center of the bowl. The vanity and toilet are already cramped, and the tub wants to grow from 30 wide to 32 wide, for generous hips.

So it looks like a twenty inch bumpout cantilever would allow a bigger vanity, more toilet room, and just breathing space. It would leave the tub on top of the lower wall, which ought to support it. There is a window under the foot of the tub. I just hope we don't wake up the sleeping up-to-code inspector bear, and end up paying for a hundred other updates.

So option A) A bumpout is worth while, build a bathroom I can use, and risk losing money on resale,


option B)just update the cramped layout and hope to move that much sooner.

Any advice? Thanks for helping me with this decision!

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Sounds pretty tight. Draw a nice to scale outline with all measurements on it and post it here. If there's a way to make it work better without bumping out, someone here will probably figure it out.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Check out this site too for bathroom layout requirement suggestions and minimum dimensions between elements. I think it is VERY helpful. There are multiple articles for all sorts of home improvement projects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Index to Articles by Topic

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:13PM
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I have no idea how expensive a bumpout would be, but my inclination would be to put the money into making the space you have really nice. I'm linking to an inspiring bathroom that's a similar layout to yours, but is probably 5x8 instead of 5x7. Still, unless you really need a big vanity, you can probably fit everything you need in the 7 feet. Consider a wall-hung toilet or sink or both... If you use a vanity, floating it above the floor could help the room feel more spacious. And making sure the door doesn't open into the room can help too.

The Trajet Bimini looks like a nice tub. I toyed with using it, but was a bit worried about the 4' length feeling too constricted. Would be great for future kid residents, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: budget bathroom reno

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 3:30PM
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notes on 5x2 bumpout cost drivers -
1. Foundation. My plan would not need a new foundation (IMHO but there is a place for a post support, and part of the plan is a new patio back there.)

2. Roofline. It would be the same, just stick out two feet further at the eave, and top it with a small dormer roof vent. You might lose some headroom in the shower, but not enough to matter. Easily 6 and a half feet clear at the low edge.

3. Matching siding/windows, exterior finish, curb appeal. Not an issue. The wooden siding across the back desperately needs replacing (got a tarp up for the storm.) The 1963 aluminum window has to go,and the framing under it is suspect. No great loss. We have to rebuild this section, so the only incremental is moving it out 2 feet. I would get a bigger window, and a dry wall. Curb appeal is not an issue

4. HVAC. I'm thinking of foam insulation all across the back as I do the siding/sheathing. That would offset heat/ac for ten extra square feet. The new bathroom exhaust fan will have more impact, but it's a mild climate (northern VA) and humidity is critical here. So no expected HVAC changes. Wonder if foam in the roof would help with condensation, etc. while they are at it. I might set up an intake for the exhaust fan - just a little three inch hole in the wall to bring air in.

5. electrical. The bumpout will be under the tub/shower so no electrical in that. I would do some electrical for the remodel anyway. A new fan would be the biggie, and then move lights and outlets on the same wall as before.

6. plumbing. The current layout has a wet wall with, from window to inside wall, tub then toilet then vanity. The new layout spreads this out over nine feet instead of seven, and switches to tub then vanity then toilet. It is not ambitious for plumbing, but you never know. If I don't do the bumpout, there is no room/reason to change the plumbing.

5. Interior finish. Moot. We are going to gut to the studs anyway. The subfloor wants help. I suppose a new tile floor will cost a little more with a bigger room.

6. code. This is the big unknown. If we have to upgrade house electrical, or something, it could get $$$$$.

So I'm thinking as bumpouts go, the incremental cost for the additional square footage will be minimal compared to the rest of the remodel. It's almost a shame not to do it now. Can you tell which way I am leaning?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:37AM
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Thanks for the articles and links. That is a pretty bathroom. It seems that toilet in the middle, between sink and tub, is classic, but to my eye it makes the toilet the focus of the bathroom.

I'm thinking about how to draw something and get it posted. Meanwhile, I took another look at borrowing space, and found a bit! Yay! I was previously picturing straight walls and right angles. But I can move the wall out just enough to give the toilet elbow room, if I clip the corner at 45 degrees. It puts the door at an odd angle.

Anyway, thanks again for the help,

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:52AM
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If you are doing all that work anyway, then it makes sense to do the bump out. Sounds like you would end up regretting not doing it with everything else, and it would definitely cost less to do it all at once!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:51AM
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