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What would you do ?

Posted by angela12345 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 2, 12 at 0:36

Trying to make this 3 bedroom 1.5 bath house into a 3 bedroom 2 bath house. What would you do to convert this "master bedroom" that only has 1/2 bath to a full bath ? If using the closet space, where would the new closet go ? The furniture showing is the current placement of the furniture. Oh, and did I mention as inexpensively as possible ?!?!

Feel free to also contribute as to the necessity of this remodel and how you perceive it may affect resale value positively or negatively.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What would you do ?

Is the open area (to right of tub/top of photo) the closet for another bedroom?

Not sure where you would put a closet in this bedroom.


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RE: What would you do ?

It's a tough one, isn't it Allison ?!?! This is my aunt & uncle's house. They aren't old, but in very late 60's-ish. They have been struggling with what to do so I had her measure and call out the measurements over the phone for me yesterday so I could try to help her. She thinks I can do anything since we designed the house we just built, haha.

The open area at the top of the layout, to the right of the tub is part of the kitchen. The hall coming off the bedroom has other bedrooms that open off to the right, but I did not include these in the layout.

The 3 ideas I have for bath so far (using the closet space) ...
1. make half bath into a shower, with door into shower approx where current wall b/t half bath & closet is located, use closet space for toilet & vanity, close up door from bedroom into half bath area
2. Leave toilet in half bath, remove wall and vanity, use closet space for 24" vanity and 30" x 4'8" shower, relocate door from bedroom to the center and close up existing doors OR only close up closet door and use existing half bath door for entry.
3. Leave half bath as is, convert closet into vanity and shower ... Would give this bedroom a vanity/toilet half bath, and a vanity/shower half bath but with no connection between the two. I can see pros and cons to this. May be "weird"?
4. Hoping for great feedback and other ideas that I haven't thought of from gardenweb !!

Have ideas for the closet but waiting for feedback from aunt. My idea is to do a built in wall unit along the left side wall. It would cover the window to the back yard that is there currently. Or maybe could do a built in with the closet unit built with the window as an opening with a window seat, or framing it with drawers under the window and high cabinet above, could put plants or something cute there in front of the window on the top of the drawers. By built in, I mean something like this ...

The other idea I have is to rob space from the room that is to the right of this bedroom to use for a closet. It is not pictured and I don't have dimensions of that room from my aunt yet, so it may not be feasible.

Keeping the costs way down is very important to them.

I wonder a bit at the necessity of this. Their two sons are now out of the house (one married and one several thousand miles away). Seems to me they would have really needed it when the boys were there, not as much now ! They are thinking they need it for resale ... 3 bedroom 1.5 bath houses are not in as high demand.


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RE: What would you do ?

OOh that's tricky. If they only need it for resale, they might want to consult a local Realtor and see if it's worth doing.

On the other hand, of course, that's a weird setup!


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It doesn't look to me as if there is room to do what you want and add a closet, unless you can steal some space from the room to the right for the closet. If you do this, you should leave the toilet where it is. I understand that moving a toilet can be very spendy.
Also, remember that you rarely every get back money spent on a project like this in when you sell.


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RE: What would you do ?

Could you eliminate the door from the master into the existing closet and move the bedroom door to the other end of the hallway? Then you can cut a new closet door opening in the hallway and put in sliding doors to access the closet. That would allow you to give almost three feet of the old walk in closet to the new bathroom. You might have to steal a little space from the master to make the bathroom deeper so that you could arrange the fixtures appropriately.

The nice thing about moving the bedroom door to the other end of the hallway is that you will no longer lose the wall space where the door swing opens into the master or where the existing closet door is.

If you want to make the bathroom more generous, I do like your idea of built in closet cabinetry at the one end of the master so that you can use the entire closet for the bathroom.


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Not sure if this will work, but I'll toss it out there. Someone with a working knowledge of sizes and codes would have to be consulted as I have no idea.

Move the wall next to the toilet down to the edge of the window and remove the door. Put the shower there, include a bench area and grab bars. Remove the vanity, that becomes the entrance to the closet area. Depending on shower size, could make that area a transition area with a curtain on each side for disrobing and toweling off, hook on the wall, etc. The area that is now the closet would have the toilet in the top right corner, vanity along the left. Door stays where it is.


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RE: What would you do ?

Oh, and could still do the built in, and maybe even take the edge of the bump out for the shower and extend that line over to the door for the closet. Forgot to say you would likely only need to move the part of the wall next to the toilet and where the door is, likely not where the vanity is.


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RE: What would you do ?

Not gonna happen without a lot of money thrown at it in an addition. You simply can't afford to lose the room from the bedroom or to massively move around the plumbing that it would take to carve out room for a shower here. Let it be what it is. Small starter homes have a market too.


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RE: What would you do ?

I'm having difficulty visualizing an actual plan, but the one thing I notice is that both the hall bathroom and the master bedroom have sort of a vestibule in the hallway between the hall and the actual room. I wonder if it might be possible to capture some of that space. I also wonder if a wall of closets along one of the bedroom walls could eliminate the walk in closet, freeing up some room to build the bathroom. Now, I'm not certain how eliminating a walk in closet in favor of a shower might impact resale or value. As mentioned, you might want to consult a real estate expert.


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If it's just for resale, I wouldn't do it. They will never recover the costs, especially if they are hiring others to do it. That would be a huge project and change the whole footprint of the master. I would say closet space is as important as a second shower or tub.

For our starter home, we would have killed to have that extra half bath. We ended up with a 2 bed 1 bath because that was all we could afford. Let someone else buy the house and do the work, if that's what they want.

I assume if they have been in the house that long that they will walk away with some money at least? I can't imagine they are underwater unless they leveraged at some point in the past. What's their motivation? And did a realtor tell them this or have they been watching lots of HGTV? It's likely a realtor will also tell them to skip it.

You are correct when you say the time to have done this would have been 10 years earlier.


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RE: What would you do ?

What about just improving access? Just take the sink in the full bath and shift it over into the closet a bit, so you only lose the upper left corner of the closet. Then put a pocket door in the half bath across from the current door that allows access to the full bath. That way you can access the tub from the master easier, but not have to move too much.


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RE: What would you do ?

Betty, that was a good idea about capturing some of the hall space. What I did not know / had not shown was right outside of their bedroom door is a door coming off the hall leading to another bedroom. I am now showing that in the smaller pics below.

Williamsem, I took your idea but turned the shower the long way so the shower would not have to be bumped out into the bedroom. ** Not sure where the shower head would go with the way I have it ? Unless they get rid of the window in there. The plans with the shower where the toilet currently is are my favorite ones, although I don't know yet which plans they will favor. I also included a plan improving the access as suggested in your last post.

I agree about the vestibule into the hall bath being wasted space. Cannot think of any good way to capture or use that space. Anyone have any ideas ?

Here is their answer on "motivation" . . . The primary reason to add the shower is for listing and resale. Our potential market is limited by only being able to list a 1 and 1/2 bath house. The house has 3 bedrooms now but since we have 2 closets in the enclosed garage room, aka "schoolroom/office", we could even list as a 4 bedroom house. Our location is excellent and the neighborhood is very good, surrounded by more expensive homes. We would enjoy having an extra shower, especially when we have company and it would have been wonderful when the boys were growing up but we get along fine now. We just want to add a shower as economically as possible and not have to put a lot more $ into the house.

Here is the email that I have sent to them and I welcome GW input/response . . .
I have attached eleven ideas for the bath. Marty 1.PL1 is the current layout, then 2 through 12 are the ideas.

My personal favorite ideas are Marty 11/12, Marty 2, and Marty 7/8. I am interested to see which ones you like. Notice, all but one of the ideas have used the walk in closet space. Ignore how the doors swing - I left them the same for all bath ideas, but some would be better with the door swinging in instead of out, etc.

The thing about doing Marty 6 -- that space where you stand in front of the sink will be TINY, only about 24" wide. That will be almost uncomfortably unusably narrow. Test it out by hanging 2 sheets 24" apart or 24" from a wall or something like that and pretend like you are standing there drying your hair or brushing your teeth or even washing your hands - you will see what I mean. An idea I have to get around this is for the shower to have no door, which would give you a tiny bit more elbow room. Marty 10 is the same as Marty 6 but with the shower and sink reversed. Marty 10 requires the door into the bath to be moved, but it allows for the future removal of the vanity and wall in between the toilet and shower rooms, making a future one large bath that would look like Marty 7/8, instead of 2 half baths. Marty 7 and 8 are similar to Marty 10, but with the wall removed between the 2 rooms, there is not a problem with elbow room at the vanity.

Marty 9 is interesting because you can have a linen closet opening into the old bath or the new bath. Or, you could have a door opening into both of them with shelves accessible to both sides. Or, the top half could open into one bath and the bottom into the other. Or, it could only open into the new bath and it could be a narrow hanging closet ! Who doesn't need more closet space ?!

Marty 2 and 11 could have a storage cabinet above the counter similar to this, although obviously your counter would not be this long ... http://st.houzz.com/fimages/73342_1000-w394-h394-b0-p0--traditional-bathroom.jpg. These 2 ideas could also have half height storage space opening out into the hallway into the space under the counter. Marty 12 shows what I mean with above counter cabinet and under counter space opening into the hall.

Almost all of the plans 2-12 show the closet moved into the bedroom (Marty 1 is the current configuration). I have included 2 examples of what the built in closets in the bedroom could look like (one with drawers and one with a window seat). Both of these have the closet on the exterior wall built in around the window. I like this better than having it on the interior wall where the dresser currently is for many reasons ...
- on the dresser wall it would make the room feel closed in when you walked into the room and also could make moving furniture difficult,
- it does not look like there is enough space because of where the window is ... hanging clothes need about 22-24" deep - in the picture you sent it does not look like the window is 24" from the wall/corner ?
- the closet would have to be short because there would have to be room for the door coming into the room to open and room down by the window
- if you steal space from the other bedroom, you could have much more closet space because it could be the whole length of the wall, but it would be more expensive to do this because you would have to move the wall. Also, would it make the other bedroom too small ?

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RE: What would you do ?

angela - I have no ideas for you, but would you mind sharing your source for that wall "built in"? That middle piece is exactly what I've been looking for! Thanks!


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I found the built in on google : ) ... http://www.wardrobesclosets.com/built-in-closets-of-every-kind/

See below for another bathroom idea. Marty 14 is kinda a play on Marty 9 ... giving a shallow 15" deep x 21" wide linen closet into the existing full bath and utilizing a small corner sink in the new bath would give more elbow room at the sink, especially if they use a curtain on the shower and not a glass door (which she mentioned she would like to do because of water etching problems at their house). Something like this ... http://www.tradewindsimports.com/18-coda-single-corner-vanity.html. The mirror for the corner sink would be on the left. This design would also allow (fairly) easily for the 2 half baths to be converted to one full bath by removing the linen closet and putting a regular vanity there, if a future homeowner chose to.

Another idea ... the linen closet could open on the lower portion into the existing bath and open above the sink into the new bath. It could even include a tiny little niche for shampoo and stuff opening into the shower. I measured my towels - the way I fold them, they are 15" long when folded and about 10" wide, so a 15x21 linen closet would be perfect for 2 stacks of towels side by side.

If they do not have a glass shower door, they could tile the entire floor of the bath and have a no threshold / curbless shower ? The shower could have a trench drain going along the short wall section and crossing the opening of the shower. Future homeowners could add a glass frameless shower door if they chose to.

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What about something like this?

From Master Bathroom

its a downgrade in closet space, but you get a whole bathroom and keep the size of the master.


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Wow, good job Saw !! I am passing that link along to them as well.


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RE: What would you do ?

What's the point of spending 40K-50K in construction costs only to get back maybe 15K in a higher appraisal? You're talking about remaking at least 1/4 of the house, and moving a lot of plumbing here.

Plus, most of these do not look like they would pass code inspections for proper spacing. You need a 36" interior space for a toilet alcove. A shower needs to be a minimum of 36"x36" interior space. And walls have dimensions of at least 4 1/2" thick, or 6 1/2" thick if they are wet walls---and they support the ceiling, and possibly the roof. "Rearranging" walls isn't so simple or cheap.


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I definitely see Hollysprings point. I still think Marty 5 might be a good compromise since it only involves moving one sink a little, so probably not moving access points for pipes, and creating a doorway.

Not sure what code requirements would be, but maybe making the closet into one wet room with the sink and toilet in there, then making the powder room a closet might work. That would leave the walls in place but require running plumbing to the closet.


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I don't think they are planning on spending anywhere near 40-50k. I don't even think they are planning to spend 10k !!

I don't see the point of getting rid of the current half bath which already has a toilet and a sink and exchanging it with the current closet, but then only having a toilet and a sink in there. So the closet would be smaller and the half bath would be larger, but still it would only be a half bath ? Am I misunderstanding something ?


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Yes, you are missing something about wet rooms :-) I never heard of them until I read about them here a few weeks ago, but they are basically one room with no barriers between the shower, toilet, and sink. I'm sure that's oversimplified, but that's the best I can come up with given my limited experience in this area.

But I think with wall mounted sink and toilet this might be an option. I tried to find some pics of a smaller space to post below. Hopefully someone that knows about this stuff can chime in, I readily admit I have no expertise whatsoever with this stuff, but I believe more ideas is always better.

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RE: What would you do ?

WOW, wet rooms !! I learned something new today. Very cool and good way to get more use out of a small space.


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I <3 GW. I learned so much on here that when I went to the kitchen/bath warehouse clearance to day I actually knew what all the bits posted on the flyers were for!

If you haven't been over to Kitchens yet, plan a whole afternoon. Knew next to nothing in May, but the cabinet place I went to last week thought I designed kitchens all the time from the way I was describing my project.

Do post back what happens with this project. Very interesting.


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RE: What would you do ?

Kitchens and baths are the most expensive rooms in any home to do, and most of that expense comes from the labor, not the materials. The average bathroom remodel costs 15K, and you're talking about doing two of them. And not just replacing everything where it sits. Moving plumbing. Moving walls. Waterproofing new showers. Fixing (inevitable) unknown water issues behind walls. Redoing ceilings, walls, and floors. Coming up to code on new electrical requirements and plumbing requirements. Permits and inspections. Dumpsters. Disruption to the entire home and moving out for a month or two while the baths are unusable. 40-50K would be mid level for all of that. Even if lower level materials were chosen, the same amount of labor has to be done and there wouldn't be that much savings. That is a lot to spend and a lot of stress to go through for not much gain on the valuation.

Please talk to several realtors and have some CMA's done before you put a dime into doing anything but cleaning and painting. Those are the two top things to address when readying a home for sale.


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Ah, I think you may have misunderstood what I meant in the post, holly.

The picture in the original post is what they already have. It is shown again down thread as Marty 1. I will go into the picture and make that more clear. Thanks ! The current full bath will not be touched at all unless they choose Marty 5. If they choose Marty 9 or 14, the full bath will be touched minimally just to cut in a closet door into the linen closet.

They have already received one quote for under 10k to take their bath from Marty 1 (current layout) to Marty 7, which would only be removing one tiny section of wall, adding one sink and a shower, and fixing the door location that goes into the bath area (sheetrock over current doors and put a door in the middle). I don't know if this quote includes adding the "built in" closet in the bedroom. She mentioned Ikea, so they may be planning to do the built in closet cabinets themselves.


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I understand the concept of wet rooms, and hopefully never have to use one. My son had one in an apartment in South Korea, and it sounds like it requires a lot of advance planning of bathroom functions.


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OK holly, I changed the pictures so they show which is the current layout of the house.

The pic below includes Marty 14 and saw's idea from above posts to consolidate them into one post. Marty 15 is saw's idea with a few changes.

Marty 16 is a wet room. The little thingamajiggy on the left wall of the wet room is the shower head. If they like the wet room idea, it would actually make their house 2.5 baths ! Or, the current half bath could then become a closet and they wouldn't need to do the built in closet cabinet in the bedroom.

Also, if there was a wide door added from the hall as shown, this bath would be wheelchair accessible. Not ADA compliant, which requires 5'x5' clear area, but better than nothing !

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The square showers shown are really really tiny. Have they used a shower that small before? Are they planning on using a shower curtain rather than a shower door? Because I am not seeing any shower door swings which may influence what plan they prefer. Have you checked the code in their area to see if there are any restrictions regarding the placement of the shower head in relation to the shower opening? I have heard that some places do not allow the shower head to be opposite the shower opening. If that is the case, it might be problematic in some of the plans with the rectangle showers where the opening is on the short wall. I guess you could always do a rain head.


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Yeh, the 2 ideas with square showers are eensy teensy 34"x34". It is better than what they have currently, which is only one full bath in the house, but not ideal by any means.

They do want to use a shower curtain because they have a problem with glass etching in their area. Have not checked code, but that is a very good point !! I will pass that along.


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I know almost nothing about wet rooms, but I think you would have more showering room if the sink and toilet were reversed.

I'm very curios to see how this all plays out. Which ones do your parents favor so far?


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I'm sorry, but if this is for resale value, I really don't see how any of the options would be appealing for a potential buyer.


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For easier layout, consider putting in pocket doors wherever possible.

You stop worrying about door swing space.


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Reducing an already small master bedroom is likely to have a much more deleterious affect to any home valuation than would be offset by adding a shower. I also agree that most of these layouts will not be up to code.


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I like a big shower, and I think Marty 14 and 16 are both good options - although I would remove the toilet from #16. A large shower room with a cool corner sink could look really impressive, and add so much function.

Whether #14 is a better option would depend on whether there is adequate storage space in the original bathroom already. I'm not sure a linen cabinet would add a ton of value.

As for the negative of reducing the size of the master, I think that might be offset by the cool factor of having the wall of built-in closets - especially if they incorporate a window seat as shown in one of your views. People love built-ins, and this might be enough to mitigate the lack of a walk-in closet. (If they keep the walk-in closet though, they should really organize it to the nines with shelving, etc. I think people have a hard time visualizing what they would do with a space that size.)


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Novel idea...

If it were me, I'd want to access the hall bath from the hall and the master from the master; and I'd not want to waste all the space of the hall.

So, if it were me, I'd figure out how to rearrange so that the hall bath becomes the master bath and the closet/hallspace becomes the hall bath...

There is just too much wasted space in hallways (in the hall bath and outside the bedroom doors).

Also, this wouldn't be inexpensive and so I am with Holly. Why do 1) a sub-optimal remodeling job that is $$$ for only $$ return?

Do it right, or leave it alone and let the new people do it right (maybe with some ideas to get their juices flowing.


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