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Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Posted by needinfo1 (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 14 at 14:27

I am wondering about trying to reconfigure space to add a master bath. Our bedrooms (three regular and one illegal because it doesn't have a closet) are on the second floor. Our house is in an older neighborhood of 400K to 800K houses from the teens to the thirties; we are somewhere in the middle of that price range. Our main level has a lot of the very desirable bells and whistles and also is larger than the second floor because of several one level jut outs or additions.

As with most 100 year old houses, there is just one small bath on the second floor (we've got a powder room on the main and a 3/4 bath in the basement). Now that our kids are grown, it is just my husband and me so the one small bath on the second floor is fine for the two of us. I've always wondered about the idea of adding a second bath to make a master suite. But, without putting on a costly addition to the second floor by building on top of one of the first floor spaces, there are not many choices or much space to do this.

The house is kind of a four square with a bedroom in each corner. The set up is that across the front of the house there are two bedrooms (one 12' by almost 13' and the other 15 3/4' by almost 13') separated by a 44" section comprised of a linen closet off the hall and a closet for each room. The total space for these two bedrooms and the 44" wall space is about 31. 5 by nearly 13'

If we removed the dividing closet and linen closet section, is this enough space to reconfigure into a smaller bedroom and a master bedroom with an ensuite 3/4 bath? Of course, each bedroom would also need a closet built in.

I have never been a fan of huge, over-sized master baths and would just be looking for a toilet, sink and shower. Right now because of some other issues we have some major work to do in repairs of the existing bath, and, in some ways, it might make sense to rough in an additional bath now if we want to go that route. But, would adding a bath make the existing bedrooms so small that no one would want find this a desirable configuration anyway? We are not thinking of selling now but might in ten years or so.

Or, we can just keep things as they are now and let a future owner who wants a master bath make what would be a costly remodel by adding space on the second floor (there are two very logical spots where additions could sit on top of existing first floor construction).

Thanks for the advice.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Have you really compared the costs of reconfiguring the space vs. doing a small second floor addition? I'm not sure the cost difference will be as great as you think it will be. Also, in the long run, the second floor addition sounds like it would be the better "investment" and make your house more desirable when it comes time to sell, with a real master suite and good sized secondary bedrooms.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Would you be satisfied with a master bed room measuring 14 × 13 feet, and the other bed room measuring 12 × 13? There is enough space to do that and leave each room a closet roughly 6 feet long, but you would lose the linen closet.

I think it might be better to combine one existing bed room with the illegal one, reducing the house to three BR, since if you were selling it you would have to list it as 3BR plus den (bonus room or whatever) anyway. You'd end up with a larger MBR and more closet space for it.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Would you be satisfied with a master bed room measuring 14 × 13 feet, and the other bed room measuring 12 × 13? There is enough space to do that and leave each room a closet roughly 6 feet long, but you would lose the linen closet.

Where would the 3/4 bath fit into that plan?


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Unfortunately, the "illegal" bedroom (we think it may have been a sleeping porch originally) is in a position where it has three outside walls with lots of windows. It shares a common wall with only the bathroom and can't be combined with another bedroom.

Theoretically, I suppose we could make it the family bathroom on the second floor and convert the existing bathroom to a master. But, that would mean completely gutting the current bathroom, rebuilding two bathrooms, and taking out most of the windows of the illegal bedroom and re-stuccoing the walls. Not a cheap or easy proposition either. Right now it makes a nice office space.

When we had the plumber out yesterday to look at the needed repairs to our bathroom, he told us that the most cost-effective thing to do would be to put another toilet in back of the existing toilet. This would be the scenario if we reconfigured in my original question.

I guess my other question is at what size people would think a master bedroom is too small. We certainly don't need all the space in our current nearly 13' by 16' room. But, we do nothing but sleep there (not even a tv in the room), and I suspect other people might want a master bedroom as a retreat/relaxation space. I don't know. Thanks again.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Would you be satisfied with a master bed room measuring 14 × 13 feet, and the other bed room measuring 12 × 13? There is enough space to do that and leave each room a closet roughly 6 feet long, but you would lose the linen closet.

Where would the 3/4 bath fit into that plan?

The area is 13 × 31.5. The dimensions I estimated total slightly more than that once you allow for the thickness of the walls, but only slightly and there is some room to fudge.

A simple hall bathroom can be as small as 5 × 7 feet. Running along the 31.5-foot dimension, you could have a 12-foot bedroom, the 5-foot side of the new bathroom and closets, and a 14-foot bedroom.

12 + 5 + 14 = 31

The two walls together will be more than .5 foot, but a 3/4 bath can be narrower than 5 feet. It won't be luxurious, it won't sell as a "master suite" -- which nowadays requires a bathroom that is bigger than than smallest bedroom and at least twice the size of the "family" bath -- but it's what the OP asked about. I have rented two places in which the master bath was less than 5 feet wide.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

got it. It would work, but then of course, the second bedroom would have no access to the en suite bathroom, so would have to use one of the downstairs bathrooms.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

the second bedroom would have no access to the en suite bathroom, so would have to use one of the downstairs bathrooms.

There's an existing bathroom on the second floor. Its location is the reason that the illegal bed room can't be combined with any other.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

When this house was built 100 years ago people considered themselves lucky to have one (usually smallish) bathroom for the entire family. Yet, today people who buy into these prime neighborhoods like mine seem to assume they also need all of the amenities of a brand new house (like a huge master bathroom) in addition to having the location and character of the older home. That is the quandary we have here.

It is sounding as though perhaps even if we made this change most buyers wouldn't think it very desirable anyway since the space would not be humungous. So, probably we are better off in spending our money elsewhere in the house and letting future buyers decide if they want to put on a second story addition to be able to add a second bath/master suite on the upper floor.

We don't have cable tv at home and are renting since our house is currently uninhabitable. Perhaps at the rental I've been watching too much HGTV where all buyers (even those of the most modest and inexpensive houses) seem to think they need the master suite.

Thanks for the opinions.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Why is the house uninhabitable? That sounds like a much bigger problem than not having a master bath!!


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

My second floor has two bedrooms, a full bath and a half bath in 30 x 19, but all of it could be contained in 30 x 13 because the other part of the 19 is stairs and circulation and deep closets with big bedrooms. So two smaller bedrooms and a bath should be able to fit in that footprint, properly laid out.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

chispa--We had a freeze up and are getting our plumbing and heating systems repaired. That's why we aren't living in the house. Since we are going to have to do some wall opening and perhaps some tearing out in the upstairs bath already anyway, I started to wonder if this might also be the time to do the things that would be needed to add a bath. It is the old line of thinking, well as long as we are doing this maybe we should be doing that.

ineffable space--thanks for the feedback on how your house is laid out. Did I get you right when I understand that your smaller bedrooms and 1/2 bath would fit in the size space I am talking about, but you also have additional big bedrooms. If we'd do this, we'd then be left with the illegal bedroom (the smallest in the house) and another bedroom about 12' by 13'.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

"We don't have cable tv at home and are renting since our house is currently uninhabitable. Perhaps at the rental I've been watching too much HGTV where all buyers (even those of the most modest and inexpensive houses) seem to think they need the master suite."

People like me want a 100 yr old home that has not been butchered. Spend your money on a vacation!


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RE: Ca.n I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

No what I meant is that the bedrooms run the full 19 'width, so they are large and have deep closets. But the bathrooms and the majority of that bedroom space (12x13 each) fits within your footprint. One bathroom is ensuite and the other has hall access.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Re: the illegal bedroom. Ok, so it's not a "legal" bedroom because it doesn't have a closet but was the conversion of it legal (building permits, etc.)? At lot of us have rooms that are being used as bedrooms, seniors do it quite often as in using the dining room as a bedroom so they don't have to climb the stairs.
The reason I ask is that when you do major construction like you are planning, you may have an issue with the room (bedroom or whatever you call it). JMHO


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

If it's just for resale considerations, get comps for your neighborhood before you decide. In my neighborhood, it would be a selling point, even with the modest dimensions because not many 3 or 4 bedroom houses in that price range have a 2d bathroom upstairs. Not many owners are eager to make costly additions/updates unless they have too.

But, be aware that it would likely increase your property taxes.


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RE: Can I fit 2 bedrooms & a 3/4 bath in space 31.5 x 13?

Throughout the years as we have worked on the house, we have been very cautious and done everything possible to do sensitive renovations that fit the period of the house. I too hate to see lovely old houses where people have butchered them. In fact, last night as I was once again watching "Flip or Flop" on HGTV I thought to myself how sad that they are coming in and just rearing down all of those great lathe and plaster walls.

We have three kids, and our "illegal" bedroom worked as a bedroom for one of them for ten years. We just stuck a wardrobe in one corner, so we know all about using a space that isn't technically a bedroom as a bedroom. Now it makes a great office, something else that I would think might be desirable to a lot of people.

We know for certain that in our neighborhood a master bath would be a huge selling point. In fact, about five years ago, a Realtor told us that this is the only thing our house is lacking.

I am starting to think that there is just not enough space in the existing footprint to justify doing this. We know that many people do want move-in ready which would make doing this a selling point. However, amazingly enough, in our highly desirable neighborhood many people do buy these expensive houses and then come in and make extensive renovations like additions. We always ask ourselves where in the world do they get the money to make a purchase that expensive and then immediately also sink a ton of money in the house.

Thanks for all of the help.


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