Second to kitchens, bathrooms are those rooms that can make your property instantly more appealing and therefore add value. Even if you’re not in the market for selling, having a lovely space to carry out your morning rituals will set you up for the rest of the day. Here’s Martin’s Top Tips for improving your bathroom.
1. White Rules – anything other than white sanitary ware ie. baths, washbasins, loos etc runs the risk of putting off potential future buyers or tenants and they may just want to rip it out. It’s not the most imaginative choice but it greats a clean, classic look – and when it comes to bathrooms, this is what people like.
2. Don’t Rip it Out – if you are renovating an old bathroom, you may not necessarily rip it out especially if, as stated above, the sanitary ware is white. As long as it’s in reasonable condition you may be able to give it a new lease of life. Victorian style bathroom fittings in particular, are beautifully styled and people will buy NEW fittings to replicate this style but you can save yourself the expense if the original pieces are usable. Remember also that in period houses, the original bathroom will in keeping with the style of the house and it’s always worth preserving period and original features. You can even get old metal baths re-enamelled at a cost.
3. Consider the location – it may be that the bathroom isn’t in an ideal place, such as the ground floor off the kitchen, which isn’t ideal. In some cases there is a limited choice of where to relocate a bathroom to, but you should always aim to locate your bathroom upstairs if at all possible – somewhere that’s in staggering distance of the bedrooms in the middle of the night! It may be that in making space for an upstairs bathroom, you have to reduce the size of a bedroom or landing area, but generally speaking upstairs is better than downstairs.
This doesn’t mean that downstairs bathrooms aren’t a really important feature if you’ve got an upstairs one too. Having a downstairs loo is super useful in busy households and often these days, people consider beefing up the little WC to include a shower too. If anyone living in the house has mobility problems then clearly a downstairs bathroom is particularly important.
4. Getting Rid of Soil – this is dirty water and sewerage. Considering where the soil pipe is going to go in any new bathroom layout is the first thing to figure out. You can get macerator toilets, such as Saniflo, that take the waste from the toilet and chomp it up to an extent that it can do down a much smaller pipe – and this is done by pump action. So if you don’t have the usual natural drop off for a traditional soil pipe to take away waste by gravity, a macerator toilet is a good option and could make perfect sense depending on your layout.
5. Consider Your Expenses – Do not overspend on your bathroom. Those gold taps and flamingo fountains might float your boat but it may not be everyone else’s taste. The cost of bathroom fixtures and fittings can vary greatly and whilst I’m not suggesting scrimping on quality if you want to great bathroom – you don’t necessarily have to pay big bucks. As with all renovations that you make with the intent of adding value to a property, bear in mind the ceiling price of ceiling properties in the area and let this be your guide. Overspending on a luxurious bathroom in a modest property is unlikely to give you a financial return.
6. Baths – there are an amazing variety of baths available on the market today. They come in all shapes and sizes and materials – from free standing, to integrated and so it’s worth having a good shop around that can make best use of the space you have and what most suits your needs. Many houses have had baths themselves taken out in preference for a large shower – and if this is your personal taste, then showers are more efficient on use of water and lend themselves well to everyone. Even those people that struggle to get in and out of a bath can usually manage a shower so I understand the reasons why people do this. That said, personally I find nothing more satisfying than a good soak in a warm bath after a hard day so I would always favour one.
7. Consider an En-Suite – having a bathroom attached to a specific bedroom is a lovely thing to do and creates a perception of luxury. Plenty of modern homes will have an en-suite on the master bedroom but if you are considering updating a bathroom and/or creating a new one in your property, see if you can rejig the layout in order to create an en-suite. Taking things one step further, larger properties that have several bedrooms can be repurposed if ALL the bedrooms are en-suite. This opens up the House of Multiple Occupation scenario where several people share a house – and clearly having their own private bathroom will make it instantly more appealing.
In order to achieve an en-suite, you may have to consider a macerator toilet as mentioned above so you could find its possible to squeeze in an en-suite in a more unusual place without the hassle and expense of getting a soil pipe in.