A common problem with many older, smaller or "starter" homes is that they often don't come with as many bathrooms as modern families need. The good news is that you may be able to solve this problem with a little creativity. Here are 3 ways to add some bathroom functionality to any home.
Add a Half Bath
While it might be nice to be able to add a full bathroom to your home, it may be more realistic to focus on finding space and budget to add just a half bath. A half bath -- also called a "powder room" -- is a room that simply contains a toilet and sink. This type of bathroom is perfect for the main entertaining level or around garages and mudrooms -- where a bathtub or shower is simply unneeded. A powder room can be as little as only a few feet wide and twice as long, depending on local building codes, so it can fit into many spaces that a regular bathroom wouldn't go. And because there is less construction, fewer materials and less plumbing to add, it can be considerably cheaper.
Convert a Half to a Full
If you already have a half bath in your home, consider upgrading it to a full bathroom. The biggest problem will be to find space in surrounding rooms in which to expand. When considering the available square footage on all sides of the existing bathroom, keep in mind that you may be able to make do with less extra space if you choose a wise layout. This could include such things as installing a corner shower (a space saver) or placing all the plumbing along one wall (reducing the need for extra room around objects). If either budget or space is an issue in converting your half bath, it may be best to work with a qualified plumber to determine what plumbing layout options can help you save both.
If you do have the budget for adding a bathroom, finding the space may be a difficult thing. For a half bath, consider unused or little-used locations like under the stairs, converting a closet used for storage or expanding into the garage. If one of your existing bathrooms is large, you may even be able to divide it in half to provide a second bathroom without altering the plumbing too much. Or consider dividing a guest bedroom or office into two rooms and using some of that less-used square footage for a bathroom.
No matter what the size of your home or your budget, there's a good chance you can find a way to increase its value and practicality by adding a bathroom. Whether you choose a small half bath or find space in other rooms for a large and relaxing space, it'll be a change that you and your guests will enjoy for years to come. For more information, talk to a plumber.