A Remodel Can Create An Undesirable Floor Plan

Reader Question: We are about to remodel the upstairs bathroom, which is quite small (9 feet x 6 feet). We currently have a 30-inch shower stall, 30-inch by 19-inch vanity, toilet and a small linen closet. There is also an entry door in the hallway for all bedrooms to access the bathroom and a private entry door from the master bedroom (it is called a “Hollywood” bath). For purposes of salability, would it be better to keep the door off of the master bedroom and put in a slightly bigger shower, which we have room for? Or, should we get rid of the door and put in a 60-inch tub and shower unit? We do have a full bath on the main floor off of the kitchen that has a vanity, toilet, a claw foot tub and separate shower.   Donna L. –  Rhode Island

Monty’s Answer: Hello Donna. I believe most home buyers would prefer the access to the bathroom from the master bedroom. I also believe most people today prefer a shower to a bath. So the answer is keeping the door to the master bedroom open, install a larger shower and forego the 60-inch tub. The salability portion of your question is driving my answer.

Had you asked the same question without the salability angle, I would have answered it differently. The main issue has more to do with your personal preferences and how the family utilizes that bathroom. Is there is a waiting line for the tub down stairs in the morning? If that is the case, and you are planning to stay in the home for the indefinite future you should install the tub shower combination to relieve the pressure. If the door off of the master bedroom was removed and a tub installed, but no one used it, it would be a waste of money.

If the plan were to sell the home in the foreseeable future, I would not install the tub as it cuts off access from the master bedroom.

The other factor to mention here is that when you sell the home at some point down the road and you are losing prospective buyers to homes with a bath off the master bedroom; offer an allowance to change it back to the shower only option. While there would be a cost to that alternative, if it would help sell the house, it may be worth it. There is a larger premium for a master bath with the only entrance from the bedroom. This is because it is then exclusive to the occupants of the master bedroom. That does not sound like an option because the occupants of the other bedrooms would then have to go down stairs.

Finally, there are different names for the bathroom you described. I believe the different names are the result of a regional effect. There is also confusion as to distinctions between bathrooms with two entrances. In some designs, there are two separate sinks, a common toilet area and a separate shower room to contain humidity. This is called a “Jack and Jill” bath. The area where I practiced real estate refers to your “Hollywood” bath as a “Continental” bathroom.

Donna, thanks for asking the question. I hope this information is helpful. Ask me if there are more questions to answer.








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