How Much Does a New Bathroom Increase the Value of a House?

An extra bathroom can dramatically increase a home's value.

An extra bathroom can dramatically increase a home's value.

If you don’t have an adequate number of bathrooms in your home, it’s a lack that’s obvious to everyone living there. Having to queue outside a bathroom isn’t a pleasant experience for the people waiting or taking their turn. If you’re considering putting in a new bathroom, take heart. Not only will it make the necessities of life easier for you and your family to deal with, but it’s a decent return on investment when you want to sell your house. In fact, lack of bathroom space is often a deal-breaker for potential buyers who otherwise like your home.

New Bathroom Return on Investment

Adding a new bathroom isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t have the ROI of a kitchen remodel. Update your kitchen and you’re looking at an 80-percent ROI when you sell. Add a new bathroom and expect a 50-to-60 percent ROI. Where you live also makes a difference. In the East, you may get less than a 50- percent ROI for a new bathroom. In the West, the ROI is closer to 70 percent. As noted, if you want to sell your home at all, a new bathroom may prove essential. In the 21st century, no one wants to live in a three-bedroom home with a sole bathroom.

Full, Three-Quarter or Half-Bath

Another consideration is whether to create a full, three-quarter or half-bath. A full bath has a sink, toilet, shower and tub. A half bath is just a sink and toilet. Then there’s the three-quarter bath, which is a sink, toilet and shower. It’s not only less expensive to put in a half bath, but it’s easier to convert another space in the home, say a utility closet or dormer window, for the purpose. For practical and cost-conscious consumers, a three-quarter bath can save money while providing the basics of hygiene and cleanliness. Most people prefer a quick shower to a long, hot bath, so as long as you have at least one bathtub in your house, you may not need a second full bath. Another option: Converting a half-bath into a full or three-quarter bath.

The appeal of another full versus a three-quarter bath depends on the buyer. Families with little kids often want another bathtub, while those with older children prefer a shower. If your house has only one bathroom and your budget is really tight, install the half-bath. People usually don’t mind waiting to take a bath or shower but waiting to use the toilet is another matter.

New Bathroom Costs

If you’re converting existing space to a half-bath, you may end up spending $5,000 or less. If you have to add on to your house, figure on spending at least $25,000 for a bathroom, and if you want a true state-of-the-art full bathroom, expect to spend $75,000 or more.

Remodeling the Bathroom

What if you don’t need an extra bathroom, but want to remodel a tired old bathroom to make it more appealing to buyers? If that’s the case, you don’t want to spend a great deal of money. Have the tile re-grouted and add some fresh paint or wallpaper and upscale hardware. You won’t spend a lot and it could make your house sell more quickly.

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About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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