I received an email the other day from Darren, he wanted to know how the value of a property would be affected if he decided to replace his bath with a shower cubicle. It’s a good question, and i’m sure others have been in a similar situation.
My wife and I are thinking of re doing our bathroom, it isn’t very big and we are thinking of takeing the bath out and just having a shower cubicle…..do you think this would reduce the value of the property?
I assumed that the property Darren is referring to is a small property with only 1 bathroom, as opposed to him referring to a 2nd bathroom. So i’m going to base my answer on that scenario.
There are a lot of reasons why someone may want to replace their bath with a shower cubicle; the main reasons being to create space or simply because the bath is unused. In many cases a bath doesn’t suit the lifestyle of many people.
Bathrooms are valuable
Bathrooms are extremely valuable; they do have potential to add/reduce value to a property, so it’s important to get them right. A lot of people put great importance into a bathroom, especially those that like to kick back and relax in a hot tub after a long day at work. Additionally, in a family market, extra bathrooms can add significant value.
Know your target market
Before making any decisions, you need to know which kind of market your property will appeal to when selling. I think the key factor that we can extract from the email is that he has a small home with 1 or 2 bedrooms. If that’s the case, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be targeting couples, first-time buyers or investors, consequently eliminating the family audience. A small house with a small bathroom won’t be suitable for a family, so the odds of a family purchasing the property will be unlikely. Since that’s the case, investors and couples shouldn’t be phased too much by there being no bath. Essentially, I don’t think the value of the property will be affected, but you do run the risk of limiting your market, and that can be a major problem when it comes to selling. A lot of young couples are constantly on the move, especially young professionals, so it maybe more convenient for them to have a shower. However, every now and then they may want the luxury of wanting to relax in a hot tub.
While replacing the bath with a shower cubicle may not affect the value for young couples and investors, it’s imperative to always finish the bathroom to a high standard, because that will definitely affect the value of the property. So no matter what you decide to do, plan the space well and finish it with quality. At the end of the day, when you’re talking about a small house with a small bathroom, it’s the quality that will be affect the value the most drastically.
Ask your estate agent
If you’re really unsure about what to do and are concerned about the value of your property, you should consult your local estate agent. Your agent will know the local market, consequently he/she will know a) what type of people buy the property you live in b) what they look for in those properties. As in an incentive for your estate agent, just tell him/her that when it comes to selling, you plan on using their agency. Keep them sweet.
What would I do?
If there’s enough space to fit a bath, like there obviously is in Darren’s case, then I would make a compromise. There are some great bathroom suites available these days, so the lack of options shouldn’t be a problem. While a standard sized suite may make the space look cramped, there are a lot of suites designed for smaller bathrooms. These suites are designed for small space, they aren’t physically as big as the standard suites, but everything looks in proportion. Suites like these maybe more costly, since they’re custom, but they’re definitely worth it. I would get a custom suite that offers a bath, which can also be used as shower cubicle. That way I get the best of both worlds. In conclusion, if you can comfortably fit a bath into the bathroom plan, then have one, otherwise you’ll most certainly limit your market, even if you don’t necessarily hinder the value of your property.
Extra Tips for small bathrooms
- For a small bathroom, you may have to consider your choice of colour carefully, as this is going to have an impact upon the feeling of space within the room. The natural light that comes into a smaller room is likely to be limited. Try using lighter tones and colours to give the appearance of space.
- Making use of wall hung fittings will help save much space and give a much more modern feel, but make sure you keep it simple and don’t overcrowd the walls. Simple fittings like towel racks will work well.
- No matter how small or big your bathroom is, make sure the finish is to a high standard. A badly finished, big bathroom won’t be as valuable as a small bathroom that’s finished to a high standard.
- When you’re limited for space, less is more. Only put in the essentials, and don’t overcrowd the floor space