Are your growing family and changing domestic needs making you consider adding a basement bathroom to your home? Expanding your home is exciting, but it can also be expensive!
It’s no secret that home construction and remodeling are one of the most expensive home projects. You’re not just paying for a few paint cans; you’re also paying for contractors, drywall, framing, electrical, and much more. The expenses only seem to grow once the project starts.
Adding a bathroom to your basement may be one of the more expensive home renovation projects you undertake; there are nine things you should consider before getting started.
1. What Kind of Bathroom Do You Want for Your Basement?
Do you know what kind of bathroom you want for your basement? That seems like a silly question, but the answer is the difference between a $5,000 project and a $50,000 project.
Some bathrooms may be as small as a half bath where only a toilet and vanity are needed. If your basement needs require a full bathroom, including a shower, a bathtub, or a shower-tub hybrid, you’ll have very different needs and things to consider when planning your project.
Be sure you know what purpose your basement bathroom will be serving. Is it to accommodate guests who are over for a movie in your home theater, or do you need something that will work for family and friends staying for a week? Knowing what you need your basement for can help you cut costs for construction and save space.
2. Where Will Your Bathroom be Located?
Consider the location of the bathroom. It should be easily accessible and not too far from existing plumbing.
If your basement is unfinished, this may be less of a concern for you to plan. Unfinished basements normally have potential rooms, including bathrooms, planned out. This can be a significant cost saver as you wouldn’t need to pay to install new plumbing lines.
If you are adding a bathroom where one never existed, you should build it close to where other plumbing runs through your home. Installing plumbing can be expensive, especially if you need to install pipes in an area far removed from the bulk of your plumbing.
3. Plan the Layout of the Bathroom Carefully
Your bathroom should be functional and have enough space for all of the fixtures and features you want to include. This includes space for storage, wall fixtures, and lighting.
There is an old carpentry adage that goes, “measure twice, cut once.” It means that you should check and double-check that you are planning for the right outcome. It is easy to cut wood once; it is impossible to uncut wood.
The principle carries over to other parts of construction; construction projects should be done right the first time. No, you can’t plan for every difficulty, but adequate planning can save you the expense of redoing work because of simple mistakes.
4. Choose the Right Size and Type of Fixtures for the Space
The fixtures you will need to consider for your bathroom include faucets, toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers. You will want to plan out your space to get fixtures that fit well in your new bathroom without crowding or wasting unused areas.
5. Plan for Adequate Lighting and Ventilation
Basements are notoriously poorly lit because they are mostly underground. Don’t let your bathroom turn into a dungeon! Open it up with good lighting and adequate ventilation to make it feel bright, clean, and inviting.
Poor lighting and ventilation can turn your basement bathroom into a damp and stuffy water closet. Adding to the dreary mood your basement bathroom will give, poor ventilation can make mold and mildew growth more prolific. Stop the problem before it starts with good lighting and ventilation.
6. Install a Reliable Sump Pump to Prevent Water Damage
Basements with bathrooms add a new flood hazard to your home. If any of the drains in your bathroom back up or a water line bursts, you could be looking at some expensive flood damage.
You can mitigate potential flood damage by installing a sump pump in your basement. A sump pump will activate when it senses too much water. It will pump any excess water safely out of your home, limiting any water damage you may suffer.
7. Choose Water-Resistant Materials for the Walls and Floor to Prevent Damage From Leaks or Water Exposure
Bathrooms use a lot of water, and water tends to get everywhere. Sure, a little water on the carpet and drywall every once in a while won’t do much damage, but frequently soaking your floor with splashing from the sink and bathtub can invite mold to make itself at home.
Use tile, concrete, or similar materials for your bathroom floor. Water dries from hard and smooth surfaces much faster than it would from carpeting. You may also want to consider using some sort of water-resistant paneling along the floor line of your walls to keep water from seeping into your drywall.
8. Install a High-quality Plumbing System to Ensure That the Bathroom Functions Properly and Safely
Don’t second guess the value of quality plumbing. Low-quality plumbing can create expensive problems when things begin to break down. Be sure to invest in a plumbing system for your basement bathroom you are confident will last.
9. Consider Hiring a Professional Contractor to Ensure That the Project is Done Correctly
Most local governments have strict building regulations. This means you may need permits and inspections for your basement bathroom. Building a basement bathroom without the proper permission or outside acceptable standards may force you to remove the work you’ve done and begin again.
Local professionals can help you navigate these problems. As you, as a homeowner, are not likely to need to deal with problems like this daily, you will probably appreciate the help professionals can give you.
Utah Basement Builders — Local Basement Bathroom Professionals
If you plan to install a bathroom for your basement, we can help you with whatever projects you need!
We are happy to provide Utah residents with any of the services required to finish basements. Contact us today to learn how we can help you make your basement livable and comfortable.