The number of bathrooms in a home is a major selling point for buyers. Most house hunters are hoping for at least two full bathrooms, but half-baths are a big plus because they’re convenient for guests and don’t compromise homeowner privacy.
If you’re a current homeowner without a half-bath, you may be wondering if adding one could improve the functionality of your home and possibly increase your value. Let’s explore this project a bit more.
What is a half-bath?
A half-bath, also known as a powder room or guest bath, has only two of the four main bathroom components—typically a toilet and sink.
Today, they’re a standard amenity in many homes, giving guests a place to freshen up while allowing us to keep our dirty laundry, prescription bottles, toiletries, etc. hidden away in our private baths.
“A lot of homeowners add half-baths to their basements,” said Beth Graham with Beth Graham Appraisals. “Especially with so many people working from home now, we are seeing a lot of offices, home gyms, play spaces, etc. in the basement. If you can squeeze in a small half-bath, it adds a lot of convenience and potential value.”
How much value will a half-bath add?
The National Association of Home Builders reports that adding a half-bath increases the value of an average home by 10%.
“Like any renovation you may not get a dollar-for-dollar return, but a bathroom is one of those places where you will always see value,” said Graham. “And if you don’t go over the top with your construction or finishes, you will likely get a decent return on your investment.”
As with any big project, REALTORS® suggest you first figure out your property’s current value and compare its features with other homes in your area.
“If many of the houses in your neighborhood have half-baths, adding one to your home could not only increase your value, but also improve your marketability when it comes time to sell,” said Graham.
What are some things to consider?
In addition to paying attention to neighborhood comparables, there are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding to add a half-bath. One consideration is the location of your pipes.
So, before you schedule demo day, it’s a good idea to consult a professional contractor and/or plumber to make sure your plans are doable and that everything is done correctly. Also, as with any remodeling project, check with your municipality to ensure you’re adhering to the proper building codes.
Graham also says it’s important to analyze your floor plan and think about whether a half-bath makes sense for your home.
“If it takes away significant, usable storage or doesn’t fit seamlessly into your layout, it may not be the right project for your house,” she said. “For instance, a lot of people don’t like half-baths that open directly to the kitchen, so if that’s the only place you can fit one, it may not be worth the expense. Or, if converting a closet to a half bath means you’ll be left with limited storage on the main floor, that could also be a turn off for future buyers.”
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