If you’re not in your forever home yet, the work you do on your house or flat will be with an eye to what future buyers like, as well as your tastes – and that includes any improvements you make to bathrooms. Counting on a percentage increase in your home’s selling price because you’ve created a stylish new room doesn’t make sense, but you should think about what you can do that means buyers will be itching to put in a better offer than the next person, rather than making their excuses to the agent, and bolting out the front door.
Bathroom not big enough to swing a towel? ‘Many older houses were built with small bathrooms and separate adjacent toilets,’ says Jeremy Leaf, RICS London housing spokesman. ‘Removing the dividing wall to create one larger bathroom will greatly increase useable space and could be more attractive to purchasers, especially if you also have an additional guest WC. If the bathroom and WC cannot be easily combined, consider installing a small basin in the WC.’
Still got avocado? Yellow? Pink? We’re sorry but they don’t have retro appeal, and they aren’t going to come back into fashion anytime soon. A white suite is the banker when it comes to buyer appeal, so swap colour for a modern design.
Contemporary or traditional?
You can’t anticipate the tastes of prospective buyers, but don’t throw caution to the winds. ‘A bathroom is a long-term investment so try to avoid choosing a design that might date quickly or something that is too gimmicky. The idea of a built-in TV in the bathroom may seem appealing, but you may be feeling pretty shrivelled by the end of Downton Abbey,’ says Jeremy.
Light and bright
A well-lit bathroom is a must to avoid compromising its value. Add lighting, hang mirrors – especially mirrors with built in lighting – and try to install a window in a new bathroom. ‘A bathroom converted from a roof space can usually incorporate a rooflight. If there is no immediately adjacent external wall or roof it may still be possible to install a light tube, which will provide a large amount of light from a small aperture at the end of a tube,’ says Jeremy.
Don’t have a separate shower? ‘Consider installing a shower cubicle in your bathroom in addition to the bath, but do not make it too small,’ says Jeremy. ‘Many homes with combination boilers have a redundant airing cupboard ideal for conversion to a shower area.’
A bathroom of your own
Should you turn a bedroom into a bathroom? ‘In the past, home owners were reluctant to add an extra bathroom if it meant losing a bedroom, but nowadays purchasers are more likely to be aware of the total floor area of a house rather than just how many bedrooms there are,’ says Jeremy. ‘A four-bedroom house with two or three bathrooms may be more marketable than a five-bedroom house with one or two bathrooms, especially if one of the bedrooms is very small. However, turning a three-bedroom house into one with two bedrooms and two bathrooms is rarely recommended.’