Need an en suite or a family shower room? Take your cue from our collection of innovative ideas for a slick and well-styled zone.
Duravit (0845 500 7787; duravit.co.uk)
Not only will a new bathroom provide ample space for you and your family, but it can also add five per cent to the value of your home. If you’re keen to create an extra wet space or convert an existing area to add value to your property with a new bathroom, then follow our advice – from adding a self-contained unit and going open plan to building an extension.
Insert a self-contained unit
An emerging trend this year is for building a self-contained unit to house a new bathroom. It’s an alternative to a traditional en suite and can create an interesting focal point in a bedroom. Ideally, for this to be successful, you need to either have a good-sized room to add to, or have spare space in a hallway or landing in which to build in a box.
Be it internally within a room or externally, there are some practical aspects to consider, for example, where the main soil stack is in relation to the proposed bathroom, location of existing hot and cold water supplies, flooring types and location of joists and waterproofing, to name but a few. Before you start, get at least a couple of quotes from reputable bathroom fitters and builders (especially if you think you may require structural work).
Consider the option of using an architect; they may require payment upfront, but their expertise and clever design solutions will be worth the spend in the long run. Building regulations may also be required, so a call to your local planning office should be at the top of your to-do list. To create the Clearwater Baths (0845 539 0055; clearwater baths.com) cantilevered box, an architect was employed to help design the space, which was created using specified box girders, like the types used in bridges. Budget about £15,000 to build something similar.
Clearwater Baths (0845 539 0055; clearwaterbaths.com)
Build an extension
Add extra value to your property by increasing your square footage. This can be done by converting a loft or extending the ground floor – don’t do it at the expense of your garden though, as outdoor space is still a big selling point. You may need planning permission and, depending on what you’re after, it may be worth calling in an architect to help with the design. It is always worth taking a look down your street to see what changes your neighbours have made.
To find out how much value a loft conversion would add, research local prices for properties where these changes have already been made. According to UK Loft Conversion (ukloftconversion.com), an average loft extension can take between six and eight weeks for the construction element (obviously this is dependent on what kind of conversion you are after). Every loft needs to be inspected by the local building control officer on completion, as all lofts now need to comply with Building Regulations. The existing roof can determine the interior design and style of your extension. For instance, using the beams as a feature with lighting set into them is a great way to create a relaxing, spa-like bathroom. Another clever alternative is to invest in Velux windows so you can flood your loft with plenty of natural light.
A ground-floor extension is another popular choice, but do check to see if you need planning permission, as the right-to-light law still exists and your neighbours may object. There are no legal requirements to provide more than one bathroom in a house, but for a large family it can be an excellent idea to have one downstairs if you don’t already, and would be an attractive option to a buyer if they had children. Typical costs are in the region of £2,000 per sqm to build a bathroom extension.
Go open plan
With open-plan kitchen and living areas now common place, it’s not surprising that this trend has moved into the bedroom and bathroom. The key is not to lose a room (which could devalue your house), but to add value by improving what you have, while considering buyers’ needs if you want to put your home on the market in a few years’ time. For example, while you may be happy with open plan, potential buyers may not, so always factor that in and provide sliding doors or a screen option.
Open plan works well if you have a partial wall that can be used for fixing units to, and most importantly, can also hide all the pipework. A clever built-in shelving wall and shower unit is a great example of how this idea can be implemented into your scheme.
Vitra (01235 750 990; vitra.co.uk)
In terms of decoration, there are two options; you can create a feature of the bathing area or shower to make it stand out in its own right, or incorporate the sanitaryware into your current scheme by following the same decorating palette and style. Continuing the flooring also creates a flowing aspect and will help maintain a minimal and unfussy design. Depending on what work is needed, budget around £8,000 to £10,000 for an open-plan bathroom.
Words: Sophie Warren-Smith