Bathroom design issues, such as transforming a smaller bathroom into a bigger bathroom, may be more complex than you think. Moving out or knocking down walls is not always an option, since many bathrooms share a wall with the home's exterior. If you have your heart set on remodeling your bathroom and you want to make it bigger, here are three things you should assess before you begin sledgehammering the walls.
Can You Stand to Lose Living Space in the Adjacent Room?
If the wall you want to break down is part of the next room over, is that a room you are willing to give up? In other words, do you mind that the next room over will be significantly smaller when you make the bathroom bigger? You have to take a really good look at this other room and decide if giving up its space for a bigger bathroom is worth it. If the next room over is really big, then maybe making it a little smaller is not that big of a deal.
Are You Knocking Down a Load-Bearing Wall?
Load-bearing walls are those walls that support a large part of the house's total weight. If you are attempting to knock down a wall that sits directly under the bulk of your roof, you may end up with some extremely serious (and quite expensive!) structural damage. Have a remodeling contractor take a close look at the walls you want to knock down to see if these walls are load-bearing ones, and what you can and cannot do if they are load-bearing walls.
Can You Reroute Your Plumbing?
Homeowners get all excited about remodeling their bathrooms, but they rarely go down underneath the floor boards of the bathroom to see if this can be done. Plumbing is a tricky thing, and rerouting it during a bathroom expansion is not always so easily done. You may have several pipes criss-crossing each other, or tucked over and under ventilation shafts.
If you completely gut your current bathroom to move the fixtures around, can you actually reroute the plumbing too? There are some rare instances where it absolutely is not possible to move your bathroom fixtures and place them anywhere else in the expanded bathroom. They have to stay where they are, and you just have to make the best of the expansion by adding features around the sink and toilet or transforming a basic tub/shower into a spa tub.
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