Basement Bathrooms

If you want to add a bathroom in your home but have a limited budget, head for the basement. “A bath can be put in the basement without adding square footage to the exterior footprint of the home,” says Fred Freer, owner of Four Square Restorations Inc. “Adding a bath with a new foundation and footer or slab, new siding and roofing would easily cost one-third more than a basement bath.” Sacrificing otherwise valued space from a bedroom or other living space is generally not an accepted alternative, Fred says. Building in the basement means that at least one wall (or two in the case of a corner) may already exist, and it also reduces the cost. If the existing walls need to be refinished, though, it increases the cost. He works closely with the homeowner to select plumbing fixtures and products for the bathroom. First, he asks the homeowners for their budget. Then, he says, “We can either show them product in that price range, or we can encourage them to visit showrooms and choose products likely to be in their price range.” A basement bathroom can be built for about $15,200, Fred estimates. Of that, plumbing is the largest component. These prices are based on costs for a small bath measuring about 6 by 8 feet, with 8-foot ceilings. However, many basements are limited to a 7-foot ceiling. Another potential cost-saving location for a new bathroom is the attic. “We’ve done some third-floor baths, but those can be complicated from a plumbing standpoint,” says Fred. “You need a minimum 3-inch-diameter sanitary drain, and you have to tie that in below any other vent in the house in order for the venting system to work properly.” Plus, low ceilings in the third floor might limit successful installation of a shower stall, he points out. Keep Readingbasement bathrooms 1If you want to add a bathroom in your home but have a limited budget, head for the basement. “A bath can be put in the basement without adding square footage to the exterior footprint of the home,” says Fred Freer, owner of Four Square Restorations Inc. “Adding a bath with a new foundation and footer or slab, new siding and roofing would easily cost one-third more than a basement bath.” Sacrificing otherwise valued space from a bedroom or other living space is generally not an accepted alternative, Fred says. Building in the basement means that at least one wall (or two in the case of a corner) may already exist, and it also reduces the cost. If the existing walls need to be refinished, though, it increases the cost. He works closely with the homeowner to select plumbing fixtures and products for the bathroom. First, he asks the homeowners for their budget. Then, he says, “We can either show them product in that price range, or we can encourage them to visit showrooms and choose products likely to be in their price range.” A basement bathroom can be built for about $15,200, Fred estimates. Of that, plumbing is the largest component. These prices are based on costs for a small bath measuring about 6 by 8 feet, with 8-foot ceilings. However, many basements are limited to a 7-foot ceiling. Another potential cost-saving location for a new bathroom is the attic. “We’ve done some third-floor baths, but those can be complicated from a plumbing standpoint,” says Fred. “You need a minimum 3-inch-diameter sanitary drain, and you have to tie that in below any other vent in the house in order for the venting system to work properly.” Plus, low ceilings in the third floor might limit successful installation of a shower stall, he points out.basement bathrooms 2Denver is a basement town. The soil conditions here demand a foundation wall, and with that, might as well put in a basement. Additional bathrooms almost always add value. Lot of variables to how much it would cost (is existing plumbing there, is it close to tap in to, is there drainage there and close to tap in to). A lot of variable on getting your money back out of it (location, price, price point, etc). As a general rule, you will get your value out of it.basement bathrooms 3A Future Basement Bathroom – One pretty valuable upgrade, in terms of function and resale value, is the basement bathroom. It’s inadvisable to finish a basement within the first year of its build. Among the reasons: The foundation needs time to settle, the concrete needs to dry and finishing it too early could void a new homeowner’s warranty.basement bathrooms 4You’ll have to connect new drain lines to an existing line under the basement. So before you can do any real planning, you have to find that line. First, locate the “main stack,” the large (3 or 4 in. diameter) vertical pipe that runs into the basement floor. From there, the pipe runs under the floor and out to the city sewage system under the street. But it may run at an angle rather than straight out to the street. Look for a cleanout plug along the street-facing wall of the basement. If you find one, that’s most likely the spot where the line exits your home. And usually, the line runs straight from the main stack to the cleanout.basement bathrooms 5Belowground Water and Waste Pipes For some homes, moving belowgrade bathroom waste to the sewer, septic, or sanitation line is not a challenge because their lines are deep enough for add-on fixtures to benefit from gravity-assisted disposal. A call to the public works department will determine general sewer-line depth. Information specific to a home’s septic lines should be readily available to the homeowner. Consult a plumber or plumbing contractor to determine flow rates and whether the system can effectively remove waste from basement fixtures. If waste water drains by gravity into municipal sewer lines, install a backwater valve to prevent sewage backup in the basement. A backwater valve may require a permit, so check with your local building department and consult a plumbing contractor before you begin.basement bathrooms 6Aboveground Solutions Transporting bathroom or basement wastewater to sewer or septic lines can be achieved in a number of ways. Aboveground solutions include the “upflushing toilet,” freestanding sewage-ejector systems, and composting toilets. Aboveground solutions are those that do not require the homeowner or installer to cut through any existing basement slab, resulting in lower installation costs. Upflushing toilets vary in look and operation, but generally include a pumping mechanism hidden within or behind the toilet. Some upflushing toilets permit additional waste-producing fixtures, like sinks and shower units, to drain into them.basement bathrooms 7Belowground Options Belowground sewage-ejector systems are the least expensive option, but are complicated to install. These tank-and-pump units are designed to sit in a hole in the basement floor, allowing floor fixtures to gravity-drain into the tank. These units vary in size, but are typically twenty inches in diameter and thirty inches in depth. The holding-tank capacity generally ranges from thirty to forty gallons. “The nice thing about these systems is that they come as a package,” adds Sturm. “It used to be that you’d have to buy the parts separately and put it together. Now you can pretty much drop it in the ground and tie it in.” Homeowners should expect to pay around $400 for a belowground system. The true cost, however, is in the installation. Cutting through a concrete slab to dig the hole for the unit, as well as any drainage pipes from additional basement fixtures, will set the homeowner back a pretty penny. ”It can easily cost thousands of dollars to install,” says Sturm. “And if you flush something down the toilet by accident, recovering it can be a very messy job.”basement bathrooms 8Leave it open. Another way to save some money in your basement bathroom is to skip the walls altogether. Here, a section of the basement is used for the bathroom, which is open concept. The shower is made out of a tiled curb with a curtain bar, giving it a modern look when privacy is not a concern.basement bathrooms 9“A bath can be put in the basement without adding square footage to the exterior footprint of the home,” says Fred Freer, owner of Four Square Restorations Inc. “Adding a bath with a new foundation and footer or slab, new siding and roofing would easily cost one-third more than a basement bath.”basement bathrooms 10Get a quote from a licensed and insured contractor. Additional bathrooms always increase value, however the return varies depending on many factors. We recommend you contact a local Realtor. The code of ethics gives you consumer protection and piece of mind, which is priceless.basement bathrooms 11In terms of both improving your lifestyle and your home value, bathrooms might be best for improvements and upgrades. However, it can get expensive fast, so set priorities and decide where to splurge and where to save. There’s a big difference between upgrading fixtures and completely remodeling or build a new bathroom. In the latter case, it’s worth getting a quote from at least three bathroom contractors.

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