Five Steps to Building a Powder Room or Main Floor Bathroom Remodeling

A main floor bathroom, commonly called a powder room, is convenient for guests and quick clean up. If your home is missing this handy space, or you want to expand the current main floor bath, you can plan to build a powder room by following these five simple steps.

Step 1 - Consider the Location and Size

Let your mind expand beyond the typical locations - your new powder room doesn't need to be at the front door or near the bottom of the stairs. If that space works, go for it. But consider the possibility of other main floor corners, including the mudroom, near the garage or beside the rear door.

Modern powder rooms should be designed for the whole family with plenty of space and features. You'll need a bit more room for this, probably larger than the typical 20 square feet. A five-foot by seven-foot space is a good target. This area provides better accessibility and allows greater flexibility in the layout and overall design.

Try to include a window in the powder room, using frosted glass to create privacy without blocking the natural light. You can also incorporate bulkheads or oddly shaped ceilings, as long as these features do not interfere with the shower or lighting.

Step 2 - Hire a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Building a bathroom, even a small one, into your existing floor plan can get complicated. Plumbing needs to be brought in, including water supply, venting and waste. You'll also need power for lighting and electrical outlets, including a GFI receptacle. Framing, drywall and flooring, as well as vanity and storage installation, are involved.

Even the most experienced DIY enthusiast will need help with this renovation. And an experienced bathroom remodeling contractor can get the job done quickly, with a professional finish that's impossible to duplicate.

Step 3 - Design the Space

Think outside the box when designing. This space can be used for so much more than a guest bathroom. Install storage for off season clothing, extra linens, even dirty work clothes. This main floor bathroom can double as a mudroom space or laundry room extension. Hooks, shelving, closets and other inclusions make this more than a bathroom, yet the typical fixtures allow this room to be functional at any time.

Purchase a bathroom suite set, including a toilet and sink. Pedestal sinks work well for very tight spaces, since the narrow base takes up very little room. Some suites come with a bathtub or stand-up shower as well. If you have the space, installing a shower makes sense and will increase the value of your home substantially more than a simple two-piece bath would.

Include large towel racks and a flat surface for laying out heavy clothes to dry. Flooring should be durable and easy to clean; tile or thick vinyl flooring are best. Some families find it convenient to include a separate changing area, which creates a multifunctional space for active families. Consider a dual sink or include a utility sink for serious dirt, especially if the powder room is located near the gardens or garage where the appearance of grease, mud and dirt is inevitable.

Step 4 - Apply for Any Applicable Building Permits

This will depend on the local bylaws and regulations. Most often installing new plumbing and electrical features requires a building permit, involving inspections and a permit fee. Your bathroom contractor may handle this for you depending on the guidelines laid out by local or state authorities.

Be aware that adding a bathroom may result in a septic system inspection. If the new bathroom goes beyond the capacity of your current system, septic renovations may be required. Keep all relevant documentation and approvals, just in case you decide to sell your home in the future.

Step 5 - Choose the Finishing Touches

Besides the major features like toilet, sink and vanity, you'll also need to pick out finishing touches like paint colors, wallpaper, trim, artwork, shelving, light fixtures and mirrors. Decor is very important in this small, but highly visible room. Choose items, colors and designs that wear well, are simple to maintain and somewhat neutral. The whole family, and countless guests, will be using this space. Opt for items that create a comfortable space without sacrificing on quality, function and durability.

Bathrooms are not the easiest room to redecorate later on, since the plumbing fixtures are fitted tightly to the wall and features like the countertop and cabinetry can be costly and messy to replace. Consider the finishing touches very carefully, steering away from anything trendy or styles you will quickly grow tired of.

Your family will appreciate the convenience of a main floor bathroom, especially when that space functions as a storage and change area. Cleaning up after working or playing outside becomes a breeze, and having a bathroom handy makes life indoors simpler as well. Organize the room with your lifestyle in mind and be sure to invest in quality fixtures and building materials. An experienced bathroom remodeling contractor will help make it a reality, taking care of all the hard work and complicated details.

From location to layout, hiring a contractor, applying for building permits and decorating this space, a main floor bathroom remodeling project is straightforward. It's also an affordable home improvement that will increase the value of your home, especially if a shower or tub is included. Cover each step well and you'll end up with a well designed and quality built powder room suitable for the whole family.

Posted by: diana
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