It is easy for any homeowner to overlook possibilities and options when embarking on any remodeling project. This is especially true of bathroom remodeling and additions. For this reason, the time you spend interviewing and soliciting ideas and estimates from bathroom contractors will be very important. To further assist you in making smart decisions about adding a bathroom, here are some of the very important considerations you should discuss with your contractor as you plan the addition.
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The first consideration is that adding a bathroom is much more complicated than adding most other types of rooms to your home. In particular, you must think through the issues related to installing pipes and plumbing fixtures. Running pipe, insulating pipe and connecting to the water source and existing drain pipes and to the sewer system will have a major effect on the cost of your addition. The farther away from existing pipes you place the new bathroom, the more cost you will incur. So the first step is to look for places close to existing bathrooms. The most efficient placement of your new bathroom will be above, below or backed up to another bathroom.
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The second consideration is to design your bathroom for comfort and efficiency. Begin by thinking about how many people will use the new bath and how often they will use it. Then factor in how it will be used. This will help you decide whether you need a full bath, a three-quarter bath or a full bath. If more than one person will use the bathroom at a time, you might want to think about partitioning in your new bathroom to provide privacy for each person. Then think about such things as whether you need two sinks and whether you need a bathtub and a shower or just a tub or a shower.
The third consideration will be energy efficiency of your new bathroom. Here are some of the energy efficiency considerations that should go into planning and designing your new bathroom:
  • How far must hot water travel from the water heater to the new bathroom? Would an instant water heater be more efficient?
  • Insulation should be installed in walls behind the shower and tub.
  • Insulation in the interior walls will provide some sound-proofing.
  • Using engineered wood will cost about the same, but it will be more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
  • The window(s) you install should be energy-efficient styles. The best insulation value will be a triple-paned, vinyl-framed window with Xenon gas between the panes and a good UV protective coating.
  • Radiant heating installed in the floor will be extremely comfortable and will reduce energy demand and cost.
  • Choose energy-efficient lighting fixtures, using as much natural light as possible. If there will not be a window, you might consider adding a skylight, roof window, or a tunnel light to bring in sunlight.

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  • Choose environmentally-friendly materials, such as drywall and engineered lumber.
  • Chose water saving plumbing fixtures, faucets and showerheads.
  • Choose environmentally-friendly materials, such as recycled glass tile, cork floor covering, etc.
These are just some of the very important considerations when adding a bathroom. You will want to consult designers and contractors early in your planning to ensure that you make the best decisions to reduce demand for energy and other natural resources, and to create a beautiful and functional bathroom addition.