We remodel a lot of bathrooms here on Cape Cod and that provides us some insight in to what homeowners want when they remodel. Below are the top 5+ requests from Cape Cod homeowners who are looking to improve their bathrooms.
1. Bead Board Wainscot: This is a timeless look that when done right lends an air of elegance to a bathing space. Notice the emphasize on done right? I've seen far too many bathrooms with cheap bead board paneling from the big box stores slapped up on the walls and finished with a flimsy molding. To be blunt, it's cheap to install...and looks it. We use a product made by Nantucket Beadboard for our wainscot. (At some point in the future, I will put up a post about installing and finishing beadboard.)
Cost: Professionally installed beadboard, capped with trim and baseboard will add $1200-$1500 to a typical bathroom remodel. (Finish painting is not included in the above figure.)
2. Pocket Doors: I personally love pocket doors. In my dream home paid for by the shares I own in Facebook*, I would make just about every door into a room a pocket door topped by a transom window. (To do this requires 10' ceilings.) I really like how you can slide a door out of sight, as it makes a room seem larger and more open especially in a bathroom that is tight for space. Some people don't like pocket doors as they have had problems with them and I cannot blame them, as I have seen some atrocious installs over the years. And yet, pocket doors can be be trouble free if done right. The secret is patience and taking the time to plumb and level the door at installation and using ALL of the hardware supplied by the frame manufacturer.
Cost: Professionally installed pocket door, framing, door and hardware. Sheetrock finish, will add $1800-$2500 to a typical bathroom remodel. These can be a complex install when structural work is involved. Not all applications will allow for a pocket door installation. Be sure to consult your local building department on applicability.
* I don't own any shares in Facebook. Although I wish I did!
3. Tall Everything: The days of stooping over and brushing your teeth at a 24" high sink are over. Just about every vanity we have installed in the last few years, finishes between 34" and 36" in height. Much more comfortable for many users. Toilets are also available in what is now known as comfort height. (AKA. chair height.) We also install shower controls and shower heads at a tall height for ease of use. One thing I usually do at the planning stage is to ask my clients to share with me, what heights would be comfortable for them. This small request can make a big difference when they start using their newly remodeled bathroom.
Cost: Upgrading to tall everything usually costs 15% or more over standard height items.
4. Tubs into Showers: Many of our projects involve converting a tub into a showering space. This is an increasing trend as many homeowners are electing to stay put and make their house on Cape Cod, a "Forever home." In doing so, many homeowners are looking at how to create one level living by having all of the main rooms on the same level. (Usually the first floor.) Often times, we replace the 5' foot tub with a step in shower of the same length and width thus creating an easily accessible, safer and spacious showering space.
Note. Converting a tub to a shower on the 2nd floor is rare because the Massachusetts building code requires upgrading the existing 1-1/2" drain line to 2" drain line for a new shower install. This often requires opening up a significant portion of the floor to locate and tie into the main drain. Thus can be pricey.
Cost: Professionally installed tub to shower replacement including new controls, shower head, etc. and repairing the walls around the unit, usually start at about $3100. (First floor only.)
5. Tile and Glass: Along with converting the tub to a shower, we're seeing more tile shower surrounds and clear frameless glass doors. The tile will often have a decorative element and many projects will have the tile all the way up to the ceiling as well as on the ceiling. One suggestion we make, is to have a solid surface or cast iron base rather then tile for a cleaner look and to provide for easier cleaning. The glass doors which can be bypass or swinging doors allow you to see the tile work and adds a rich elegance to the bathroom. We often specify the 3/8" or 1/2" thick glass, especially for the bypass doors as the thinner glass rattles when you slide it from side to side.
Cost: Professionally installed shower surrounds with tile and glass. Usually the most expensive part of any bathroom remodel. $8,000 and up.
+. Laundry Center: We have had quite a few bathroom remodels that involve taking a space within the bathroom or from an adjacent room or closet and converting it to a Laundry Center. Because of space constraints. Most of them require the use of a stacked washer/dryer instead of a conventional side by side washer/dryer. Creating this space, added significantly to the cost of the bathroom remodel and yet, every client we have done it for, has said it was well worth it!
Cost: Hard to pin down as many factors involved. $1800 for a basic relocation to $4500+ for a complex install. Does not include stacked unit which can run $1200 to $4500.
There you have it, the top five+ requests for features in a bathroom remodel from your fellow Cape Cod homeowners. It's my experience that any bathroom that has any or all of the features above makes the overall project far more worthwhile!
If you have any questions about the projects noted above, send me an email to JSC@AtDesignREMODEL.com