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What Happens When You Turn a Half Bath Into a Full Bath?


Apr 27, 2020 by Liz Brumer

Half bathrooms can be a nice feature in a home that provides an additional washroom for family or guests to use. But some homeowners would prefer additional bathroom space. If you're considering turning your half bath into a full bath, learn what happens when you do, how it affects your home's value, and a few things to know before you convert.

What is a half bathroom?

A half bathroom, which can also be called a powder room or washroom, is a bathroom with only two fixtures, typically a toilet and a sink. Unlike a full bathroom, which has three or more fixtures including a toilet, sink, and bathtub and/or shower, a half bathroom is typically a smaller room most commonly found in high use areas like near the kitchen, living room, or main living area.

Will it increase my home's value?

Half bathrooms in their own right offer value. The National Association of Home Builders, using data from the American Housing Survey (AHS), reported that a half bath can add as much as 12.5% on average to a home's value from just a single bathroom.

But there is value in converting a half bath to a full bathroom for some homes. The same study found that homes with an existing half bathroom could gain an increase in home value of another 9% to 10.5% by doing so, depending on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the location of the property. The more bathrooms a home has, the less value the increased bathroom size offers.

Things to take into consideration

Space

The most challenging part of turning a half bathroom into a full bathroom is designing the necessary space for all of the fixtures. Half bathrooms are typically smaller, and for this reason, you may have to remove and replace walls in order to expand or move plumbing fixtures to fit the new floorplan. It's highly suggested any homeowners tackling a project of this size use a licensed contractor or plumber to complete the renovation to ensure that it's up to code and that current building and safety regulations are adhered to.

Pulling permits

Increasing the bathroom's size will also require you to pull permits. This ensures that the property information with the appraiser is accurate and reduces the challenges of having unpermitted work on your home when it comes time to sell.

Property taxes

Pulling permits means the property appraiser may adjust the property's assessed value, which could increase your property taxes in the next tax year. Every county operates differently, most frequently with values adjusting annually. While it may seem counterintuitive to renovate part of your home and have to pay more in taxes, the conversion should add value to your home in the long run.

If you're going to increase the bathroom size and turn your half bathroom into a full bathroom, make sure you're choosing a universal design that will appeal to homebuyers in the future. Find out what the current trends are for home renovations and floorplans, and make sure the cost for the conversion will be worth it and will bring enough value to your home based on your property's location and condition.

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