Author Topic: Second bathroom  (Read 8950 times)

velocistar237

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Second bathroom
« on: July 01, 2013, 11:37:05 AM »
We have 3 kids. The eldest is potty trained, and the second just started potty training. Both refuse to use the little potty. We have one toilet. As you can imagine, there are times when one person is sitting on the toilet reading a book, and someone else is dancing in the hallway.

In Massachusetts, we aren't allowed to touch our plumbing or electrical. A second bathroom would cost a few thousand dollars. We would like to put one in at some point, but maybe not right now, since we are less than halfway to FI. At what point would you do the renovation?

totoro

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 12:04:26 PM »
We have 3 kids. The eldest is potty trained, and the second just started potty training. Both refuse to use the little potty. We have one toilet. As you can imagine, there are times when one person is sitting on the toilet reading a book, and someone else is dancing in the hallway.

In Massachusetts, we aren't allowed to touch our plumbing or electrical. A second bathroom would cost a few thousand dollars. We would like to put one in at some point, but maybe not right now, since we are less than halfway to FI. At what point would you do the renovation?

Depends on your financial circumstances right now.  Clearly you would benefit from it and it likely would increase your home value by the cost to put it in - or more given that it is a desirable feature.  The only show stopper for me would be if there was a debt emergency to pay off first.

mlipps

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 12:46:54 PM »
Can you pay cash for it or would you have to finance it in some way? If financed, at what interest rate?

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 01:41:18 PM »
It would be cash, no debt emergency. I guess if it would delay FI about the same amount if we did it now vs in 5 years, it doesn't make too much difference, and it would be nice to have it in the interim.

olivia

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 01:53:14 PM »
I would put it in ASAP if you can pay for it in cash or even a 0% interest rate credit card.  Seriously, my husband and I only have 1 bathroom and we are begging each other to hurry up surprisingly often!  Not to mention when we have guests stay with us.  I can't imagine 1 bathroom for 5 people...I'd end up using a litter box!  :P

kendallf

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 08:47:35 PM »
Don't discount the amount of work you may be able to do yourself, even in a state which requires licensed plumbers for inspections.  You may be able to:

Demolish whatever's currently in the space that will become the new bathroom
Frame the new walls
Do some or all of the rough in plumbing work
Install fixtures after a plumber has completed the rough-in
Tile, paint, trim

I am finishing a total re-do of the plumbing and bathroom on a house we bought in January.  I have a background in carpentry, I'm handy and have quite a few tools, but I had never done any real plumbing before.

The job included gutting the bathroom, repairing joists, floors and walls, and tearing out all of the old plumbing (cast iron drain pipes, hodgepodge of galvanized, copper, and PVC supply lines). 

We then put in all new PVC drains and CPVC supply lines, reframed the bathroom walls and floors.  We installed a new tub and custom tile around the tub, walls, and floors.  I got the tile from our local ReStore (Habitat for Humanity store) for $50!  The toilet went in yesterday, and I hope to have the final item (a pedestal sink) in tomorrow.

Our total renovation cost so far is at $4176, according to my records in Mint.  This includes $350 in labor paid to a friend who helped me do the tile, a few tool purchases, fixtures, some framing supplies for areas other than the bathroom (garage side door, floor joists).

Just thought our similar job might give you some food for thought!

Edit: I screwed up on the Mint cost calculation, and just fixed the number above.  This cost includes everything from paying for an initial inspection, paying an electrician so the city would turn the power on, supplies, etc. etc.  Since I've been working on a rather leisurely schedule on weekends when we're not traveling, I've been able to absorb most of the cost in our monthly budget. 

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 09:39:50 PM by kendallf »

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 04:31:30 AM »
Thanks, kendallf. Despite our trepidation, we will definitely do the demo, framing, and finish work. Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, you're not even allowed to change out your own faucet, and we can't get around that for permitted work. In our case, we also can't pull our own permits.

The room we would convert is 5'6"x6'4", and my thought is to try to fit in a shower, wet-room style. A neighbor recently converted a similar space to a bathroom with just a sink and toilet, and it felt pretty empty. To make more space for showering, I was thinking about using an in-wall toilet tank, but now I'm thinking the cost isn't justified.

totoro

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 09:20:48 AM »
Thanks, kendallf. Despite our trepidation, we will definitely do the demo, framing, and finish work. Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, you're not even allowed to change out your own faucet, and we can't get around that for permitted work. In our case, we also can't pull our own permits.

The room we would convert is 5'6"x6'4", and my thought is to try to fit in a shower, wet-room style. A neighbor recently converted a similar space to a bathroom with just a sink and toilet, and it felt pretty empty. To make more space for showering, I was thinking about using an in-wall toilet tank, but now I'm thinking the cost isn't justified.

We are working on a bathroom this size.  You can likely fit the 32-38" neo-angle showers in a space like this if you wanted a wet room alternative.

Spork

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 10:18:28 AM »
Thanks, kendallf. Despite our trepidation, we will definitely do the demo, framing, and finish work. Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, you're not even allowed to change out your own faucet, and we can't get around that for permitted work. In our case, we also can't pull our own permits.

The room we would convert is 5'6"x6'4", and my thought is to try to fit in a shower, wet-room style. A neighbor recently converted a similar space to a bathroom with just a sink and toilet, and it felt pretty empty. To make more space for showering, I was thinking about using an in-wall toilet tank, but now I'm thinking the cost isn't justified.

Just curious... can you plumb everything up to (but not including) cutting in to existing plumbing?  You would, of course, want to work with a plumber that was okay with this and you'd want to be running lines "where he wanted them run."

I have to admit: I've never been the world's best at pulling permits for work, but I've worked with electricians/plumbers where they let me do all their "dirty helper boy work" and they did the stuff that required special skills.

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 10:38:04 AM »
Just curious... can you plumb everything up to (but not including) cutting in to existing plumbing?

We'll be asking our contractor friends what our options are.

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 10:43:19 AM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

arebelspy

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 10:46:06 AM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

How does anything survive?  Have you been through a Boston Winter?

;)

I agree with the analysis that since you have the cash, and it'll delay FI by about the same amount now as in five years (assuming cost of doing it rises with the amount you earn on the money in the meantime.. if you earn above inflation, you're giving up a slight opportunity cost by doing it now, but not that much), might as well do it now and enjoy the benefits.
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velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 10:52:33 AM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

That's a question I found on a few DIY forums. They're still allowed to sell plumbing supplies, both because non-plumbing uses are plausible, and because people balked at the idea of having to show a licence to make purchases. As you can imagine, people don't like the law, and they often just risk it. If your faucet or water heater breaks, how would anyone find out that you did the work? However, if a bathroom shows up where the county records say there should be a closet, that could cause a problem down the line.

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 11:11:28 AM »
How does anything survive?  Have you been through a Boston Winter?

By food caches or fat deposits, depending on size.

I'll take the winters in exchange for the summers. Looks like there's a year-round 20 degree shift between Las Vegas and Boston. Average July highs are 104 degF and 81 degF, respectively. And forget about it being a "dry heat." At 81 degF with 90% humidity, it only feels like 86 degF.

Rural

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 12:22:42 PM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

That's a question I found on a few DIY forums. They're still allowed to sell plumbing supplies, both because non-plumbing uses are plausible, and because people balked at the idea of having to show a licence to make purchases. As you can imagine, people don't like the law, and they often just risk it. If your faucet or water heater breaks, how would anyone find out that you did the work? However, if a bathroom shows up where the county records say there should be a closet, that could cause a problem down the line.

How on earth would the county find out that a bathroom "shows up"?

chatsc

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 12:26:01 PM »
We are in the same boat!  3 kids, 2 potty trained, 1 bathroom.  Luckily my kids have a healthy love of peeing in the backyard......

but seriously folks, I understand needing a second bathroom (or powder room at least...)

Spork

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 12:28:23 PM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

That's a question I found on a few DIY forums. They're still allowed to sell plumbing supplies, both because non-plumbing uses are plausible, and because people balked at the idea of having to show a licence to make purchases. As you can imagine, people don't like the law, and they often just risk it. If your faucet or water heater breaks, how would anyone find out that you did the work? However, if a bathroom shows up where the county records say there should be a closet, that could cause a problem down the line.

How on earth would the county find out that a bathroom "shows up"?

It's probably on the tax rolls as a "1 bath".  Probably not a problem until you try to sell it and all hell breaks loose.

arebelspy

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 12:31:26 PM »
How does Home Depot survive in Massachusetts?

That's a question I found on a few DIY forums. They're still allowed to sell plumbing supplies, both because non-plumbing uses are plausible, and because people balked at the idea of having to show a licence to make purchases. As you can imagine, people don't like the law, and they often just risk it. If your faucet or water heater breaks, how would anyone find out that you did the work? However, if a bathroom shows up where the county records say there should be a closet, that could cause a problem down the line.

How on earth would the county find out that a bathroom "shows up"?

When you try to sell, it will be an unpermitted addition.

If you plan to live there forever you might feel comfortable ignoring it.  (Or if you want to rip it out when you sell.. but a 3br/2ba will have much better resale than a 3br/1ba, in my experience, so worth doing it right.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 12:41:14 PM »
How on earth would the county find out that a bathroom "shows up"?

The floorplan is in the county registry with the condo documents, and the description is in the city assessor's database.

Come to think of it, our taxes would go up a little for this.

We don't have any plans to move, but I think I'd like a backyard someday. You know, for kids to pee in.

If you plan to live there forever you might feel comfortable ignoring it.  (Or if you want to rip it out when you sell.. but a 3br/2ba will have much better resale than a 3br/1ba, in my experience, so worth doing it right.)

It's a 2br. Does that change anything?

arebelspy

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2013, 12:45:36 PM »
It's a 2br. Does that change anything?

Probably not.  It may make it less useful (i.e. a second bathroom is a lot more desired in a 3br than 2br), but still worth it.

Unless you overdevelop the new bathroom into something ridiculous, I'd think that addition is something where you'd get your money back (and then some, possibly).  It depends on the area, but if I were grossly overgeneralizing that's what I'd estimate.
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Another Reader

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2013, 04:15:49 PM »
2 bedroom 1 bath condo with 3 kids???

If this is an apartment-style condo, you may have to get permission from the HOA (and indirectly your neighbors) to add a bathroom.  Depending on the plumbing it might be difficult to build even if you can get permission.  Have you looked into buying or renting something larger with a second bath in place?

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2013, 08:54:27 PM »
2 bedroom 1 bath condo with 3 kids???

I like to think that both E's stand for Extreme.

If this is an apartment-style condo, you may have to get permission from the HOA (and indirectly your neighbors) to add a bathroom.  Depending on the plumbing it might be difficult to build even if you can get permission.  Have you looked into buying or renting something larger with a second bath in place?

We won't have any problems with the HOA. The plumbing might be difficult. We got a steal on this place, and upgrading would put us in a much worse financial position. The asking price on a similar 2br place down the street is 70% higher than what we paid, though it's a little bigger and has a second bathroom and a nicer kitchen.

Rural

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2013, 09:03:49 PM »
How on earth would the county find out that a bathroom "shows up"?

The floorplan is in the county registry with the condo documents, and the description is in the city assessor's database.

Well, ick and that hits fairly high on the creepy meter, but not as high as the governmental inspections I was envisioning,

George_PA

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2013, 09:06:50 PM »
After this reading I would never want to live in Massachusetts, what a retarded state.  That is big government trying to dictate every aspect of your life.  You are just trying to get ahead in life and have a nice place for yourself.  The damn government is blocking you every step of the way.  Professional plumbers and electricians cost a fortune to do basic simple work. 

I do my own plumbing and electrical all the time in my house.  If you read books from the library and carefully do the work as MMM recommends, this stuff really is not that hard to understand (it can hard sweaty and messy work but it is easy to understand).
 

velocistar237

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2013, 05:06:41 AM »
Welcome to union country. When I first found out I couldn't do my own plumbing, my thought was, how hard is it to get a license? The requirements involve education, exams, and years of work. If they insist on licensing for the most basic of tasks, a limited homeowner's license would make a lot of sense. I wonder if non-plumber contractors are allowed to do any plumbing work.

Daleth

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Re: Second bathroom
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2013, 09:09:06 PM »
I would add it now. You not only make your lives much easier ASAP, you also unquestionably add to the property's value. So since you can do it in cash now, why not?!

Go to That Home Site's bathroom forums for free and excellent advice on how to lay out a full bath w/shower in that space (http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/bath/ --they also have a kitchen forum that's at least equally helpful).