How many bathrooms are enough?

If you’re lucky enough to ever have to wonder if your two/three-bathroom house is a little excessive, it’s worth knowing that the Queen has a whopping 781 bathrooms in Buckingham Palace.

But the pressing issue for homeowners is how many bathrooms are actually needed? And at what point do we need to stop installing additional bathroom suites in our homes?

HMO rules

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) refers to a property in which people that aren’t related (or in a couple) live together, sharing the bathroom, kitchen, and the toilet.

The following national amenity standards2 apply for these shared households:

1-4 persons

  • At least one bathroom and one WC (although they may be in the same room)

5 persons

  • Each bedroom must feature a wash hand basin (WHB)
  • At least one bathroom and a separate WC with WHB (or two bathrooms)

6-10 persons

  • Each bedroom must feature a WHB
  • At least two bathrooms and two separate WCs with WHB (although one of the WCs can be within one of the bathrooms)
  • House should be divided into three separate studios or flats

11-15 persons

  • Each bedroom must feature a WHB
  • At least three bathrooms and three separate WCs with WHB (but two of the WCs can be in two of the bathrooms)
  • Property should be divided into four separate living spaces

So that’s the minimum amount of bathing facilities and toilets required per household according to UK regulations – but what about those who are keen to go over and above?

Adding value to your home

Bathrooms are the most expensive room in the house but what you invest will usually be returned when it’s time to sell or rent out your property.

According to Nationwide, an extra bathroom adds an additional 5%3 to the value of a property. So if your home is worth £500,000, you’re looking at buyers putting an extra £25,000 in your pocket.

Even if you’re renting out your property, you can charge more, particularly if your tenants are two or more professionals who don’t know each other, as they’re likely to appreciate the added privacy.

Providing comfort for your family

If you’re settled in your family home-for-life, installing additional bathrooms isn’t about adding value for potential buyers – it’s about making your family comfortable.

The morning battle for the bathroom can be significantly reduced if you have more than one room to bathe in, as more people will be able to wash before school or work simultaneously. En-suites are ideal for the adults at home, as well as older teenagers, and if you don’t have much room going spare, you could always opt for a shower room to save space.

In fact, even installing an extra WC with a basin can be a real time-saver in the morning because it’ll free up the bathroom for those needing more than just the loo. Toilets can be installed in any number of space-utilising places within your home, such as below the stairs, in utility cupboards, or adjoining conservatories.

Of course, there does come a point when enough is enough. Not every member of the household needs their own bathroom, so you may want to draw the line at a bathroom for the adults, one for the kids, and one for your guest room. Once you’ve reached bathroom peak, you’ll know, and then you can concentrate on updating other areas around your home such as the kitchen, the central heating, or your garden.

Has this article got you lusting for a new bathroom? Learn about your eco-friendly bathroom options here »

1 The official website of The British Monarchy, 2015. 20 most asked questions. [Online] Available at: http://www.royal.gov.uk/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/20%20most%20asked%20questions.aspx.
2 Residential Landlords Association, 2015. Housing Act Guide. [Online] Available at: https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/housing_act/docs/all/minimum_national_amenity_standards_for_licensable_hmos.shtml.
3 Nationwide, 2015. House price index. [Online] Available at: http://www.nationwide.co.uk/~/media/MainSite/documents/about/house-price-index/What_adds_value_to_your_home.pdf.
[All information sources accessed 8th September 2015].

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