There are a range of benefits fitting an ensuite bathroom in your home. The most obvious advantage is having the convenience of being able to hop out of bed and into the shower, or not having to trek across the landing in the middle of the night to go to the loo. Additionally, having a private and personal bathroom attached to the bedroom has financial benefits too, as master bedrooms with an ensuite are highly sought-after and can increase the resale value of your property.
If you’re in the process of refurbishing or remodelling your home and are contemplating putting in an ensuite bathroom, here’s a quick guide to fill you in on everything you’ll need to know.
Space and logistics
While traditional ensuite bathrooms tend to be much more compact than the main house bathroom, if you’ve got the space to spare, you can invest in creating a luxurious and spacious ensuite. However, even a smaller space can be well worth the investment. If you already have master bedroom that’s fairly compact, you’ll need to measure up to ensure you have enough space to install an ensuite.
Working out how much space you have to work with is important in the initial stages, as you don’t want to sacrifice too much of your bedroom to make way for the ensuite, especially if space is already limited. Alternatively, you could use space from the master bedroom and another room, providing the second room has space to spare and is next to the bedroom. You’ll also need to ensure that the plumbing, waste pipes and window or extractor fan can be fitted in the correct places.
There’s still plenty of opportunity to create a sophisticated shower room, even if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. It’s generally a good idea to try and leave as much floor space free as possible. Start by playing around with different layouts to see what works and don’t forget to make full use of awkward space, such as corners and recesses.
Consider space saving solutions, such as corner units for basins and toilets. Using wall mounted bathroom fittings is also an excellent way to create a spacious feeling inside the room. Fittings such as sinks with a half pedestal work well to hide plumbing and pipework.
Additionally, short projection toilets are an excellent space-saving solution for ensuites. As the name suggests, this style of toilet has a shorter projection than standard toilets, so they’re less likely to encroach on precious space in the room.
Similarly, cloakroom basins are a great choice for ensuites if space is limited. Ultra slim and compact in design, a cloakroom basin is ideal for even the tightest of spaces as the size of the sink won’t project out into the room. Internal space is maximised too, so you still have ample washing area even with a smaller sink.
Whilst adding value to your home (and a bit of luxury and convenience to your life), an ensuite is only worth its weight in gold once you’ve received the necessary building regulation approval. This is to ensure that all electrics, plumbing, drainage, ventilation and glass meet regulation and UK safety standards.
If you’re refitting your ensuite bathroom, it’s unlikely you’ll need building regulations approval, as long as you’re simply replacing existing fittings with new ones. However, any drainage or electrical works as part of the refit may require building regulations approval.
If you’re fitting a new ensuite as part of an extension or as part of a master or a guest bedroom, then it’s likely you’ll need to acquire building regulations approval to ensure that ventilation, drainage, electrical work and structural stability all meet standard requirements. Different rules apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but your installer will be able to advise you on this.
Building regulations approval is for your own protection and safety. You’ll also need this in place if and when you come to sell the house in the future, as you may need to have proof that the ensuite has met with building regulations at the point of sale. Not having building regulations approval can delay the selling process or even put off potential buyers.
If your building work is carried out by a tradesperson who is registered with a scheme, they can self-certify that their work complies with building regulations. They will then issue you with a certificate within eight weeks of completion of the project.
Otherwise, you’ll need to apply through your local council. The type of application you need to make depends on the scale of your project. You can find out further information about the type of application you’ll need to make here. Completion certificates are usually received within eight weeks of completion of the project, provided it is compliant.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of building regulations approval varies depending on the scale of the project and on the type of building (e.g. listed buildings). You can calculate your application fee by clicking on the link here.