real estate

6 worst home fixes for the money

Bathroom addition
Bathroom addition
  • Cost (national average): $38,186
  • Return at resale: 60.1 percent

Wish you could just pop an extra bathroom onto the back of your house?

That's exactly what this project does. The bathroom is modest: 6 feet by 8 feet, cultured marble vanity, chrome fixtures, ceramic tile and a fiberglass tub/shower combo.

The magazine wanted to demonstrate the cost of a simple bathroom addition, Alfano says. Because it's an addition -- and involves extending the foundation and roof, plus adding outside walls -- it's a lot more expensive than creating a new bathroom within the existing space, he says.

In real life, homeowners would probably not be using an addition to add just a bathroom, says Hydeck. More likely, it would be a small part of a larger addition, such as a family room, he says.

As part of a larger addition, he says the cost of that bathroom goes down substantially.

Another option: Find room within the existing square footage -- without adding onto the house, Hydeck says. Although, "with a small house, a lot of times that's difficult to do."

At resale: Home within neighborhood norms? Then one bathroom more or less won't really affect the selling price, says Phipps.

"Think about the investment and what you're trying to achieve before you spend the money," he advises.

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