Add-ons

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I am building my website and my reservation service wants me to think up some add-ons to offer to boost my room rates. The only ones I've come up with so far is the standard Romantic Weekend Package with the usual roses, champagne, strawberries, etc.(yawn) and a stocked wine picnic backpack for hikers and bicyclists. Would anyone care to toss some fresh ideas my way? I can't think of anything more I can offer besides my whole house and breakfast! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Kate

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Are you using the third room now? If you just want it for the future there is one extra option for you to consider: Don't build new walls, make your entire 3th room a bathroom, change the doors and have 2 nice rooms with private bath. But do it in such way that in future you (or a new owner) can do an easy change back to 3 rooms and  bath.

(disclosure - I don't like tiny bathrooms...)

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Here's what we've got in our cottage. It's a very tiny separate john area with barely enough room to be able to close the door. The half wall is in the bedroom and separates the sink & tub from the rest of the room.

Yes, we get some complaints about the size of the john area, but they just have to deal with it. Never a bad TA review about it.

The head of the bed goes up against this half wall. I have the room torn apart because I've just sanded and restained the wood.

When I check in people, I make a joke of the john area. After I started joking about it, they kind of stopped complaining about it.

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Maybe find a wrecked camper that still has a usable bathroom Eye-wink

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Arks wrote:

Maybe find a wrecked camper that still has a usable bathroom Eye-wink

This sorta reminded me of our dear friend who is now passed on, built his bathroom like a ships bathroom (he built many ships) and it was a neat thing, almost like a sauna room, everything and anything could get wet while showering. 

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Here's a picture of the teeny tiny bathroom we had at a b&b in Ireland. When you sat on the john, your knees hit the wall in front, so a tall person would have to sort of sit side saddle. The small shower was on the right (not pictured)nd the sink with a mirror and outlet for hairdryer were in the bedroom area.

Was this the greatest? No, but it was acceptable, they got our business and we now look back and chuckle at that place with fond memories of experiencing something unique which you only get when you travel.

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I once stayed at a place where we rented the third floor room that advertised private bath.   Got there and found out the private bath was in the basement.   Two flights downstairs.   ummmmmm....no.

We ended up paying for the more expensive room.  

But the point is, a - don't over advertise, but to the point of the thread, b - maybe there is a spot down the hall or downstairs or in an out of the way place you hadn't considered.

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Sorry Beach House...we already said "en suite"  You should know that across the hall won't work well either.

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EmptyNest wrote:

Sorry Beach House...we already said "en suite"  You should know that across the hall won't work well either.

 

ok, sorry, so my story is useless?   Not interesting?  Not on point? 

my most popular room is the only one with a down the hall bathroom.   just sayin'.

forgive me.

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have you not been reading any of Maddies tales about her hall bathroom???

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EmptyNest wrote:

have you not been reading any of Maddies tales about her hall bathroom???

 

not at all the point.   last try.

IF it is not possible to add a bathroom to your existing bedroom, then think outside the box.   Look under the stairs, in a hall closet, in the existing bath.  Can it be cut into two baths? 

Private bath is better than shared bath.   Attached is best.   But if you can't do that, look further.

Honestly, there is more than black and white.   There are countless shades of grey in the world.   Embrace grey.

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You mean there are more than 50 shades of grey?  cool

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

IF it is not possible to add a bathroom to your existing bedroom, then think outside the box.   Look under the stairs, in a hall closet, in the existing bath.  Can it be cut into two baths? 

Private bath is better than shared bath.   Attached is best.   But if you can't do that, look further.

Honestly, there is more than black and white.   There are countless shades of grey in the world.   Embrace grey.

Like that - embrace gray!

Whenever I listen to a guest carping about the bathroom that somehow they did not know was across the hall,  I review the whole layout upstairs and try to figure how the OO's could have laid things out better. Maybe with a complete gut job they could have but they did the best that was possible with the footprint they had.

We have considered making the bedroom with the bath across the hall into a second bedroom of a suite. Just to end the carping.

We've thought about hacking into the attic above and putting the bedroom up there and the bathroom where the bedroom is. Or vice versa. Once we break into the attic, tho, we have to run the fire sprinkler system up there. It snowballs fast!

But, that room makes 2 mortgage payments for us all on its own, just the way it is, so it stays just the way it is.

I am ofter surprised to find guests booking that room for a week. I hope they get the situation (which is why I also have a floor plan on the website). Most just want to save themselves the extra $20/night.

Bookings in that room jumped last year after the reno, so keeping the rooms that are a little 'sorry' in tip top shape also helps. That room is getting a new bed this year.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

EmptyNest wrote:

Sorry Beach House...we already said "en suite"  You should know that across the hall won't work well either.

 

ok, sorry, so my story is useless?   Not interesting?  Not on point? 

my most popular room is the only one with a down the hall bathroom.   just sayin'.

forgive me.

It all depends on he clientele and location. There are many people who will not give a rip if it is down the hall as long as it is private - but that will only fly in some locations. I am fortunate that I get people who are not too snooty to go down the hall in the robes i have provided. I WILL say though that for the most part, en suite is the way to go if possible.

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Not snooty at all. If I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night...which I usually do...I don't want to go down the hall ANYWHERE.

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I agree en suite is best, but Beach House gets a different clientele than Maddie. Maddie gets the guests I do not EVER want to find me. I will tell KatesCottage to make en suite unequivocally, but I will never make anyone feel their place is less than nice if they have a bathroom "down the hall". We have to work with what we have. And that is what I have to work with. I do not have enough money to change the bathroom situation. I started out underfunded (surprise!!) - raising 6 kids was not cheap. I found out a long time ago that my comfort zone is "broke" and I will do what I do with what I have and not worry about it.  We all know that what makes people choose one room over another has no rhyme or reason. I had several people - even after the private bath was created - who called my full-size room next to that bathroom in the hall "is MY room available?"

That is what makes us all different. You would never use a hot tub away from home yet gurus are still telling innkeepers they MUST have them. Why if people are not going to use them? Then there are people like me who do not give a rip about the amenities - just give me a comfortable bed, a bathroom nearby (and a robe if it is not in the room), and GOOD food and I am happy. It is because we are so different and our guests are so different that B & Bs are the way to stay. No one is absolutely right nor wrong. I apologize if snooty was the wrong word to use - we step on toes sometimes without meaning to.

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Hi guys,

I am still listening to you all. I met with my carpenter and plumber yesterday and we are trying to work out an arrangement to add a small bath to my second, smaller guest room. We think we have it together. I have to go price/choose fixtures today. My concern is that this will somewhat butcher the house in the long run and certainly the space inside that room. But I suppose another bath could be a plus when someday listing for resale. I can cut a doorway through the wall of my larger bedroom into the existing adjacent bath, thus creating a private bath for that room with little damage. Please understand that I am very reluctant to do this, simply based on the fact that I don't want to ruin the house. I chose this house because it has been beautifully upgraded and met all the requirements on my mental checklist. I felt everything about it was right for what I wanted to do. When I originally ventured into this idea I wasn't so concerned about occupancy rate. I simply wanted to share my home with travelers and that hasn't changed. I had no idea that private baths are such a necessity.

 

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KatesCottage161 wrote:

...I don't want to ruin the house...When I originally ventured into this idea I wasn't so concerned about occupancy rate. I simply wanted to share my home with travelers and that hasn't changed.

That's the basic decision you must make before you proceed. Are you running a business that needs to be successful, or are you running a hobby and it really doesn't matter, financially, if people come or not.

If it's a hobby, and business success isn't an issue, then do what you really want and have shared bathrooms. It will hurt the business, but if that's not a high priority, then it's OK. You can enjoy the people who do come, and keep your house the way you want it.

Just re-read the advice above about how it will be harder to change later than to do it up front, not just based on the construction work, but also to undo damage to the place's reputation as not having private bathrooms in the bedrooms.

Realize that Europe is full of buildings MUCH older than yours and they have become experts at modifying them to work as modern lodging while keeping the character of the old structure. It can be done, and is done all the time.

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The bath is not totally out of the question. I'm still kicking the idea around. I may have found a bath design that could work: http://freshome.com/2012/10/09/30-small-bathroom-design-ideas/small_bathroom/  Fixtures are small and compact.  If I can do this and still keep the integrity of the house I won't mind.

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gee that looks great and actually more space than i would expect. if you can do that you are set.

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KatesCottage161 wrote:

The bath is not totally out of the question. I'm still kicking the idea around. I may have found a bath design that could work: http://freshome.com/2012/10/09/30-small-bathroom-design-ideas/small_bathroom/  Fixtures are small and compact.  If I can do this and still keep the integrity of the house I won't mind.

BTW that grey tile is on sale at our LOWE's BIG TIME right now... It is 1/3 the price of any other tile. It may just be our Lowe's I am not sure. Even the smaller 12 x 12 of multiples is on sale. (you cut those for accent pieces)

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And grey is still THE color that says "updated".  I am picking a shade of grey for our new bedroom color.  Who had any idea that there were so many different shades of grey, from tan to icey blue.  Have fun!  

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Silverspoon wrote:

And grey is still THE color that says "updated".  I am picking a shade of grey for our new bedroom color.  Who had any idea that there were so many different shades of grey, from tan to icey blue.  Have fun!  

My next reno color (in Feb) will be gray. With B&W bedding. And my photos in B&W on the walls.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

KatesCottage161 wrote:

The bath is not totally out of the question. I'm still kicking the idea around. I may have found a bath design that could work: http://freshome.com/2012/10/09/30-small-bathroom-design-ideas/small_bathroom/  Fixtures are small and compact.  If I can do this and still keep the integrity of the house I won't mind.

BTW that grey tile is on sale at our LOWE's BIG TIME right now... It is 1/3 the price of any other tile. It may just be our Lowe's I am not sure. Even the smaller 12 x 12 of multiples is on sale. (you cut those for accent pieces)

Good to know, we are redoing one or two bathroom floors, too.

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Those sinks are at Lowe's and they are really sharp looking. Oddly, that sink is too big for one bathroom here! The bowl would stick out beyond the door frame. It is the last sink that we cannot fix.

That bathroom is cute BTW!

Good luck with the planning and hopefully you can get another bathroom in!

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Madeleine wrote:

Those sinks are at Lowe's and they are really sharp looking. Oddly, that sink is too big for one bathroom here! The bowl would stick out beyond the door frame. It is the last sink that we cannot fix.

Have you looked at some of the Ikea sinks? They have a few that are designed for micro condos. Might fit for you. Link here:

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/departments/bathroom/20723/

We have one sink I'd like to replace but it's an antique (or maybe just old) corner sink and I've never seen anything like it.

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happyjacks wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Those sinks are at Lowe's and they are really sharp looking. Oddly, that sink is too big for one bathroom here! The bowl would stick out beyond the door frame. It is the last sink that we cannot fix.

Have you looked at some of the Ikea sinks? They have a few that are designed for micro condos. Might fit for you. Link here:

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/departments/bathroom/20723/

We have one sink I'd like to replace but it's an antique (or maybe just old) corner sink and I've never seen anything like it.


There is one thing that these sinks never have, and that very few pedestal sinks have (a backsplash). Unless you plan on tiling the area around the sink, which you mostly wouldn't.

A pedestal sink is still leaned on and pulled on, so be wary of those too Maddie. Odd to me how often people lean on them. 

 

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The pedestal sink in the Gillum Room has a small back splash - but it is NOT a small pedestal sink. I will try to get a photo of it tomorrow after my guest checks out.

The leaning on the sink could be from several reasons - leaning forward o do eye make-up, the body tends to push against the sink and this could move it. IF it is close to the toilet, it could be leaned on as a "grab bar". 

One of the reasons I will not leave this house until DH leaves it permanently is the set-up in the owner's bathroom. The sink is next to the toilet and is VERY sturdy - without that sink, DH would have a LOT of difficulty that mere grab bars would not suffice.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

happyjacks wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Those sinks are at Lowe's and they are really sharp looking. Oddly, that sink is too big for one bathroom here! The bowl would stick out beyond the door frame. It is the last sink that we cannot fix.

Have you looked at some of the Ikea sinks? They have a few that are designed for micro condos. Might fit for you. Link here:

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/departments/bathroom/20723/

We have one sink I'd like to replace but it's an antique (or maybe just old) corner sink and I've never seen anything like it.


There is one thing that these sinks never have, and that very few pedestal sinks have (a backsplash). Unless you plan on tiling the area around the sink, which you mostly wouldn't.

A pedestal sink is still leaned on and pulled on, so be wary of those too Maddie. Odd to me how often people lean on them. 

 

No backsplashes. And, no, we weren't planning on tiling. We just do a touch up painting when necessary.

At least the pedestal is anchored to the wall (as were the previous sinks) but has a much stronger base. The skimpy legs on the former sinks kept getting knocked out from under. DH finally had to drill into the tile floor to secure the legs. So, those tiles have had to be replaced.

The last sink we do will have a vanity because of where the pipes are. We need the cabinet to hide that. Other pipes were straight down. The last one curves way out to the side.

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happyjacks wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Those sinks are at Lowe's and they are really sharp looking. Oddly, that sink is too big for one bathroom here! The bowl would stick out beyond the door frame. It is the last sink that we cannot fix.

Have you looked at some of the Ikea sinks? They have a few that are designed for micro condos. Might fit for you. Link here:

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/departments/bathroom/20723/

We have one sink I'd like to replace but it's an antique (or maybe just old) corner sink and I've never seen anything like it.

We'll leave it because it fits the space. It's not exactly pretty (it has metal legs that are awkward) but it's only the one room at this point.

It's about this size so we'd really only be trading! http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20223716/ We have to have the legs because guests will lean on the sink. We've already tightened the sinks up over the years and replaced the grout because they've been pulled away from the wall.

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Arks wrote:

KatesCottage161 wrote:

...I don't want to ruin the house...When I originally ventured into this idea I wasn't so concerned about occupancy rate. I simply wanted to share my home with travelers and that hasn't changed.

That's the basic decision you must make before you proceed. Are you running a business that needs to be successful, or are you running a hobby and it really doesn't matter, financially, if people come or not.

If it's a hobby, and business success isn't an issue, then do what you really want and have shared bathrooms. It will hurt the business, but if that's not a high priority, then it's OK. You can enjoy the ones who do come, and keep your house the way you want it.

Just re-read the advice above about how it will be harder to change later than to do it up front, not just based on the construction work, but also to undo damage to the place's reputation as not having private bathrooms in the bedrooms.

THIS is the BEST advice!! It all depends on what YOU (Kate) want this to be. If you want/need income from it - go private. If you just want to have visitors (paid of course) if and when they come, leave it alone. Just remember that whichever way you go, you WILL have expenses for insurance, taxes, and marketing.

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It's not exactly a hobby, more a cottage industry, but I am hopeful that it is successful. I plan on running this as a business. I'm retired and am looking to suppliment my retirement income. I have a decade of exprience in the hospitality industry and this is an occupation that I love. Therefore, I am taking your advice and adding the second guest bath. After listening to you all and gathering comments from local friends and acquaintences I now realize how important this is. Thanks for all your sound advice.

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KatesCottage161 wrote:

It's not exactly a hobby, more a cottage industry, but I am hopeful that it is successful. I plan on running this as a business. I'm retired and am looking to suppliment my retirement income. I have a decade of exprience in the hospitality industry and this is an occupation that I love. Therefore, I am taking your advice and adding the second guest bath. After listening to you all and gathering comments from local friends and acquaintences I now realize how important this is. Thanks for all your sound advice.

This whole discussion reminds me of me.  My first post to the forum (actually it was the old forum that preceeded this one) was about how many bathrooms did I really need to convert my parents' house into a B&B.  The people who persuaded me of the necessity for one bathroom per bedroom are exactly the same ones who are giving you essentially the same advice.

You have an advantage over me because of your experience in the hospitality industry.  All I had was a house that I wasn't able to sell.  Had maybe stayed at one B&B in my life, but it was almost like the house told me it needed to be a B&B.  So eight years down the road I am still reading, posting, and listening to what these Innmates have to say.  

I also have a "cottage industry"  because the house pays for itself, I run the business in a semi-professional way, and I stay home and meet people from all over the world.  And I must tell you that the Innspiring Roadtrip was by far the most fun I've had in years.  

I'd encourage you to visit some of the innmates if any are near.  Other local B&B's if they are in your local or state organization should also be helpful for you.  I confess that I didn't think any of the aspiring clases I took were as informative as the advice I got in these threads, but I'm told there are some good aspiring classes.  So enjoy your adventure!

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If it makes the point we were 12 bedrooms - cut one in half room 5 to make an ensuite for 6 which was a single with a private bathroom and a much larger bathroom for room 4 and then knocked out the bathroom for that room which was very small to make the bedroom bigger - was a bit worried about loosing a bedroom would loose revenue, however we did it last feb and had the best ever august, sept, oct, nov and December which shows charging more for better rooms is better - also 1 less breakfast to do, 1 less car to get parked and so on.

I would also say in my town single rooms with shared go for about £30 single rooms with private bathrooms go for £up to 40 and I can and do get £55 for mine - if I am getting 20-30 dollars more every time I let the room (and its very frequent) ive nearly paid for the work in the increased charge in a year - then after that its all profit.

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I'm also a big proponent of private bathrooms. I know of a few B&B's in my region with shared bathrooms and it's definitely a deterrent to guests. I try to send referrals to these B&B's but when I tell them it's a shared bath, the travelers usually don't even want the phone number. Some of these B&B's will only rent both rooms if it's a family or group, otherwise they just rent one (at a premium).

Until you can add private baths, your best bet is to push packages and add-ons which encourage bookings taking both rooms.

Girlfriends getaways (add chocolate tasting kit, wine if you're allowed, or gift certificate to that fabric store or a tea room).

Family getaways (add admission for four to a local attraction, ice cream vouchers, park pass, or dinner GC for a family-friendly restaurant).

Friends getaway (add golfing for a foursome, dinner GC for four for a nice resto, or snacks and beverages for a euchre night in your guest common room).

If you do romance packages, make it so it's a private bath (don't rent out the second room) and price it at a premium.

With any of these packages, don't forget to promote the "exclusive use of guest facilities/areas". It's a bonus to the guests not to share any space with others and it's a value-add worth mentioning even if it doesn't actually cost you anything.

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Hey, Happyjacks, thank you for all these great ideas! I will take them into consideration, for sure.

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I love the tiny powder rooms under the stairs that are in so many B&B's. Unfortunately, the only thing under my stairs... is more stairs.. sad

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Kate are the rooms sizable? I ask I was recently at a B&B in Blue Ridge Georgia that added bathrooms INTO THE ROOMS. I wish I had more photos to share.

This was added after the fact and a little octagon in the room itself...the restroom to the right.

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If I knew how to upload a photo of my room I would show it to you. My room is not this large. I was just looking at it to see if I could somehow convert the closet into the room like the photo above. Nada. It woul eat up most of the floor space. My only option, as I can see it, is to build a bathroom onto the back of the house and use the window (there are two) as a doorway into the bath. Sounds pricey. These are second floor bedrooms. It would require a roof and walls, etc. I could have a contractor come and look the room over and let me know my options. I shudder to think of the cost. Another possible option is to expand the back of the closet in that room into the third, tiny bedroom, making that one not much more than a closet itself. Hmmm...

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Kate, I had those closets. I also had the pull-down stairs access to the attic in the 4th bedroom. Here is what I did. moved the access to the other side of the room, removed the "closet" wall making a passage into the new bathroom, took half the room to make a long narrow room that has sink, claw-foot, toilet (handicap height which I recommend to use, not the ones stolen from a daycare center in height), and a 48 inch shower. On both sides of the passage there are now closets because of the space behind the fireplaces and the outside wall on the other side - the closets were about 4 feet wide and 12 inches deep. The door to the other bathroom was moved about 8 inches to accommodate the shower - needed the depth for the new shower. What I am left with is a room that holds my extra linens, cleaning supplies, and anything else DH wants kept, but NOT in his area. Should (god forbid) this return to residence status, it will be large enough to be a child's room, computer room, or small office. The window is still there.

The toilet was raised to give the needed angle for "flow" and the plumbing tied into the existing. It took me 10 years to figure out how to do it.

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I don't think I have that much room to work with. I measured everything out in the second guest room and I think we can open up the closet wall just inside the door and squeeze a small shower stall into that area. The sink and toilet will have to go along the bedroom wall just inside the entry door, creating an L shaped space. Then we will wall it all in, but doing this will make a very ordinary sized bedroom with little walk space. Plumbing will be an issue because of a large support beam just under the floor here. That may be costly. Sigh.

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what you need is a trip to my town in the UK - every B&B here is a converted Victorian so its amazing where people have managed to fit in bathrooms. Also you can also put the sink in the bedroom ie toilet and shower in a small bathroom with the sink just outside as another option. For our room 12 which was the owners lounge we took a section of hallway which was behind the 2nd front door (we are 2 terraced houses next to each other knocked together so we never used that door) to make the bathroom for room 12 - its a quadrant shower, toilet and sink and fits into about 1.5m by 1.5 -its all about thinking outside the box. Room 11's bathroom used to be the laundry room off the dining room.

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Thanks. These are helpful ideas. I've been looking and thinking here and since my second and third bedrooms are side by side I might be able to fan out the existing closet in the second bedroom and make a pie shaped bathroom. Putting the sink in the bedroom might be something to consider. So much to consider.

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KatesCottage161 wrote:

Thanks. These are helpful ideas. I've been looking and thinking here and since my second and third bedrooms are side by side I might be able to fan out the existing closet in the second bedroom and make a pie shaped bathroom. Putting the sink in the bedroom might be something to consider. So much to consider.

We have a sink in one of our guest rooms, too. The rest of the bathroom is under the stairs and a part of the porch was commandeered for the shower. (Inside, not outside!)

That's probably really the smallest bathroom because the space under the stairs is really useless. Essentially, the toilet is under the tallest part of 'under the stairs' and the shower is really 'on the porch'. There's room to open the door!

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Glad we got you to thinking. You won't regret it...if you get it done asap. Here's a pic of the sink in one of our bedrooms where it couldn't fit into the bathroom.

Husband made it from an old liquor cabinet.

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10/08/2013

This is pretty. Might be a possibility. I've got a fellow coming out in a few minutes to hopefully give me some ideas. The only thing I can come up with is creating a pie shaped bathroom by angling the doorway of the guest room closet and angling the wall of the room on the other side of the closet, but we'll see what he says.  You all have been so helpful and I hope I can come up with some way to do this.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Two of our rooms have angled doorways to accommodate bathrooms. Think outside the box, so to speak!

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10/08/2013

That's what we are thinking we'll do here, also. Builder is pricing fixtures and trying to design a floor plan that might work. Plumbing might be a problem, don't know. It will be a tight squeeze and I hope men don't write bad reviews.

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05/22/2008

Hope it all works out. No bad reviews if it is their own private bath as long as it is always immaculately CLEAN!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I promise you will not regret it. It will cost up front, but it will return the costs with occupancy and revenue you would NOT have had otherwise.

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10/08/2013

I hope you're right.

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