Natelli Homes Blog

four-affordable-bathroom-remodeling-projects-for-your-rental-property-great-falls-vaAlthough it is easy to spend thousands of dollars on a bathroom renovation when you upgrade the toilet, replace the bathtub, add radiant heat flooring, and invest in a fancy shower head, none of these projects are required to take the bathrooms in your rental property and improve them significantly.

It is possible to do affordable bathroom remodeling, you just need to be creative.

Curved Shower Rod

Instead of going with the traditional shower rod, a curved one will not only look fresh to potential tenants because most homes they see will either have a standard rod or curtain, but curved looks amazing.

It is a small purchase and simple installation that makes any bathroom look a lot more sophisticated, which is an incredible outcome to get without spending much at all.

Improved Lighting

Vanity lighting is crucial for bathrooms because this is where people often get ready in the morning. Ideally, fixtures on each side of the bathroom mirror will provide good lighting for morning prep, but a solid alternative is above the mirror if there is not enough space to fit lights on both sides.

Accent Tiles

Surrounding the entire bathroom with fancy tile can really enhance the space, but this is an expensive and time-consuming project that is simply not worth the trouble for a rental property. However, you should invest in accent tiles, which are more than satisfactory when it comes to improving bathroom looks.

Quality Fixtures

Not spending an excessive amount of money is the key to clever remodeling, even when you do get to write the expenses off on your taxes because you are making upgrades to a rental property.

In this case, spending a decent sum on nice fixtures is worthwhile, and this is because you do not need to purchase too many fixtures to fill out all of the bathrooms in your rental home.

Contact us for help with making these bathroom upgrades or other ones.

Next in our series of possible bathroom design options we look at adding a couple of feet to the back of the room and creating a shed dormer.  altWe want to manage costs so the expansion will be minimal but still develop the necessary space.  The sketch on the right is the same starting point we have for our other design options.  Now let's see what happens with a few extra square feet positioned in the right place.

We will incorporate a tub, full shower, two vanities and a toilet compartment in this expansion.  altThe tub is generously sized with ample room on the deck for towel storage and decorations.  The shower has a large seat and potential for multiple heads and there is room for a private area for the water closet. Having his and her vanities makes sense for many couples.  The complement of quality cabinets on either side of the room, such as the WoodMode cabinets we feature, not only allows symmetry in the space but creates a focal point to the tub and window above.  The added window could be the most valuable component.  Large amounts of natural light flowing in the bathroom through a round or elliptical transom makes the room feel more connected to the outside.  The ambient light in a room often negates the need for illuminated lights.  Finally, look at the closets.  They have more than doubled - something every family could use!

So now you have three functional options to the standard bathroom in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.  Each one has different priorities but none come at significant expense because they are designed and constructed in a logical and practical manner.  With these designs you can bring your home from the 1940's quickly into optimum design standards for your lifestyle today.

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In our first bathroom design evaluation, we looked at the design potential of a typical bathroom in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area assuming we wanted the primary components to include a vanity, shower, toilet and tub.  altIf you look back at that post, you will see that we actually increased the usable and functional space within the confines of the existing room.  The original bathroom is shown in the image to the right.

For the current option, we are going to be honest with ourselves about the need for a tub.  Natelli Homes has installed hundreds of tubs in Master Suites over the years.  Upon reflection the vast majority of our clients admit that they might use a tub a few times a year.  So let's see what one gains if we allocate the space taken up by the tub for more vital funtions in a bathroom. 

altThe first thing that strikes me is an expansive double bowl vanity with lots of surface area and potential for ample storage below.  One can image a wood framed mirror over the vanity with attractive sconces complimented by some recessed pin lights in the ceiling.  The toilet is within a room with a door for complete privacy.  The shower is still ample allowing for a bench, multiple spray heads and a rain-shower above.

A small recess into the sloped roof area behind the vanity expands the room slightly, but this comes at a minimal cost with huge benefits.  The hallway is aligned with the entrance so the closets have expanded nearly 150% of their prior size.  All these benefits come within the boundaries of the existing space with the exception of the small expansion behind the vanities.

Good design supported by practical evaluation makes for a successul bathroom renovation.  In our next evaluation we will see how the potential grows when a small dormer is set into the rear roof. 

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Homes and designs constructed in the 50's and 60's often don't work very well for our current needs.  In particular, bathrooms were seemingly tertiary spaces, whereas they are vital and one of the primary priorities for homeowners today.  People expect more in a bathroom now, especially when it comes to the master bathroom.  The challenge comes when the client does not want to expand the room due to structural issues, the effects on other rooms or simply budget limitations.

We have done a 4 part study of design options for a typical bathroom built in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  altThe existing bathroom is shown in a sketch on the right.  You can see a long dressing vanity, a compacted bathroom area and two modest closets.   As you can see, there is a lot of wasted space in the hallway and open area in front of the dressing vanity.

For the 1st option, below, we kept the bathroom to the same general limitations of the existing space.  We did not allow the design to expand into other rooms, except a small portion of an adjacent attic. altIn this version, we maintained a tub and a separate shower.  Clients often debate whether to incorporate a tub or not; some people use the tub, many do not - every client is different so we will show you alternatives without tubs in subsequent posts. We have one long vanity with two bowls, a compartment for the toilet and even a linen closet dedicated to the Master bath.  The closets have been expanded into the attic space.  The entrance incorporates a vestibule to delineate the privacy desired for the Master Suite.

This example shows the potential of working within the structure of the existing home.  The bathroom is vastly improved with a large shower, good counter space and expanded closets.  Next we will show you what we can do if we eliminate the tub.  After that, in Options 3 & 4, we will show you what happens when we add a window.  Stay tuned!

We appreciate your comments and questions.  Please e-mail me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.NatelliHomes.com.