However, if your bathroom has cracked tile, mold, water damage, structural issues or substandard electrical, you’ll definitely want to remodel, as most of those issues will come up in a buyer’s inspection anyway. When selling a home with serious issues, you’re going to end up paying for the repairs one way or another — by doing the repairs before listing, negotiating with your buyer after a poor inspection report, or by listing at a lower price in consideration of the work that needs to be done.
Handheld showers and easy-to-grip lever faucets suit people of all abilities and can be put in any time. But plan permanent features early on. Grab bars should be secured to blocking between wall studs and placed 33 to 36 inches off the floor. Other things to consider: a barrier-free shower, a wider doorway, and a lower sink height. Visit the National Kitchen and Bath Association's website for more guidelines.
Toenail 2×6 blocks in the center of the shower 36 in. above the floor for the shower valve and 6 ft. 6 in. above the floor for the showerhead. Position the valve block so the plastic mud guard on the mixing valve will be flush with the finished wall surface. Attach the shower supply line and the hot and cold supply lines to the valve. Clamp the valve body and shower supply line to the blocks with copper pipe straps. Run copper water supplies to the new locations for the sink and toilet.
The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7).