Plumber’s advice

Upgrade bathroom now, not when you sell

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Make it accessible:</span> A low entry wall makes it easy for people of all ages to get into the shower.
Make it accessible: A low entry wall makes it easy for people of all ages to get into the shower.
HANDOUT / Kohler

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: We plan to sell our home in about five years when we retire. But we want to work on improving our master bathroom now for resale value down the road. Our old outdated tub with a plastic shower curtain needs to go. What is the going trend and a good resale move? Should we install a larger “shower only” stall or should we stay with a traditional bath tub with a shower set up?

Mary, California

A: First, good move on doing the bathroom remodeling job now so you get to enjoy your investment before you sell. In the past I’ve done a number of remodel jobs for customers just before they sold the house. I noticed all the money they put into their home was enjoyed by someone else. So, it’s good to see you'll get to enjoy your new bathroom before you sell.

With that in mind you may want to go with a current trend called “Universal Design” for your bathroom. Universal Design bathrooms usually include a larger shower stall in place of a bath tub. This can make for a more comfortable shower experience for people of all ages and abilities in the home, because there’s no tub wall to step over. As long as you have another bathroom in the home with a bath tub, the Universal Design shower stall can be of more use to you and may help your resale value as well.

Bottom line: If you install a large shower stall instead of a tub, when the house is sold you should not have to take a bath on your investment!

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows.

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