When it comes to adding value to a home, everyone gets caught up in the big hitters – kitchens and bathrooms. But there are other rooms that need to be considered. While there aren’t a ton of things you can do with bedroom renovations to increase ROI, there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you’re trying to fit in a new bedroom think about the size and whether or not it’s going to add value to your home. Building codes vary, but most require bedrooms to be at least 70 square feet. Personally I prefer to keep them above 100 square feet. And if possible, 200 square feet is even better. But beyond that you won’t get much of a return on the space. Big bedrooms are nice, but remember that they’re luxuries, and luxuries don’t always get you the best ROI.
When planning a bedroom renovation, shape matters. Have you ever had a bedroom where the bed blocked a window or a door because there was nowhere else to put it? It’s incredibly frustrating and comes down to poor planning. When you’re planning out a bedroom renovation you want the room to be as square as possible and you need somewhere to fit a queen size bed. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t want any wall to be more than 25% longer than the width of the room. For more info about standard mattress sizes and other measurements check out my bedroom measurements cheat sheet.
Most people assume that more bedrooms means greater value for your home. And that’s true, but only to a certain point. The most popular search in real estate listings is for homes with three bedrooms and two baths, with the real sweet spot being three to four bedrooms. Any more than that will give you diminishing returns. While it can be nice to have a lot of bedrooms, the demand for homes with five or more bedrooms just isn’t there, and it won’t add to the value of your home.
I’ve seen a lot of cases, particularly in older homes where people get rid of a small third bedroom in order to enlarge a bathroom, or perhaps another bedroom. As a general rule I advise against this (unless you’re putting in a new bedroom elsewhere in the house, such as the attic). If you drop below three bedrooms you’re going to fall off many people’s search lists, and your competitive edge in the marketplace will be diminished. Families are a huge part of the real estate market, and houses with only two bedrooms won’t cut it for many of them.
Every bedroom needs to have a window of a certain size. It should be equal to 5% of the floor space and then 2.5 sq ft of that window needs to open for ventilation. Consult your local building codes to confirm the sizes in case it differs in your area. For more info about this check out my post about Windows 101.
When it comes to ROI, you’ll want to have a closet that equals at least 10% of the floor space. But don’t go too much bigger than that. Everyone makes a big to-do about walk-in closets, but the reality is that they don’t add a lot of value. They’re a “nice-to-have”, not a “need-to-have”.
All photos courtesy of Skit Inc. (Income Property)