Tricky bathroom

3 months ago

I’ve recently bought my first home and one of the first things I want to renovate is the bathroom. It’s a total gut job as there is no water proofing, the shower leaks and according to my building and pest inspector, there is a lot of moisture that needs rectifying.

I see this all as an opportunity to not only modernise it, but also make the space more functional and invest in it (I don’t know how long I’ll hold onto the place for but it will be many years).

As with anything, there are some challenges in my ground floor abode. All the walls and ceilings in my apartment are solid brick/ concrete and load bearing. This wouldn’t normally be too big of an issue for me but as you can see from the attached floor plan, some of the load bearing walls are awkwardly positioned. In addition, the door to the bathroom is extremely narrow; only 62cms wide.

Other considerations are that I need space for a toilet, shower (a large-ish frameless, modern one without a door), vanity and washing machine. No bath is needed.

I had a structural engineer out recently to help me understand what I can do/ can’t do but it wasn’t as fruitful as I hoped (apparently a lot of structural/ architectural plans weren’t retained for apartments made in the 1960s like mine- only basic drawings like the attached). In summary, he wasn’t sure that I could knock down / move anything without doing all sorts of (potentially) exxy tests to understand the concrete strength, reinforcements etc. And that’s not even including the installation of support beams etc.

With those things in mind, I want to make the bathroom nice and functional but not overcapitalise (I am a first homeowner after all!). Luckily my brother is a good plumber and will lend his skills to my renovation so at least my plumbing costs are limited to materials only.

My question is- what would be the best way/s to maximise the space and layout (given the constrains and opportunities of the project)? Or would it make more sense to just spend whatever $$$ are needed to knock down the awkward walls and make the space more appealing for a prospective buyer/ renter (mind you, this last part is very very far away so I’m looking at it from an investment lens). Also. I’ve never renovated before so that’s also something to keep in mind…

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