Usually, in standard size houses you would see 2 bedrooms per bathroom. A standard home design layout with 3 bedrooms for example would normally have 2 bathrooms or at least 1-3/4 bathrooms which is a bathroom with a shower instead of a tub. (A full bathroom always has a tub and that is the standard).
So, bottom line, when you find a home with more than two bedrooms and only 1 bathroom, you can be sure that the house was a 2 bedroom/1bath to which more bedrooms were added.
The importance of a home design layout that works
Last year, while I was looking for properties to buy and repair (the so called “fixer uppers”), I visited a house in the College area in San Diego with a very strange configuration. The home had 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms which mathematically makes no sense to me.
The original structure was built in the forties but it was obvious that the home had undergone a big remodel/addition obviously without a home design layout that worked. One of the bathrooms was located inside the biggest bedroom which made that room the master bedroom and the other bathroom was shared by the rest of the bedrooms, 4 bedrooms total.
That 4/1 ratio makes no sense and here is why: If we were to have one person per bedroom in that house, four people would have to take turns to use the only bathroom in that house because the one inside the master bedroom is obviously private.
But that was not all. What was most unusual about this house was the fact that the house had very clear code violations that no one seemed to notice, not to mention the fact that a few bedrooms and a bathroom had been added onto the house and I assure you, without permits. But still, the house was on the market for a pretty good price.
Just to mention two things I found wrong with that particular house:
1) One of the bedrooms had a step down right at the door threshold creating an inevitable trip hazard, which is forbidden by all construction codes
2) a bedroom had a door leading directly into the garage. From a sleeping area? That is a well known no-no in the construction industry. Of course, the RE agents had no explanation when I asked them about it and according to them, there was nothing hidden in their documents.
I have worked in this field long enough to know that to consider that a bedroom near the garage is wrong and no building department would ever allow it.
A bathroom for every bedroom?
Today, looking at the new home design layouts out there, they usually have too many bathrooms, sometimes as many as they have bedrooms. In general, a good size house like a 4 or 5 bedroom house should have a guest bathroom, specifically a powder room (toilet and sink only) near the living room for the exclusive use of people not too close to the family and another one for the use of family and friends near the kitchen or family room. Other than that, one bathroom for every two bedrooms is in my opinion more than enough. That in my experience is what works best. But again, we find many variations out there specially when houses are remodelled and added onto without permits every day.
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