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What to Know if You’re Updating Your Condo’s Bathroom

By Mike in Miscellaneous with 0 Comments

Seasoned real estate agents know kitchens and bathrooms play a crucial role not just when showing listings but also during the negotiation stage and all the way to closing. Even if you’re not familiar with the state and municipal construction codes as they relate to residential bathrooms, your real estate agent, home inspector, or appraiser will likely inform you about this matter. An outdated bathroom shouldn’t preclude you from acquiring a downtown San Diego condo unit you like. In fact, you may be able to take advantage of the situation with a lower listing price. If you choose to list your condo knowing the bathrooms are significantly outdated, you may want to consider updating them or else prepare to deal with counteroffers based on this issue. Here’s what everyone who has downtown San Diego real estate for sale should know about updating bathrooms.

Follow the Minimum Code Requirements

The San Diego County Building Division will never approve a condominium unit for occupancy unless it has at least one bathroom that is fully functional, with a minimum of one light fixture. If the bathroom light fixture is of the fluorescent type, it must meet the requirements set forth by Part 6 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. There’s also the matter of the statewide water reduction laws enacted by Governor Jerry Brown. If you plan on replacing the toilet, it must conform to a water flow rate that doesn’t exceed 1.28 gallons when flushed.

Ventilate Properly

The escape window building regulation in California doesn’t apply to bathrooms. However, lack of windows means mechanical ventilation devices must be installed. A simple exhaust fan will be sufficient, but it must operate independently from the electrical system that controls the lighting. Exhaust fans in California must be Energy Star compliant.

Install Shower Stalls and Doors Correctly

Older condo units that have narrow shower stalls need to be updated to a surface area of at least 1,024 square inches, which, for a square stall, works out to about 32 inches on each side. The shower walls must be made of solid surface materials and rise to a height of at least six feet from the floor. If you choose to install a shower door, it must open into the bathroom and not into the stall. Moreover, the door should be at least 22 inches wide.

Make It Accessible for Future Buyers

If your bathroom will require considerable remodeling for the purpose of updating it, you may want to make it accessible for people with disabilities so it becomes more attractive to future buyers. As long as you have the space, accessibility features in a bathroom aren’t as onerous as some people think. However, a residential bathroom remodel project will require a building permit, which means you’ll have to hire a licensed contractor.

If you have a downtown San Diego condo for sale, renovating an outdated bathroom can have a major impact on its listing price. Complying with all the state and municipal regulations may be confusing, so consider having the work done by professionals. It’s also crucial to work with knowledgeable real estate professionals when you sell your property. The experienced agents at 92101 Urban Livingknow the downtown San Diego market and how to get the highest price for your property. Call us today at 619-649-0368 to schedule an appointment.