This article shows how ukbathroomguru added an en-suite to an existing bedroom in Ilkley, Leeds.
1. Free site survey to assess feasibility of plans
2. Free itemised, written quotation & plans for submission to the council as required
3. Installing the en suite, which consisted of the following trades:
• joinery – for building new stud walls
(though this customer chose to do this to reduce costs, which we don’t mind at all)
• waste disposal
(though this particular customer also chose to do this to reduce costs)
• wall tiling
• vinyl floor fitting
(lighting & extractor fan in this example)
• PLUS – liaising with building control throughout the process to ensure everything gets signed off
Essentially, everything you need from start to finish, all starting with a free site survey.
PS – Permission
To add an en suite you shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission but you should apply for building regulations approval from the local council.
This will ensure that any new electrical wiring, windows, ventilation or drainage all comply with building regulations (though many electricians self certify their work).
At the end of the work you will be issued with a completion certificate which you may need when you come to sell your house.
PS – Feasibility
The existing plumbing & the space available will be the main factors in determining whether you can have an en-suite, but there are other factors such as lighting and ventilation that should also be considered.
- running hot & cold supply pipework to the shower, toilet & basin etc
In this example, hot and cold pipes had to be run from a downstairs WC.
- running pipework for any new radiators – this will almost always involve lifting floorboards in the adjoining bedroom to extend the pipework that currently feeds the nearest radiator. PS Having an electric radiator is a way of avoiding this ‘problem’.
- running waste water away from the toilet, shower, basin etc to the drains outside the house. This is often THE biggest stumbling block as waste water needs to run downhill (in a fairly straight line) to the nearest soil stack which is normally on the outside of your house.
Therefore, the position of the new en-suite relative to the existing soil pipe is critical. i.e. if the en-suite is on the other side of the house to the soil pipe, you may have difficulties in installing everything you want in the position you want. Macerators can be used to combat this problem as a last resort.
In this instance, there was NO soil stack where we needed (Ie no drainage facility!) so we had to erect one and connect it into the existing drains in the garden, and then get this signed off by building control I.e. the council.
You can only add an en-suite if you have space, and this example is approximately 1m x 2.6m, which is plenty – especially as the door open outwards.
(A pocket door that slides into the wall is an alternative when space is limited but is more costly to install).
The minimum space required for an en suite consisting of a shower enclosure, basin and toilet is approximately 0.8m x 1.8m.
Please see here for a small en suite example.
In this plan we chose to chamfer the corner of the en suite so that it was less imposing when entering the bedroom from the hall:
As en suites often do not have an existing window, lighting needs to be considered at the outset to ensure the room does not feel small & dingy.
In this example, the en suite was built to make use of an existing window.
To provide added privacy, windows can be replaced with new UPVC frames that contain obscured glass which let in light but maintain dignity. If you have single glazed windows and a cold room, then this may be the way to go, as it will keep the bathroom warm.
However, if you have fairly new double glazed windows that you are happy with (apart from the clear glass aspect) you can either have the glass (within the frames) replaced with obscured glass or apply an opaque film to the existing glass on a DIY basis. This is a very cost effective way of maintaining privacy.
A timed extractor fan was fitted to this en suite (over the shower) to combat any problems that could arise due to excess humidity.
PS – Value
5% is the amount the addition of a well-designed en suite could add to a property according to Nationwide Building Society. This equates to £10,00 on a £200,000 house – significantly more than the cost of installation.
Therefore, adding an en suite could be a worthwhile investment in the long run as well as making your life better during your tenure of the property.
Case study – En suite installation in Ilkley
Right, enough background, heres the example of how to add an en suite in under 2 weeks for around £5K:
This corner of the bedroom was chosen for the en suite and the new en suite would enclose an existing window.
To ensure the plan would work in reality as well as on paper, all suite items were fully assembled and positioned within the intended space to check clearances and identify (and address) any problems that may have become apparent at this point.
This way we could check things such as the clearance between the toilet and the basin (so users didn’t clash their knees) or between the toilet and the wall / radiator (to ensure that users didn’t bash / burn their shoulders when sat on the loo.)
We also checked that the basin wouldn’t impede the passage of users into the shower enclosure and this was closely related to the style of sliding door we chose at the design stage.
It is important to check these things at the beginning, as plans can be altered slightly at this stage (even if its by moving the toilet by only 5cm)
This is because once the walls are built and the pipework is run, it is a lot more difficult and costly to make changes.
Once exact positioning had been worked out and noted, walls could be built to suit, and pipework run accordingly.
Walls were then insulated and plasterboarded once all pipework had been run within them where appropriate i.e. to the radiator & shower valve.
Pipework was run under the floor and in the walls to supply hot & cold water to (and to take away waste water from) the shower, basin & toilet.
Above you can see the large black soil pipe that carries the water away from the toilet as well as the smaller black pipe that takes the waste water away from the basin and shower.
The smaller pipework is the supply (hot & cold) pipework.
Note how the joist direction allows the large pipework to be run below the floor to the outside of the house.
If the joists had run at 90° to the way they do, then the whole plan would have had to be altered to suit (this is something that we note during the free site survey so we know that our plans will be implementable.)
New connections into the drains had to be made for this installation as there was no existing soil stack that we could connect into.
This work needed building regulations approval from the local council.
Once all the pipework has been run and tested, the walls and floor were closed ready for the next step.
After the doorframe was fitted, walls were plastered and the bedroom carpet was cut to size.
Above you can see how the window cill has been made completely waterproof prior to tiling to ensure a long lasting tile installation.
The floorboards were covered with hardboard and then a sheet vinyl floor was fitted, before skirting & door architraves were fitted both internally & externally.
Above you can see the basin location prior to its final fitting.
All walls were decorated as required by the customer.
The WC & towel radiator were connected up to the pipework in the wall & floor.
The basin & vanity unit were installed and a simple clear glass splashback was fitted that allowed the customers wallpaper to show through.
Accessories such as a mirror, loo roll holder and robe hook were also fitted at this time.
The shower door and shower valve were fitted once all tiling had been finished in the wet areas.
Finally the made to measure glass door was fitted to provide lots of natural light to the room.
2 weeks, £5K, project managed en suite installation in Leeds from start to finish with all the bits in between taken care of:
• No having to find a plumber, then a tiler, a separate electrician and joiner, oh and also a plasterer.
• No having to manage & communicate with all these trades to bring your plan to fruition.
• No having to liaise with the local council and tile & bathroom suite suppliers.
If you have any questions or thoughts about this article or any others, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. Check out our blog or Follow us in Pinterest by clicking this button – UK Bathroom Guru for more bathroom installation updates.