Unsellable Houses: The Rare Instance When Removing A Bed & Bathroom Is Worth It

When planning a home construction or renovation, it's important to prioritize the things that make you more likely to receive a return on your investment down the line. An attractive exterior, a versatile layout, and well-planned rooms that maximize space are just some examples of things that will add value to your home. An extra bedroom is another feature that can significantly increase its value by as much as 15%, so it's a common addition during renovations. This isn't always a given, however, as it depends on how well it uses the available space. On rare occasions, it may even be best to remove a bedroom or bathroom, as seen on HGTV's "Unsellable Houses."

In season 2 of the series, Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis made a big move by removing a downstairs bedroom and bathroom because they did not feel it was the best use of the space. An extra bedroom isn't effective if it has to cut into other significant parts of the home and negatively impact the current floor plan. When this happens, it's wiser to do without it so you can maintain a good design overall.

When it takes away too much space

In the episode titled "Historic Home Rescue," Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis make the bold move to scrap a bed and bathroom for extra space. The home's original layout had an extra bedroom and bath added on the main floor for its previous elderly owner. It made for a convenient layout, but the duo felt that it shrunk the main living area too much. The space reclaimed ended up expanding the living room so much that it could now include a dining area.

The living room is typically seen as the most important room in the house. It's where people spend most of their waking hours and where members of the household and their guests gather. This is why it is the top priority when designing, and a lot of planning goes into it so it's as comfortable and practical as possible. Spaciousness is a big part of this, so when this homeowner's living room was cramped, it was one of those rare cases where the bedroom was detracting from the home's overall value.

How to do this right

"Opening this up was a really tough decision, being that we eliminated a bedroom and bathroom, but a decision that we felt, in the long run, would capture more money for you," said Leslie Davis to the client (via Realtor.com). Removing a bedroom to add value to a home is more the exception than the norm, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making such a serious move. These mainly depend on the location of the bedroom.

Adding a bedroom into a downstairs floor plan with limited space is more likely to be a negative because it would reduce important zones like the living and kitchen. It could be added into an upstairs layout, though, where it's less of a problem to cut down on other bedrooms or spaces like the mudroom. Keep in mind that the primary bedroom is another key part of the home, so you should avoid cutting down that space. It could also be incorporated into rooms like the garage or the basement, where it would be a beneficial use of the space. If you plan on adding square footage to the home, like taking space from the yard or expanding upward, those are other routes to consider for additional bedrooms.