Master suite basics
A master suite addition typically is about 400 sq. ft. and includes a spacious bedroom, a walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower, designer toilet, separate soaking tub, and double-sink vanity. With midrange finishes, such as ceramic tile and solid-surface countertops in the bathroom, a master suite costs an average of $101,873 ($257/sq.ft.) and returns about 63% at resale, according to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine.
An upscale master suite addition is bigger — 650 sq.ft. — and includes a separate sitting area in the bedroom with custom built-ins, fireplace, French doors leading outside, and even a wet bar and refrigerator.
The bathroom is more luxurious, too, with multiple body sprays in the shower, a separate toilet area, a soaking tub for two, and twin sinks, each with its own vanity. Instead of solid surfacing and ceramic, the countertops and floors are stone. According to Cost vs. Value, an upscale project averages $220,086 and returns 52.1% at resale.
Start with a good layout
When you dream about a master suite addition, drool over a deep soaking tub. But when you plan, think about privacy, convenience and view — the gifts to yourself that keep on giving.
- Privacy: Create a space that feels like an escape from life: OK, escape from the kids. For that, you’ll need privacy, so place closets — they’re sound barriers — between you and the hubbub of the house, or on walls shared with other bedrooms.
- View: Give your master suite addition the best view through the biggest windows. If neighbors are nearby, place windows at about 5 ft. above the floor so you can enjoy the view, but your neighbors can’t (if you know what we mean).
- Separation: Think also about whether you’d prefer your bedroom and bathroom separated by a door or small hallway. An open plan can make the master suite feel bigger and more luxurious — but it can also invite humidity and odors into the bedroom, so you’ll want an extra-powerful ventilation system if you go this route. It’s also a good idea to isolate the toilet in its own room or alcove so two people can use the space at the same time and still retain some privacy.
Master suite must-haves
- Large shower: An enclosure of 4x6 ft. is ideal for two. It should have a bench and a few body sprays at different heights to sooth aching muscles. Cost: $3,000 to $5,000.
- Big walk-in closet: Make it at least 7x10 ft. if it’s just for her, 10x10 ft. if it’s shared, which gives enough room for clothes plus a spot for a dressing chair. You’ll want built-in organizers with well-designed compartments for easy access to your wardrobe. Cost: $3,000 to $8,000.
- His and hers grooming stations: Each with sink, mirror, and counter space. Cost: $2,500 to $5,000.
- Radiant floor heating in the bathroom: Hot water circulating in tubes or electric heating mats under the tile or stone is an efficient way to heat the space, and you’ll never have to put your bare feet down on a cold surface again. Cost: $1,500 to $3,500.
Love-to-haves — won’t use much
- Deep soaking tub: The idea of a jetted soaking tub in a master suite bathroom is often better than the reality. It takes up lots of room, requires lots of water, costs lots of money; but it’s used rarely. Unless you have a tubbing history or need, reconsider the soaking tub. Cost: $3,000 to $5,000.
- Private patio or balcony: A secluded outdoor room off your master suite for watching sunrises, sipping champagne, sunbathing nude, and other things you’ll never do. For privacy screening, use evergreen shrubs, lattice, or fencing. Cost: $3,500 to $6,000.
- Sitting area with fireplace: The ultimate indulgence, your own cozy spot to read or meditate. Also good for watching TV while folding laundry. Cost: $3,000 to $6,000.