Poolside Bathroom: Standalone or Add-on to House?

srfdntchk

Active member
Aug 18, 2013
32
Austin, TX
Hi All,

We're contemplating an in-ground pool sometime in the next year or two and I started thinking about additional amenities such as a bathroom/shower area. In terms of costs, I was curious which might be a more cost-effective option. I know it's a pretty subjective subject, but just curious if some of you have faced the same choice and which way you went and why. The choice being doing a standalone structure housing a small bathroom/shower/changing area or adding on or renovating part of the house to achieve the same result.

Our master bedroom is along the backside of the house, with the master bath, a vanity area and closet lined up along the back wall. I was curious if maybe renovating this part of the house to reorient things and put in an exterior door for easy access to the bathroom might be more cost effective than building out an entirely new structure with added plumbing and electrical. Our yard is relatively small, at approximately 70' long x 30' wide, so once the pool, decking and landscaping is in there really won't be much space left, as we'd still like to keep some grass area for the dogs to run.

The more I think about it the more I lean towards renovating the master bath area, which would also have the added benefit of giving us easy access to the pool area from the master bedroom. What do you y'all think? I'd love to see some pics if some of you have gone the renovate instead of new structure route.
 

NCMike

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2020
64
Raleigh, NC
I personally would not want guests/friends in my personal master bathroom just because of the my wife and I do not always keep it the best looking. Its not dirty but stuff I use daily is kept on the countertop along with my wife. I guess I would say its clean but cluttered. I also would not want guests having easy access to my bedroom for the same reasons. If those things do not matter to you then adding access to that master bath would seem like the most cost effective solution.

If possible I would probably add on a half bath to the exterior of the house thats large enough to change in. You could add a lockable door from it to your master bath so you can still have access to the pool. Adding it on to the house would also make it easy to tie into the plumbing/sewer/hvac from the masterbath.

If you do stand alone away from the house keep sewer/septic in mind. This is what I did and I had to add a pump to my septic system to pump the pool house drains over to my septic tank. Its an added expense. Also my bathroom will not have any HVAC since its detached from the house and we do not want to pay to add it to a small bathroom. You will also have the run power and water to the stand alone structure which is more expensive than if it was attached to your house.

Good Luck!
 
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omayhemo

Active member
Jun 4, 2020
29
Texas
My wife voiced a similar idea, as the nearest bathroom is across the house and the master on the backside near the pool. I nix'd that idea quick. You don't want wet guests trapesing through your master.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,939
NE/Pa
I always knew I wanted a stand-alone bathroom cause I just don’t want people in my house. Am I a bad person? Lol

so we decided on standalone. The problem what started as a small storage and bath ballooned into a living area with fireplace and kitchen and everything that goes with pretty much building a small house minus ac. Lol so it turned into a huge project by choice. All utilities out of my basement to structure. Sewage back into main line in house. Footers and frost walls. Just a ton of work like building a new home. But omg we love it. It’s just awesome. But as far as my township is concerned it is a “garage”.
91261051-8AE8-422E-BA55-0F30E6A98526.jpegA8D643BC-9BCC-4EF2-BCD5-8EED560AAFC5.jpeg
This was after I washed my pavers after sand. So not done yet. I have a ton of pics on my thread for ideas. Just look for it under my profile if u want.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,132
Central California
Do you have a water softener? Does your fill what have high CH? My town has very high CH water and it was a problem for my pool and its maintenance. I replumbed my auto-filler to my water softener and solved my CH problem for good. You'll learn more about CH and CSI and keeping those in check as you continue learning here. Point being: if you're going to be messing with the indoor plumbing, and are adding a pool, and already have a water softener, you'll want to add a stub outside that connects to the indoor water system (which would be soft water). Kinda an obscure notion at this point in your planning stages, but wanted to put it on your radar. Sidebar: I would not consider having a pool without an auto-filler/overflow system. I love mine, I never have to think about the water level in my pool...

That all said, I wish I had a bath for the pool. I have travertine tile floors that make a trip through the house to the guest bath very treacherous for pool users who are not completely drip-free. But like others have said, no way would I want guests, or even other family members, to use my master bath. No way. Ha, I don't have any options to put in another bath, so instead I added a ceramic flower pot around the corner from my pool and the kids pee in that! The boys love it and I like to think that keeps at least some of the pee out of my pool! Even the girls use it somehow. Not exactly what you're after opinion-wise, I realize... ;)
 

Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
135
Canfield ohio
I would not put in a pool without a bathroom outside. Surprise expense for me was the ditch we needed to hook into the sewage line. Sewage line was 18 feet deep. Quite an undertaking for a dig that deep. We put in a bar pavilion area and behind it a bathroom/changing area and storage shed.
 

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jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,939
NE/Pa
That all said, I wish I No way. Ha, I don't have any options to put in another bath, so instead I added a ceramic flower pot around the corner from my pool and the kids pee in that! The boys love it and I like to think that keeps at least some of the pee out of my pool! Even the girls use it somehow. Not exactly what you're after opinion-wise, I realize... ;)
that is awesome. Post of the day!
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,939
NE/Pa
I would not put in a pool without a bathroom outside. Surprise expense for me was the ditch we needed to hook into the sewage line. Sewage line was 18 feet deep. Quite an undertaking for a dig that deep. We put in a bar pavilion area and behind it a bathroom/changing area and storage shed.
That’s about how deep I am. We didn’t go out to the street hook up though we went back into my house. Made it a lot easier for hookup. We planned when we built and had a 6 inch drop coming down a rear wall in my storage so we could hit it at any grade. My wife always said she wanted a pool and I said no way without a bathroom and storage so we tried to plan as well as possible with the future in mind. When I put my theatre in I upped my service for the house and they gave me ample expansion them for the pool house too. Believe it or not you actually use a bunch of breakers once you get going.
 

Leik

Silver Supporter
Mar 19, 2018
59
Wichita Falls, TX
A few years ago when we built our pool, we wanted to add some kind of west side shade structure. Started out thinking we would do just a pergola. Then it turned into a covered pavilion. That turned into an outdoor kitchen. Then my wife talked me into adding a bathroom and outdoor shower. That said, we are so happy we added the bathroom. It is so nice not to run into the house wet, or have guests running in and out of your house when you are still by the pool. We ended up spending about $25,000 on the Cabana including all of the kitchen equipment, but we were lucky because a contractor buddy served as the GC and we used subs for everything else. Here are some pictures. 99F74DD1-D483-4EE5-BB4C-4B7F1B690497.jpegD6730F13-DF92-4A8D-9834-3D7123677CDD.jpeg976EB303-F7A3-404C-AFF6-CBA0736ACA0E.jpeg3DEDB3C6-B901-4374-9144-69E5657A731F.jpeg7E1DDE9F-DEA8-4A0E-BADA-15F0D588F6D8.jpeg0E09397F-463E-4D60-A6B0-50DAA77BEC58.jpeg
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,588
Atlanta Ga
We have a separate bathroom and a pool storage room. The pool also connects to our house but the bathroom is mainly used for guest to change out of their wet clothes. It has a shower but doesn't get used a lot.

I like the idea of the master bedroom for you guys to go in and out of
 

shell39

New member
Jul 21, 2020
2
Tulsa, Ok
Our new IG pool will be installed towards the end of October. We are currently ripping out our corner jetted tub in the master bathroom (we never use it) and replacing the window with a door to the backyard. While I would love to have a separate bathroom outside, it is more cost effective for us to do this.
 
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JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
127
Bay Area, CA
Not to high jack this thread, but we have no room to build a seperate bathroom. Is it rude to ask guests to walk 30 feet around the side of backyard to enter thru garage side door to get access to our half bath thru garage? 🤔🤔
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,815
Evans, Georgia
Not to high jack this thread, but we have no room to build a seperate bathroom. Is it rude to ask guests to walk 30 feet around the side of backyard to enter thru garage side door to get access to our half bath thru garage? 🤔🤔
What's the alternative? o_O Peeing in the grass while no one is looking is the only alternative to your dilemma I can think of?

Maddie
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,386
OV, CA
Its a quick jaunt to the laundry room bathroom .. I think the guests can hold it that long.
I personally would not want guests/friends in my personal master bathroom just because of the my wife and I do not always keep it the best looking. Its not dirty but stuff I use daily is kept on the countertop along with my wife...
I would have to agree... I would not want guests to see my wife on the countertop.
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
303
NE Oklahoma
Not to high jack this thread, but we have no room to build a seperate bathroom. Is it rude to ask guests to walk 30 feet around the side of backyard to enter thru garage side door to get access to our half bath thru garage? 🤔🤔
I currently make mine get out of the pool, dry off to the point they are not dripping, and walk through my house, and I don't consider that rude. They don't like it, they can find another pool! 😜

--Jeff
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,132
Central California
Can't be as rude as makin'em walk at least that far just to get to go in our outdoor pee-pot! :p

Sunday I come out and the kids and their friends are already in. I can't find my thermometer and ask one of the pre-teen guests if she put it in the skimmer (where I had asked her to put it a month ago). She nods. She remembered! It's your pool. You make the rules. They'll follow them. It's only rude if you get upset when they don't satisfy expectations that you've not actually told them about, then that's on you.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
709
Orlando
I’m a little late to this conversation, but I’ll add my opinion anyway. My house was built with an outside entrance to the master bath. It is extremely convenient for me when I use the pool. I can just change in my bedroom, then go out through the bath to use the pool. When I come back in I can shower and then go right into my bedroom to dress again. However, I don’t want the kids or guests to be using the master bath, so everyone else goes through the back door of the house and through the house, which is much less convenient.

So I think you might be looking at who’s going to be using the pool primarily. If it’s going to be used by you and your wife 90% of the time with occasional guests, then remodeling the master bath might be the best option. On the occasions where you do have guests you can either clean the master bath or make them go through the house to another bath.

On the other hand, if it’s going to be used by your kids and guests often, then it might make sense to go with a different option. You mentioned that there was a closet along the back wall of the house. If it’s big enough, what about turning the closet into a new externally accessible bathroom and leaving the rest of the master bath as it is? It should be a pretty inexpensive renovation because there is plumbing right there for the existing master bath and you won’t be adding any roof or foundation to the house. Of course you may need to try to fit in a closet somewhere else in the master bedroom to make up for the closet space that you lost, but that should be fairly inexpensive as well.