Is there a code (or ?) in California (Orange County) which states you must have a bathtub in a home? We are older adults who no longer have a need for a tub and would like to replace it with a nice large shower.
Thank you very much. Jamie
At the present time, I am not aware of any building codes that require a house to have a bathtub.
Having said that, keep in mind that building codes are adopted, modified and enforced according to rules or laws established by politicians. There are “standardized” building codes for most parts of the United States, but local authorities determine which codes to reference, which version of those codes will be in effect at any given time (usually several years prior to the most current publication date), and what if any specific changes or additions they might want to incorporate into the original documents. So, the only way to be sure that your local jurisdiction doesn’t have some arcane law on the books (or the owner of the local bathtub factory on the City Council;-) is to ask the folks who work in the building inspection department that will be responsible for overseeing residential construction in your area.
A few other things you may want to consider — from a fellow older adult — when remodeling a bathroom:
- While you may not need or want a tub in your house, not having one will likely place a severe limit on the number of potential buyers and/or adversely affect the resale value.
- Depending upon how long you plan on staying in your house, I am a strong believer in building for one’s own needs and wants and not some potential buyer to whom you hope to sell you house at some point in the future. However, if you have the option of stealing some space from another, under utilized, adjacent space or bumping out a wall during the remodel, you might be able to create enough space for your dream shower and a deep Asian or Japanese style soaking tub, which might take up less floor space than a standard tub.
- Depending upon your ‘oldness’ you may not want to sit in a tub, but you might want/need to sit in a shower at some point in the future. Consider incorporating a built-in ledge or bench or making allowances for a fold down/up shower seat.
- Also, consider installing one or more sturdy grab bars — or at least place wooden backups or strategically placed supports behind the wall finish during construction so you have a method to securely install safety rails or grab bars in the future.
The following page has links to some universal design / accessible design resources that you may find helpful (the AARP site in particular usually has some good information):
If your budget allows, a steam generator might be a nice touch as well. Sorry, sometimes I get carried away with other people’s money… 😉
Anyway, if/when you start the remodeling process, be sure to do some research on your contractor(s):
…and sign a construction agreement that you thoroughly understand:
Good luck with your project, thank you for visiting B4UBUILD.COM, and have fun building!