6 Telltale Signs You're looking at a Cheaply Flipped Bathroom

A well-designed bathroom in a newly renovated home can woo just about any buyer. It's hard not to fall for a bathroom outfitted with a new toilet, tub, and tile because - in most instances, it is safe to assume that your bathroom will be fully functional and free of problems for years to come.

But behind those flawless new fixtures and finishes may be hiding ugly truths about the quality of the bathroom renovation. Worst case scenario? You’re looking at a cheap flip.

A cheaply flipped bathroom is usually the result of hasty workmanship or a money-saving strategy from cash-strapped owners. In the business of home flipping, the quicker you can get the property remodeled and sold, the more successful you’ll be. But renovations take time, and some bathroom updates such as plumbing, painting, and tile laying can’t be rushed.

So if you’re in the market for a move-in-ready home, take heed of the following telltale signs of a cheaply flipped bathroom so you can avoid having to make costly repairs in the future.

1. Bathroom blunders

The idea of soaking in the huge bathtub is a big sell for you, but don’t let that sway you away just yet.

Some flippers choose to refinish a tub instead of paying for a more costly replacement.

2. Tiling issues

A messy caulking job in a bathroom is a huge warning sign of a renovation that’s poorly done. Make sure to also check grout lines.

It is important to ask questions such as: “How are the corners where your tile meets in the shower?”, “Do the grout lines line up?”, “Are the tile cuts well done and symmetrical?”.

Make sure your renovated shower has a door installed, too - seriously. It’s easy to miss!

Sure, the tile work and rain spot may be dazzling, but if the shower door isn’t included, you may be looking at spending an additional couple grand to put one in.

3. Exhaust fans just for show

Exhaust fans are a must to reduce moisture in your bathroom, but some exhaust fans are just for show and can’t be turned on.

Look to ensure that the fan is vented to the home’s exterior and that the fan is properly sized for the room it is in. Some states require a bathroom exhaust fan if you have a separate toilet room, so you’d want to ensure the bathroom meets the minimum requirements.

4. Shoddy painting

Look closely for thin color coverage. Sometimes painters “cut in” (aka paint the corners and trim with a paintbrush), once and then apply two coats of paint with a roller, so you may notice a line if it’s done incorrectly.

You might also notice stain bleeding through the paint; this indicates the wrong primer was used. A fresh coat of paint on a bathroom windows may indicate quick repairs to a rotting window. Make sure you open, close, and inspect all windows in the bathroom for water damage.

5. Plumbing problems

If the faucets look new, make sure to check if the water lines under the sink are shiny and new, too.

A good remodeler would replace most of the piping you see inside the cabinet. Older water lines may have worn seals and should be replaced when adding a new faucet to the bathroom.

6. The bathroom doesn’t pass the sniff test

A brand-new bathroom shouldn’t smell damp, and a dank, most mell in the air might be something to make stink over. Furthermore, the smell of paint can be cause for concern. A freshly painted wall under the sink can signify the need to cover mold or water damage.

Works Cited:

Durrani, Ana. “6 Telltale Signs You’re Looking at a Cheaply Flipped Bathroom.” Real Estate News & Insights | Realtor.com®, Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®, 29 Aug. 2022, www.realtor.com/advice/buy/signs-youre-looking-at-a-cheaply-flipped-bathroom/.

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