Can I insist on Shower rather than a bath?

Can I insist on Shower rather than a bath?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

9:17 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago 11

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I am buying a 2-bed house off-plan, which specifies that there will be a bath with an overhead shower in the bathroom (there is no en-suite). I plan to rent the house out for a couple of years and then sell another property to enable me to then use this one as my holiday home (with Airbnb at peak seasons to cover costs).

I personally never use a bath, only a shower and now, having just had a hip replacement, I wouldn’t even be able to get into a bath.

I have asked the developers, via the estate agent, to fit a shower rather than a bath, and they have said no. This seems to me to go beyond personal choice and to be an accessibility issue, as it’s not uncommon for people to struggle to get into a bath, especially those who are elderly or disabled.

Does anyone know if developers are under any obligation to provide bathroom fittings that are suitably accessible to all?

I guess I could just buy the house with the bath installed, and then have it taken out and a shower fitted instead, but this seems very wasteful.

Many thanks


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paul kaye

9:53 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

who in their right mind ,would want to buy from these people.?!
I would go direct to the developer,not via the estate agent(who just want their commission) and request a shower,not a bath.
Once you explain,I am sure the developer will oblige.
If not just threaten to cancel the deal.


10:21 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

There is no obligation on developers to put in anything you want, rather than deviate from what their original plans were. Given how fast houses are currently selling a developer has the upper hand at this stage because if you pull out no doubt others are waiting to take your place. You could offer to make up the difference between his plans and your needs as do not forget, he will have bought bathroom items in bulk at discount, ready for the development and you want a "one off". Alternatively you could ask him just to not put in the bath and tiles etc and arrange to put in your shower when contracts exchanged which would save you having to pay to have the original tiles/fitting/bath removed, Why cut off your nose to spit your face it you like the development otherwise. My parents of 89 and 90 have both had hip and knee replacements and once initial physio over with both were able to use their bath without a problem and still do?

Chris Bradley

10:44 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

When I do refurbishing before renting I always put in a shower above a bath. People still want baths especially if they have children. I still use my own bath.
I wouldn't buy or rent if only a shower

paul kaye

11:06 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 15/07/2021 - 10:44
yes I agree.
People still like a bath and a shower.

Ian Narbeth

11:08 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

Having just taken out a bath and put in a large shower in a property, it is not a big job. However, you want to have the shower raised (to allow access to plumbing). You will need more tiling and more floor vinyl if the shower covers a smaller area than the bath.
If you expect the developer to do it for nothing, forget it. Do not start citing accessibility, disability etc. It will just annoy people. It is perfectly legal to sell a house without a shower! If it doesn't suit you, that is not the developer's problem.
Whether the developer will oblige depends on time and money. Will the change delay completion and how much extra will it cost? If your work will delay completion the developer is likely to refuse unless you pay extra. Offer a reasonable amount of additional money to cover the cost of the extra work. Don't expect to get much allowance for any saving in not supplying a bath,

Ian Narbeth

11:11 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 15/07/2021 - 10:44
I disagree. In our HMOs we take out the baths. Although they often have a cheapo shower attachment, the baths are not built to take an adult standing and showering for a long time. We inevitably find that we get leaks.If you take out a bath you can replace it with a 1200 x 700mm shower which is bigger than most en suite showers. Tenants love them.

Graham Bowcock

11:17 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

I quite agree with Ian.

On the practical side, my own house has a number of showers and they are an absolute pain for leaking. When a plumber fits a bath it is easier to get a good seal than with a shower tray. We are constantly re-sealing showers and often have a cascade into the rooms below (one soon, oddly, seems to spen hours in the shower!). Perhaps the developer has had a similar experience and doesn't want to keep coming back to deal.


12:11 PM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/07/2021 - 11:11
Totally agree Ian! We have several two bed flats all with two shower rooms, no baths. My husband and I hate tiny shower cubicles where one keeps hitting their elbows, so we installed shower enclosures that are 1m wide and 1.4m (or more) deep. Tenants love them. We literally didn’t have one potential tenant yet who said they wouldn’t take the flat because of no bath.
With regard to OP question, given how crazy the market has been, they probably don’t feel they have to be flexible, such is the reality. In a tough market they’d probably bend over backwards.

Simon M

12:35 PM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

Unless it's a very small development, any deviation from standard will cost for the developer. If you really want that house, you'll get your best outcome if you can meet the developer and ask them to leave a bare bathroom plastered with services (electrics and capped plumbing) laid and perhaps handbasin and WC. That may save them a little cost and you the cost and damage of ripping out, matching tiles, etc.


21:08 PM, 15th July 2021, About 3 years ago

I now use the modern lipped shower trays, i e they have a lip that goes far up the back of any tiles or panel boards used and this often deals with the age old problem of leaks from the silicone round the standard old fashioned tray. I always use ceramic trays as less movement than plastic.

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