Q: Last year we bought a small (less than 1,000 square feet) condo, with two bedrooms and 1½ baths. Although the condo is in good shape for being 22 years old, it has not had any major improvements other than a bad tile job in the kitchen.

We would like to add a whirlpool tub in the main bathroom, but the only way for it to fit would be to remove a wall and extend the bathroom into the closet of the second bedroom. As I understand it, that would make the second bedroom a den.

This bedroom is very small anyway, so I don’t see it as much of a loss, but we don’t want to destroy the value of the condo.

Do you think the improvement would offset the loss of the second bedroom, or is it a bad idea?

By the way, there might be a way of making an opening between the second bedroom and the hall closet, but it would remove some of the storage space, which is in short supply.

A: The short answer is that your proposed whirlpool is a bad idea.

Because you are remodeling with an eye toward resale, we suggest that you seriously rethink turning your condo into what would effectively be a one-bedroom unit for the relaxation a spa would bring.

Not only would you be sacrificing much-needed space, but also, adding a jetted tub is much more than a weekend-warrior type of project.

Removing or moving walls to provide a location for the tub probably means relocating electrical outlets. The tub would require plumbing and wiring. Don’t forget the Sheetrock, tape, texturing and painting that will be involved.

Then, of course, there is the finish work. Do you plan to tile around the new tub? Will the flooring have to be modified or changed? Finally, a project of this scope will require city permits.

Even if you do all this yourself, we think the cost would be far more than any gain when you sell.

We suggest you invest your remodeling dollars in this condo with moving to a more suitable home in mind.

Things like updated flooring and fixtures and new carpet and paint will enhance the value of your home. You could explore redoing that bad kitchen tile job.

Any improvements you undertake should be directed at putting a new face on your older walls. You will get a lot more bang for your remodeling buck than you would with a spa. Perhaps your next home will either have spa or will more readily lend itself to installing one.

Bill and Kevin Burnett will attempt to answer your questions, although the volume of e-mail sometimes makes this impossible. Contact them at sweat-equity@comcast.net.


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