When we bought our home a few years ago, we did so knowing that there were some renovations that needed to be done sometime in the near future – updating windows and doors (a story I’ll share another day), upgrading the kitchen, and redoing both bathrooms, among other smaller items.
While it wasn’t the first task we tackled, the upstairs bathroom was a key project. You see, it was PINK! I don’t just mean it had pink tile – the floor tiles, countertop, tub, and toilet were all pink, that lovely 80’s pink that sometimes makes you wonder what people were thinking when they decided it was a good idea. On top of that, there was a huge one piece mirror over the double vanity that needed to be removed, mainly because I had to stand on the counter to clean it, not my favorite position.
Anyway, we spent a year or so building up our funds so we could afford to take on this project (we were determined not to go into debt on this house if we could help it), then another six months or so deciding the look we wanted and selecting tile, medicine cabinets, lighting, etc. We finally got it all figured out and hired a contractor friend of ours to do the remodel. We showed him our plans and materials, and he gave us a good price and started on the demolition of our bathroom (which meant we were going to be sharing one bath with our teenage daughter for a few weeks – ARG!). The only major request I made of our friend is that the work be completed before Thanksgiving, because it is a tradition for us to host the family Thanksgiving dinner, and, with a dozen people in the house, we were certainly going to need both bathrooms. No problem – yeah, right!
Demo went pretty well, aside from the fact that the dog was on the verge of a nervous breakdown from the sound of breaking glass and tile, not to mention a few choice words from Red (the contractor) when he got hit by flying pieces. But, hey, that’s construction – we managed. I did begin to get a little testy when we were a week from Thanksgiving and there still wasn’t a toilet in place, because the tile work wasn’t finished yet, and Red quickly came to understand that my patience and his life expectancy were both becoming extremely short!
Despite my concerns, the job was finished on time (barely – we spent the day before
Thanksgiving cleaning up dust and touching up paint) and on budget, we all lived through it, and it looks amazing! We even hired Red again a few years later for another project. I did learn, however, never to take on a renovation unless I absolutely knew there was nothing important coming up on the schedule in the next couple of months. And to always build extra time into the schedule for small issues and major disasters, both which are bound to happen. After all, it’s remodeling!
I can’t wait to hear from you about your own remodeling challenges and how you handled them!