The time has come for us to renovate again. And this time, I’m taking on the extra challenge of participating in the One Room Challenge Bathroom Category. This is how I’ve been preparing for the bathroom renovation.
The room we are renovating is the Master Bathroom. It’s going to be a full renovation and challenging to complete in the allotted 6 weeks. You can read about the project on my week 1 post.
If you want to follow along on social media, the hashtag I’m using is #myinspiredreno . Please go check out the other amazing One Room Challenge participants on their Fall 2019 page. You can follow everyone’s progress from that site so make sure to save it.
The BEFORE Bathroom
Two winters ago, shortly after moving into our home, we discovered water dripping through the cedar planked ceiling of the family room. It is located underneath the master bedroom and bathroom. My husband was down there while I was upstairs showering. We thought it was simply water that was seeping past the rusted brass shower door and down the nearby floor register. We changed the shower door, and that seemed to solve the problem.
For a few months.
Then water started spraying out from the mixing valve (the handle you use to turn the shower water on or off). So a hole was cut in the walk-in closet to access the shower plumbing to fix the lines. That must have been it.
Another few months passed.
Then the slow drip drip drip started up again. By the time we noticed (once again I was showering while hubby was downstairs) it was dripping through the ceiling planks at a pretty good pace. So the shower was turned off and left to collect dust while we saved up enough cash for a proper renovation.
The Time Has Come
It made more sense to take time to save up and do a proper renovation instead of doing the minimum to fix the shower, only to tear it up a few years later. Now it’s time to renovate. With support from our family we’ve been preparing for the bathroom renovation.
The first step was discovering what we both wanted from this renovation. We discussed our wish lists and worked out what was realistic. Then we made cuts and combined our wish lists into one. We thought over every aspect that would be affected by the reno. The initial estimate set was for $10,ooo, before we started checking materials and adding up the numbers. And those numbers climbed quickly.
We knew we wanted to expand the shower into the closet which meant framing work and electrical. And fixing the plumbing meaning changes to the plumbing. Other updates included new flooring, replacing the toilet, fresh paint, adding a closet system to replaced our walk-in closet and dressers, and a new vanity. Since it was a big job with a lot of moving aspects to it, we hired a contractor for the shower itself.
I created an excel worksheet to mark down every aspect of the renovation, and then to keep track of the actual cost. It was enlightening to do this, and it’ll give you a more realistic look at your project cost. The estimates for supplies, shipping, taxes, and labour were tallied up. Suddenly, the renovation looked to be way outside our comfort zone of what we were willing spend. We didn’t want to write off the project yet so we started looking for ways to save.
Areas for Savings
We’re keeping some of the existing items like the bedroom carpet, baseboards and trim, light fixtures, wall mirror, and the shower head and mixer valve.
We chose price efficient products such as builder grade tiles and lesser known brands. There are boxes of flooring leftover from our basement installation that will be used in the master bath. Braden managed to save the mirrors from our closet bi-fold door to hang on the new wall (saving us at least $100).
And there are tasks that we’re tackling ourselves to save on labour costs. Things like removing baseboards, removing the vanity, replacing the toilet, painting, assembling the closets, installing the flooring, vanity, countertop, sink and tap.
Now you know what this crazy household has been up to. A lot goes on behind the scenes in preparing for a bathroom renovation, or any reno. There’s been a lot of researching, note-taking, discussions, backtracking, and staring at samples until you goes cross-eyed.
Most of the materials needed to be ordered in advance so that they would be here in time. I don’t live in a big city so everything needs to be shipped in from larger warehouses. It all takes time. Especially if something needs to be built first, such as the vanity.
If there is one word of wisdom I could give to you before you take on a renovation, it would be to make room in your budget for surprises. Estimate high wherever you can. Then make it a goal to be below that estimate. Things happen. You can’t control what surprise costs may be lurking behind your walls so be prepared for surprises.
But as with any renovation, it will all be worth it in the end. Now, that it’s here, I hope I did enough preparing for the bathroom renovation to make it go smoothly.
Update: The Reveal
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