Bathroom Renovation

When Rick and I chose the house we live in now, one of the things that really appealed to us was that the majority of the house didn't need any major work. But there was one room that did: the bathroom. It was pretty horrible, and we both imagined ourselves hardcore DIYers who could take on a project like this. We lived here for quite a while before we could afford to tackle such a big project, so we got used to our fugly old bathroom. I always made sure my glasses weren't on when I opened the shower curtain so that I didn't have to see the horribleness of our bathtub and surround. It was impossible to get clean, and I remember thinking there was no way I would ever give our someday children a bath in that tub.

Last summer, we were finally ready to tackle the beast. We met with our realtor, who did some research and told us that if we spent $3,000-$4,000 on the bathroom we would more than likely get it back when we sell the house. Important to us, because we don't plan to stay in this house more than a few more years. We were doing this as much for re-sale value as we were for our own enjoyment.

We also had a local renovation shop come in and give us an estimate for the work, knowing that we would do most of it but that it might be nice to hire out for a few things. They gave us an estimate of $10,000 minimum. Yeah, homey don't play that. So knowing we had help from family and friends, we set out to tackle the renovation almost completely on our own.

From here on out, when I use the word "we" I really mean "Rick". And various loved ones that helped us out majorly. (Shout out to Rich, Gail, Dad, and Kevin: we love you all!) My role in the great bathroom renovation project was to "art direct". And to freak the hell out every weekend at what a pit our house had become.

Seriously, when you watch HGTV they make it look like everything just MAGICALLY comes together at the end. Elves come in and clean up and everything looks camera-ready and beautiful. And it's all finished in 2 days. This does not happen! We have a small house, with one bathroom, which meant that this project permeated every aspect of our home life for months. Tools and supplies were in every room. For a while we did not have a sink or mirror in our bathroom, so I did my hair downstairs looking in the microwave. (Strangely, I got more compliments on my hair during this time than ever before.)

Without further ado, I give you the befores and afters. The photos are crappy iPhone photos, but you get the idea.



We switched the vanity to the other side of the room so that we could fit a double sink. The sink, faucets, and mirrors are from IKEA. The lights are from Pottery Barn.

So there you have it! I can't even put into words how proud I am of Rick for pulling this off. He taught himself how to do pretty extensive electrical work, plumbing, and drywall. He handled a million little details and also managed to deal with me when I was freaking out for the umpteenth time. And we have a bathroom that we're happy to spend time in and use. Everyday it feels like we're rock stars.

Oh, and we did it all for under $2,000. Amazing, right? That even includes all of the accessories like towels, rugs, the jelly cupboard. All things we will take with us when we leave this house, but I include them in the running total because it was money spent. We're happy with what we spent, considering our budget was $3,000 to 4,000, and the professional estimate was $10,000.

What kinds of home renovations have you undertaken? Do you love it, or is it miserable for you like it is for me? I think if we do something like this again, I will move away to a hotel for a month for the sake of everyone's sanity.