Remodeling is a beautiful thing. Well, it is if it is done on budget and on time. Most homeowners that attempt to remodel a part of their home don’t really realize how much they are biting off until it is too late. My husband and I have watched This Old House a million times. We have watched shows like Sweat Equity and everything that the home improvement gurus can dream up.
As we live in a 30+ yr. old home, we needed to remodel (and dare I say update with fixtures other than putty or dark brown in color) our three bathrooms. We decided to start with the smallest bathroom first. I have to say that ripping down the hideous wallpaper was liberating. Scraping off 2 layers of cheap linoleum was exhilarating. Busting up the sink cabinetry that had years of water damage under it was a relief. Donating a cheap, plastic bathtub, faux marble brown sink, and rusty hardware was a joy. That is where the joy ended.
We have been extremely frugal with our purchases for this bathroom remodel. We found 2 cast iron bathtubs at our local Habitat for Humanity store for $40 (that was for both!). My husband also found at Habitat a faucet that costs $125 new for $3.50! NO KIDDING! We got a nice pedestal sink for $40 off of Craigs List. Crown molding for .10/ft at the Habitat store. We found 12″x12″ real slate tiles for .99 sq/ft. We were given slick white 6″x6″ tiles from a friend that didn’t use them all for their remodel. I thought: “Wow! We are really saving BIG TIME on this bathroom! This is costing next to nothing.” Well, I was partly right.
It hasn’t been the supplies that have eaten away at our wallet. It is all the “extras” that you need. A tool for taking the tub drain off (did you know there is a special tool for that?). Sanding screens to smooth drywall. Putty knives for applying the mudding on the wall. Wall paper remover. Plumbing parts as the old ones were original and decayed. The list goes on and on. Granted, many of the items that we have purchased will be used on the other 2 bathrooms. I just didn’t realize we would be buying so many little things for the job.
Another thing that homeowners don’t take into account is time. We started this project almost 2 months ago. As my husband and I are swamped during the week, we have to fit remodeling into our “relaxation moments” on the weekend. Of course, that is around the other activities that we squeeze into the weekends (i.e. games, picnics, errands, bar-b-ques, etc.). There are weekends that are either too full or our bodies say: “Nice idea, but I don’t think I want to work on it right now.” So…it has been 2 months.
We finally got in the cast iron tub (only took us 4 tries with 4 adults lifting it to get it level and set into place). Today, we got the mudding and taping done. Wow! Progress! The room is actually starting to look good. Ok, the floors are down to concrete, the walls are bare and patched, there are no fixtures, etc. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
My husband thinks that we will have this bathroom done in 3 weekends from now. Anyone want to put money on it? Hmmm? As we will have family for Thanksgiving, I would really like to have a freshly remodelled bathroom available. So much to do, and so little weekends. We’ll see.