New Bathrooms

Too Much Lady Stuff

Know what’s funny?

Kevin and I have been married almost 22 years (actually, that’s not funny, that’s UNUSUAL), and we’ve never shared a bathroom.

I know, right??

I mean, we shared a bathroom when we lived in our apartment (this was before we were married *GASP*), and then we moved into a rental house six months after Dude was born. The rental house had two bathrooms – he used one and I used one.

Then we moved into this house, which has two bathrooms; he used one and I used one.

Now that our bathrooms have been remodeled/reconfigured, we both use the master bath and the boys use the guest bathroom. (This is indeed a Freudian message to the boys – you are merely GUESTS in our home. We love you and want you to stay as long as you need to in order to save for your future, but you WILL move out one day, like it or not).

Kevin is having a hard time putting up with my “lady stuff,” mainly because he’s never had to share my lady space before now.

I freely admit, I have a lot of lady stuff, but come on ladies, it takes a small truck load of stuff to make ourselves beautiful/presentable every day, am I right?

Okay fine. It takes ME a small truck load of stuff to make myself beautiful/presentable. Ha!

We’re DONE with the bathroom remodel – sort of. There are still a few tweaks “we” have to work on. For example, there is a spot on the ceiling in the front bathroom that needs touching up. Kevin had to install a door on the back bathroom, (it had one of those accordion-style doors before, which, by the way, we’ve put out by our garage, along with Dude’s old (i.e. childish) head board with big huge FREE signs attached. I wonder if anyone took it yet?) The door is installed, but Kevin needs to finish the trim. After that, I will paint the door. And “we” still need to paint our old bathroom cabinet and put it back into our bathroom (which is a short-term solution until we can find a better-quality cabinet that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Seriously. Have you priced cabinets lately? Holy cow …)

BUT, for the most part, they’re done.

And I will kill my husband if he talks me into any more “big” projects in the next ten years.

Here is a before shot of our front bathroom:

Bathroom - Before

And a before shot of our back bathroom:

Back Bathroom - Before

We basically flipped the configuration around installing a shower stall in the front bathroom and knocking/building a wall so that the bathtub is now in the back bathroom. My very clever husband planned it out on one of those handy-dandy architecture software programs; our bathroom contractor was very impressed with his plans. (Or so he said, anyway).

I had a BLAST putting the bathrooms back together again. These mosiac globes in the front bathroom are one of my favorite things we added …

Mosaic Globes

And Kevin found this cool medicine cabinet that we hung over the toilet in the front bathroom …

Over Toilet Cabinet

These used to be in our front bathroom, now they’re in the back bathroom …

Bathroom Wall Decor

(Note what the pictures say – we both FIRMLY believe in these sayings).

And now, nearly six weeks later, I present our (almost)finished bathrooms:

The front bathroom …

Bathroom 3-4-12

(I had to have that shower curtain hemmed – it was about seven inches too long. In fact, the seamstress said that a lot of people have actually brought in shower curtains to hem).

The back bathroom …

Bathroom - 3-4-12

I pretty much love them now. Why the people who built this house didn’t think to configure the bathrooms like this to begin with is beyond us, but whatever, they’re pretty awesome now. They were expensive, and though Kevin and I argue this point, I think we might have overpaid for what we got, but still, I don’t regret it one minute.

We have done so much to this house … it’s ALMOST where it want it to be.

And that’s a good thing since we plan on living here the rest of our lives.

(PS. I just went outside to see if the headboard and the door were still there – they are. Come on people, FREE STUFF!)

New Bathrooms

“We” Are Almost Done

I’m here … I’m treading water, ya’ll, and my legs are getting tired …

… sooooo tired …

I’ve been trying to balance working full time (and trying to grasp a job in a field I know nothing about but am learning more about every day) and trying to get our bathrooms (as in plural, as in TWO) back together again.

We’re getting close.

Oh so very close.

“We” painted (remember, when I say “we”, you think “Kevin”).

Bathroom 2-19-12

Actually. Kevin painted the room, I painted the windows. (I’m a better painter than what this picture shows. This was before “we” scraped the windows – they actually look pretty good).

We painted our back bathroom a soft yellow.

That’s right. Yellow.

It’s like the color of a lemon drop (remember that candy?). It goes really well with our java-colored cabinet. We have another large cabinet to put back in there that “we” need to paint and put in there. “We” also need to put some towel racks up, the toilet in, and “we” (actually, I did help with that) just hung up a huge mirror over the sink this evening. Oh. And Kevin hung some vertical blinds, too.

I’ll take pictures of the finished project next time – once we have this blasted thing FINISHED.

“We” also painted the front bathroom a soft lime green.

That’s right. Lime green.

Bathroom 2-19-12

We thought the soft green would also look really sharp with our java-colored sink we plan on putting in there.

I painted the door (it was pretty gross, actually) and we bought some mosaic globes for our sconces that I LOVE. Only, they don’t give off enough light, so Kevin (I won’t even pretend there’s a “we” in this aspect of the project) will have to go into the attic this weekend and put in another light so it doesn’t throw the toilet area into shadow. I have a shower curtain for the shower that I’m really looking forward to putting up, as well.

The electrician is supposed to come by tomorrow and finish his job, (hook up the lights, the vent fans [the boys are looking forward to this because apparently SOMEONE, *ahem*, is stinking up the joint], and another outlet in the back bathroom.

The tile guy (OUR awesome tile guy), is coming on Thursday to do our floors.

So HOPEFULLY, our bathrooms will nearly be done by this weekend.

Our construction guys still need to install a corner shelf for the front shower, and there’s a small patch of ceiling that needs to be finished in the front bathroom, but FOR THE MOST PART (do not deny me the small pleasures in life, people!!), we are nearly done.

I’ll take you on another video tour once everything gets put back together again.

This past weekend was non-stop motion for me and Kevin. He painted and did his thing, I gave the house a good cleaning because OMGosh, the dust was unbelievable.

Then we both went back to work today.

I’m pooped. But happy. Because our bathrooms are really turning out better than we hoped for. Sure. We had a few snags and setbacks and it’s only taken about TWO WEEKS longer than we had planned, but we’re nearly done now and I will KILL Kevin if he comes up with anymore home improvement projects in the next ten years or so.

It’s now 8:30 – bed time.

I WISH I were kidding.

*sigh*

New Bathrooms

Bathroom Snafu

https://twitter.com/#!/writefromkaren/status/168396431395270657

Kevin has to fire our sub-contractor. Well he won’t, the contractor will end up firing him, but Kevin is calling the contractor today to politely, or as politely as possible, tell the guy we do NOT want the sub-contractor to come back.

Please and thank you.

Here’s the dealio:

The guys we contracted with to remodel our bathrooms have been PHENOMENAL. They were in and out and were so clean and fast that we hardly even realized they came and went. When we talk to the owner of the company, we will praise them – a lot. They deserve it. They were respectful and they did a really good job rearranging our bathrooms and re-routing the plumbing.

The electrician came in – and though he did the job, he didn’t really follow directions. We wanted to put two sconces on either side of the mirror in the front bathroom. The guys taped off where the mirror would go and Kevin told him where he wanted the sockets to go. When we came home from work that evening, the sockets were there, but about five inches too high. So Kevin politely asked him to move them – he did. He also put the socket in the back bathroom too high, but we think we can make that one work.

Then the tile/wall guy came in to do his job and OH MY GOSH. This guy was super sloppy and has made, and left, a TREMENDOUS mess for us to clean up. The dusty footprints, sure, I get that, you can’t really get away from that (although the first set of guys put down carpet/floor protectors and it WASN’T an issue with them), but this guy was mucking up our BRAND NEW SHOWERS. He scraped off sections of our ceiling so that we could redo the areas we needed to redo and Kevin said that the bathtub was so full of junk it took him about 20 minutes to clean it all up. (He said he wanted to get it cleaned up before I got home because he KNEW I would have freaked out – HE WAS RIGHT). Kevin also said that he came home at lunch and the guy had put the toilet into our brand new shower stall in order to put in the backer board. And when he put the toilet back in? He had to sort of jam it into place AND it leaks.

*SIGH*

THEN, the bare light bulb we have hanging in our bathroom right now? Must have been sitting against the wall for some time because we now have a quarter-sized hole burned into our drywall. So the guy nearly burned our house down.

And to top it off? The tile job he did in our back bathroom? Looks. Like. Crap. Kevin is pretty upset about it. The guy did a really sloppy job putting in the tile, he didn’t turn the tiles so they looked more “random”, (there are entire rows where the tile is all facing the same direction – a pet peeve with Kevin); he did a really poor job of cutting the tile around the vent (in fact, the hole is too and you can see it when you put the vent cover back into place), and he didn’t put a border at the entrance so that the tile meets at a weird juncture and the guy had to cut a tiny triangle to fill in the gap.

Tile Triangle

Thank goodness the guy hadn’t grouted.

We both came home to this mess and let’s just say KEVIN WAS NOT HAPPY. Kevin has tiled enough to know, you don’t do that to the entrance to rooms.

We talked. We weighed our options. And we ended up calling our normal floor guy (the same guy who has done our kitchen, living/dining/family room floors) to come over and access the “damage.” He tried to be polite about the guy’s work, but you could tell, he was not impressed. In fact, he might have even been a little horrified, if you want the truth.

We are asking our regular floor guy (we should have just asked him to begin with – but the contractor was all like, “Oh. I have a guy we can use…”) to help us out. He’s got three days before he begins a big job and we’ll just have to see how much he gets done in that time period. He’ll likely tile the front bathroom entirely, since the other guy didn’t get around to tiling that bathroom, and ripping out the tile in the back bathroom and replacing the backer board – we won’t have the new tile back before he has to report to his other job. Which means we’ll likely be without a floor in our back bathroom for a few more weeks.

But that’s okay – at least it will be done right and I won’t have to hear about it for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, we still need the walls and the ceiling completed. Guess who’s working on that right now? Yep. Kevin. The electrician still needs to come back out and finish his job, but it looks like Kevin will most likely have to finish the walls and ceiling. Kev is supposed to call our contractor today to “fire” the sub-contractor and they will likely work something out.

I hope they work something out because quite frankly, that’s why we hired people to do this job. WE don’t have time to deal with it. Kevin will also have to re-negotiate the price since this sub-contractor won’t be finishing his part.

Anyway. It’s a mess. Literally and figuratively, but it’s just a speed bump, it’s not the end of the world. We just have to reconfigure a few things and roll with the punches. The bottom line? We just want it done right – is that so much to ask for?

Day-By-Day, New Bathrooms

I Need Ten Hours of Sleep. Walls! Floor! Update on Sons.

I went to bed at 8:00 o’clock last night …

… actually, it was 7:58. I hadn’t slept well the night before and I was BRAIN DEAD. Wednesday was pretty crazy at work and it took every last brain cell (which, I only have about 15 to begin with), to get through the day.

You know how you can tell about how many hours of sleep you need in order to feel “good”? Well. I think ten is MY magic number.

If I only had TIME to get ten hours of sleep a night …


The bathrooms are coming along … more slowly now, but we’re getting there.

Bathroom 2-9-12

The sheet rock/tile guy came yesterday and worked on patching up our walls. He’ll finish patching the walls today. He also put the backer board down in the back bathroom and will likely tile that room today. I imagine he’ll put the toilet in as well so he can take the toilet out of the front bathroom and put the backer board down in that room. (They HAVE to leave us at least ONE toilet, right??)

The plumbing has been rerouted and everything has been switched around. So, the hard part is done (I think). Kevin got under the house this past weekend and rerouted the pipes to make a vent in the front bathroom – it looks like he’s going to have to get under the house again this weekend and fix the back bathroom vent. Apparently, the floor vents weren’t part of our contract. *sigh*

We’re going on two weeks now and I’m SO READY TO HAVE OUR BATHROOMS BACK. However, we’re pretty pleased with how they’re turning out and I’m looking forward to the “beautifying” stage.


Dude seems to like going to college. He’s taking three classes: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. His first class is at 9:00 and he’s usually home around 1:00. (I’m assuming, since I’m never here). He also picks Jazz up from school every day. And he took Jazz to the dentist yesterday to get a wire clipped. I really appreciate his flexibility as it takes some pressure off me and Kevin. I do worry about them running around, but honestly, I just try not to think about it.

He’s been selling a lot of books in the book store. He also sold a piece of electronic equipment that my dad gave him to list on eBay. So he’s been busy packing up stuff – he’s also been busy upgrading his computer equipment. I sort of lectured him about saving his money instead of spending it, but then Kevin sort of vetos my lecture with, “it’s his money, he can spend it as he sees fit.” Which is true, but he’s also a 19-year old man who needs to start thinking about getting a steady job and MOVING OUT at some point. I love my son, but I refuse to support him the rest of his life – or well into his twenties, whichever comes first.


We have a scheduling meeting at Jazz’s school tonight – SENIOR YEAR HERE WE COME!!!!! I can’t believe he’s going to be a senior. There are about three classes/credits HE MUST have this next year in order to graduate. I don’t think these particular classes are offered in the summer months, so HE MUST have these classes. I hope he gets into them, otherwise, I’m going to have to talk to his counselor and make it happen.

As it stands now, Jazz will NOT have to take any summer classes this go around. He’s taken summer classes for the past two summers now and I know he’s really looking forward to NOT taking classes this summer. I hope it works out that way.


Crap. It’s now 6:44 and I haven’t even taken a shower yet. I need to get moving – I have a LOT of work to do. (As Kevin likes to “affectionately” tell me on a daily basis. It’s a good thing I love that man …)


Why does it smell like hotdogs in here?!?

Gross.

New Bathrooms

Bathroom Tour

A tour of our bathrooms … brace yourselves, they’re pretty ugly right now, but they have SO MUCH potential and I have SO MANY plans … *rubs hands*, I can’t wait to dig in and make them pretty.

Thanks for watching.

UPDATE: We’ve used the new shower head/hose contraption and it’s 100% better. It’s higher and points more down, so we don’t have to stress about getting too much water on the floor.

New Bathrooms

When It Rains, It Leaks

Construction is messy, isn’t it? Remind me again why we’re doing this??

You wouldn’t believe the dust build up … or maybe you would. It’s especially apparent when you have dark hardwood floors. When the sunlight shines through the windows and bounces off the floors it’s enough to make you pause, widen your eyes, and gasp in shock.

I have spent an insane amount of time this past week dry mopping and vacuuming the carpets than I have spent in the past two months combined. I know it’s part of the process but … wow. It makes you wonder just how much dust accumulates under NORMAL circumstances.

Kevin is cutting a vent hole in the front bathroom right now. I don’t know why our construction guys haven’t done it yet but I think the tile guy is supposed to come on Wednesday and we sort of need that vent hole since the front bathroom has been cut in half and no longer has one.

We’ve all taken a shower in the new shower now and I pretty much hate it. Not the shower itself, but the shower head facing the curtain is NOT going to work; Kevin completely soaked the floor this morning. We are going to buy a hose this weekend and hook it up so that it hangs on the left wall. That way, people can soap up and then spray off without constantly worrying whether the floor is being soaked or not. When Kevin designed the plans for our remodel, he never thought that the left wall would be rock and cinder blocks. We could have put the shower on the other side of the room, where the toilet is now, but Kevin didn’t want the focus of the room to be on the toilet when people entered the room.

Check back later and I’ll take you on a video tour of the bathrooms – when I’ve taken a shower myself. I’ve been busy catching up on some email requests this morning (because I’m still maintaining nine school websites after my “day” job) as well as doing about fifteen loads of laundry consisting mainly of towels. We’ve been going through a lot of towels wiping up messes and excess water.

*Side note: It rained a lot yesterday and our fireplace leaked A LOT. Like the most it’s leaked in, well, ever. Kevin went up into the attic to see what was going on and the plastic he had spread out in that area had completely disintegrated so that it was a waterfall up there. That’s next on our house-maintenance agenda – get that damn fireplace leak fixed once and for all. It’s been our Achilles’ heel ever since we moved into this house 19 1/2 years ago. The leak was so bad, it even soaked the hearth rug AND my new hardwood floor – I was pretty upset about that, but luckily, I heard the dripping and was able to clean it up before it had sat around for too long. It could have been worse; I could have waken UP to a huge mess and it could have soaked into the wood all night. In addition to the fireplace leak, we discovered that the faucets in the utility room had somehow worked themselves loose (Kevin thinks it might be because the construction guys have been turning the water on and off so many times this past week). I went to do a load of towels and was surprised to discover that they were completely soaked. Luckily, those towels had been there to soak up the water because again, I could have woken up to a room full of water this morning; when it rains it pours, I guess. (Ha!)

Oh well. We’ll make it work – “we” always do. (I.E. Kevin).

New Bathrooms

Gutted

I’m too tired to take pictures of our evolving bathroom. It was one heck of a week.

Who am I kidding, EVERY week is one heck of a week.

I’m going to Branson tomorrow – with a nurse and an MA.

That won’t be awkward.

Anyway …

The front bathroom is coming along nicely. We have a toilet in the front bathroom and the shower is now functional, too.

*Side note on the toilet: It sucks. At least, it doesn’t flush as well as our old one did. Kevin told me it has something to do with yet another asinine government regulation – the whole can’t flush too much or we’ll kill our planet nonsense. How is it saving energy to flush a toilet five times instead of two? Seriously … government is so stupid.

Jazz will be the first one to break our new shower in tonight. We’re now exclusively using the front bathroom. The back bathroom was completely gutted today – much to my surprise and horror.

(Horror because I MEANT to clean everything up [i.e. toilet mainly] before they got to that part, but no one warned me and … UGH. Don’t you know remodeling bathrooms must be NASTY?!?)

The electrician came out and put the wiring for the sconce lights in the front bathroom … only, we hadn’t picked them out yet. I just got back from Lowe’s (Kevin is at band practice), and I picked out some sconces I liked. It’ll be interesting to see if Kevin agrees with my choice since we rarely agree on anything style wise and end up compromising (i.e. Kevin usually gets his way).

I also bought the mirror to put over our sink – WHICH, by the way, looks pretty damn nice in that bathroom, I’ve got to say. I wasn’t sure about buying a sink with a small cabinet but I’m so glad Kevin got his way (again) and talked me into it because it really does look nice in there. I also found a cabinet with three small straw baskets on shelves that I think will look pretty fabulous on the wall behind the toilet. I’m a little concerned about the walls – I think the wall guy is going to mud the parts of the wall he added/fixed and leave the rest of the walls to us. We (Kevin always gets annoyed when I say “we” when it really means “him”), textured the walls and though they looked cool, we’re so over textured walls, which means, “we” will have to sand the walls down and mud before “we” repaint. (Actually – I sort of like painting).

The construction guys are going to put a corner shelf in our shower. We had initially asked for a shelf to be built into the shower, but again, those dang walls are too thin to do anything like that, so we’ll have to compromise (again) and go for the corner shelf. Which is sort of cool, I guess, and is certainly better than having a shower caddy.

I don’t know when the tile guy is going to show up and do his magic – hopefully soon.

So the front bathroom is nearly finished – or as finished as it will be before we get in there to paint and add our own finishing touches. I’m looking forward to seeing how much of the back bathroom the guys get done before the weekend.

New Bathrooms

Shower Walls

We have them.

Bathroom 2-1-12

I know it doesn’t look it? But the room is actually turning out to be bigger than I imagined. Of course, we don’t have the sink in there yet …

Still not crazy about the shower head on the back like that … but that’s as good as it gets, I’m afraid.

The construction guys taped off where our mirror will go …

Bathroom 2-1-12

Picture a small (think SMALL) sink/cabinet under the mirror. The electrician is supposed to come by tomorrow – we’re putting sconces on either side of that pretend mirror.

The guys also knocked out the back bathroom wall …

Back Bathroom 2-1-12

We’re moving that toilet and putting it up against the wall. The tub will go back in the area behind the toilet and the shower you see there now? Will be gone and we plan on putting a huge cabinet in that space for dirty clothes and bathroom “stuff.”

The guys are making progress. I have yet to even meet them. They always come after I leave for work and are gone before I get home from work. I told Kevin to thank them for keeping everything so CLEAN. I can’t believe how nice they clean up after themselves. It’s like we don’t even know anything is going on – they just shut the door and *POOF* no construction mess.

I’ll link to our construction guys when this is all over … I’d like to give them a fair critique of their work, but so far? I’m very pleased.

New Bathrooms

We Have a Shower … Sort Of

IMG_1164

Kevin said they tore down the shower wall. They actually gave the toilet area, and the sink area, two more inches. I’m SO relieved on that front. However, the fly in the ointment is that they didn’t have enough room on the left wall to put the shower head – that wall is actually the back side of our rock fireplace. And the other wall, the wall on the right, next to where the toilet is going to go, is too skinny, so, that only leaves the back wall. This means, the shower head is going to be spraying toward the shower curtain.

Hmmm …

I’m not exactly thrilled with that, but we really don’t have a choice, otherwise; we’ll just have to make sure the curtain remains IN the shower so we don’t soak the entire bathroom floor.

I’m hoping the light is NOT going to remain where it is now because … ugh, that would IN the shower. We’re actually planning on putting two sconce lights on either side of the the oval mirror we plan on putting above the small sink. I’m also sweet talking Kevin into putting a recessed light above the toilet area so people are not having to do their business in the dark.

They placed the shower base in today and worked on re-routing the plumbing. I have no idea what they have planned for tomorrow. It’s sort of fun to leave the house with it looking one way and coming home to a bunch of changes at the end of the day.

I’m thankful that Kevin’s job is flexible enough that he’s able to come home and check on them periodically.

New Bathrooms

When I Left for Work Today, Our Front Bathroom Looked Like This:

Bathroom - Before

When I got home from work, it looked like this:

Bathroom Demolition

Pretty, right?

We are, in essence, cutting our front bathroom in half. See that long hallway bathroom in the top picture? The tub is right behind the wall next to the sink. We are extending that wall, and the tub will be part of the master bath.

Whoever built this house obviously didn’t care too much about bathroom space because in a nutshell? There isn’t any. We’re just trying to utilize what little space we have and make every square inch count.

I have doubts. The front bathroom is going to be TINY, but we sort of have to sacrifice the space in order to make the master bath even normal size. I’m a little concerned about the toilet being in such a tight spot, but if you look at the top picture, it was like that before – the only difference will be it won’t be in a long hallway.

I can’t believe how much progress our guys made today. I’m still amazed they got the tub removed. I’m even MORE amazed there wasn’t more water damage. I was convinced that they would have to replace the sub-flooring and possibly the wall. Though portions of the wall have been removed, I’m thinking they had to remove it so they could get to the plumbing.

I think they are going to re-route the plumbing tomorrow. I think the tile guy is supposed to come tomorrow, too, though quite honestly, I have no clue what to expect. I have a final picture of what I want it to look like and this in-between stage is … disconcerting, to say the least.

At least they left us one toilet and one shower (the master bath hasn’t been touched yet). I know when my mom and dad re-did their bathroom, they had to give themselves sponge baths and use the restroom at a nearby restaurant because they only had the one bathroom to begin with.

The construction guys are telling us it’s going to be about two weeks before they’re through, but if they keep going at the pace they’re going now, I’m thinking it won’t even take that long.