A Fine Mess...

April 23, 2019


Bathroom renovation tales

I hate renovation. I mean I really, really hate it. Yes, the results are lovely, but all the in between stuff, makes me crazy.

Now, I know most people feel this way about the process. No one likes a mess, no one likes being put out and certainly no one like the stress, decisions and unexpected expenses. I get all of that, but let's face it, no pain, no gain.

However.

I have allergies and I'm not talking about your run of the mill sneezing or watery eyes, I'm talking about severe allergies. And allergies and construction do not play well together.

Having lived through major renovations in two homes, I try to avoid it now at all costs. Unfortunately, after almost 20 years in this cottage, things are starting to go...and some updating is required.

I try to mitigate it when I can. I make tiny tweaks that don't require major rip outs or I tape everything off, like I'm preparing for a hazmat spill, when a mess is unavoidable.

Either way, I'm always well prepared, because I have to be. It's stressful and a pain in the tail, but it's a lot better than the alternative.

Of course, no matter how vigilant one tries to be, in life, there are always surprises. Like this weekend....

A while back, I mentioned that our hallway bathroom needed a new tub. We installed a jetted tub years ago, because we thought it would be decadent to float in those bubbles. And it was. For a while.

What we didn't realize was that those tubs are really meant to stand alone. When they are combined with a shower, that gets used several times daily, the steam and water build up, don't have time to dry up and mold grows quickly in the jets.

Jetted Tub Cleaning Jets

I used to spend hours cleaning that stupid thing. I would run hot water and a dishwashing tab in first, then I would get out the dental floss, toothbrushes and Q-tips, trying to eradicate every speck of ick that I could find.

It wasn't a fun job at 35, but at 51 it's excruciating. And no cleaning woman, teenager or husband does it the way it should be done as far as I'm concerned, so I finally said, rip it out.

We were just going to replace the tub, then patch the floor and wall tiles back up. I thought maybe we'd need to paint, but nothing more. Just a simple little clean up.

Sure. Because things are always that simple, right?

Well, Saturday morning, without my knowledge, my ambitious husband started the removal. I came home to a hallway that was well taped and sealed. Perfect. The guy is awesome and breathing would carry on normally.

From the kitchen, I could hear a lot of banging and little bit of cursing before my husband finally emerged from the shrouded room, covered in sheetrock dust, explaining that the tiles were on the wall really well and he had to remove more than he thought he'd have to...

Bathroom Renovation

Ok, so far, not a huge deal, he put the tile up, he could fix it. But then there was a huge uh-oh, when he went downstairs. You see the ceiling was open because he needed to get to the pipes and now there was a hole there and all that dust and debris was covering my laundry area and making its way into the family room.

It was a scary oversight, but I tried not to panic. Or curse. Not out loud anyway. But I was definitely getting nervous.

It worked out ok, though, by Easter morning, the rooms were clean again and dust free, allergies in check, and I was ready for a relaxing day, when my husband decided he wanted to take out a few more floor tiles to make room for the new tub. Easy.

Or not. Turns out that tile was kind of brittle after all this time and it broke and became unstable. I didn't know any of this until he came out, again, covered in dust and debris, telling me that we needed a new floor.

Ripping Out A Bathroom

What?? I loved my old floor. I wasn't prepared for this. I had no plan!! At all. A new floor meant a larger renovation. If I was going to replace the floor, what about the vanity. And the sink.

And should I paint the walls? And what about the mirror? Would it all still go? More decisions, more money and more mess.

We basically spent Easter shimmying around bathroom debris that had been displaced, vacuuming, mopping and cleaning up more dust in the basement and on the main floor.

Hallway Mess

Oh. And trying not to wheeze as I contemplated the fact that we were now going to be renovating the entire bathroom.

When all I really wanted was a new tub.

One that was easier to keep clean.

Ironic isn't it?

What was your last renovation?


47 comments:

  1. Oh Kim, I feel so bad for you trying to renovate with allergies. Have you considered a hotel until the worst is done?

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    1. I should, Lorri! So far it's been manageable, like I said, I've been through this so many times before that I have it down to a system...but it's still not great. That's ok though, a clean tub is definitely worth the trouble.

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  2. OOh can't wait to see the finished bathroom!!

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    1. You and me both, Susan! Right now I have no idea of what kind of design I'm going for...I flip flop all day long. I blame my indecision on Pinterest!!

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  3. Oh wow Kim, I know what you are going through with renovations. It is not easy and at least you have a husband who is handy and willing to do all of that work. Just think of the money you are saving and how beautiful it look when it is finished. Lucky you!

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    1. I remember your bathroom renovation, Julie, and just keep thinking of the beautiful after...it keeps me going!

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  4. We did our bathroom last year and while we planned on doing the whole thing, it still always ends up being more work, more mess and more money. Good luck! It'll be beautiful when it's done. :)

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    1. Thanks Mari! I'm still lost as to a plan, but we're getting there slowly.

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  5. Oh, Kim, here I am, sniggling again, been there, done that. Word of advice: Just get it done. It will be so beautiful and who couldn't be happy about the whole shebang when you thought you were just going to get a new tub? I did love your floor though, but if that is the new one, it is gorgeous. Keep your mask on, and just believe that a pretty little cottage, after all this time, deserves a new bathroom and so do you. It's going to all be worth it..xxoJudy

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    1. Thanks Judy! I'm trying to keep my sense of humor and laugh my way through it. I change my mind about the design multiple times a day, especially when it comes to flooring. I just loved the old one so much. My husband says, so put it back, but that seems silly. I just need to pick something new....now if I could just figure out what, I'd be in business!! xo

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  6. Hi Kim,
    It is amazing especially in older home what you find when you start to do a renovation. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly. I cannot wait to see the finished bathroom. I am doing my bathroom too but NO reno. Just cosmetic for us. Have a great week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Lucky lady, new bathroom look, no reno. I like it!!

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  7. Ughhh! I can’t imagine the allergy issue, I have some allergies but nothing like you have. We’ve never done a renovation, we built our current home 13 years ago and we are making a few new changes but no reno.......fingers crossed! I can’t wait to see your new bath, I do love your floor choice, beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda. Of course, I've changed my mind about 10x with that floor. I can't decide on a look. And I love changes with no renovation. That's the best way to go!!

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  8. I can't wait to see it all finished, but I do know this is an ordeal. It is never just replacing one little thing...that one little thing multiplies, much like rabbits, and then you find yourself overhauling the entire house! :-) Hope it goes well and that you are feeling okay! Love and hugs!

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    1. One thing definitely leads to another, Benita!!

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  9. It's always shocking when a project that should be simple gets complicated quick! I'm so sorry for all the difficult decisions you suddenly have to make, but I know it will be awesome in the end! Will look forward to hearing "the rest of the story" :) Blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! We're ploughing through!!

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  10. Oh no, Kim! And just before the holiday. I'll look forward to seeing it finished. I've been MIA for a little while, a very busy time, and I have renovations of my own to look forward to. A swarm of bees entered the bedroom through the shutter box. It was very scary. And now both windows will be replaced, frames and everything, hopefully next week, after Passover, which brings our whole country to a standstill.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh no!! Amalia, that sounds terrifying. I really do hope that it didn't spoil your Passover celebrations, and you were able to enjoy the week. I'm not sure I would be able to relax with the prospect of bees making their way into my home hanging over my head. Here's to quick repairs and buzz free home!! xo

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  11. Girl, I've been there & it's awful, but at least you got a hubby who can do it & you're not waiting around on contractors to show up, who unexpectedly take off on Fridays & Mondays. Whew! And that dust! It goes everywhere no matter how much you seal off your rooms. I feel for you.

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    1. Having a DIY husband is awesome, Florence and it does make the process a little bit better!

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  12. Yikes! Well since we have only know each other for a short time, you don't know that my husband and I call ourselves house whisperers. Since I have had my blog in 2007 we have bought, lived in, remodeled and sold 4 homes before we had this new one built! So I know exactly what you are going through!

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    1. Wow, Penny! You are a house whisperer and a very brave woman! We’ve only done this twice….and I think that’s plenty for me. 😉

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  13. I just sent the email to start the process on our next major renovation. I have procrastinated for two years because I just do not want to deal with the mess. But we aren't getting any younger & neither is our contractor.

    We decided to make a final list...ALL the things we want him to do before he retires. It's extensive, at least two me.
    -master bath reno (tearing out walls, ect)
    -enlarge master bedroom & master closet
    -replace all the old windows in our house & trim them in
    -put new siding & window on our outbuilding
    -tear out a wall in the basement garage, add better lighting, install a dehumidifier & drain line

    Is that it? I sure hope so! Someday we need to do something about making our front entrance more accessible as we age.

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    1. That's quite a list, Jenny!! I think it's pretty extensive. We've put a lot of things off, too. We did so much in the beginning, such a major overhaul, that we needed a break. However, after almost 17 years it seems like it's time to start all over again! I'm not ready...

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  14. Oh yes, I do know what you mean. And that is why our kitchen is on the wait list.. I just know it will be be more than we plan. ;-)
    Good luck my friend.

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    1. This bathroom is really taking me for a ride, Carla. I was completely unprepared for a total remodel. I can’t settle on anything and every decision I make triggers four more. ☺️ You’re so smart to wait until you’re really ready and have it all planned. Much better way to go!

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  15. Oh no, I hear your pain!!! Like you, I detest renovations!!! My guest bath could use a refresh but 1. the budget and 2. the mess both keep me from doing a thing. Also my daughter's bathroom....after I finish cleaning her room and bathroom with a hazmat suit when she finally finishes getting everything out of there, the whole thing needs a revamp....I think it will have to survive with a good scrub (think LOTS OF BLEACH) and a fresh coat of paint. Some clean towels/mats/shower curtain and I'll call it a day. Good luck with your reno!!

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    1. There’s a lot to be said for a good cleaning, Debbie. I’m beginning to think maybe that’s where I should’ve started…and stopped!!

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  16. Oh my. I feel your pain. I started a small powder room renovation that has become a 2-1/2 month operation. It's my own fault. I keep coming up with new ideas. Just finished stenciling my floor and ordered a new sink that will go on the old vanity that I thought would be a quick paint job. It's crazy!

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    1. Oh...Debbie, your bathroom sounds dreamy!! And your story sounds just like mine! I keep changing my mind and the job gets bigger and bigger. I really just wanted a new tub and now it's a complete gut and remodel. Oh boy. We'll have to compare notes when it's all done!

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  17. Oooooops, bummer. And those floor tiles are, erhmmm were so pretty too. But knowing you, you'll make a beautiful plan, on a budget to redo the bathroom in style. I hope you'll share some of that journey with us. I'd love to see how you and hubby turn the mess around.

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    1. Were...you know when we go shopping, my eye still goes right to them in the store. I'm finding it hard to let go...

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  18. Like you, I hate home renovations! Sometimes they are a necessary evil though. And then in the long run, oh so worth it. The one thing you are really lucky in though is that your hubby is doing this work. My hubby is not a DIYer in any sense of the word (and neither am I!) so we have to hire out for not only the big jobs, but even the small ones. Even if he was a DIYer, he basically has no time to work on anything either as he works many hours outside the home. We desperately need a new tub in our hallway bath, too - and new tile surround. We also need a new shower and tile in the master bathroom (it's a freestanding corner shower unit). But...$$$!! We're hoping to get some outside work done this year. So maybe next year on the bathrooms! Can't wait to see how yours turns out. I know it'll be beautiful once it's done.

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    1. Thanks Melanie, and I hear you loud and clear. We have remodeled two homes, one was extensive and he did almost all the work himself. He was a weekend warrior for too many years to count, since he also worked crazy hours. That's why we haven't done anything big in a really long time. The guy needed a break! The contractor wanted almost $2k to replace the tub and patch a few tiles. I can imagine that for a complete remodel it would be many multiples of that. DIY definitely saves...

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  19. Renovations are a pin, but they do pay off. We have to struggle through the mess...lol I am so looking forward to seeing the total new look. We have to finish the pool cabana...

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    1. Thanks Linda! Now if I could just decide on a look!!

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  20. Kim I try to avoid renovations at all costs. But I can see a bathroom renovation in my future too. Good luck and keep the dust at bay!

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  21. Girl,, hate to say this but Tilex would of cleaned up those jets. I know just how crummy they can get and have cleaned many back to bright white. Ohhh well... so much for the old tub. My last reno was in my TINY 570' farmhouse, and it is my only bathroom which is just 42 sq feet big.. yes you read that right. When I found a nasty old rusted out claw foot tub in my neighbors barn, I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my remodel. Read all about it on my blog - just type in "bathroom remodel" . Looking forward to seeing your updated bathroom.

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    1. Oh I really wish that were the case. Unfortunately, for me, those chemicals weren't an option, I have awful allergies and wouldn't be able to breathe. Plus the manufacturer cautions against them because they can dry out the seals and rubber tubing in the jets. They certainly don't make it easy! 😉 Your story sounds very cool. I need to go over and peek immediately. What a lucky find...I bet it's gorgeous!!!

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  22. I hear you...it's never simple and one thing just leads to another. Try to focus on how beautiful it will be when it's done!

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  23. I love a good renovation mess! Can't wait to see what you do!

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    1. You’re a better woman than I, Kristi!

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