Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bathroom Renovation - Guts and Glory

We forgot what it was like to deal with a substantial renovation. The last time we dived, head first, into a something like this it was Basement Suite 2.0 and we had no idea what we were getting into. We had possession of the house for one day before we started tearing it apart. We knew that we were going to come up against some hardships and mistakes. We even knew that we would find some unlikely things behind the walls. Like a bear claw. It's true, I found one. But we didn't know how angry or frustrated we would get trying to make things work or finding out that they didn't. Blurg.

I forgot about the anger. I forgot about the frustration. I forgot that this house is 80 years old and most likely has layers upon layers of linoleum, plywood and drywall covering up the 60s, 70s and 80s. So of course it took us 3 days to demo the bathroom because it had 3 generational layers! Blurg.

I can't believe how much crap came out of that bathroom. And its still coming. The plumber is in there now shaking his head and saying stuff like "they don't make these anymore." I know that! Gotta replace it. Ok. What does that mean for us? More work. Blurg.

I also forgot what it felt like to have drywall wall dust everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! Why we didn't learn to put a plastic sheet over the bathroom door while we were demolishing I will never know. But, we cleaned it up, hired someone to take the crap away and went to Cool J's work to have a shower. Ahhhh employee benefits.

I keep standing in the middle of the empty room looking around and saying to myself, "why did we do this?". Oh yeah, so we wouldn't have to look at the duct tape holding the shower together anymore. Right! Oh, and because not having a fan was simply not an option anymore. Right! So the plumber is here, doing the best he can with what he's got. And we are going to do our best to make this a quick and painless renovation. Famous last words.



  1. Totally. Feeling. Your. Pain.

    Based on our experience? I've decided renovation is like pregnancy (stick with me here) in that your body produces some *weird* chemical while you're in the midst of it, so that later, when you reflect on it? Instead of remembering what it was REALLY like, you think, "Oh. That was tough, but not TOO bad."

  2. I'm not sure I want to try pregnancy to compare. This 80 yr old baby is enough for us! You're right about the selective amnesia though whew!

  3. yikes!
    that looks a lot like our bathroom when we renovated it. the pantry and bathroom became one, but we couldn't finish for a while and lived with plastic covered plywood walls, plywood floors and a makeshift plywood counter/sink cabinet and free standing tub for a year. A Year! so we are totally with you. (done now though) if you are ever strolling down ferndale knock on the door. i would love to show you your old rental's new look!

  4. Saskia! Our old house! I would love to see what you did with the smallest bathroom in the world. Good idea merging the pantry and bathroom. I remember having to stand in the tub to brush my teeth if Cool J was at the sink. Brutal.

    Yeah, hopefully we won't have an unfinished bathroom for a year. I think that's crazy making. Congrats on finishing it. Next time we are at Donald's we'll swing by.

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