Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bathroom Project

For the first time in the 6 years we have owned this house, our upstairs bathroom doesn't smell like pee! We finally did it. We finally tore into our upstairs bathroom. And by "we," I clearly mean Joel. 

Being that he works for a bathroom and kitchen remodel company, we figured it was probably time to give our own bathroom a makeover.

It's actually probably time we finish the other 20 projects we have started, but we were in need in the mood for a renovation, and this one fit our time and budget.

Every job has its perks, and Joel's job just happens to have perks that are great for a fixer upper house. Especially when it involves lots of leftover tile, toilets and other new bathroom/kitchen fixtures, not to mention the knowledge of how to actually bring it to completion.

For those of you who don't know, we bought our house right before the housing market took a plunge, which means we had zero down payment, a decently high mortgage for what the home was worth, and not a lot of money (ok, NO money) to fix up this little fixer upper.

{For what it's worth, I would definitely not recommend going this route}

With our home came vision for the potential that lay within the walls. Old homes come with lots of character and sometimes that character needs to be drawn out a bit. At some point within the last 50 years, someone converted this single family home into a two unit: an upper and a lower apartment.

For us newlyweds, it worked out great. Live in one half, rent out the other (I DO recommend this whenever possible!). But babies came, and we quickly outgrew our tiny apartment.

Now what? We tore down some walls, moved things around, and converted this house back into a single family dwelling. Now that it wasn't just a rental property, it not only opened up the possibility of us staying more long term, but became a home where we could actually dream about fixing it up.

Vision for a home is one thing, but vision when you don't have money is another. It's easy to search pinterest and day dream about each room and it's potential (or am I the only one who does that?), but it's another thing to try to make those dreams reality. Especially on a budget.

So...if we decorate/live on a budget, you can bet we remodel on one as well. Which brings me back around to the smelly, ugly upstairs bathroom.

Don't get me wrong. When this house was built 160 years ago, there was no indoor plumbing. I'll take a stinky bathroom over the bush out back {almost} any day, but like I said, we had an itch to tear something out, and the bathroom was next on the list. 

It's a teeny tiny bathroom and it definitely wasn't set up the best way possible. Not to mention how ugly it was. I think the only part that was even worth saving was the claw foot tub (which we did save, just not for this bathroom).

Now, I assume those who went before us in fixing this bathroom also were on a budget, which is why things are they way they are. But we were determined to fix it, not only right, but well.

Before: This photo is from right before we purchased the house Check out the 2 x 4's holding up the shower head.

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Before: A crisp white coat of paint to the trim helps brighten the room. That, and daylight. This is when it was still a two unit. It was on the list of "someday" projects.

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Progress: As it stands today. Ahh. Goodbye 160 year old wanes coating! New floor plan, new tub. 

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Try to see around the ridiculously tight images. I had my wide angle lens on and my back was against the hallway wall. It's so tight that it's impossible to capture the whole room in one image. Here is the new placement of the toilet and the partially framed in bath tub. We couldn't get a tub that actually fit the space, so Joel framed in a little wall. It will be much nicer once the drywall and tile is in.

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We splurged and bought a new tub. We are saving the claw foot for our master bathroom someday. In order to save space, we decided to put the new tub under the window. Not ideal, but it was really the only option. I'm very much anticipating the drywall/tile phase to pull it all together.

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 I LOVE tearing into this old house. I love {most} surprises that hide in each wall. This wall had an old hole where a medicine cabinet was at some point, hiding behind the huge mirror. 

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We don't have a new toilet yet, so we put our ugly old one in so we have a bathroom for now. Almond  base, white tank...oh, how mismatched my house is (was!)

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Make way for a vent fan!!! Hooray. It's the little things in life, really.

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Oh how I can't wait to replace some of this stuff.

While I'm thankful my husband hoards saves materials, I still find myself browsing pinterest in search of the most beautiful bathroom and swoon over the beautiful tile that's available, I try to remember that our desired end result is a functional, clean, crisp bathroom. I can paint and decorate on a budget, and you can bet I will, but it's okay if it's not pinterest worthy. 

In reality, who's bathrooms are? At least, even if mine were as beautiful as the ones on pinterest or HGTV, they would be cluttered with wet towels, peed in undies (love finding those in the morning), toothpaste glued to the sink, bath toys everywhere...and I'm just going to take a wild guess, but because we will still have little boys, that all too familiar pee smell will find a way in even the most beautiful, perfect bathroom.

Does it mean we need to let go of our visions and dreams for a project? Not completely. If you are real with your budget and capabilities, you can find what you love and adapt them to fit where you're at in life. For us, that means low cost, exclusively DIY, and practical for a growing, young family.

I love that I'm married to a man as thrifty as I am. I joke about his hoarding but it's times like this that I am so glad he does. Who else can shop in their own basement for bathroom fixtures and floor tile? HA.


Kira said...

it's looking good!! i think moving the tub definitely made it bigger. can't wait to see what it will look like when it's done :)

Mom said...

Wow! Can't believe the difference and it will be awesome when it complete. We'll come for a visit and test out the shower....LOL