Sunday, June 6, 2010

Renovate Your Bathroom; Wreck Your Life

My world thickens in daily layers of dust.

Saw, sheetrock, saw, joint compound, ceramic tile, saw.

I’m an archeological dig in reverse.

Indiana, where are you? Be not afraid, Dr. Jones -- the only snake here is easily charmed by my plumber. At $45 an hour.

So if you plan to renovate a bathroom, here are some important things to know beforehand:

  • It costs how much?!
  • For every one room you renovate, expect at least two other rooms to be adversely affected for the duration of the construction period. Generally, these will be the rooms you spend most of your waking or sleeping hours in. In my case, both.
  • Temporary walls of plastic sheeting do not a bedroom make.

bubble boy's bed

  • If you are renovating a second-floor bathroom, repeat after with me: Acrylic, in-laid tub – good; cast-iron standalone tub – holy hernias!
  • If your desk is on the floor directly below that cast-iron tub, up your life insurance. Just in case.
  • Vanilla yogurt stains on your shorts send the wrong message to construction personnel.
  • That message is not as bad the one you send them when you have fresh vanilla yogurt dribbling down your chin.
  • Stop telling me to think about the future resale value. At these prices, I plan to be entombed in this flippin’ bathroom.
  • Can you tell the difference between a new toilet and the old toilet with a new seat and lid. I thought not.
  • Avoid backing into your subcontractors’ cars.

car bumper needs botox

  • If you do back into one of your subcontractors’ cars, pray it’s the guy doing the drywalling. Even I have hung, taped and mudded drywall, so how badly can he screw you over to exact revenge?
  • Say, where are my car keys? And the dog?
  • The air conditioner guy is not a plumber no matter how convincing he sounds telling you about needing a second hot water tank to meet your new showerhead’s output.
  • But just to be safe, double check the gallons per minute rating on the manufacturer’s spec sheet. Boo-yah!
  • The difference in color between ivory and isabelline grout is nearly impossible to distinguish with the naked eye in daylight. However, your  spouse will.
  • Heated towel racks are a nice luxury. Placing them across the room from the shower is pointless. Trying to even out the error with radiant heated floor tiles – yeah, nice try.
  • Are you serious? How FRICKIN’ much?
  • In the end, time waits for no man -- especially the repairman. Get what you pay for the first time.

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  1. Having just replaced all the plumbing lines in the house I JUST BOUGHT...yeah, man, I feel the pain with ya.

    Good tip on the yogurt. I'll keep it in mind...

  2. But I really, really, really want an new bathroom....

  3. Yeah, yeah, yeah..
    You will post pictures when it's finished, right?!

  4. 45 an hour is pretty cheap for a plumber. As long as he's fast.

    I still say you'll be thrilled about a year after the dust settles. Mark my words.

  5. You write about your problems. I laugh my ass off. I love this symbiotic relationship. How's it working for you?

  6. A second water heater? Feh. Go tankless, I say.

  7. Right in the middle of it. We move in 7 days and our work is no where near done. I might be sleeping in dust and caulk pieces.

  8. We made the mistake of doing cast iron tubs when we renovated. I still don't think that disk is back where it belongs.

  9. Yes, but imagine how AWESOME it will be when it's done. Is it too soon?

  10. Crap. Know I know why I got the funny looks when I had ketchup on my white pants.

    Did I just go there?

    Why, yes. I did.

  11. There is no way I could put up with that aggravation. My dream is to buy a mansion and have servants take care of everything. When I want a change I'll just sell it and buy another mansion. But, since I rent now and I"m 35, I'm guess that'll have to be another life :-)

  12. We(my husband and I) are remodeling our entire 84 year old house. We got into it and then hubby took a job out of state. The kitchen was ripped apart 18 months ago...the bathroom more than 2 years ago. I have varying depths of wallpaper in 2 bedrooms. The only room in the house that is finished is the living room. Three-quarters of our basement is dirt.
    It's impossible to tile an entire bathroom when it's the only one in the house. And plywood floors do not a kitchen make.
    I'm ready to shoot someone.
    I totally feel your pain.

  13. We did a major remodeling project three years ago, so I feel your pain.

    BTW - I say it's better to have dried yogurt on your pants than on those of your contractors. I'm just saying ...

  14. "Vanilla yogurt stains on your shorts send the wrong message to construction personnel." Or the right one. GrrrrOWL.

    And uh, hey, nice bed spread!

  15. You just scared me away from ever doing anything remotely creative in our bathroom that will require contractors later. Anything. Ever. Seriously.

  16. Thanks for the laughs this morning. Our bathroom has been a work in progress for almost 10 years!

  17. Sounds like a Mell of a Hess to me !

  18. Oh my god - the yogurt on the chin...

  19. I think you need to get that thick and creamy kind of yogurt to really counteract these kinds of potential snafus. Or keep up what you're doing now, because you got a spit take out of me.

    I just re-roofed my house. Well, *I* didn't, because, well, heights and all. However, the cost of that project makes me want to crawl out the window and onto the roof each night and lay there on the new shingles for it may be the fanciest thing I ever get close to.

  20. This post made me laugh. Good line about the "Vanilla Yogurt stains".

    I am building a bar in my house and can very much relate to your trials and tribulations:

  21. I feel your pain with renovations, which is why you can still tell that the house we bought 3 years ago is older than I am. Best of luck!


  22. Home renovations are Of The Devil.

  23. Thank you for sharing those pointers. Remodeling and renovating any part of your house can be a pain at times. But when you know something about it, it can make the job easier. And in regards to getting life insurance, well, it will not hurt to get your home some insurance, too, to help you with your next reno.


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