While walking through our house with the realtor, this is the bathroom we saw:
And we bought the house.
But what may be even more surprising is that we have lived with that bathroom for almost three years. For three years I have complained on almost a daily basis (who am I kidding, it was on a daily basis) about the grody toilet that was so old it never looked clean, about the freezing cold concrete floor that you dare not step on with bare feet, and about the heating vent in the shower that would help me to really hit those high notes while soaping up-brrrrrr.
So when it came time to remodel this nasty bathroom, I didn’t ask for much. A new toilet. No more green tile. A whirlpool tub. Ok, I guess that last one was asking for a bit much.
However, this remodel posed a problem. If we’re remodeling the one bathroom in our house, um…how are we going to do our business in the meantime? Our neighbors are nice, but I’m not sure they would appreciate us knocking on their door several times a day to shower and pee. With that, we decided to build a full bathroom in our basement.
I say “we,” but that’s relative. I didn’t help with this bathroom at all. I was dealing with my own construction project. I was building this little guy:
You’ll notice that he’s not exactly a newborn anymore. Yes, this basement bathroom seemed to take forever. There were building permits, inspections, hired plumbers and electricians (our city requires it – a bummer for us DIYers), sawing through the concrete foundation of the basement (soooo dusty and messy), tree roots growing into our underground pipes forcing us to rent a medieval-looking snake from Home Depot, not to mention oohing and ahhing over a baby in between all that.
So finally, the basement bathroom was finished. It was a glorious day.
So then came the time to demo the main bathroom. Behind those green-tiled walls was mortar, chicken wire, newspaper from 1953, then drywall. In that order. Needless to say, demo took quite a while. We were planning on still using the sink and toilet for a while, even after we had demoed the walls, but that idea came crashing down -literally- when a heavy chunk of tiled wall fell and hit the 50-year old toilet, which exploded, sending toilet water flowing through the floor and into the above mentioned glorious bathroom. Ugh.
Let me digress for a moment and really hit home the fact that the toilet we used for almost three years was stamped “1953” in the tank. The original owners whom we bought the house from raised 6 kids here. Think of the illnesses, first drinking experiences and stomach bugs that toilet saw. Get the picture? Ok, moving on…
So from Halloween until the end of February, every time we had to pee, shower, grab some Advil or brush our teeth, we ventured into the basement. Oh, the calories we burned!
But all that has changed now. My awesome husband, Derek, remodeled this entire bathroom by himself! I’m lucky I even got a say in the paint color. He did the plumbing, drywall, tiling, everything. And yes, he re-routed the heating vent from inside the shower stall. And really, as someone who has been very hands on with all of our home remodeling projects, this was kind of a nice change. And seeing the look of pride on his face when people gush over our awesome remodel, I know he loves the fact that he did all this himself.
Oh, and nevermind that hole in the wall. You’ll see the frame he built to hold the whirlpool tub, however, if the motor in it ever goes, we needed to make an access panel (uh…from the outside) so we can get to it, since it’s butted up against the wall. Make sense? Good. P.S. There’s our cute dog, Lola! She’s trying to help. Awwww.
I helped hold stuff, handed him hammers and around Christmas, while super sick with a cold, at 10:00 at night, I helped him for about an hour, trying to fit our whirlpool tub into its slot, so he could hook it all up. There was some awesome grunting and swearing in our house that night.
Oh, and I got to take a swing at that towel bar. It totally had it coming.
So now every morning, I get to get ready for work in this bathroom.
Our lives have been dramatically improved. Especially when I’m soaking in that whirlpool tub. Ooh, boy. Life is good.