Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Much Can a Bathroom Cost?

My Husband (let's call him DH - Dear Husband - from now on, shall we?) and I decided in December 2010 that we would begin to renovate our townhouse in the new year in preparation for selling it.  We talked about what needed to be done and what we should do first.  Bathrooms was the obvious starting point in our minds.  Small, but somewhat laborious, we figured each of the three wouldn't take too long and with DHs expertise as a Finishing Carpenter, there wouldn't be any problems he couldn't sort out easily.

How wrong could we be.

The powder room on the main floor was first.  We had done the laundry room floor in the fall with a lovely dark grayish tile bought at Rona.  I thought it was stylish and modern with it's longer than wide profile, but DH wasn't convinced we'd made the right choice.  He thought we should have gone for the lighter, slightly brown version ... but he wasn't about to start over.  Since the laundry and powder rooms are right next to each other it made sense to use the same tile.  So, DH pulled everything out, stuffed the toilet flange and began to tile.  When he was finished he hated it (I still liked it).  He complained that he couldn't find any vanity to complement the tile (I found many I liked).  After several weeks scouring the Internet and the local stores he found an unused vanity on Craigslist for $150.  Great deal.  He put it in and was happy with it.  (So happy that we got my Mom one for her Master bedroom ensuite.)

Next up, the main bathroom and Master bedroom ensuite.  We had debated whether to pull out the tub in the main bathroom.  It was original (think mid 80's), small and shallow ... but if we pulled it out we'd need to re-tile the bathtub surround.  It was going to be a lot of work and DH was really uncomfortable about what he saw as major plumbing work.  In the end, a realtor we really like, gave us the name of a local re-glazer.  For $1200 we are getting the bathtub, the tile surround, and the ensuite shower re-glazed a basic white.  We think we've probably saved $3000-$5000 along with many, many hours of work.

Of course, the tub and shower are the least of our problems.  It's the darn vanities ... again.  48" in the main bathroom.  We can actually find something from Ikea and several other places that would work.  But, the 60" vanity in the Master bedroom ensuite is causing us real grief.  Over the vanity on the left side is a window, meaning we have to have a vanity with a sink placed to the right.  Not hard you say?  Ha - double sinks no problem, but it would be awkward with the layout of the bathroom.  A single, right-hand side vanity is what we need.  We've searched everywhere.  Nothing under $5000.  In the end?  DH happened upon an old co-worker who had started his own business.  For $2300 he's going to build us the vanity boxes for both bathrooms.  We still have to get the under-mounting sinks and counter (l'd like granite - who wouldn't, right?).  So, the $5000 we saved with our re-glazing project will be used for what I'd always assumed would be the easiest part of the bathroom reno's - the vanities.

Next, I'm going to take some pictures of these bathrooms so you can really see what's happening.

Work coming up:  find tiles for main bathroom floor; re-glazing; installing our custom-made vanities; getting the counters measured, cut and installed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My First Post

This is my first post.  My first blog.  It's exciting and also, to be honest, a little unnerving.  You'd think at my age I wouldn't be nervous - that I wouldn't care what people think.  In my day job I place content on the web all the time and I don't find that unnerving ... but this?  Perhaps because blogs are personal.  I'm opening myself up for inspection.  People critique blogs all the time.  Perhaps you wouldn't point out the garish colours of someones shirt, but you think nothing of judging and voicing your opinion on someones blog.

So, here I am in my garish coloured shirt and you're probably asking yourself "What is this blog about?"  I have so many different interests in life, but I've decided that my first blog will be about our renovations on our current townhouse and our goal to move into a house with a yard, a workshop for my Husband, a garden for me, space for our young son ... and did I mention that we're thinking of buying this home with my Mom so it needs to have two suites - one for us and one for my Mom?  Some would call us mad, but I love my Mom and can only think of all the positives to doing it this way.  The most obvious reason is that it gives us that much more money to widen our choices; but, for me, it's about the special bond I see between my son and his Oma (grandma).

So, with that in mind, let the madness begin!