life, writing

Bathroom Renovation: Part 1 – It’s a Go!

At the end of February, it will be ten years since we moved into our house. We have been oh so responsible in dealing with the renovations, starting with the very unsexy updates of new gutters, roof and windows. Having three kids and both of us being allergic to debt means we’ve taken things slowly.

Previous owners did some updates in the 90s – sadly, they had a love affair with brass – and a fresh coat of paint before it went on the market made it a nicer house than we ever thought we could afford. Our starter home was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath that we updated ourselves, adding two bedrooms within it’s very small footprint.

We called this house, just a few blocks over, our starter house on steroids. 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

But this is where it gets disgusting. The previous residents were college boys, so you can imagine that maintenance and cleanliness were not of paramount importance. If you own a jacuzzi tub, you know that it requires regular use and cleaning. Otherwise, a whole new world starts to colonize the pipes.

Our old house had a tiny blue bathtub, so I was excited to have a deep soaking tub with jets. But there was no way in hell I was getting in without a decent cleaning.

I had no idea what I was in for.

The sludge that oozed out of the pipes the first time I turned on the jets was reminiscent of the black slime of childhood nightmares. Chunky, glutinous snakes, hibernating and growing for years, spurted into the tub like ogre vomit, over and over again. I had to empty it in buckets so it wouldn’t clog the drain.

My sensitive stomach had an intense workout as I repeated the process 47 times. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. I ran those jets with bleach several times a day for weeks before I could bring myself to get into that tub. Even then, I had to NOT think about it very carefully to be able to relax and enjoy a soak.

MS fatigue and the neck injury that causes me crazy pain and headaches made me overpower my squeamishness and revel in the comfort of Epsom salt baths. Until the damn thing started to leak – in the opposite corner of the house. Water started dripping down through a pot light in the basement.


That was three or four years ago. Luckily it was only the tub that leaked, not the shower. Those slimy snakes must have been so big, they damaged the pipes. Ugh.

For the past couple of years, we’ve tried to find someone that would take on the renovation the way we wanted it to go. Meaning, a separate tub and shower fitting into a minuscule space. Strangely, not one of the six contractors we had in, wanted to take on the job. It may have to do with the fact that we’re not prepared to spend obscene amounts of money to make it happen. So, we’re replacing the current fixtures and calling it good.

Having to clean the tub before having a bath is a first world problem.

So, we hired a designer to deal with the project and I just got word that we’re starting this week. Yeehaw! I love me some demo, so I already started removing some tiles. Years ago, I replaced the sad brass light fixtures and faucets.

A tip for new homeowners: the savings you get from the ‘big box stores’, is not worth it when it comes to quality. They may carry the the same brand names but it’s like buying your fixtures at the dollar store. Renovations cost a lot, time-wise and money-wise. Spend your money wisely and buy quality.


Goodbye brass! The final frontier… Soooo ugly!!!

Hopefully once they get started, it won’t take too long to put things back together. We all know how that goes, though. Fingers crossed for quick and on budget – no surprises. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

I’ll keep you posted…

❤️ Amanda

37 thoughts on “Bathroom Renovation: Part 1 – It’s a Go!”

  1. The double vanity is beautiful. I am not handy in the least. I am currently in the process of doing a minor update to my bathroom. I am going to hire someone to lay the tile but I will look for quality. You are correct not to skimp on quality. You will pay for it in the short run if you do. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. The photos are of the old stuff though, the stuff we’re taking out. They are in decent shape, so we’ll send them to the ReStore for Habitat for Humanity. Good luck with your update, it can be so satisfying to fix it up yourself. Not for the big jobs though, at least not for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My bad I thought the vanity was new. Habitat will be happy to have that item. Thanks for your well wishes with my project. Big jobs are not for me either. I look forward to seeing the new stuff you put in.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are very brave my friend! We did a kitchen reno last year and I thought it would never end. Oh so tired of the fridge in the living room and picnicking on the deck. Oh and in the middle we had a hurricane going through and everyone and everything came to a standstill. Lucky no one was hurt and no damage but it extended the pain. Wishing you luck 🙂👍💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope it’s only good news…I’m super nervous! Getting a designer was something I resisted doing, trying to save the money. It’s worth it to have somebody else have to sort out all the logistics though. I hope I still feel that way by the end of it! 😊💕

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hahah, I couldn’t help but laugh at ‘house on steroids’, and at the stomach exercises while trying to scour clean the tub. But it’s not funny, I’d hate to have to put up with a bathroom like that too. Wooohoooo that work will be underway soon! It’s great you’ve got before shots so you can see the transformation. Wishing you well with it, hope it all goes as smoothly as possible. You’ll be able to enjoy and fully relax with your epsom salts bath before you know it, first time in a long while I imagine! 🙂
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my! I really enjoyed your good column. I am 77 and have lived in a number of mobile homes in my life, as well as a couple of condominiums, so have been through all that remodeling, etc. And a lot of years I lived alone, so learned how to do most things on my own. Being a woman, I knew what worked for me and what did not related to kitchen shelves next to the sink that had corner cabinets. Having to get on my hands and knees and seeing how poorly that space was designed, it gave me the desire to pull everything out and start all over. So I can truly appreciate the work you did and your thoughts about it all. I am not sure I am as in touch with what is popular and what is not, but I always knew what I did love and what worked for me. It was a good feeling working with hardly any money to get homes changed to fit my needs. This was a genuinely refreshing column. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anne. I appreciate your comments so much! It is so satisfying to fix things up without selling your financial soul. I’m so happy to have found your blog. I look forward to getting to know you better!


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