Four phases to a bathroom remodel

August 2, 2017

When we moved into the farmhouse, the bathroom was a big upgrade from our previous rental house.  The farmhouse bathroom had room for two people, storage, sink WITH a cabinet, a linen closet... I mean, the works! 


The only problem was location... Particularly, the door's location.


When we first saw the house, Ben said "that door has been there for 100 years and can be there for 100 more!"




His wife, however, disagreed.




The bathroom is clearly an afterthought in this old house.  So someone along the way put the bathroom in we think was probably the storage/ pantry and put the door with direct access through the house.  The door is in a perfectly logical location... Perfectly awkward as well.  


The door is located in the kitchen. And not like "if I sneak in while everyone's talking, I bet no one will notice" but more like "hey everyone, time me."  It takes truly mature friends not to comment on that kind of a bathroom break. And we don't have mature friends. (Apparently it takes one to know one...) What can we say? Farts are funny.


Also, this is the ONLY bathroom in the house.  Some privacy was needed, it seemed.


But more importantly, the new kitchen design required the refrigerator to go in that location.  So thankfully  (for me) the bathroom door was awkward and therefore required a total bathroom overhaul..... all for a fridge!!!  


Totally worth it.


Phase 1: Convince husband.

This was actually not as hard as I had anticipated.  Ben gave me a great run for my money though.  We had looked at the house in November but didn't sign for it until April.  That meant five long months drawing, scheming, measuring, re-drawing and tweaking until I knew for sure what I wanted. Somewhere along the way my husband fully agreed with me.... and didn't tell me!  So here I thought I had to carefully craft the merits behind my decision, but he surprised me: the bathroom door had to go.


This did not mean he was excited about moving it.  In fact, it was the last piece we demo'ed in the house.


Phase 2: Start demo without your husband, thank him in every way possible when he masterfully finishes it for you.




I really did ok taking the woodwork and tile out by myself. Even the bathtub surround came out with my muscles... and alot of time and effort. So then Ben had mercy on me, came in and took everything down to studs. 





Phase 3: Follow the plan


Somewhere in this time I was listening to the radio and they gave this CRAZY statistic that the average bathroom remodeling cost in the US was $75,000. You read that right, not a typo, that's 75 thousand dollars.  


I'm sorry to ruin this for you but you'll have to find a different blog to read about the $75 thousand dollar bathroom makeover. I do not know what kind of gold toilets and plutonium subway tile other people are buying but this farmhouse is going to have to do with less.  Story of her life. 


Now, this phase comes along about the time where you're pretty sure this was a horrible idea but you'll never admit it to your husband for fear that you'd actually have to admit he was right...  You've bit off more than you can chew. This is a dangerous phase.  Remain strong and follow the plan.  


My plan went something like this:



Remember those five long months of planning in "Phase one: Convince Husband"? A major component of phase one was learning SketchUp (Google's free version of autoCAD, plus it can do so much more) and proving to husband that I (lovingly) have a plan and my plan can work. :)  He has since been overheard saying that challenging me to learn SketchUp was far more dangerous than he realized.  However, 1. I love it! and 2. it has saved us thousands in architect and design fees. 


I'm not saying that you should skip the architect.  I'm just saying that we did.


Ultimately, the toilet stayed in place and the bathtub switched from the south wall to the north wall, the vanity switched from the east wall to the west wall, plumbing switched sides, the floor vent was added, a linen closet was built in and the current linen closet became shower storage. That's all. ;)



Phase 4: Thankfulness


Do you know what your plumbing looks like behind your pretty bathroom tile?  It's just dirty copper piping.  Who knew?! It is incredibly unglamorous, but wow! Indoor plumbing? Thank you, Sir John Harrington!



Here's how the bathroom looks today:



And a side by side from the two most similar angles:







And while it's not complete, it does inspire an incredible amount of thanksgiving in my heart:


- Thankful for a place to be clean

- And that the place is inside of my house!

- thankful for youtube videos on how to tile

- and on how to use SketchUp

- Thankful for friends like Mike and Trisha Dunkelberger, who know how to plumb and aren't afraid to use it!

- and a special thanks to Mr. Thomas Crapper, for the modern concept of plumbing!


(Did you really think I wasn't going to include that?!)



- Sarah




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July 1, 2017

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