When my husband and I moved into our house 5 1/2 years ago, we knew that the place needed a few upgrades. Our immediate family had expanded to include two children and our prior home, a cute little 'L' ranch, had gotten too tight to contain us. At the time, my husband and I were both spending part of our workweek working from home, so this added to the cramped feel. So the time was right to buy something larger - a four bedroom colonial with a large den and double garage to give us the extra working and storage space that we so desperately needed. Real Estate was high at the time, so while we got a good price for our sale, we also had to pay up for the larger house. The difference in price was not terrible as the new house was a FSBO and that that helped to temper the cost a little. And while there were some upgrades - a mid-late eighties kitchen re-do (someday to be a blog unto itself titled "Diary of an Ugly Kitchen"), vinyl siding and some newer flooring, it clearly needed a lot work.
As soon as we moved in we began what seemed to be an endless stream of improvements on the house, starting with the basics - paint, wall coverings, floors/carpets - on to more complex and costly projects like removing trees from the front and back yard, residing and facing where sections of the house was rotting away, excavating and grading out the backyard (it was mostly a two story hill), replacing windows, regrading and repaving the driveway, putting in a new front walkway, digging a new cesspool, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
All during this time, we were living with a master bath so ugly, so foul, I lived in fear of anyone ever seeing it. Whenever we had company our room and the bathroom were shut off tight. No coats on the bed please. The shower was a 32"X32" box that had an original 1960 shower pan that made my feet itch when I stood on it. As a dyed in the wood germophobe, no amount of bleach was going to get me past that. We re glazed it immediately. The shower doors had brown stripes and looked like something a circa 1975 Motel Six decorator would have rejected. Aside this stifling box was a blue, cast iron tub that had not seen water in 48 years. I know this because it did not have a working hot water handle and there was absolutely no sign of wear. The vanity was big and ugly and the finish was wearing off. One of the prior owners had re tiled the floors to an 8"X8" ceramic tile with a shiny finish that caused you to slip the second any water hit it. And the toilet, oh the toilet. For some reason, the toilet was raised up on a little lip of discolored marble. So when we replaced the toilet with a power assist model ( last year's Christmas gift to the hubby - go ahead laugh, he loved it), we had to add another piece of mismatched marble to make it sit correctly. Preeeetttyyy!
So here we are, finally ready to change this bathroom. I decided to record the events of this remodel on a blog because, like the pain of childbirth, the pain (and joy) of remodeling is soon forgotten. And unfortunately, I am generally a poor story teller. I recall dates, names, places and most chain of events without any accuracy. If I record as I go, I can be spared the embarrassment of my husband contradicting me over some critical fact that I have "misremembered" (hey, if it's good enough for politicians, then why not me?) when I am telling a story at a family gathering. So, without further ado, I invite you to feast your eyes on the before and join us on the journey to the after. Should be fun or at least riddled with enough schadenfreude to keep people entertained.