Yippee! I totally feel like skipping because…I survived our bathroom renovation! My first reno experience EVER. If you recall, we were on the fence about actually going through with it. After a little more hemming and hawing, we decided to proceed. I’ll provide all the details later in this post but first, here are the amazing photos!
More info about the process and sources…
Three lessons learned:
1. You, your thorough planning, and your plastic tarp will be utterly futile against the relentless onslaught of drywall dust. It will settle into everything you own. Window sills? Check. The mantle located on the floor below? Check. The TV console in the basement where your contractors never set foot? Yes (unbelievably), check.
2. Try to make peace with the fact that your home will be in disarray for awhile. As a neurotic neat freak and queen of clean, I struggled with this and felt completely discombobulated. Somehow I hadn’t realized that every floor of our townhouse would be impacted by the renovation (e.g. you have to clear a path through your home so the contractors can carry debris, equipment, etc. back and forth, duh).
3. Whatever your contractor tells you about your project’s estimated timeline, double it. Ours was supposed to take two to three weeks. It ended up taking four. And our contractor is a highly-reputable and honest gentleman whose team does exceptional work. Random events will crop up and cause delays: snow days, the flu, etc. That’s life. However, for your part, make sure you have all the materials (e.g. tub, tile, towel bars) on hand when your contractor is ready to install them. Also, know that change orders will extend the timeline and add to your budget.
(Note: the only items we reused from the old bathroom were our Kohler toilet and two-light wall sconce.)
- Subway tile: The Tile Shop
- Marble 1-inch hex tile, baseboards, thresholds: The Tile Shop
- Kohler Villager cast iron tub: Lowe’s
- Chelsea by Simpli Home 31-inch white vanity with undermount sink and quartz marble countertop: Lowe’s
- Crystallized white glass backsplash: Signature Hardware
- Kohler medicine cabinet, towel bars, toilet paper holder: Lowe’s
- Moen bathtub faucet, showerhead, sink faucet: Lowe’s
- Oval pivot mirror: Restoration Hardware
- Wall paint color: Valspar Seashell Gray (4003-1A) from Lowe’s
- Artwork: Synchronized Swimmers Print from Rifle Paper Co.
- Stitch Black + White shower curtain: Unison
Budget: $10,000 all in
Although I did a lot of research and fielded more than three bids on my own (including contractor walk-throughs at our house), I ultimately used the services of HomeWise Referrals. If you live in the DC metro area, I highly recommend them. Owner Debbie Farson will provide you with several vetted contractors who would be appropriate for your project. And she follows your project until it’s done. It’s a free service, and on their website they explain how they stay objective.
My contractor was Jim Rydell of Rydell Homes. You know the shifty, negligent contractors that Adam Corolla ambushes on his new show? Jim is the exact opposite.
Update on March 20, 2014: Check out the discussion about “Drywall Drama“—the often fraught relationship between homeowners and contractors—that the New York Times just published.