There are certain home improvements that create such a huge positive shift in your quality of life, and the bathroom might be the greatest of them all. Bathrooms can either be a sanctuary of cleanliness, or a frustrating and embarrassing space you can't wait to get out of. I know first hand from the renovations we did at my last house what an amazing transformation and relief a full bathroom renovation can be. When I saw my high school friend Amie's bathroom renovation, I knew I had to share it with the world. The transformation that Amie & her husband Richard's bathroom underwent is bright, practical and above all a testament to the power of a well informed and skilled home owner who is willing to put in the hours on a quality project. When you look at the math below, you'll see it took nearly a month's worth of eight hour days to complete this project; it certainly wasn't the weekend job Rich hoped it might be! I'll let Amie take it from here:
We did a gut reno of the 37 square foot bathroom in our 1920s home. When we bought our home 5 years ago we developed a list of projects we wanted to complete and renovating the one and only second floor bathroom was on the bottom of that list. While it was aesthetically unpleasing, it functioned just fine and I spruced it up with some beach-themed prints and a lush bathmat with matching towels.
When we started noticing some water damage on the ceiling below the bathroom, the reno jumped to the top of the to-do list (especially since I was 7 months pregnant at the time with our first child). My husband, an architect and staunch DIY’er, was committed to doing the entire project himself and being woefully optimistic he believed he could get it done over a long weekend. Lo and behold, after discovering a host of plumbing issues and the birth of our baby girl, the project ended up taking six months.
The whole project cost a little over $4,000 and 215 man hours. Here’s a breakdown of the project with the cost, time spent and level of difficulty (LOD):
Floors (26sf) – removed multiple layers of old flooring, replaced with marble hex tile
Cost = $500
Time = 10hrs
LOD = 3 (on a scale or 1-5)
Walls – demo’d lath and plaster walls, replaced with sheet rock, painted and bead board wainscotting
Cost = $600
Time = 64hrs
LOD = 2
Shower – removed old square tiles, two (!) tubs (apparently the one was an insert) and glass shower door, replaced with new tub, white subway tile, added 4 nooks with smaller marble hex tile backs and marble shelf, new shower rod/curtain
Cost = $1,500
Time = 28 hrs
LOD = 4
Ceiling – demo’d two ceilings (drop ceiling and original lath and plaster), replaced with sheetrock, painted and new light fixture
Cost = $50
Time = 8 hrs
LOD = 3
Systems – plumbing and electrical work including moving light switch and outlet location with new, required re-routing circuits, some new wiring. New plumbing from existing rough-in to new tub and lavatory. Drained heating system twice, once to remove fin tube heater for floor removal, and a second time to relocate heating and supply lines around the sanitary vent stack
to make the new tub fit.
Cost = $450
Time = 70 hrs
LOD = 5
Fixtures – kept same toilet but replaced seat with a “no slam” lid, replaced vanity, sink, faucet, medicine cabinet and vanity light with IKEA products
Cost = $1,000
Time = 35 hrs
LOD = 4
Total Project Cost = $4,100
Total Project Time Spent = 215 hrs (27 eight hour days)
And without further ado, the spectacular after photos:
I love everything about this project. The bright white subway tile, the practical Ikea cabinets, and most of all the coordinating white marble hex tile on the floor and shower built-ins. The moral of the story is, make friends like Rich Berry, and get them to help you with your bathroom. I am hoping to make a lot of similar design decisions when we get around to renovating our kitchen. This bathroom won't look dated in a decade, these were solid, classic choices that Amie & Rich (and their daughter as she grows!) will be happy with for many years to come.
Do you have a DIY renovation or redecoration project that improved you and your family's quality of life that you;d love to share on Hey Jillian? Shoot me an email at Hi@heyjilliankirby.com and let's chat!
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