Part I: The Bathroom
To be fair, when we bought a house we were looking for a FIXER UPPER. Like the kind you would walk into and think was condemned and best to leave quickly before the bats get disturbed. Just kidding. But we did actually visit a house like that in our search – fit for demo and animals living inside. Unfortunately we were outbid.
So through the 6 month roller coaster ride of buying a house we found one that seemed to fit the bill: lots of major fixes, relatively unlivable at the time of sale, but in a good neighborhood so that we could hopefully make some sort of profit at the end of the rainbow.
Our first weekend as homeowners was spent gutting the hallway bathroom to the studs and ripping out the flooring throughout the whole house (which, as alluded to in the title, included the CARPET IN THE BATHROOM. Why why why was this ever a thing?)
I didn’t know what “gutting to the studs” meant before getting in way over my head and secretly crying in a bedroom over our awful misfortune. Dan was of course knowledgeable about all of this. So it was really just me who was mislead by all of those HGTV shows depicting beautiful hosts with their beautiful hair fully renovating a house in 30 minutes. I thought TV time = real time?
Gutting to the studs in this case means ripping out the cabinets; taking a sledgehammer to the shower tile; filling up many trash bags with said heavy tiles; ripping out the carpet, the linoleum underneath, and the rotting sub-floor underneath it all; and moving a freaking bathtub out of the house and onto your front lawn for pickers to come and take it away like sweet angelic vultures.
We were legitimately worried about sleep walking at night to the bathroom and then falling into the basement. We don’t even sleepwalk. But it’s like when you have to walk in front of a lot of people and suddenly walking feels so weird and you concentrate so hard to not trip and you trip a little anyways. That’s the correct analogy, right? Am I the only one that has this happen?
Ok, so now you have a giant hole in your house and think that if the door stays shut tight enough you’ll never have to deal with it again. Wrong! Now you have the pleasure of going to hell, I mean Home Depot. Nothing against Home Depot, I just have become a worse version of myself every time I go in there. It’s a wonderful blend of anxiety because you’re spending all of your money and despair because HOW CAN YOU MAKE ALL THESE DECISIONS AND NOT FEEL LIKE EVERY DECISION IS THE WORST DECISION IN THE WORLD?? And constant hunger. It’s probably from spending 6 hours at a time in there and forgetting the snacks on the counter at home, and every time you are 100 feet from an entry point you can smell the hot dogs.
I don’t even know where I’m going with all of this, it was supposed to be about how we remodeled the bathroom. I guess all roads lead to my hatred of making consumer decisions, which is only a major part of remodeling a house. Another poorly linked analogy: its like being at the grocery store, and you’re staring at a wall of 500 cereals or 60 types of ice creams. You’re compelled to spend time considering each option, and then it always leaves you feeling like you picked the worst option.
So now you’ve bought all your little remodeling materials that cost 1-2 semesters at a university and you hope by some providence above that if you put them in the bathroom overnight they will miraculously find their correct places. But you open the door in the morning and are greeted with the horrific reality that you made this bed now lie in it. To be fair, Dan did most of the building of the bathroom and did an excellent job and never complained.
He fixed the plumbing, installed the bathtub, put up cement board and drywall, did the shower tiling, installed the sink and toilet, did the floor tiling, and painted. I helped with some of those things.
At the end of it you are so happy you don’t have to wear sandals in the bathroom anymore and don’t have to throw away towels that fall on the floor. That would be what still happens in our master bathroom, the bathroom we used while this project was under way, and the coming project for this winter. WINTER IS COMING.