Bathroom Remodeling Disaster
Spirited dedication was my first mistake. Take my extreme DIY
failures and learn.
by Jennifer Deal
Buying my first home was not nearly as exciting as what I planned to do with the bathroom. Visions of pebbled
tile that recalled Tuscany danced in my head, topped off by a modern Kohler faucet I had secretly coveted for two
years. I would worry about the other rooms later — I had a date with destiny and his name was El Baño! As it was
out of my budget, I planned to keep the tub intact and opt for refinishing later.
I was targeting the tile, toilet and sink. My new home, my new bathroom. Nothing was going to get in the way of
this project, something I had dreamed of doing long before homeownership became a reality. Did I mention that I
undertook my renovating task with a DIY resolve? Well, that spirited dedication was my first mistake. Although I
could not have known it then, I was already on my way to a bathroom remodeling disaster. If you want to avoid my
bathroom renovation fumble, avoid the following.
Do Not DIY
Of course, not everyone is the neophyte that I was when I began remodeling the bathroom. However, if you are,
get a contractor — stat! Many contractors provide free estimates that can give you a sense of what you can or
cannot afford. Follow the golden rule of project estimation and get at least three estimates to compare against one
another. If you need a few solid recommendations, word-of-mouth is best. However, you can always check out a
contractor directory for suggestions. NARI, a national organization for remodeling, is a handy site to
Check the Plumbing
I never even considered having the pipes checked. I got a great deal on the house and dove into renovation
without checking the bones of the house. As it turned out, the plumbing was in horrible condition — probably part
of why that deal was so “great” — and ended up precluding any major renovations that involved the septic system,
i.e. kitchen and bathroom. Spare yourself future headaches and maybe even a few dollars by having a plumber
evaluate the pipes before renovating (or purchasing period).
Buy Wisely Thy Bathroom Fixtures
Part of my bathroom remodeling disaster had nothing to do with the renovation. It was what I purchased. As it
turned out, that fancy schmancy Kohler faucet did not fit the stand-alone sink that I planned to install. This was
probably a bigger heartbreak than the whole ordeal. That shining masterpiece of chrome was dead in the water. So,
if something catches your eye that you just have to have, make sure it works for what you need it to.
The moral of this tale of bathroom remodeling disaster? Take my extreme failures and do not follow them (of course,
you probably have a lot more common sense than I did)!
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