Plan Bathroom Remodeling and Renovations

Set a Realistic Plan for your
Bathroom Remodel...

...and never sacrifice Christmas because you're teetering on a ladder grouting at 2:00 in the morning. A homeowner explains.

By Helen Anderson

It was Christmas Eve at 2AM and I was busy and far from sleep. Was I wrapping presents merrily, anticipating the look on my children’s faces? No. Was I putting the finishing touches on decorations, preparing for a perfect dinner, or any of the things normal people associate with the holidays?

No! Instead, I was standing precariously on a ladder, in a tub, wiping away the last of the grout haze, and trying to get my bathroom renovation done. I wanted to impress my guests, but in the end I was exhausted – all because I didn’t set a realistic plan for my bathroom remodel.

As someone who’d lived through a second story home addition, I was no stranger to home renovation. I knew that things often went wrong and made a project run behind schedule. So I should have known better when I decided to tackle the last eyesore in my home – a downstairs 70’s bathroom – just weeks before the holidays.

To my credit, I spent a lot of time preparing. I’d carefully checked styles and prices. However, I overlooked small details that ended up becoming big problems, didn’t create a realistic plan, and underestimated the time needed for the remodel.

First was the demolition, for which I’d allotted 3 days. Tearing out the little plastic tiles and the walls was no problem. Chiseling out the floor tile bed – a half inch sheet of underlayment – was impossible. I ended up calling for help, waiting for it and paying for it. Same with the big old cast iron tub. I thought I could demolish it into pieces small enough to remove easily. Wrong again! Again, I had to hire a stronger person. More expense, more waiting.

Then that was done, and I got back to work – way behind schedule. I put in the floor tile, had new drywall hung and fixtures installed. All that remained was the shower wall tiling –easy, I thought. Wrong again! I began placing tile. It was going well, until I noticed that the tiles were not lining up. How could this be? Finally, I did what I should have BEFORE I started hanging tiles, and checked the walls for plumb. They were not. It turned out the carpenter had put board over the “bump” in the plumbing wall and it was sloped in nearly an inch. It was solved by removing tile, cutting around the bump, pushing it into place and starting all over again. Now the job that should have been done long before was not even started yet.

In the end, the bathroom looked good - at 4AM on Christmas day. All that extra work didn’t give me time to complete little details. I was too dismayed and exhausted to feel happiness in the work; I was just glad it was done, and felt stupid about the mistakes I made.

This is a tale of caution. Unless you want to spend all nighters on a ladder perched above a tub, plan your remodel carefully.

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Plan Bathroom Remodel | Realistic Bathroom Plan | Remodel Bathroom

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Set a Realistic Plan for your Bathroom Remodel 
(or, "Christmas on a Ladder")