Let The Remodeling Wild Ride Begin, Part 2 Of 2

[Continuing from Part 1 yesterday.]

AS FRIENDS AND FAMILY already know, Zen-Den and I have been dithering around for years about:

What to do about our master bathroom?

It’s never been a good use of space, and I’ve never felt safe in it because the builder grade floor tiles get slippery when the room is humid, which is often because the builder grade exhaust system is pathetic.

Considering we like where we live in this large subdivision, one that caters to people of all ages– some neighbors retiring here to build their dream houses, other neighbors buying their starter house here, and everyone else in-between.

Like us.

And considering we like living in this small town that’s known for outdoor activities and casual dining, we’ve decided to stay where we are, remodeling what displeases us about this house, making it retirement-ready.

For later.

So, we talked with three remodeling companies about doing work around here, and decided to go with the company that remodeled our kitchen years ago.  Their workmanship and our style seem to be in sync.

• + • + •

Thus here’s what’s going on around Chez Bean this summer:

  • we’re having our master bathroom partially gutted, reconfigured, and modernized so that it’s safe [& pretty] for us as we age;  and
  • we’re having our laundry room reconfigured so that we’ll have a newer-style [larger] washer and dryer + usable storage space;  and
  • we’re redoing our family room fireplace tile and mantel + having the walls painted a neutral, timeless color;  plus while they’re here
  • we’re having our kitchen tweaked just a little bit to tidy up a few things.

And now, for a few “before” photos…

Small cabinet with sink over in corner where only Zen-Den could manage to use it.

• + •

Jetted garden tub that I hate, used as linen closet because there is no linen closet in this bathroom.

• + •

Larger cabinet with sink, and almost no storage, in another corner of bathroom. Technically not the builder’s fault that I’m messy by nature, but I think I’ll blame him anyhow for not giving me enough drawers.

• + •

Boring shower with absolutely no character that lacks an exhaust fan above it.

• + •

Small laundry room that doesn’t accommodate the larger side-by-side appliances that are now available.  Also dryer does not work, because it’s a poopy head.

• + •

Family room in which we pulled down the mantel last summer, then painted test colors on the wall intending to redo this mess ourselves. Obviously, we never did.

• + • + •

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

76 thoughts on “Let The Remodeling Wild Ride Begin, Part 2 Of 2”

    1. bobcabkings, we’ve lived with this bathroom for 17+ years now and it has never been comfortable. It’s been quietly annoying, and not all that great to look at either. This is a big renovation, but we’re staying, so we’re going to get it right this time. 👍

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  1. Ally, it looks like you have so much potential in these spaces. I can hardly wait to see the finished product. So glad you are sharing with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BTW, I have never seen how anyone, young or old can enjoy those tubs. How is one supposed to delicately get into and or out of them without either a) slipping and sliding as you mention, b) not personally invading and/or injuring vital private areas trying to negotiate around faucets and handles, and c) not literally dragging one’s bottom and other parts over all manner of cold, lumpy edges and obstacles if one chooses to sit down and enter or exit?
      Stupid idea all around.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Deb, you nailed the problems with that stupid garden tub. It was required by the builder when we built this house, everyone in this part of the subdivision has one. I hated the thing, and ultimately bought some plastic buckets in which I put our towels, then set the buckets in the tub to use as storage. The men took the tub out yesterday, sawed into pieces, and I cheered. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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  2. This is going to be so much fun!!
    I did say I loved renovations, right? 🙂

    I agree with Deb about those stupid bathtubs … a great idea in concept, terrible in application. Not to mention the fact that they take up an obscene amount of space. Big-time failure to the builder who came up with this master bathroom design.
    Having said that, I don’t have a master bathroom so I would be DELIGHTED to take your’s as is 😉

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    1. Joanne, when I’m being calm I am enjoying this renovation. It’s when I let my mind go wild with what could go wrong that I get panic-y. HOWEVER, you make a great point in that having en suite bathroom is wonderful, no matter what kind of messed up floor plan it is. And to finally update this bathroom is fun, in its own expensive and noisy way!

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  3. How very exciting!

    I am a huge fan of Storage, probably because I lack it in my teensy ’40s era home. I love my house when it comes to cleaning, but not so much when it comes to putting stuff away.

    Good for you, finally going for it all at once. I’m sure you’ll be so glad that you did.

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    1. nance, this is definitely a “go big or go home” approach to remodeling. I’m glad that we’re doing it all at once, but am beginning to feel like I cannot decide another thing. I adore the ambiance of 40s homes, but there never is much storage space. That’s one of the first thing you notice when you move to the suburbs: BIG CLOSETS!

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  4. We had a shower/tub in our bathroom and decided to go for just the shower when we remodeled. We also went for glass doors instead of on the track sliding ones…I didn’t want to have to clean the track out. If the company did your kitchen and you made it through that, I have good feelings for this remodel. Looking forward to seeing the progress!

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    1. Janet, we just picked out our glass shower doors today. There are so many glass options that I’d never heard of before. They tell me the new ones won’t rattle like the old ones did, so as long as the doors hold the water in, I’ll be happy. And yes, working with the same company is comforting. There are lots of familiar faces coming and going around here.

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  5. What a lovely and creative project! Looks like the space is there needing to be changed. My sister who lives a way away (1000 miles) had such a bath tub which I admired muchly until I tried getting into it and could barely get out – good luck!

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    1. Susan, that garden tub was treacherous. [It’s been removed from the house so I can refer to it in the past tense.] I slipped a few times, which did not endear it to me. Plus it was such a huge eyesore. But 20 years ago those garden tubs were all the rage, so the builder forced us all in this subdivision to have one. Not sorry to see it go.

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  6. Our home is 14 years old and we built it. However, there were a few things we got wrong that we have been fixing over the years. About 5 years ago we redid our master shower. The bathroom was ok but we put in a fiberglass shower stall that was wayyyy too small. We had one built with glass doors, no tracks and tile. Never regretted that. We have a tub in the room but it’s not a Jacuzzi type. Our main bath has a tub so one day I might just take ours out. The only time I’ve used it was when I had some surgery and couldn’t get my upper body wet. There are still a few things to go. Good luck with your project and I’m anxious to see the results and the selections. Let the hammers fly!

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    1. Kate, we had this house built, but pre-internet… so we didn’t have the information to learn about what we might have done differently. We did our best but some rooms aren’t all that great. So we’re remodeling them, intent on staying here as long as possible.

      We’re getting glass doors like the ones you described and the old fiberglass shower floor is going, going… gone. Hated that thing. In its place will be tile, like you did.

      We’re replacing the garden tub with a freestanding one that is smaller and more modern looking. There won’t be any more plants in the corner by the tub, which may be the only thing I’ll miss in this new configuration.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Anne, at one point I threatened to turn the garden tub into a large herb garden! I figured at least that way it’d have a purpose. Z-D stopped me, of course– but you can understand how I was onto something there, can’t you? 😉

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    1. Betsy, I like house remodels, too; they appeal to my creative side. The idea of taking something ho-hum and making it your own is what catches my attention. However, making all these decisions lately has me running in circles. I’ll take some pics, and I promise to treat my camera with the respect it deserves. Poor thing, forced to deal with me…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. This is all going to happen at once over the course of the next 6 weeks or so. Because there’s lag time on certain projects, the remodelers will shift from one project to the next one, so as to keep things moving. Right now there is not one room in this house that doesn’t have either another room’s furniture in it, or is in the process of being deconstructed. It’s quite something.

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  7. Well I just have all kindsa things to say.
    One, I love the color of your bathroom cabinets.
    Two, I once had a big ol garden tub, and aside from when I was pregnant, I hardly used it. I love baths, but it took forever to fill and it wasn’t porcelain, so it didn’t stay hot long. Mostly, I cleaned it. *sigh*
    Three, my laundry room is so awful, I have to envy your before shot! lol But, my dryer is not a poopy-head.
    Four, exhaust fans are a serious issue and I don’t understand why they don’t specify on the boxes, like, “Four people showering daily in a 12×16-foot room” or “Single person prefers baths in her 8×4” — I mean really! And when you have doors, it’s worse. I feel for you on the shower/fan sitch. I think code needs to be changed on these things. Ours doesn’t pull near enough moisture out.
    Five, I don’t know what to do with my master bath, either. It, too, has paint samples on the walls. It’s a motley room it is. I want to do something dramatic in there — loud wallpaper, additional shelves, shiny fixtures — because really, it’s MY bathroom 😉
    I find I am SUPER excited to see your bathroom after. I believe that’s going to be an incredible improvement.
    Oh how thrilled you must be to get some progress goin!

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    1. joey,

      1) We painted the bathroom cabinets to cover up the lousy quality cherry ones that came with the house. The green color blended with lots of other colors, but now we’re getting wood again.
      2) I hear you about cleaning the garden tub. That seems to be all I ever did with it, besides using it as a linen closet.
      3) I like our laundry room, too. BUT washers and dryers now come with much deeper dimensions so they’d stick out into the little room so far that we’d have trouble going through the doorway into the kitchen. And considering the dryer has given up entirely, it is time to redo the room.
      4) I like your shower fan labeling system. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT NEEDS TO BE ON THOSE BOXES. The one we have now is useless, but the new one they tell me will be dynamic.
      5) I think that decorating bathrooms is more tricky than it first seems. I mean, you’re only seeing the room at the ends of the day when you’re tired, so then you have to decide what will not make you crazy before bed and when you get up. No one standard answer to that question.

      I’ll post some photos along the way as all of this unfolds, if I’m not carted off to the loony bin first. But yes, progress is good. And I’m happy that we’re doing this, finally.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Technically not the builder’s fault” – Ally, I think you are being generous. Anyone worth their salt when preparing a quotation/design scheme will take their time getting to know their clients’ deepest desires. And bathroom habits. Storage wise, that is. Not, you know… other habits.

    I wish you well, I wish you (and the construction crew) godspeed and nimble fingers.

    I also wish to point out that the moon is full on the 9th. Keep plenty of whatever it is you need to console and calm yourself available. Preferably in super-sized format.

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    1. Maggie, I like how you think! It’s not my fault, I’m being forced to be messy. 😉

      The odd thing about this house and the company that built it is that they built a solid house. HOWEVER, some of the details, like a sensible bathroom floor plan, was entirely beyond their scope of understanding.

      The full moon is coming, you say. Well, won’t that add a new dimension to this project!

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  9. This will be fun to watch! I hope you get all the things you are hoping for… and more. Are you having the new room layouts done with an aging homeowner in mind? I know that you aren’t even close to elderly, but I think keeping that in mind (walk-in/roll-in showers, wider hallways, etc.) would be a good thing, especially if you want to live there a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, in answer to your question about aging in place, yes we are [sort of] keeping things in mind.

      For instance, we’re having a grab bar put in the shower, but we’re only having the extra support put in the wall by the toilet; we’ve purchased that grab bar, but will only have it installed if we need it later. We have double doors into the bathroom already so that’s done. The shower floor won’t be the roll-in style but there will be a niche in the wall for supplies so reaching for things will be easier.

      It’s difficult to decide how “elderly” we want to make the bathroom, because in the end we’ll need to sell this house and it’ll probably be to a family, so too many old people improvements might be off-putting to them. It’s all kind of a gamble.

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    1. nancy, I’m looking forward to having everything finished, so I promise to share photos of the end results. ‘Cause this is a personal blog and that’s what ‘ya do!

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    1. Akilah, I can’t wait to see the finished product, too! These house modifications have been a long time in coming, and now that we’re actually doing this stuff I bounce between being a kid of Christmas morning to a middle-aged fretful woman, trying not to hyperventilate as her house is being ripped to pieces around her. 😱

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    1. evil, I’m practical to a fault, although I won’t mind having a real linen closet in the bathroom once this remodeling is finished. Just think, no more buckets of towels!

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  10. Ohhhh, I can’t wait to see the after. I am uncourageous. I couldn’t/can’t deal with renovations. The fear of getting it wrong; the hatred of the noise and all those people stomping in my house. So when it’s time to change something in our house (upsize/downsize) we move to a different home…always in a different state. Believe me, your way is much better. Good luck!

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    1. roughwighting, I’m beginning to wonder how courageous I really am! There’s a lot of noise, and people, and DUST everywhere. However, moving again seemed more overwhelming to me than doing this, so…

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  11. Well, maybe the dryer refuses to work because you call it a poopy head!

    Who’s the dog in the pic in the bathroom? (If in the previous 50 comments… I’m lazy and don’t read them all, you understand.) 🙂

    Happy remodeling!

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    1. tara, I only began trash talking the dryer after it stopped working for the 3rd time in 5 years. The dog in bathroom pic is just pure silliness. It’s an inexpensive picture that I picked up at a discount store. He has on a shower hat is sitting by some rubber duckies and says: “let the grooming begin.”

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  12. I’ve had all three of my bathrooms done, and it is well worth it, although the master was REALLY a pain in the you-know-what. If I had been retired, it would have been way less stressful! I’m intending to look into a kitchen remodel; it will be a good(?) excuse to organize the crap in my cabinets. Not fun though. We can whine together.

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    1. Margaret, my brain knows that this is a good idea to fix up the bathroom now, but my heart is going a little bonkers with all the mess around me. In my experience, a kitchen remodel is much worse than a bathroom remodel. Just saying…

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  13. OH how exciting! I hope you love every bit of it. I love the idea of just a shower rather than a bathtub/shower combo. Someday, we will have the $$ to do such a thing. AFTER college costs, obviously. Until then, I will enjoy the idea of it all, and looking at your remodel for inspiration.

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    1. J, I’m looking forward to a simpler bathroom, in a more mellow color scheme, that has STORAGE. And non-slippery floors. I can understand why you’ll be doing your remodel after college. ‘Tis a pricey proposition to remodel a bathroom. 😲

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  14. WOW. Now that’s a big project – just like on TV.
    What is the deal with builders – ours is a well built hurricane standards house, but the master bath – same issues. We’ve already redone the floors for the entire house, and resurfaced the fireplace with split rock, but that annoying bathroom…we just haven’t had the energy yet ( and we end up doing so much work ourselves because , well, we’ve remodeled multiple houses and know how it should be done – but dealing with contractors and sloppy untrained workers is more irritating than doing it ourselves….
    Anyway, we are also having the frameless shower doors put in ( not by us) and are mulling over whether to rip out the counters/sinks. Need to decide if we really plan on this being our last house of not…tired of fixing things up just to leave them for someone else.
    Meanwhile I’ll enjoy seeing your updates and hearing the stories.

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    1. philmouse, I hadn’t thought of this in TV terms, but you’re right. Fortunately there aren’t any cameras filming this as it happens, nor are there any annoying talking head stars taking credit for every success.

      I’d love to know the answer to your question re: builders + bathrooms. Oddly enough the man who planned our remodel is a kitchen planner who has more sense about cabinets and lighting and people than the builder who threw the original bathroom together.

      We can paint and do some landscaping work, but these kinds of big projects are beyond us. If you can DIY, then good on you. But for us to try to do this would be DISASTER. “A couple’s gotta know their limits.”

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