It’s bathroom reveal day!! To fully understand how horrible the bathroom was previously, head on over to my post about the ugliest bathroom you’ve ever seen.
And now, it’s practically spa like.
I still can’t believe my bathroom is this pretty.
It was a long, hard road to get there. First there was the asbestos drama and layoffs that delayed the whole project from even starting. Then there were multiple delays and drama during the renovation, not to mention my old toilet sitting out on the front lawn for all to behold for over a month.
While you’re enjoying the gorgeousness, I’m going to share with you my advice for ending up with a renovation you love and keeping your sanity somewhat intact.
Collect Ideas and Stick to Your Vision
You are going to get overwhelmed. There are a lot of design decisions to make that you can’t possibly fathom before you start. For example, do you like the tiles 50/50 or 30/70? What colour of grout do you like? Do the light fixtures match the vibe of the faucets? How high do you want the knobs on the cabinet doors? It goes on and on.
You will question all of your design decisions unless you have a Pinterest board or some sort of mood board that you can constantly refer to and remind yourself what you actually like.
If you’re working with a company that has a designer or someone to help you with those decisions, they will guide you through the process. However, you really need to stick to your guns about what you like and what you don’t.
Even though we originally intended to do things ourselves, I’m so glad we went with a company for this complicated of a renovation.
Pick the Contractors You Work with based on Referrals and Quality, not Cost
It’s more expensive to go with the cheaper option in the long run. Don’t believe me? I picked the cheapest option for one of my contractors, and the damage to my house, miscommunication, and stress in general was not worth the $1000 I might have saved.
The contractors I picked to work on the bathroom itself are known as one of the more expensive in the city, but worth every penny. They were always on time, kept their work site clean, did excellent work, communicated clearly, and were easy to work with when something went wrong. It was clear that my happiness in the renovation process was their top priority.
Budget for more than you planned
Anyone who has ever watched a renovation show on HGTV knows that you always have a contingency fund of at least 10 percent. I’d make it at least 15% if you’re in an older house like I am, as there’s always surprises.
What I didn’t plan on is how much extra driving and eating out we would do because we couldn’t stay in our own house.
There was also an element of lifestyle creep.
If you’re getting a new bathroom, you also want new towels, shower curtain, and accessories. If you’re moving everything out of the house to do the floors, you might as well chuck your broken beds and questionable appliances and get new ones. And then there was the baby grand piano.
Needless to say, we spent more than we planned. However, the renovation that was initially planned stayed pretty close to the initial quote.
Ask questions and don’t be afraid to be a little annoying
Contractors will only do what is stated on the contract and nothing more. There is no “spirit of the agreement.” Hence the toilet sitting on our front lawn for over a month. And the old tub in our living room. . . sigh.
People make mistakes and supplies get ordered incorrectly all the time. The best thing I did was to sit down with my contractor and go through every single item point by point in excruciating detail. Twice.
Also, ask to see the exact item you are purchasing. (Or a picture of it.) Don’t assume you understand what your contractor is saying unless you’re 100% sure you do. 95% isn’t good enough!!
There will always be compromises
As a wise home blogger once told me, if you get 75-80% of what you want in your renovation, you’re doing fabulous. I’d say we got 90%, so I’m over the moon.
While it was painful financially and time-wise, I’m so glad we did it. Our house is really starting to look like the home we’ve always dreamed of.
As for a full home tour? That probably won’t happen for another month or so. If you’re local, I’m planning something fun, so keep watching the Facebook page for a big announcement.
So what do you think? Let me know in comments, and please add any renovation tips you have for my readers.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.