Master Bathroom Remodel: Complete


It’s amazing how you always anticipate things running far more smoothly than they do in reality.  This is true in so many different aspects of life: your job, your relationships, education, etc.  Well, this master bathroom remodel was no different.  When we first started discussing the remodel, I remember thinking that we could do it ourselves to save money, but that it would take longer.  Of course, neither J nor I really understood just how much “longer” it would take.

780 days.  Yep…that’s how long it took for the full project to be completed.  We ripped up the first tile the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2013, and we got the shower glass installed on January 18th of this year.  We did darn near everything to that bathroom…a full gut, moving electrical, moving plumbing, moving ductwork.  We ripped out walls and built new ones.  Installed all the cement board and drywall, did the seaming and mudding.  Primed it.  Laid underfloor heating.  It was sporadic work…mostly done in the winter months and on long breaks from work.  We ended up hiring out the tiling and the painting (and the shower glass…because as much as I love and trust my engineer husband, I don’t know if I trust him enough to install something that will encase my body on a daily basis and present some pretty heavy consequences if it were to fall off and shatter).

And though it took forever, and there were days when I thought it would NEVER get finished, it was worth it.  It’s gorgeous, and exactly what we wanted, and feels ridiculously dreamy.

Here are some photos with before and after shots.  The orange walls are obviously the before (at least, I hope it’s obvious!).  They’re iPhone shots, so not my finest quality, but enough to give you an idea.

Hope you enjoy all the hard work!  I know we definitely enjoy the spoils of our efforts!  If you have any questions about the materials, progress, level of effort, etc….let me know.

Much love,


Bathroom Remodel…Nearly Complete!

After two very long years, several weeks spent covered in drywall dust, and many arguments discussions on how to finish the space, the master bathroom remodel is nearly completely!  As I type, the shower glass enclosure is being installed, and that will be the final piece!

I am so excited to finally unveil it on the blog…I feel like this project has been going and going, with no end in sight, and now we’re there!  Of course, we’re already planning on what to work on next, but I feel like we’ve learned a ton and can be much more realistic on timelines going forward.

Stay tuned, I’ll be sure to post pictures over the next few days!

Much love,

Bathroom Remodel…

I haven’t really done a post in a while on our bathroom remodel.  This is, primarily, because not much as been done on the bathroom remodel.  But…that’s life, at times, so I’ll own it.  We have added more drywall to the bathroom, and have purchased all the drywall we’ll need to finish up the bathroom, and complete the basement remodel (after The Great Arctic Vortex of 2014 caused a flood in there).  After the drywall is finished up in the bathroom, we can start in with the mudding (basically the seaming that we’ll have done to cover the seams where the drywall panels meet), and get to work on laying the under-floor heating.  I’m so excited to have heated tile floors in the bathroom…no more frozen feet in the middle of the night!

J and I have given ourselves a one year timeline.  That means, by Thanksgiving 2014, we should be finishing up with the bathroom!  I actually think it’s doable, if we really start to dig in.  Tonight, we have very romantic plans of scarfing down dinner, and then hanging more drywall…I know, be jealous, we lead quite a glamorous life!  Once all the drywall is complete, I’ll update with photos!

Much love,

A Productive Weekend.

Over the last few months, our weekends have been less that productive around the house.  We’ve traveled some and had other commitments, so that slows things down considerably.  Plus, with it being summer, the last thing we want to do is be cooped up inside all weekend, when we get so little free time during the week.  So, with that said, we’ve made zero progress on the Master Bathroom remodel **hangs head in shame** so I have nothing new to share on that front.  However, this past weekend, we were able to make some progress on the house, overall!

Last week, I finally reached the point where I was fed up with our garage door opener.  There is only one car remote, that we share between two cars, and the garage door opener itself makes a horrible noise when you raise the door.  It has woken me up a few times when J leaves early for work, so I was fed up and done with it.  I realize this is totally a “First World Problem”…but dammit, I was finished.  So, I told J that our ONE priority this weekend was to replace the garage door opener with the new one that we’ve had, for months, sitting in the garage.  He agreed, and we decided to do it Saturday, since I had a band concert Sunday afternoon.

Saturday rolled around, and we woke early.  Had some breakfast, then J asked if we wanted to go for a walk/go to the gym and grocery, or just get started on the garage.  Oh no…I knew how this movie would end.  I wanted to get started first thing.  So, we backed out the cars, got all the equipment, and got started.  Surprisingly, it went well!  J and I do not normally do home repairs together, because we’re both “take charge” type of people, and both think we’re right…which can lead to arguments.  But, this time, it went so smoothly!  It took a bit of time (we had to rewire a few electrical things in the garage at the same time), but we finished it and everything worked!  SO QUIET!!  Plus, I also managed to weed the entire front yard landscaping, which was starting to resemble a jungle more than a front yard!  I was so glad to get those two things finished up and off our list…and who knows, maybe this jump started us on a new wave of home remodel productivity!

Much love,

Slow and Steady. Or…maybe just slow.

They (whoever the hell “they” are) always said that slow and steady wins the race.  Well, if that’s the case, we’re in for the big prize.  I wanted to do a post on our master bathroom remodel, and I had hoped to have a bigger “wa-bam!” to show you.  But, much like other things in life, it doesn’t always work out that way.  We’ve made tons of progress, it just doesn’t really look like it from the photos.  J has been amazing doing this work…he’s been working 55-60 hours a week at work, then he comes home and works in the evenings and some weekends.  For about a month or so, nothing really got done due to his father’s health issues, but we’re back in full swing now.

photo 1As of this point, we’ve finally gotten all of the electrical rewired for the bathroom.  That includes new ground fault interrupts, all new dimmer switches, and additional outlet points to accommodate things like a USB port for our phones, and a heated toilet seat (because J had one in Japan at the hotel, and now he’s obsessed).  We’re also about halfway finished up with the rerouting of the plumbing to accommodate the move in shower position, the drains, the new tub and the two sinks positioning.  After that is finished, we plan on finishing up the drywall.  This is a big deal because we’re not only drywalling in the master bathroom, but also in the basement after The Great Flood of 2014 due to the Arctic Vortex #1 (out of 843, it seems).  So, as far as drywall goes, it will really be a “one bird, fifteen stones” type of maneuver.  I’ll be glad to finish up with the drywall.  I don’t mind hanging it, at all, but the seaming bit I absolutely detest.  We’re going to have someone else do the seaming, because neither of us want to deal with it, but we’ll get it all hung first and then bring in someone else to work on it.

photo 4In addition, we’ve also put together some of our bathroom furniture (one sink and one medicine cabinet, to get an idea for placement), and those are all ready to go.  Yesterday, we put the bathtub into it’s “spot” so we could figure out where to place the plumbing for the faucet (it’s three feet tall!), which was really awesome to see.  It’s crazy to see how it’s all coming together.  We started this process over Thanksgiving of last year, but have taken several breaks here and there in the meantime.  I’m so incredibly thankful that we have two other bathrooms we can use in the meantime.  It’s really allowed us to just relax and do the work one step at a time, as opposed to rushing just to get it finished.  We still need to buy a few things for the bathroom (drywall, toilet, and the infamous glass for the shower enclosure), but otherwise we have everything already purchased.  It’s been a process, but I’m so excited to see the finished product!

Once the drywall is up, we start the real fun part.  Tiling and putting it all together!  I can’t wait for this bit…it’s the last part before we have our bathroom back!  I am looking forward to sharing it with you as we move along, so stay tuned.  What do you think so far?

Much love,

Of all the luck.

I’m not sure if I wrote a post about this or not, but apparently our household is cursed by the water gods. Every time I turn around, something is either leaking, bursting, or ruining my house…and it all involves water! First, the pipe burst in the ceiling in the basement…so then our ceiling collapsed and the walls fell down from water damage (just the drywall, not the studs or anything). Ok…that’s bad. But fixable…just breathe and move on.

Then, it was the dishwasher. Our heating element had gone out about a month back, and we needed a new dishwasher. J had bought one, but it took some time to get delivered, and then once it was delivered, we realized we didn’t have a long enough hose. Ok…order more hose. No big deal. Got the hose…hooked it all up, and we were totally in business. Except now, because the hose wasn’t hooked up correctly and water leaked, and ran down the ceiling…yet again to the basement. But, luckily, it was only a tiny bit of water…so we mopped it up with a towel and moved on.

But hey! Third time’s a charm, right? HA! Whoever said that was an asshole. The third water drama was yet again the dishwasher. Apparently, the same hose ALSO had a hole in it that we didn’t realize. So, when we ran the dishwasher again (ok, two more times, but who’s counting), it flooded out the floor under the island without us realizing it (we run our dishwasher at night, right before we go to bed). So, we woke up Sunday morning with more water in the basement, and a ton of water under the island in the kitchen (the island is where our dishwasher and sinks are located). I’m pretty sure at this point, J was at his wit’s end. He started removing trim board because the drywall around the island was soaking up the water. Then he wasn’t sure if the drywall under the trim had started to mold or if it was rust from the nails when they built it. So then, the power saw came out to play. Next thing I knew, J had all the trim off, had cut holes into my island, and was telling me, “Well…maybe we ought to just redo the kitchen too while we’re doing the bathroom remodel.” You know, because we don’t have ANYTHING else going on!

So, that’s where we are. The master bathroom is completely gutted. J’s brother-in-law was over last night, and will come over again tonight, to help remove some walls and reroute duct work and plumbing. The basement is clean, but not repaired after the Niagara Falls that showed up in my basement a few weeks ago. And now…well, apparently now I’m getting a new kitchen. Which…awesome! Who doesn’t love a new kitchen?! But good lord…can we at least finish one project before starting another.

I’m sure I’ll be reporting back on the progress in the next week. I actually think we’re nearing where we can actually start putting stuff back together in the bathroom, as opposed to tearing it apart. The basement we’ll hire out, and then we can focus on the kitchen. Pictures will be provided, don’t you worry. Wish me luck, and pray for my sanity…I think I might need it.

Much love,


After all the hustle and bustle around “The Great Basement Flood of 2014” I can finally say that the basement is at least clean!  Nine days of industrial sized dehumidifiers running has dried it out, and all that was left was for us to finish cleaning up the place (and obviously repair the damages…but one step at a time).  This past Sunday was declared “The Day of Clean,” so we rolled up our sleeves and tackled it.  It was rough, I won’t lie, but it felt good to be finished!

J had bought a Shark Sonic Duo mop for the house (we have wood floors upstairs and tile downstairs), which we thought would be a huge help. I’ll be honest…that thing is crap.  Save your money if you’re considering one.  And, obviously, this was a bigger job than we expected the Shark to handle, but we used it on our wood floors upstairs and some tile upstairs as well, and it just did an all around crappy job.  So…there’s my plug of a user review…don’t do it.

So, in lieu of the Shark being a POS, I went out and did what my mom would do.  I drove myself to Target, where I bought a mop and a bucket, and some cleaning solution.  Guess what…it works great!  Sure, it takes some more elbow grease and effort to get things clean, but at least it actually DOES get them clean!  I spent a few hours really mopping down the basement area, and was able to absolutely scrub clean the grout lines (which the Shark mop didn’t even touch), so now the basement is all nice and pretty again.  And by “nice and pretty” again, I mean that the rooms are clean enough to allow the cats back down there.  The repairs have yet to even begin, which is a whole other story in its entirety.

So…the basement is clean, the beast and mini-beasts have been unleashed, and hopefully we’ll be able to move on with the remodeling sometime soon.  I’m just glad it’s useable again…it was such a crap time keeping the whole downstairs closed off!  Meanwhile, here are some photos for your viewing enjoyment!





What do you think? Still needs some work, but we’re on our way!

Much love,

New Direction for the Basement!

After nine days of having industrial sized dehumidifiers running, the basement has been declared DRIED! Serve-Pro (emergency water extraction company) came by today to check on the basement, and decided that their work there was finished. Frankly, the house sounds downright dead right now…it’s so quiet without the constant drone of the dehumidifiers running constantly. Now that those are out of there, we can finish up removing the drywall that needs to be taken down. There isn’t much left…most of the stuff we already took down during the flood, but there is some left that we’ve decided to ditch.

We’ve been talking about how we’re going to put it all back together, since it’s our primary place of entertaining. Whenever we have people over, we usually do have dinner and then hang out. Normally, I’m finishing up dinner when people get there, so they go downstairs to have a drink (we have a full bar down there) or play a round of pool while I’m finishing up. Then, after dinner, we always head back downstairs to hang out before people go home. J and I joke that the main floor of the house is where we do our living, but the downstairs is where we have fun!

We were surprised to find that the wall with the drywall damage actually had brick stamped cement behind it. So…it actually looks like a brick wall back there (now it has studs over the “brick” so that they had something to adhere the drywall to, but those aren’t needed for any structural support). We’re talking about leaving that wall exposed now, because we both really like the look of exposed brick! Plus, we’ve decided not to re-do the ceiling. Instead, we’re going to leave it how the rest of the basement ceiling is currently, which is completely open and painted black. So all the studs and support beams, as well as the ductwork and piping, are painted black. It’s very industrial looking, which we both really like. Plus, it leaves a lot of access to any wiring, piping and ductwork that we might need access to again, should something like this happen in the future.

I’ve been looking for painted exposed brick walls, and have found a few options that I really like. We do plan to mount the TV on the wall, and have our gaming systems located down there, so some of the wall will be overtaken by the TV, but I also think that will help break up the painted brick look. I really like the look of whitewashed brick…sort of like this photo:


I think the white walls will look nice against any furniture we put down there, plus the pool table that’s already in the room. In addition, the other walls will still be drywalled and painted, so that will give us some more options for color choices. What do you guys think? Any ideas for exposed brick?

Much love,

Update: Bathroom Remodel

The great bathroom remodel of 2013 is well underway, and nearly complete with regards to demolition!  All we need to do now is create a half wall in the shower (basically, cut the wall in half and call it a day), and then open up the doorway to our closet.  After that, we can start moving electric wires, water pipes and ductwork.   We started it over Thanksgiving, and have been slowly working on it since.  Christmas vacation allowed us to really put some time into it…but boy, it is slow going!

We have nearly all the supplies in our possession.  Our garage is full of tile and grout, thin set, leveling cement, shower pans, and under floor heating.  In addition, our new bathtub is located in our bedroom now, acting as a rather lovely laundry hamper for our dirty laundry.  We’ve had to move things around in the garage, because apparently we’ve been hit with an “Arctic Vortex” and J had to get his vehicle in the garage, or it probably would have never started again.  Apparently, -40 degrees F. is bad for batteries, who knew?

We’re still in need of a few things, of course.  The fixtures (toilet paper holder, towel holders, etc.) being one and then the big item left is the glass for the shower wall and door.  I’m sure that will be a financial hit, but will look amazing once it’s all finished.  I’m so excited to see the final product…it’ll be really interesting to watch it all come together.  We’re doing all the work ourselves so there is a real sense of ownership in the whole process!  We’re definitely keeping track of the progress by taking photos, and we’ve been posting a lot on FB, but I wanted to share them here with you all as well, since some of you probably aren’t friends with J.

Here’s what we’ve done so far.   We’re basically down to studs now…so it’s really an empty canvas!

First, is the view from in the  bathroom, looking into what was once our closet.  We’ll be opening up this doorway into the closet, and removing as much of the wall as possible.


After that is the view from the closet, into the bathroom.  At this point in time, we hadn’t removed the tub yet (it’s since been removed and donated to Habitat for Humanity).


This is where the “throne” of the house once resided.  Who needs a pipe cap when you can just stuff a plastic bag filled with a rag in the hole?


Finally, this is where our sink and vanity was located.  We’ll have to move the piping around a bit because we’re putting in two individual sinks instead of a double vanity.  Luckily, J. has been watching many a YouTube video, so this shouldn’t be a problem.


And that’s all the big things for now!  The room is pretty bare at this point, and I really can’t wait to actually get started on the “putting it back together” part.  I’ll be sure to update more when we do some more work on it…it’s been fun to chronicle the journey in photos!

Much love,

Home Remodel

We are rapidly moving into the demolition stage for our bathroom remodel!  I am so excited that we’ll be doing this work by ourselves…it’s going to be a lot of hard work and learning, but I totally think we’re capable of it and that it’ll come out really well done.  Plus, I know as anal retentive as J is (god bless the guy and all his engineering traits), he’ll be up for the challenge to deal with all the nit-picky details.

The tile for the shower flooring is in and we’ll pick it up on Saturday.  Thursday, our furniture will arrive (all the things we bought from IKEA, including sinks (2), beds (2), medicine cabinets (2), shelving unit (1), etc.) and we can start putting the beds together to finish setting up our room (the bed was the only piece we didn’t have yet).  I’m very excited to have our room taken care of, though it will be hard to tell, since we’re going to rip the bathroom apart at the seams.

After we finish putting together the beds and getting them set up, then we’ll start the demo aspect of the bathroom.  I’m sure it’ll be messy as can be, but it’s all part of the process.  Once that’s done, then we can start laying the under-floor heating and moving the wiring/piping for the lights and shower.  That should be the biggest part of the undertaking…after that, it’s just hanging drywall (I think we’re going to hire out the “finishing” aspect of the drywall), then tiling everything in.  Then, we’ll bring back in the guy who painted our living/dining/kitchen so that he can paint the bedrooms upstairs and the bathroom.

In the meantime, we’ve been fixing some things around the house we’ve been meaning to get to for a while (namely lights).  Over the past week, we’ve changed out two wall lights (on either side of the fireplace), removed a pendant light from the kitchen area, and changed out the hanging light in the dining room.  Here are the before/after shots!

Dining Room Lights New/Old

dining room lights

Wall Lights next to the Fireplace

Fireplace Wall Lights

What do you think??

I’m just glad it’s done.  We also removed another light from the kitchen that we plan to replace with a can light, hopefully soon.  I didn’t get any photos of it, because we’d already turned off the power to the kitchen and it was too dark for photos.

My next remodel post will highlight the demolition process and I’ll be sure to show you all the mess!

Much love,