Like most projects in our house, the bathroom renovation is taking longer than planned. We’ve been working on it when we have time/aren’t exhausted but let’s face it: sometimes we don’t feel like working on it after being at the office all day or we have other things going on like a desperately needed Costco trip or working on wedding invitations (our small side business). While we’re still wrapping up the work in the bathroom, I thought I would share a few lessons learned.
You will change your mind. There are exactly two things that have remained the same from our original bathroom design: the mirror and the lights. Every other original design decision has changed completely – vanity, toilet, paint color, tile. You name it – we changed it. Sometimes your original idea just doesn’t work. Or sometimes the tile and vanity you picked aren’t in stock. Or your paint looks too blue. Or you order a gorgeous vessel sink and it shows up at your door step in 100 pieces. Things change – embrace it.
Expect the unexpected. We all know that I’m not very good at this. That whole finding mold thing really screwed me up and added several days to the project timeline along with a whole bunch of headaches. Luckily, it wasn’t a major financial crisis but it definitely tested emotions as well as drywall removal/hanging skills. Let’s just say, we’re still working on improving those.
You will screw up. Oh man, oh man this is a biggie. Kyle and I are not professionals (obviously). We are learning as we go and that means we’re making a lot of mistakes. But if we don’t make those mistakes, we can’t learn from them. What kind of mistakes? Hmmmm. Well, there were the unnecessary holes in the dry wall, applying too much thin set mortar to our floors, cutting our tiles to the wrong size, the list goes on and on. You can’t win them all. Fix what you can and move on.
You might cry. Sometimes, you will have a crappy day at work only to come home to a half torn apart bathroom and a mess of problems. Sometimes you will attempt to work on this bathroom after your bad day and things will not go well. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong and you will make three Home Depot trips and one trip to Lowe’s all in one night. Sometimes you will kneel on your dirty, dusty, subfloor (or sit in your car in the Burger King parking lot) and shed tears of frustration. It’s okay. It will get better.
Your timeline might be way out of whack. I thought this would be a two weekend project. Hey, maybe it could have been if we had been able to focus solely on this but now we’re creeping up on a month and we’re still not finished. We’re close – but we’re not there yet.
It’s your bathroom – don’t let other people’s opinions sway you. This one is kind of hard for me. We are taking a few chances in this bathroom with choices that fit our personality. The trouble with doing things that fit you, is that they don’t always make sense to other people and you get a lot of “Hm, that sounds interesting” or “I would do it this way” or “That doesn’t make sense.” Ignore it. I’m not saying you won’t get good advice or maybe a suggestion at a better way to do things – heck, we’ve gotten tons of good advice and awesome suggestions. When it comes down to it though, this is our home and we’re designing it for us – not for someone else. Sure, we’re keeping in mind that we may sell this house one day but for now this is our house and we’re going to do things the way we want them.
It’s all worth it in the end. And if it’s not, maybe next time you’ll hire someone else to do it.