Friday 09 Dec 2016

Bathroom Remodelling
Matt Seinberg

As loyal readers will remember, we remodeled our kitchen in 2013 and what a job that was. Last year, we had intended to remodel the bathroom, too, but with Marcy's mother contracting Guillian Barre Syndrome, that project went on hold.

Finally, this year we decided to get it done, and we had to start almost at the beginning. I say almost because last year I purchased the new medicine cabinet, ceiling fan/heater/light combination and light fixture. There was so much more to shop for and order; I wasn't looking forward to that.

For anyone that has ever through a remodel, you can feel my pain. I see you shaking your head in sympathy, so let me thank you now for that understanding. The first thing that you have to figure out is how much you want to spend, and stick as close to that budget as possible, but always have an extra one or two thousand dollars built in, just in case. Something always manages to pop up and blow that budget to smithereens.


I'm remodelling, feel my pain.

We always seem to pick out the countertop before anything else, and we picked another quartz product by Cambria, called "Whitney." Its base color is white, with lots of glass and other shiny things in it. After that, we have to pick the tile, and I'd rather have dental work than have to shop for that.

Last year, we found something at the same tile store where we got the kitchen floor and, although it was no longer available, at that store, it was available from the distributor. The only problem was that it was a red ceramic base and we wanted porcelain just like the kitchen.

We combed that store and didn't really find anything. We went to another store close to home, and we found something that we really liked, along with the accent tile that would be the border. I took pictures and got an estimate, but Marcy didn't want to buy from there; she didn't really like the storeowner.


Sal found found the tile we wanted. Such luck is rare when remodelling.

Later that day, I called the first tile store and spoke to Sal, and not only could he get the tile, his price was better. The following week Marcy and I went in to order everything; within 10 days, it arrived. I went yesterday with my neighbour, Shawn, in his SUV to pick it up, and there were many boxes.

When we got home, the girls helped us unload everything into the garage.

Now let's go back in time two weeks. I went to see Tricia to order the bathroom vanity. She is the same woman from whom we bought the kitchen cabinets. She works at a different store now. She changed jobs last year and emailed me about it and I'm glad she did. We really liked her, and wanted to work with her again.


The quartz countertop now cost more and nothing else was less expensive. Such is the luck of the remodeller.

She had kept me apprise of different promotions that were going on with the two manufacturers we were interested in, and while one wasn't as good as last year, the other was better, so we picked the door style and color. The quartz countertop went up quite a bit in price, but there was nothing else cheaper that I liked, so we stuck with original color of Whitney.

Tricia said it would be about three or four weeks for the cabinets to arrive, and we're now two weeks into it. Rich, the contractor, came over this week to go over things with me; he said that he could start the job without the cabinets. Now we have to pick a date for him to start. I still have to order all the faucets and stuff, along with buying the bathtub, lights and other miscellaneous stuff.

Our biggest problem is this is our one and only bathroom. We'll be without the use of the toilet for two-to-four days; we won't have use of the shower.


Porta Potties are only $105 a month.

We have to have creative solutions for these problems. One is a bucket in the backyard; not a chance. We'll rent a Porta Potty. I called one company, today; it's $105 for a month. I thought that's what it would be for a week.

The other problem is where to shower? We have a next-door neighbour that we have helped over the years with various things, mostly snow blowing her sidewalk, driveway and walkway. Marcy had talked to one of her sons and he didn't think it would be a problem. Now we just have to talk to her.

Marcy and I would have to shower before work, and we're not sure about the girls, yet. Michelle says she'll stay at her grandparent's house, but Melissa may have to stay home and shower at night.

Rich says he'll probably need 8 to 9 days to be fully finished with the major construction and that doesn't include the finishing work like hooking up the sinks once the countertop arrives, which is about two weeks after they make it.


Home remodelling is oh-so dependent on planning and luck.

For anyone contemplating a remodel, plan and carefully; the sanity you save may be your own.

Click here to read Part Two of this series.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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