A week ago, I blogged about getting some more focus in my life through picking five priorities and making completing more fun by setting launch dates – the day upon which I reveal some completed awesome to the world – instead of deadlines.
Well, I’m proud to announce that we’ve just completed one of the five, and two weeks before deadline too! Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes upon our new bathroom!
The Original Scope
The bathroom has been lurking on our mental project list for a while. The ceiling had mould through the white paint, the cinderblock was painted a jarring shade of lime green, the medicine cabinet only had one of its two sliding mirror panels (thanks to me) and the vanity unit was slowly crumbling due to water being trapped between it and the shower stall. Not only that, there wasn’t much room to move.
We’d done some bits and pieces – a new shower head and tall cabinet – but once her eye surgeries were done (lens replacements due to cataracts) Vickie decided enough was enough and got us started on really renovating it. I stripped and re-painted the ceiling and the green cinderblock and my stepson Karl installed a new sink, vanity and medicine cabinet. Left to go is a new window, which we’re waiting on a final quote for; with any luck we should be done in a couple more weeks.
We plan to launch our refurbished and repainted bathroom to our immediate family and any visitors to our place on Sunday, August the 25th.
If you’re wondering why we’ve not been particularly social this last month or so, this is why. Vickie was hoping to have it done within a couple of weeks of our start in early July, but unfortunately some elements, particularly the installation of the new vanity, didn’t go according to plan. The seal on the sink fitting wouldn’t stay in place, so our handyman – Vickie’s stepson Karl – wound up using silicone in its place.
Speaking of Karl, he has been absolutely invaluable in getting this done. The vanity, the toilet cistern and the new, stainless steel medicine cabinet simply couldn’t have gone in without his help (in the case of the vanity and cistern, he did everything).
Still, I’ve not been shirking (well, not often). I:
- stripped the old, mouldy paint off the ceiling, prepped and repainted;
- installed the new shelf above the vanity, the new towel rail and toilet roll holder;
- removed seven old tiles and installed new ones;
- applied the paint rolling skills I’d learned in the living room on the cinder block wall between the tiling and ceiling.
Vickie’s been busy throughout, too. The item she’s most proud of, I reckon, is the mosaic edging on the new mirror she put up on the inside of the bathroom door. Now that Vickie has her eyesight back, she’s keen on making and selling craft items, and this one is a great start!
It’s been an uncomfortable, exhausting and at times frustrating project, but it’s done.
New Skills Learned:
- Removing old tiles.
- Fitting and grouting new tiles.
- Drilling tiles.
- Filling drill holes.
- Applying porcelain repair cement to a chipped vanity (I still have no idea how the new vanity got chipped, but I’m putting an old towel beneath any drop sheets next time we do serious work in the bathroom – or anywhere).
- Painting with a long-nap roller on cinderblock.
- Stripping paint.
- Installing a vent in fibreboard ceiling.
- Repairing a fibreboard ceiling after applying too much pressure putting the vent back in.
- Working to budget.
New Kit Acquired:
- Makita corded hammer drill (we’re a little over cordless units as our one keeps going flat if you leave it for even a day).
- Earplugs and protective glasses.
- Small long nap roller and tray.
- Paints, brushes and rollers.
- Grout removing tool.
- Adjustable grips… look, there’s this episode of Better Homes and Gardens where Rob Palmer lists the basics of a DIY kit, and I went on a splurge at Bunnings a couple of days afterward. I can’t find it right now, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.
More to do?
Surprisingly – or perhaps not, if you’re an experienced renovator – the bathroom is still not 100% done. The current window is a rough old set of louvres, the glass of one of which is cracked. We have a new window on order from Masters, which arrives sometime in the next three to five weeks, and will recruit Karl again to put it in.
But that’s a separate and small project in and of itself, and may only need a few hours of time (well, Karl’s) to get done. For now, the bathroom is finished and working, and we’re definitely proud of the end result!
The Next Priority?
Marking the bathroom off my priority list, especially before time, is a great feeling, and it also leaves a slot on my working list free. I want to have a little bit of time before I fill it, just to bask in the feeling of achievement.
Still the front deck needs urgent attention before the next wet season sets in, so we’re going to make a start on it today. After that, I want to fix the Foxy Lady’s indicators and get some more road time on her; I want to get my licence ASAP so I can cut down on petrol costs (currently around $70 a fortnight).
Are you producing?
What’s your most recent renovation project? How long did it take?
What new skills did you learn along the way?
Are you keen?
What household project are you most proud of? Why?