Kids bath: Planning and Demolition

I knew the floor plan of this bathroom needed to change.  There was a huge waste of space next to the toilet, only 1 tiny sink that had barely any door clearance and a shower so tiny that the kids would have out grown it by the time they reached puberty! That combined with the leak and frozen pipes made this room a priority.  (I was secretly hoping to do the main/master bath or kitchen first but the house apparently had other plans!  Oh well!)

I consulted the local kitchen and bath design specialist  they came out took measurements and asked what I wanted to see in the bathroom. I  explained that I wanted something that went with the feel/ age of the house.  I wanted to put 40 inch wainscoting on the walls, find a way to fit 2 sinks (because 5 kids crammed around 1 tiny sink in the mornings and evenings to brush their teeth just wasn’t ideal!), and frame-less glass shower doors with a tiled surround and a glass accent at eye level.  I explained I would like the vanity to have a furniture feel to it, and the 3 things I would love  to have would be a separate water closet for the toilet, so someone could pee in privacy while the others did teeth brushing and such; If we could find a way to make the shower become a tub that would be great but if we couldn’t a neo-angle shower would be fine and what ever storage we could add would be perfect!

Then my contractor who needed to measure doors for all the new closets and replacement doors happened by, he asked what was going on with the bathroom (since we had started demoing it at this point) and I explained everything I had told the design specialists.  He looked at the space for maybe a whole 5 minutes and came back with a great new design plan!  To move the door, to the opposite wall put a tub/ shower in and a pocket door to make a water closet and then tuck a double sink in where the existing door had been.   Honestly it was a perfect plan!  But I still wanted to wait until I heard back from the specialists.  I waited over 2 weeks for their reply.

They called on a Thursday I went over Friday morning to take a look at what they came up with I was super excited, until I saw their plan, my heart dropped.  They didn’t give me a double sink.  They didn’t give me a water closet.  They didn’t give me a bathtub.  What did they give me?  A 18 inch linen closet.  And a budget 10 x more than I had said I wanted to spend (and 5 times more than my contractor said it would cost).  It was super disappointing , 2 weeks of waiting, nothing I wanted or needed in the space,  and a budget bigger than I have for the whole house remodel!  It wasn’t full of high-end granite, or vessel sinks, (both which the tall Man has banned from our house! lol) Kohler accessories  or new modern innovations and striking designs.  It was simple and boring, and costly.  I called my contractor on the way home to tell him he got the bathroom job, I didn’t even bother to call the Tall Man first because I knew he would agree with my decision and we wanted the bathroom done, and done now.

We did some of the demo ourselves before the contractor came in to save some on costs and to be involved in.  Tall man and the boys #1 and #3 demo’d the trim and the flooring.  We sold the vanity on Craigslist and took it out when the couple arrived to pick it up, and I demo’d the shower and removed the light fixture and wall decor.  Then our contractor came in and made short work out of gutting the rest of the place.  By the end of day 2 demo was pretty much done and some improvements had been begun.

One week into the job, new insulation is already being installed in the wall, the  old plumbing has been removed, the walls have been leveled out and the floor leveling is underway (the floor is being leveled for the bathroom and the adjacent toy room simultaneously as they share the same floor joists).  I can’t wait to see what progress happens this week!


The Kids bath

We were in the new house a whole 2 days before the shower started leaking into the dining room.  And within the first week the bathroom pipes to that bath had frozen on 3 separate occasions!  Which means it got bumped to the top of the remodel list.

Now I am a pretty competent DIY’er and spent my childhood growing up in a real estate office where we had to make repairs to rental properties constantly and our old ( for CA) 1940’s house.  And probably could have done most of the bathroom remodel components on my own, but I was a little daunted about doing them all at once in a short time frame and while trying to do everything else that needs to be done around here.  Plus the bathroom was going to need a complete over-haul ; all new electric, all new plumbing and drains, and a new floor plan to make a better use of the space.

Pictures of our space before:

Industrial look window coverings

A very affordable window covering that gives a modern industrial look.   And very easy to custom size to fit any window under 36 inches wide and shorter than 72 inches long.  And very easy for the beginner DIYer or home owner, and a great look for renters who are wary of putting holes in their walls!

inexpensive modern industrial window coverings


Each window will require 1 Redi shade blackout 36×72) shade (available at Lowes, Walmart, Amazon, etc. for between $5 – $8 – I got ours at Walmart for under $6.) and 2 bulldog clips size 2 – 5/8 inch (around $4 – $6 depending on where you buy them).  Other materials  you will need are a tape measure, a sharp blade (Exacto knife or box cutter type) and a straight edge to cut against.


Measure each window on the top and the bottom, and measure again.  Find the measurement that is the smallest and measure it again!  there is no such thing as over measuring!  Now subtract 1/4 inch from that measurement.  that is the width you are going to cut your Redishade to.

measure here

Using your knife and straight edge carefully cut through the shade making several firm but shallow cuts (make sure you are using a sharp and clean knife) until you have cut through the shade.easy, inexpensive DIY

Now hold the blind at the smallest area of the window to verify it will fit.  remove the sticky backing and press firmly in the center of the upper window making sure the cut edge is facing the window.  Press firmly along the length of the blind and then let it fall into the open position.

Redishade open positionNow it is time to trim to length if the shade is billowing out of your window casing.  start by taking off 4 pleats.  you can do this with scissors or by carefully ripping along the seam as I did again making sure the cut edge faces the window.  continue taking off 4 pleats at a time until the shade hangs nicely.quick modern industrial

When the window shade is down place bulldog clips on the bottom to anchor it in place.  When you want to open the shade pick your desired height and place the bulldog clips at that point.  When in the open position angle your bulldog clips into a hanging position for a cleaner look.

down or closed position


Another great thing about these shades is that they really do block all the light darkening a room nicely, and they keep the cold out that always seems to seep through the windows in the wintertime!

redishade blocking out the light and the cold

* But what about the clips that came with the shade?  Throw them away!  Use them for clothespins, or to match socks, or give them to a kid to play with.  Just don’t put them on the shade or you will have a whole different kind of look going on!



What a crazy 1st week!

We have been in the new house a week now and things have just been crazy! Besides the normal unpacking involved in a move, We have had all kinds of exciting fun!

We discovered that every opening in the custom hand built kitchen is either to big for the appliance it is meant for or to small.  The fridge can’t go back the last 6 inches so is sitting somewhat in the middle of the room, the dishwasher can’t be attached to the kitchen counter because the counter is 4 inches to tall, the stove has a 3 inch gap on the side between the cupboards and itself, and these are all standard sized appliances!  I also am able to literally crawl through the bottom cabinets and have to sit in them to reach the stuff in the back, and Kitty has free reign of all upper cabinets because the Open cabinet above the fridge goes through all the rest.  We found out the hard way that they wired the outlets for the fridge and the counter tops wrong and had to have someone come and redo them if a) we ever wanted to use our fridge and microwave at the same time or any counter top appliances in the actual kitchen, and b) didn’t want to risk lighting our 1890’s home on fire from the inside of the walls.

The pipes froze in all the bathrooms 3 times last week with the subzero weather we were receiving, and once they were thawed enough to give us more than a dribble we discovered the kids bath drains slightly into the dining room ( slightly means a drop a second) which just won’t do…  So now we are demoing the room out and getting ready to completely redo it 3 months ahead of schedule!

I had the gas guys come give me an estimate to run a line to the dryer and today bought an electric dryer for 1/2 what it would have cost me to run the gas line.

On the upside, we now have most of the furniture we needed, especially for the kids rooms, by repurposing, hitting our local auction house, raiding the Tall man’s parents garage, and a few internet items the kids fell in love with.  The water hydrant for the cows works perfectly, and we are all finally warm for the first time in years where-ever we are in the house ( our old house had 1 warm room, 3 sweltering ones, and 3 frigid ones – it was lot’s of fun!)

Hopefully we can get walls and closets installed soon, and then on to flooring and getting the kids bath functional again!

I have lot’s of little updates on the kids rooms and all the other little stuff that’s been going on to!  And hopefully now that the house is 95% unpacked ( well, if you don’t count my office, which is still sitting completely in boxes) I’ll have time to hop online more!!!


And yes we did have a property inspection, so I have no idea how so many things are going wrong with the house except that well, that happens.  When you buy a new house, something always goes wrong!!!