I moved out of my parents’ house when I was about 18, and now that I’m 53 (ouch), my mom has decided that we need to live together again — I knew she missed me — so she’s packing her bags and coming to our house. (Dad passed away a number of years ago, otherwise he’d definitely be in tow.)
In preparation for this Monumental Event, we determined that we needed to make some adjustments to the house, namely to her new bedroom and bathroom to make things as accessible as possible.
This is one project we couldn’t tackle on our own. For one, we need to get it done post-haste. Since we both work full time, we have only weekends free, which is why most of our DIY projects move at a glacial pace. For two, much of this remodel requires a level of expertise we don’t possess.
Luckily we have a good friend, Dan Djuric, who builds custom homes and does remodeling. (His company is called 4 Star Homes & Construction, and we’re happy to send referrals his way. In a word, he is AWESOME.)
Dan and his team have been at the house for a few days now and have made remarkable progress. And while they’ve been doing all the hard work, we’ve been having fun picking out tile!
First, some before photos:
Day 1: Demolition, framing and prep work. Day 1 involved tearing out the shower surround and busting a hole through the wall to create the doorway into the adjoining bedroom. Here’s why that worked so well: That bedroom, for some peculiar reason, had three individual closets, all in a row. (See photo below.) Luckily, the closets were on the wall shared by the bathroom. By taking out the two closets nearest to the window, we could accommodate a door to the bathroom and still use some of the closet space as storage.
Days 2 and 3: Plumbing, tiling and prepping the shower. Because we extended the length of the shower, all the pipes had to be re-plumbed. And because we knocked out a wall to widen the bathroom and create another door, the floor, which was formerly two closets, needed to be tiled.
Dan and team installed the concrete backer board and floor in the shower, created a knee wall to accommodate the extended length of the shower (he’s going to add a pane of glass to the top of the knee wall to let in natural light) and created two insets in the shower: one on the side wall and another in the knee wall.
The tile in the inset is an Italian ceramic tile called Waves. We’re going with an Asian theme in this bathroom, and we felt that the earthy colors and gentle movement of the design on the Waves tile conveyed a Zen-like vibe. Wait until you see what we picked out for the rest of the shower walls and the floor! The goal is to feel like you’re showering outside, without the embarrassment and possible police citation, of course.
Anytime you undertake a renovation, you have to be prepared for surprises — and they’re rarely good. Luckily, the only surprises we got were discovering that we couldn’t make the back wall inset wider because of pipes, and we couldn’t bring the doorway inside the bathroom all the way to the ceiling because of a vent. If you look at the photo below, you can see the header above the second doorway. It doesn’t look wrong — just would have been cleaner not to have it. In any case, those are surprises we could handle!
Stay tuned for updates and the finished product, and if you need a contractor you can depend on for a build or a remodel in the Cleveland area, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment!