Room Redos

Bathroom Renovation: The Post I Didn’t Want to Write

September 24, 2015

I’ve stared at my computer screen — even now! Even now I can’t finish that sentence. I can’t even finish the sentence to tell you that I have no desire to write this post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about. No, we’ve made major progress in our bathroom renovation. Last Friday I sanded the spackle that I was using to cover the texture on the wall. I actually had to leave the room for about 30 minutes, because it was so hazy in there that I couldn’t see through the safety goggles. I also figured out the right way to spread the spackle, so it actually has made the wall nice and smooth. On Saturday, Michael made a supply run to Lowe’s. By the end of the day we had a painted ceiling, drywall hung, patched and smoothed walls, the first set of planks up on the wall, the old light fixture removed, and new tile for the bald spot on the floor.

bathroom renovation via

We’ve worked on the bathroom every day /night since our last post on Thursday. So, yes, we have a lot to show and a lot to talk about. Actually on Saturday, when we were making all the progress, I was thinking that if we had a sitter we might have been able to complete the whole renovation in that weekend. But for all that progress, there has been a lot of setbacks. There was the pipe issue and the wallpaper / wall issue, but then we ran into other issues like: the brad nails not sinking below the planks (which means having to hammer them further into the wall by hand), there was no junction box for the wiring to the light (all wiring within a wall needs to be in a box), there’s not a stud behind the wall where we need to hang the pedestal sink, we’re missing pieces to connect the plumbing for the sink, and the faucet the sink came with is corroded and needs to be replaced. Also, we somehow misplaced a 7 ft piece of door casing –I have no idea how that happened.

So, that’s why I don’t feel like writing all the how-tos / details about what we’ve done in the bathroom. At least not right now. At this point, Michael and I are so done. So over it. But that’s why I am writing this post. Because this happens. The before / after shots and posts are amazing, but there is also something called the middle. The middle is where all the hard work happens. It’s where things can stop making sense, where plans change, and where road blocks can hit you like a Mac truck going 75 mph down the highway. The middle of this project has turned into expecting the worse, being surprised when something is easy, but then also spending days on end just thinking about how to solve a problem (e.g. the sink) which is beyond your realm of expertise. During the weekdays, we work on the bathroom after the kids have gone to bed, and dude, we are tired by that time. Really tired. Lately, all discussion about the bathroom has been, “What? Why would you want to do it that way? I have no idea what your are talking about.” Really. I can’t tell you how many times that has been said. “Ok. Fine. I don’t care. Just do whatever.”, has also been said more than once. Project frustration is a real thing.

So why are we doing this? Why not just call someone to do it for us? Well, that would be way more expensive, and we’d have to arrange times and rearrange schedules, but mostly because the middle doesn’t last. Every project we’ve DIYed we’ve run into the middle, but we’ve also met the end. The end is your birthday, graduation, Christmas – every celebration ever rolled into taking two steps back, looking at your work, and breathing a sigh of relief. Not only would we not appreciate it as much if we didn’t have that crappy middle, but we also wouldn’t have the knowledge and skill set that we do now. We wouldn’t know how to hang drywall, or use spackle to cover wall texture, or install sinks, or fix toilets, etc. So all this to say, the middle sucks(!), but if you’re there, don’t stay there. (Take the night off if you need to. We did last night.) Move forward with your eye on the end. And don’t let your fear of the middle ever keep you from starting. Sometimes things go very smoothly in DIY and the middle is not even noticed. Sometimes the middle is that Mac truck, but…


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