For those of you watching my Instagram and Facebook, you might have seen that recently we've had our bathroom renovated. Usually I'm up for broadening my skill set and turning my hand to some DIY jobs. I've fitted a kitchen before, I can do some basic plumbing too. However a whole bathroom just felt a bit too much. We've only got one bathroom / toilet, so if I messed up, it could cause problems. Thankfully we had some money put aside so we could 'get a man in'.
I must admit, because I'm so keen to do stuff for myself, I've never actually employed a tradesman before. Our tradesman wasn't a stranger, he is one of Mrs H's best friend's husband. His earlier work is excellent, his prices are reasonable, and - well - he's a lovely person too.
Because I'm working at home for the majority of time, I'm in a set routine. I work, I drink tea, and repeat - I like my routine, and I feel a little twitchy when it's disrupted. I could still work from home, however, there would be several hours each day where there was no toilet in the flat. So this would mean a severe reduction in tea consumption. That said, having people in the house wasn't as terrible as I envisaged. I had a busy few weeks when the work took place, including meeting Rachel Riley, and heading off to Manchester. The only annoyances was having stuff usually kept in the bathroom and airing cupboard dotted around the house instead.
Our builder was happy for us to source our own things from wherever we liked. That was handy, because there wasn't one particular retailer online or offline that had EXACTLY what we wanted. Whilst our budget was comfortable, it wasn't huge. We did a lot of shopping around, and kept our eyes out for sales. Mrs H's work offer corporate discounts at a few retailers as well, so we saved money using that. Some work I'd done had paid me in Amazon vouchers, so we picked up the shower at Amazon. Pretty much everything we purchased was scrutinised to make sure that we were getting the most for our money.
That said, we didn't go too cheap on everything. We wanted everything to last. Whilst the kids aren't here all the time, and there's just the two of us, the bathroom still gets used a lot, and we didn't want to have to have it redone in a few years because we'd cut corners.
Once we'd got a firm idea of our 'shopping list', me being me, and doing the job I do, I had to design our bathroom on the computer. I used a bit of software called 'Sketchup' and added our chosen tiles, and found bathroom gear roughly like the products we'd chosen. The result is below
It gave us a rough estimation of how it would look before the work even started. We also could experiment with how we wanted the tiles laid out too!
Our builder had told us that it would be around 10 days work, from start to finish. Our building has concrete ceilings, so getting spotlights in to really show off the sparkly floor would mean dropping the ceiling. I wanted to use Hue bulbs in the bathroom too, so we'd lose about 12cm of height. You can get LED lighting that isn't as deep as the Hue bulbs, and therefore the ceiling wouldn't need to be lowered as much. However, I wanted the Hue bulbs in.
One Sunday evening we cleared out the bathroom. Mrs H wanted to be a part of the renovations so stripped some of the wallpaper, and removed some tiles (with a bread knife). I think it was a big deal for her having someone in to do the work. Every room in this place, she's decorated. Handing this one over would be the first time ever. I couldn't really watch her pulling tiles off the wall with kitchen implements, so I played xBox instead and just shouted to see if she was okay after every crash of tiles.
The next day arrived, and so did the builders, everything was stripped out within no time, and the process of rebuilding began. I was expecting it to be a MASSIVE upheaval - it wasn't so bad. The toilet went back into place at the end of each day, and the new bath was in and usable on Day 3 or 4, so it wasn't too much of a headache. The only headaches were for me, and the caffiene withdrawal I was experiencing!
The last few days were probably the hardest actually, we were SO close to having it all finished, everything looked just about there. Even at that point, there was still a lot to do. The last day meant all the finishing touches could be done. The result, was nothing short of incredible.
I knew it was going to look brilliant, but seeing everything in place was amazing. The icing on the cake was the roller blind I'd got from Nikkel-Art. I'd got one of our wedding photos of the sunset from the Top of the Rock printed onto the blind, it worked beautifully.
Right.. Best start saving for a new kitchen!