Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Room

There's a world
Where I can go
And tell my secrets to
In my room
In my room

The Beachboys, "In My Room"

We have spent the past month fixing up the most important room in the house. My favorite room. The very private room dedicated to getting naked, getting wet and taking care of bodily functions. The bathroom.

We have not used the bathroom off our bedroom since we moved in. It had no shower, only a spa tub, and we are not tub people. (Yes, I know I am a tubby person, but there's a difference.) In fact, when we sold our Sydney house we had lived in it for 9 years and never once even turned the tap on in the bathtub much less sit and soak.

Once we moved here, I made a comment which, in hindsight, may have been a mistake. I said how nice it would be to get rid of the spa tub and put in a walk-in shower,

Replacing a tub with a shower sounds simple but it's the first step on that slippery slope known as renovation.  Can't remove the tub and put in a shower without tiling. Might as well tile the whole room once we start. Since we're doing the floor, this is also the perfect time to put in under-floor heating. And we certainly don't want an old vanity with new tiles. Ditto the mirrors. And just how out of place is that old toilet going to look with all this new stuff? Oh, and since we have tilers and plumbers in, shouldn't we at least replace that grotty old shower in the guest bathroom? And it's only a tad more to get new taps for the vanity and bath there to match the new shower. But don't worry. We will save money because we won't get a new vanity there.

Those, needless to say, are not all my thoughts, but rather a pretty good approximation of the logical conclusions of Project Manager Linda. With her leadership and management, we are now almost through the renovation of the master bathroom. All that needs to be done is installing the screen to the walk-in shower, hanging the mirror, putting up the bits like towel hooks and toilet roll holder, and painting the bit of wall at the top that isn't being tiled.

To be very fair, I have contributed a few ideas, most having to do with comfort and ensuring a large human can easily move around the room. Project Manager Linda has done the rest, and successfully reprised a technique she used during the kitchen renovation.

Working without a budget, she declares to me, to tradesmen, to just about anyone who will listen, that she doesn't want a $20,000 bathroom. That is a statement with which I can very easily (very, very, very easily) agree. Some time during the project, though, the success and reasonableness of the final project gets equated to that statement. If the room is beautiful and if it didn't cost $20,000, it is a success. And when, as in this case, we don't come remotely close to spending $20,000, then it is a roaring success.

As it is.

The trouble right now is that this project isn't quite done and has been dragging on well past when it should. Originally we were set to have the work done in October when we returned from the US, but Joe the Tiler had not reserved the  time for us as we asked. Then it was going to start right after the New Year but Joe had a family medical problem.

And I am not even going to mention chasing down the tiles we had paid for when the company went bankrupt. OK, I've mentioned it, but I don't want to relive it.

It finally started on January 24, but Joe was backed up so badly with his projects that he has been spending only part-time here. Completion had been promised by February 10. We think it may be this week.

Anyhow, once Joe leaves, we're getting the painters in and laying carpet in the bedroom, hanging the drapes and calling 5/7th of the house done. Or 5/8th if you count the extension we are thinking about. But now is not the time to have that discussion.

I uploaded pictures of the shower installation's progress here.  Having documented the stand-up part of the room I will upload the sit-down side of the room tomorrow. Completed pictures by the June  solstice. (A joke. I hope.) And we will be able to go to the US then with the change left over from our not-a-$20K bathroom.

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