May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Bathroom Remodel 2012

 July 12, 2012
The Process has begun.  The designer and contractor have been contacted.  Ideas are floating all over the place.  Trying to absorb how much this may cost to do it the way we would like to.  But in the end, we hope to have a lovely functional master bathroom that will take us into our "aging in place" future.  Not that we need that now.  Our intent is to stay in this house for a long, long time.  We'd rather put up with the disruption of remodeling now rather than later when we may not have the health and energy to do it.  So......the process begins. 
Some tiles to consider and get us thinking.
We'll be saying good-bye to this.

 July 16, 2012
We visited a great tile showroom today, in San Leandro.  It was a wonderful place for inspiration but in the end, we were back to liking the simple mosaic tile accent of mixed glass and stone.  I came home and started measuring and doodling using my EQ6 program.  Lots to think about.  One decision was made.  We're going to not go with a seamless entry because of potential cost and problems.  A small lip at the entrance to the shower shouldn't be a problem.

July 25, 2012 

The designer and general contractor came by today with an estimate.  I'm afraid our eyes bugged out at the price.  It's now somewhat in Jim's court to get some more estimates.  I agree.  Their price seemed pretty high from what I'm reading about elsewhere.  Alot of what you want to get for your money is a trusted contractor with excellent experience who will do the job until you are happy with it for the agreed upon price.  The question - Is this that general contractor?  The plus side is that he is local.  The down side is that he is expensive.  Second question is Are there ways to reasonably shave the cost and still get what we want?  The process goes on........... 

August 4, 2012 

Talk, talk, talk, talk......we've done a lot of talking and narrowing down of what we want and what we can live with for this bathroom re-do.  The basic design and materials plan is coming together nicely.  Currently the thought is to complete (on our own) the design/materials plan, write out a "what we want the general contractor to be in charge of" plan and then put out the calls for bids.  Timing wise, this is not looking like a project that will be done before the holidays.  Therefore, once we get the bids and settle on the contractor, we're going to set our begin demolition/construction date for after the first of the year.  I'm a little disappointed.  I wanted it done this summer but I'm definitely seeing the wisdom of taking a lot of time to consider and plan.  In the end, we'll have a bathroom that we will love. 

The cabinet style but we want a darker cherry color.

This idea has already been tweaked some.  We're probably going back to two sinks and a middle cabinet.

January 27, 2013

It's been a long journey to this post.  Lots of life intervened along the way. The bid was way to high from the first contractor team.  That alone put the project on hold.  Then we decided to join our son and his family on a trip to Spain........another reason to wait.  Before the trip to Spain, I began design talks with the nice lady at our local Home Depot and we began to consider having them give us an estimate but the plan was to wait until we were back from our trip the middle of November.

And then a major life event happened.  I fell while in Portugal and broke my wrist in two places and had to have two pins inserted.  Bathroom remodel date got further extended but it also moved to the top of the priority list.  Try showering in a tub shower with a cast on and you'll quickly understand the need for a walk-in shower with a bench.

So now we are back in serious talks with Home Depot.  The cabinets have been picked out and priced out.  The general contractor has been by to measure.  Today we talked tile placement with the Home Depot designer.  Next week, we'll get the estimate for install and we'll have to add materials, etc. to that.  If all goes well, we might actually sign a contract a week from now, put down a deposit, and order some cabinets.

In the meantime, here's a picture of some decisions that have been made for floor and wall tile, accent pieces and granite countertop.

March 13, 2013

Hurry up and wait.  Hurry up and wait......with lots of trips to Home Depot in-between.  We are certainly getting to know our HD Consultant, Susan Martin very well.  She has been wonderful in keeping track of everything and answering my questions. 

After all decisions were made, measurements taken, orders placed, it was time to pay.  That was a big one but it came in way under the other estimate we had gotten in the fall.  Much more in line with what we were expecting to pay.  Susan helped us with discounts by suggesting getting a Home Depot credit card (10% off the first $2000.) and she found a discount for new counter top and cabinet orders so we saved a little there.  

Yesterday, the "new bathroom" began to arrive.  First up were the Martha Stewart Lilypond cabinets from North Carolina.  Of course, in this picture they are just boxes.  
So the garage went through some stages of preparation for delivery.

Before -  has been worse but note the small aisle.  No room for a car.
After - stuff stacked to the side awaiting eventual storage units.  Space cleared for "bathroom" arrival.

Lovely cabinets in their boxes waiting to checked out by contractor and Susan, the consultant.

Home Depot arrives with the rest of the materials, tiles, toilet, etc.  We added on heavy storage shelves for the garage.......a project for later. 

Tomorrow Jeff, the contractor and Susan the consultant will come by for the pre-construction walk-through.  The demo has already been scheduled for Mar. 26.  We also need to make an appointment to pick out a piece of granite for the counter-top.  It's coming together.

March 21, 2013

Boxes have been opened and items have been inspected. 

Susan, the Home Depot Consultant checking the list
Jeff, the 3-D Remodeling contractor
Lovely mirror - one of two
Nice cabinets and drawers.  Thank you Martha Stewart
A little something for the middle of the counter
Hardware by Moen and sinks and toilet by Kohler
 Now we await demolition day on March 26th.  I have already packed up the Master bathroom and left only the essentials for now. Still need to go pick out granite.

 April 2, 2013
The granite slab has been picked out.  It is called Bordeaux or Japarona Florentine depending on who you ask.  We looked at Crema Bordeaux which was our first pick but didn't like the available slabs we saw.  So we walked up and down the aisles and found something we liked....a very interesting shopping trip.
Bordeaux but not exactly the slap we picked
The process continues.  At this point, our new friend, Alberto has spent many days at our house working on plumbing and electricity.  We have discovered some funny code requirements such as electrical outlets must be at least 48 inches away from each other.  This will necessitate putting in an additional outlet inside the tall cabinet that will sit on the middle of the counter top.   It might be handy for storing and using the hair dryer.  It's not something I would necessarily have planned.

The framework for the shower pan and bench seat are in and the  new routing of the piping is done.

 We are really liking the new pony wall and we can already envision the extra spacious feel to the bathroom. 
Can't wait to see some visible "decor" element of the new bathroom.  So far everything is behind the scenes and will be covered up by wall board.
This is the final plan.  That middle electrical outlet will be behind the cabinet door because the counter top is 96 inches long. Dark gray lower wall is the pony wall that opens up the room.
April 16, 2013
The Bathroom!  We've all heard it......It will cost more and take longer than you think......and it is true.  I have no real problems with the contractors.  They've been pretty good about communication and being here on time.  The hang-up is more with the lovely city of Alameda because along the way, we will need three inspections.  There is a call-in process with the city to arrange for an inspector to come by and then you pray that you'll get on the schedule in a timely manner.  Doesn't help if one inspector comes and says "Do this before I sign off." and the next inspector comes, takes a quick look around and signs off immediately.  In the meantime, you have lost 4 days.  But the first inspection has finally happened so now the drain is being back-filled and the wall-board is going up.  Of course the tile installation can't happen until the inspector comes back to see the wall-board and signs off on that.

In the meantime, the lower cabinets have gone in, the granite has been selected, and the appointment for the counter template has been made for tomorrow.  The granite fabricators are behind in their schedules thanks to a sale on counters at Home Depot so it will take 7-9 days before the counter comes back to be installed.  Considering the other delays, that is no big deal.
I know we are looking at least another 3 weeks of work at least.  I think there is some wait time as the tiles set.  My goal is to have a working bathroom before my birthday on May 24th......way before hopefully. 
May 1, 2013
......and today, Wednesday, we are officially starting into the new month.  Let's see.  Demo happened on March 26th so we have been at this for 5 1/2 weeks.  Seems a bit like forever but the end is in sight.  The second inspection finally happened after a delay in communication and a tear-out of the shower pan install that wasn't done correctly.  Altogether, we think that put us behind about 4 working days.  But since, then our tile guy has been here faithfully installing the tiles row by row by row. Then he needed to prepare the slope for the drain in the shower floor and it had to set.  So we have gone from this: 
To this:

It's looking good and importantly, we like it.  The finishing texture still needs to be put on the walls and then the walls will be painted with a color from the Martha Stewart collection called Artichoke Heart. 
The counter top fabricators sent us a remarkably clear picture of the piece of granite that we chose and then we could weigh in exactly where we wanted them to cut it.  We didn't have to travel to the granite yard......very high tech.  Then there is the center tower cabinet on top of the counter, the sinks, the toilet, the lights, the plumbing and fixtures hook-up, the grouting...................hhhmmmmmm maybe this will take another two weeks.
  May 30, 2013
Ta Da!  It is finished.  It has been quite the experience.  Overall there really weren't too many changes.  Yes.  We did have worker error that caused two re-do's to the shower floor pan.  But the General Contractor was good about making sure it finally got done correctly.  The main problem was a delay to the finish date.  So two months later, we have a functioning and lovely new master bathroom "en suite" (as they say on HGTV).We're loving it!


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