We’ve been in our new house for less than a year. Well, it’s new to us, anyway. It was built in 1925, so you can imagine that there are plenty of updates and changes that have happened over the years and more yet that need to happen. The thing I miss most from our old house (aside from an attached garage) is our master bathroom.
We remodeled our master bath two years before we moved, and it was… everything I ever would have wanted. It was as beautiful as it was functional. And it had heated floors. When you live in Chicago, heated stone floors are a beautiful thing. I loved the shower fixture we chose, and it made bathing a pleasure.
As much as I miss that, the master bathroom in our new house has pretty much been ignored. Our big focus is on replacing our extra small (circa 1925) detached garage with a more modern and spacious garage. We had the plans drawn up by an architect and reviewed by the city plan commission. The only problem? We can’t get a contractor to give us a bid. They’re all so busy with existing work that since September, I haven’t been able to get a quote to start work on my new garage.
It’s enough to make me cry.
Not every home remodeling project requires a contractor, however. There are definitely projects you can do on your own, and I’ve started focused on the master bathroom as my main project. While it won’t attain the beloved status of our old master bath remodel, there are definitely little projects we can do that will make it more pleasant.
The second story of our home was added in 2005. I’m guessing – no, I know – it wasn’t a cheap project. They did all wood floors and a lot of beautiful work. But why – in 2005 – anyone put in chrome and brass fixtures throughout the bathroom, I will never know. They grate on my nerves every time I look at them – the shower hooks, the behind the door towel holder, the towel holders along the wall (why?), the toilet paper holder, the faucets, and the shower fixtures.
I’ve already replaced some of them, and it was a wonderful feeling to take them down and replace them with the brushed nickel I love. Our towel hooks and toilet paper holder have already been replaced. I took down another towel holder that I don’t plan to replace, which means my husband has some wall patching and painting to do.
The one thing I will never, ever understand is the countertop in the bathroom. It isn’t granite. It’s an incredibly cheap laminate countertop. It looks and feels cheap. With all the money that someone poured into building a second floor to my house – and I’m guessing gutting the first floor – why would they not spend the extra $500 to get a slab of granite and put it in?
And then there’s the shower itself. I no longer have beautiful tiles. My shower is a prefab plastic shower stall. The previous owners never squeegeed the glass doors, so with our extremely hard water, they’re permanently pitted. And the shower fixture. Not only is is chrome and brass, but it has almost no water pressure. I hate it so much that I do my best to avoid taking showers at home and instead only take them at the gym. While that’s great motivation to work out, it isn’t a long term solution.
But shower fixtures is another project that can easily be done without requiring a full scale contractor to remodel the bathroom. And one day – after we finish the new garage, get the grading in our landscaping fixed so we have no more potential water issues in the basement, refinish our previously finished basement (which I will only do once we have the grading fixed), and bump out the family room to give it a more modern feel – we will do a full remodel of our master bath. I will once again have heated floors over rough stone. I won’t have a prefab plastic shower stall. And the shower fixture we replace today can be used then, something that we won’t have to replace when we redo just about everything else in that room.
When looking at bathroom faucets, I’ve already decided what fixture I’ll use to replace that awful shower fixture. I will have a shower I look forward to using, and I can’t wait.
I may not be able to do it all. My projects and frustrations may continue to mount about not being able to find a contractor for our garage build, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find other projects to do. When I live in a house, I want it to be a home.