5 Things I've Learned from our Bathroom Reno

Jan 21, 2016

This post has the potential to be very long. Taking on a mega project such as our total master bedroom and ensuite makeover, involved a major learning curve for me. I am still not an expert on bathroom renovations, nor do I want to be, however I have gained a wealth of knowledge which I'm happy to pass along to all of you.
 (For your viewing pleasure, I've included some of my favorite photos of other bathroom renos, follow the links to see their beautiful before & after transformations!)

1. Things will not go as planned
I'm saying this from the perspective of a first time bathroom reno DIYer. When reno-ing an existing home, you never know what you might find when you start tearing down walls and removing flooring. Although there may be a lot of unknowns, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't plan at all. Having a detailed and specific plan will be very helpful and will  keep you focused on your initial plan. This leads me to No. 2...

2. Be open minded & willing to accept accept change
In order to keep a reno from really getting the best of you, it's important to remain calm and just take things as they come. As I mentioned in the reveal post, some of the "mistakes" we made during this reno ended up becoming my favourite aspects of the space.

Case in point: the dry-walling and plastering in and around the shower was done in a bit of an odd order, which meant at the end we were left with raw edging where the shower tile met the drywall. Our solution was to cover the edges by installing the cedar. Although this wasn't part of the initial plan, it tied in beautifully with the cedar vanity & shelf.

via: amber interiors
3. Most tasks will take longer than you expect
Whether it's waiting on contractors, waiting on parts and supplies or waiting on yourself to really make up your mind about something - everything takes longer than expected. We were quite lucky because we had a second bedroom and another fully functioning bath to use during the reno so the delays and inconveniences weren't as heavily felt, although they were none the less frustrating.

This is where proper communication and planning will be beneficial. Have your contractors or tradespeople let you know up front about their projected timeline. Then touch base with them again and again to see if there's been any further changes or potential delays.

via: remodelista
4. There is usually a solution for every problem
We definitely encountered our fair share of "problems". There was a point when I didn't know how we were going to finish. I thought we'd have water damage in the shower and exposed drywall corners; but thanks to some great help from an extremely resourceful and talented contractor, we found a solution for everything. A not just an ugh-I-guess-it-will-do solution, these were wow-that-looks-great solutions, better than I had originally planned. So when you feel like you're on your last straw, just take a breath, analyze the situation and ask for help in determining possible solutions.

5. Keep your cool
Lastly, remember to just take a breath and be present. I didn't really get this until we were actually nearing the end, but once I did, everything seemed to go a lot smoother, and I was a lot less stressed. I was so focused on getting everything 100% finished as fast as possible that it was taking away from the enjoyment of it all (and I do really enjoy it!), and at times it was also having an emotional and physical strain on me, which I definitely didn't want! I continued to work on the finishing touches on my own time and schedule.

I hope you find that these suggestions and personal experiences will also help you survive your next reno project, whether big or small.

Have any reno lessons to share? Let's hear them!

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