Sunday, September 8, 2013


September brings new beginnings. A fresh school years starts; the long, dog days of summer become shorter, and the air is replete with tiny hints of fall. For us, these new beginnings are accompanied by another big change: a bathroom remodel. (Dun dun dun!)

Unlike what you typically see on HGTV, we didn't initiate the remodel because we chose to upgrade our bathroom; ours was rebuilt out of necessity. Back in May, we discovered that we may have water damage within the wall that backs up to our shower. After many weeks of wondering and three plumber visits later, we had a diagnosis: mold and a leaky shower valve. Our only option was to gut the shower. (Cue scary music.) Thankfully our insurance company agreed to provide us a paltry sum, but we had a daunting task ahead of us. Neither of us had experience with renovations, and we bought our house specifically because it was move-in ready and didn't require any changes. However, I have to be honest; as frustrating as the prospect of a renovation was, I wasn't completely heartbroken when found out that we'd have to rebuild the shower. I always hated that bathroom. It was the one space in our house that I was never happy with, but I always made it work. (If it had been our kitchen, I seriously would have cried!) So it gave us an opportunity to create the bathroom we always wanted, a little sooner than we'd planned. Or at least that's what I tell myself!

 Goodbye, ugly shower!

And so, our renovation journey began. I had always heard horror-stories of renovations and the stress they can inflict on a marriage, so I came into the process knowing that it would be frustrating and cause fights. That's only been partially true. For me, the most stressful part was making, and agreeing on, ten thousand decisions, large and small, about every inch of our bathroom. What kind of tile do we want, and what size? Should we go ahead and replace the toilet? Brushed nickel finishes, or oil-rubbed bronze? What about paint color? The list goes on and on and on. Decisions can paralyze me since I'm such a perfectionist, and, for me, that was by far the most frustrating part.

We hired a contractor that we had complete faith in, and he gave us a timeline of about a month. Then we moved into our guest bedroom to avoid the unending deluge of renovation dust. (That's one thing I had no clue about!) Once we had chosen every tiny detail, the workmen took over. That's been the easiest part by far, since, thankfully, it's out of my hands. I come come from work every day and see the new shower gradually take shape.

As I write this, we're a little over halfway through the process. Hopefully in a month I can say I've survived a renovation, something I never thought I'd say! Maybe new beginnings aren't so bad after all.

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