Reno Update – From Far

Scott and I have to say, we’ve figured out how to manage the renovation project from far.  Well, firstly it helps very much that Scott is at home.  I have to say iMessage has helped considerably as we can make decisions in realtime and send pictures back and forth.

The past few days have seen some considerable changes, but I should show you what we started with.  Keep in mind that this is the original tiling and tub from when the building was first opened, definitely not the first paint job and the tiles on the floor, vanity and toilet were relatively new:

It wasn’t the best bathroom, and it certainly wasn’t the worst.  It was pretty functional.  You could also see it was someone’s work in progress, much like the kitchen is as well.  Slight upgrades over time, not quite perfect, probably done in a bit of a rush.  After all, when we bought the condo it was a motivated sale.

On Monday we survived the teardown:

The bathroom has definitely been some awful colours over it’s time – deep rose, cyan or mint green, grey and blue.  I’m hoping we can bring something modern in this renovation.

We’ve had a few hurdles to get through.  The first was the surprise of our contractors not having picked up any of the fixtures for the bathroom after they said they would if we provided them with the detail – which we did 10 days before.  I also had some specific requests around the diverter we needed as we’re plumbing in two shower heads – the standard head and a handheld.  We were told we should be able to pick it up at Home Depot – well it turns out we can’t.  I did find it at Plumbing Mart which was my second stop.  Crisis averted, and really that’s the only crisis we’ve had.

Tuesday, we survived the plumbing and bathtub installation:

There is only one thing I don’t really like about the plumbing job and that’s the little knob to the left on the last picture.  To be clear, I like that there is a shutoff valve that allows us to completely shut off the shower, however, I would have expected it to be a soldered valve, not a compression valve.  Just the way I would do my plumbing.

Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday were drywall. The only hiccup here was that, when the building was built, we gather that not all the walls were up before the drywall went in, so something to do with the corners were missing.  That was fixed pretty easily and you can see the bathroom take shape.

That said, the next mistake the drywaller made was to hide the smaller valve and make the other two accessible after we had discussions with the contractor where we said there now had to be two access panels.  You can see this in the last picture.  “Oh but you can access it by hand” – Yeah, and when it starts leaking because you used a compression valve and have to tear out my wall?  I don’t think so!

Today was the last of the drywall and a look at the electrical.  We are adding two potlights – one to the shower area, one to the main bathroom and we’re also having to move the main light up due to the mirror we ordered.  We also wanted to change the fan in the bathroom as it’s actually a useless central fan that sucks from the bathroom and laundry room.

It was suggested by the building manager that we could change the fan and put in a more high powered one in the bathroom, but the concern is that fan will then suck the air into the laundry room, which we don’t want.  So the guys are going to look at replacing the fan we have with a more higher powered one which I’m all thumbs up about.  Good choice!  Now maybe we can find a nicer grating for the bathroom vent. 🙂

I think the lights are going to look great, and you can see an example of the tile we have chosen and the blue-glass accent tile we chose.  We’re not sure if it’s going to go as high as it is, or if it will be a bit lower at this point.  Scott will discuss with the tiler on Monday.

Probably the last item we were asked about were the marble dividers we have between the bathroom and the hallway door, as well the bedroom door – there are two doors to the bathroom.  The contractor asked, “You are planning to get rid of the marble dividers right?”.  Scott mentioned that it could be replaced with the tile and a metal strip.

Need less to say, my email to the contractor included said:

“I just wanted to be clear and I feel very strongly about this – one of the big selling points to me, about the condo, was actually those marble strips.

Taking out the marble and replacing it with tile and metal strip then, to me that is not an acceptable change to me.  “

After getting pictures of the tile on the floor next to the dividers and the carpet, both Scott and I agree that it doesn’t look too bad.  I’m very glad when they were taking out the tile to the floor that they did not go and were not broken as well.  Needless to say, if they do get broken when the tiles are being placed, the contractor will have to replace them.  Period.  Can you say I feel strongly about this?

The paint colour chosen is “Agreeable Grey”.  I was worried that this will make the bathroom feel colder, pulling out the grey in the tile rather than the earth/tan/brown tones but based on what Scott and our contractor have both said, it should be alright.  I’m putting my trust in their hands.  After looking at it one more time on the computer, I think it will look good.

After Monday, we should have tile on the wall, grouting and then a new bathroom by Wednesday or Thursday!  One week later, I’ll see it for the first time.

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