The Tale Of Our Bathroom Renovation
Part of me wondered if this day would ever come, but today I finally get to share my finished bathroom renovation with you. Although I took you along over on my Instagram I wanted to do a full round-up over here divulging all the details. As well as sharing the finished result I wanted to share about the costs, the materials, the builders and the general stress of a renovation as there is far more that goes into a project like this than I ever thought.
finding a builder (again)
If you caught part one of my renovation diaries then you will know that the person we had originally on decided to ghost us. It took us around a month or so to gather quotes and actually get builders to come and give us one. Something I wasn’t expecting about this entire thing was how difficult it could be to even get somebody to give us a quote. Tradesmen are busy and have plenty of work to choose from which is brilliant for them but not so great when you’re in desperate need of someone to fit a bathroom. After around 5/6 workmen coming round, we compared all the quotes and picked one that was the best for us. All of them differed so much and something else we had to take into consideration was their wait time. Some only had a month and others were booked until 2019 and then, of course, it was making sure my boyfriend was home as it wasn’t a job I was willing to take on alone. Whenever we rang someone we read all their latest reviews and tried to find every ounce of information we could, our biggest fears were somebody either doing a horrible job or even worse, half a job and leaving us with nothing. Thankfully, the guys we hired were the absolute dream and worked incredibly hard as well as being nothing but respectful to us. I was incredibly anxious about the entire thing but after a few days of them being around I soon calmed down and started to get excited about it finally happening.
building a quote
The person that we hired was incredibly thorough when he came to give us a quote (he came with a notebook so that's a good sign) whereas others tended to eyeball everything which isn't the greatest method. One of the biggest pieces of renovation advice I can give to anybody is that you ask your workmen to break down your invoice into great detail so absolutely everything is accounted for. Every few days we were going back through our quote to make sure things were on track so nothing was sneakily added on and we got a nasty surprise at the end. It’s very tempting to ask the builder to do something extra and easy to forget that they will charge you for it but it’s so important to bear it in mind.
Although money is an awfully awkward topic to discuss something that I’ve really come to get irritated by is in-depth chats about renovation projects but no talk about cost. So I thought to make it easy I would break down how much we’ve spent in total renovating our bathroom.
- £2050 for everything went into the room so; bath, shower, floor, tiles, grout, shower curtain rail, shower curtain, light, cupboard, sink, sink cupboard, mirrored cabinet, toilet, light pull, towel radiator.
- £2480 for all labour. Where we saved a little bit of money was getting rid of the old bathroom ourselves instead of hiring a skip. We probably could have saved a tiny bit more by ripping out the old one ourselves but it took our builder less than an hour and probably would have been more hassle than it was worth.
The room and design played a large part in the cost for us, there are over 1000 tiles in the room due to the size and the 9ft ceilings. A lot of workmen will charge by square metre for tiling and obviously having small tiles really puts this cost up. Although it’s a reasonably simple design the tiles and flooring did mean we paid out more but the finished result is worth it.
From start to finish the work took 9 days and took place over a couple of weeks. Before everything began I was so nervous about time dragging on but it went by in a flash and the work took place between 9-6 during the week. We weren't at home for all of it as the dogs needed walking and I think our builder preferred for us to be out whilst he was doing really messy bits so he wasn’t worried about the dogs getting hurt. The hardest thing I found by far about the renovation was trying to work, I did everything that was a necessity and my commitments to brands but anything else had to wait until the weekend. Which wasn’t something I found easy but there was no way I could sit in my office to do work as it was being used to put tools in etc. Having absolutely no access to the upstairs for the entire day was difficult but thankfully we have a door to the stairs so we could somewhat shut ourselves off. And if you do work from home and are doing renovations you probably know there is going to be some disruption to your workday but the guilt is always a tough thing to handle.
the finished result
Seeing everything come together in the second week was so exciting. During week one it was all the nitty gritty, everything that is important when it comes to a renovation is nowhere near as exciting as all the fittings going in. I couldn’t be happier with the finished result of our bathroom, it’s exactly what I wanted and I think it’s come together so well. Although we did do the design through B&Q (not something I rate all that highly now) seeing it actually come to life in our home was so exciting. It still doesn’t quite feel real that it’s finally done as we didn’t get off to the most positive start initially but now I can see it was probably a good thing that our original builder ghosted us. It’s hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago we had a rotting and mouldy bathroom that we absolutely despised and now our tiled kingdom has come to life. For our first renovation, it went incredibly well, there was absolutely no extra added stress which I know is something that is rare to experience.
what we learnt
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak up if something doesn’t look quite right. It’s your house and something you have to live with so there is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning something or asking to have time to think about something if possible.
Plaster dust will get absolutely everywhere, even if you’ve shut doors tightly somehow it will still get in. Cleaning up every day after the builders is something that we found really helpful to try and keep dirt to a minimum.
Living without a flushing toilet isn’t ideal, talk to your builder and see how quickly your new toilet can be plumbed back in.
Sometimes you have to budge on your choices when it comes to actually fitting something and it being practical. What looks good in theory doesn’t always work out in real life.
Make sure you have somewhere to bath whether than be at a friends, your parents or the gym, you need to get clean.
Put extra money aside, there is always something you might have to buy and if you’ve overbought then you can always take back.
Never pay a builder upfront and keep your quote safe so you can refer to it.