It's been a long couple of weeks but we're nearly there! Henry has had a lovely time watching the builders and spent almost an hour watching the wall tiles going up. At the end of the day he said, 'I don't know Mum, that bathroom is pretty fancy, I'm not sure I can handle it!'. Bless.
The 'fanciness' hasn't come from nowhere and I've spent a lot of time running around looking, choosing, changing my mind, taking things back, swapping things over and generally getting very confused. On Tuesday I even forgot to go to Isabella's parent-teacher interview and when I collected Isabella from school she said I looked very 'frurled' (I think that's somewhere between frazzled and flustered?).
By Friday the bathroom was really starting to come together. It just needs sealing and painting before we can start using and enjoying it. I really had no idea how big a job it was going to be and I think I was very, very lucky to have found the builder I did. The only real hiccups have been with the crazy 1950s plumbing and with me not checking off my deliveries properly and ending up with two different styles of mixer taps (which were duly installed one day when I was at work). I've also conveniently forgotten that I have children and have nowhere to hang their towels! I'm sure there will be other things I've forgotten to include but hopefully nothing that can't be fixed (or fudged).
So for what it's worth, here are a few things to keep in mind if you're planning your own bathroom renovation...
- Take your time researching your taps, mixers and spouts and accessories (towel racks, robe hooks, toilet roll holders etc) and order them all at one time. This is actually quite a lot harder than it sounds as you often have to order things based on catalogue or internet images and the first time you see them all together may be when they are delivered at your house.
- Try and close doors or hang drapes across doorways throughout the rest of the house (the dust is incredible!
- Stretch the budget a little and hire a portable bathroom rather than just a portaloo (especially if you have a family and it's the middle of Winter!). More info in the comments section of this post.
- Get at least three quotes before you decide on a builder. We ended up with three very different prices and ideas for what we could do. We went with the builder who seemed most sympathetic to my 'unusual' plan and whose quote was in the middle of two rather extreme ones. We had to wait for him to start the job but I think it was worth the wait.
- Always remember, a good builder and his trusty sub-contractors are worth their weight in gold.