Bathroom Confessional

36 days.

That’s how long it’s been since there has been a functioning bathroom at the Little House. We put up the last (and I swear by all that is holy it IS the last) coat of mud on the drywall last night and are oh-so-close to the home stretch on this one… but we’re not there yet. Hold on folks, it’s about to get wordy.

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Needless to say, not having a toilet in our house for 36 days is starting to get to us. We started this project thinking it would take three weeks, tops… but we forgot we still have a life to live. We have to take a night here and there and do laundry, to clean house.  We have church commitments and work commitments and blog commitments (Hellllo, Haven!).  Some nights, we’ve just taken off because if we had to stand in that tiny bathroom one more minute we’d scream.  At each other. Not quietly.

And that’s happened, more lately now than in the beginning.  We had no idea the inner demons that could be summoned forth by a little box of drywall mud, but trust me.  They’re there and they aren’t pretty.  A few nights ago we were so mad at each other we could barely see straight over a not-so-straight corner mud job and it hit me.  The drywall demons had us.  We were focusing on what was going wrong with the bathroom and forgetting all the good things we were getting out of it.

So I put my big girl pants on, apologized for letting the drywall demons get to me (and maybe for calling Kevin a name we can’t repeat on here), and suggested we make a list of all the great things we were getting out of remodeling our only bathroom (did I mention ONLY?).

In no particular order, here’s the things we came up with:

1. We’re doing it right, not fast.  Sure, it’s taking forever, but that’s because we’re making sure every little detail is done correctly and thoroughly.

2. By doing the work ourselves, we’re saving so. much. money. that we can use for, I don’t know, our next crazy around-the-world trip?

3. We’re learning new skills. Neither of us had done much by way of plumbing before, nor had we ever done much framing or drywalling.  We’re old pros at all of that now!

4. We’re getting to spend a lot of time together.  When this is all said and done and I have a gorgeous marble floor to sit on and reflect back on the project, I think what I’ll remember most is not driving each other mad (and we’ve done plenty of that), but talking for hours while we worked together. Solving problems together we didn’t think we could do ourselves.  Singing along to Disney radio on Pandora at the top of our lungs (through our respirators).

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5. We’re getting a ton of new tools and renting a few more awesome ones.  Can anyone say Jackhammer? New 18V DeWalt jig saw?

6. We honest-to-goodness appreciate our western luxuries more.  Hands down one of the best parts of Haven was having a toilet and shower.  You don’t miss things like that until you don’t have that luxury anymore.

7. Although it’s definitely not why we started the reno, it does provide a lot of blogging material!

8. All of the difficulties we’ve encountered has given us a reason to plumb the depths of our dads’ knowledge.  And they know A LOT.

9. We can take pride in telling people we did it ourselves.  It may sound petty, but I can’t wait for the first person to say “No way!” when I tell them we did every single inch of the bathroom ourselves, from the plumbing to the electrical to the tiling to the decorating.

10. We’re learning about our ourselves. For example, we will never own another one bathroom house and drywall mudding brings out the worst in us.

11. We’re learning about construction materials and techniques which we’ll be able to use to help our friends and readers!  We never want to recommend something we haven’t personally used ourselves and know to be awesome!

12. We’re getting to put all of our fancy couponing and deal making skills to the test.  I won’t reveal how much we’ve saved so far, but it’s a pretty big number. As in 3 zeros big.  They don’t call us the Coupon Kids for nothing!

13. We’re increasing our home value and saleability.  The Little House is one of the few single bathroom homes in our neighborhood, so making sure it’s an awesome one will definitely help our saleability and home value in the long run.

14. We’re earning a ton of Home Depot Pro Rewards. We should probably have bought stock in the company before we started this reno, but pro rewards are the next best thing!

15. We’re going to have an awesome bathroom when we’re finished.  Seriously, guys.  I’m so excited.  It’s going to be classy and clean and GORGEOUS.

Everyone has told us that if our marriage can withstand home renovations, it will be able to withstand anything.  I don’t know how true that is, but if it is true, I expect I’ll be driving Mr. Beals up the wall for a long, long, long time to come.

Have you lived through your own home renovation? How did you stay sane through it? Any tips for us newbies?

13 comments

  1. Staci @ My Friend Staci says:

    If I get the home construction rage (at my spouse, shamefully) after we can’t hang a curtain rod straight, I don’t eve know what it would be like under these circumstances! I can’t even imagine what it must be like to go for a month without a functioning bathroom! I hope that now the drywall is done, other things start rolling quickly. Major props!

  2. Rebecca W says:

    Thank God our old place had 2 other toilets to pick from when we did our bathroom reno. Unless my parents or best friends were our neighbors I don’t think I could go without one in my own house.

  3. Amanda McCellon says:

    Love that you are looking at the positive side of things and a very kick ass list indeed! You guys will soooo appreciate it when it’s done and have such a huge sense of accomplishment! I’m proud of you!

  4. Stacy says:

    Um, those are all great things you are learning but what I want to know is where are you taking a shower and, you know, excusing yourself?!

    Nonetheless, VERY impressive survival skillz!

    • Jessica Beals says:

      Thanks, Stacy!

      Because we left the bathtub intact, we’re able to take baths without a problem. If we want a shower (and for other things…) we drive a few short minutes away to our gym (it’s the most use our membership has EVER had).

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