Archive for October, 2004

How Much for that Bathroom in the Window?

We have a new house. Well, not new.. it was built in 1927. Its a really nice, solid place. Its a Craftsman-style home, with the solid oak built-ins, solid oak floors, 8′ diameter custom octagon skylight in the foyer, and lots of other neat things.

It also needs a lot of work. The previous owners made some really bad design decisions when they lived here, and we’re trying to undo those.. ahem.. “mistakes”. Some of these are minor, paint, wallpaper, and other things. I can take care of these myself, and fix them up, strip the walls down, spackle, prime, paint, and whatever else is required.

Some of them are more involved, like blocking up a kitchen window and two outside archways with solid concrete and stucco. The other larger piece are the bathrooms. We desparately need to get proper bathrooms in this house.

The original “big” bathroom is off of the guest hall. When we first bought the house, I noticed that there was a set of 3 large windows on the bathroom side of the house. Odd, because on the inside, I couldn’t find those windows on that wall at all. It turns out, the previous owners covered the beautiful windows with plywood, and then glued on the fiberglass shower enclosure on top of them. They wallpapered around that (wallpapered directly onto plywood, mind you).

Bathroom Renovation

That was the very first thing I ripped out. I ripped the walls down, pulled the shower enclosure out, pulled the “massage tub” out, and threw it all away. Now we have some light in the room.. but no tub. The other odd thing, is that the right-most window, is actually in a closet in the room adjoining the bathroom. All three windows go together, because they are framed on the outside of the house in a very unique piece of architecture.

So that wall has to come out, to bring the window back into the bathroom. That means the bedroom closet has to get removed. That bedroom will lose its only closet.. but the window belongs in the bathroom!. ARG!

So we decided to take the situation to a professional kitchen & bathroom designer, and see what he could do to help us reorganize the space to get a proper bathroom back in there. This means keeping all the windows in the bathroom, putting in a proper whirlpool/massage tub, a proper sink and vanity, a stand-up shower (not in the tub), and moving the door.

$700 of our dollars later, he came back to us with a drafted plan that looks like it might work in the space we have. It involves moving a door, losing part of a hallway closet to make room in the bathroom to fit the massage tub, and losing the closet in the adjoining bedroom. So far, so good..

The cost? $35,575.00! Adding up the cost of appliances, which were mostly top-of-the-line, we get to about $9,000.00 (and 1/3 of that is the cost of the tub). We can’t quite figure out where the other $24,575 is coming from. It can’t possibly be labor. The room isn’t that large, and what we’re asking for isn’t that complicated.

If it is, I’ll be doing most of the deconstruction in the room, to defray that cost. We have a growing child to care for, and a lot of other house renovations to pay for. We can’t afford to drop $35k into a single part of our renovation.. not in this market, not in this economy. Not if we’re going to plan to recoup that cost when/if we decide to sell the house.

Obviously, we’re going to shop this one around quite a bit.

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