The Bathroom Remodel Project 2022

Way back in May last year, Captain Cavedweller and I decided we’d take the plunge and remodel our guest bathroom. The tub was original to the house’s construction 70 years ago. The “tile” on the walls was the fake kind that comes in a sheet that had been there who knows how long before we bought the house. It was time for an update.

We had a few bathroom remodel “specialists” come and give us quotes. Since they were all in the same ballpark, we chose the company that seemed to be the most professional and signed the contract on July 1.

Then we started the demo.

This is what the bathroom looked like before.  It appeared fine, but usability, especially when it came to the shower, had some issues.


Our first day of demolition. CC was pretty happy to get to knock holes in walls and tear things apart.

We were just going to remove the “tile” that was basically a yard-high sheet of fake tile glued to the walls all the way around the bathroom.

That’s when we discovered the stuff behind the walls was not drywall, but some horrible material they used back in the 1940s and 1950s that may or may not have been full of asbestos! So, once we sent a photo of it to Dad and he told us what it was, on went the respirators and protective gear as we handled it.

All the tile is gone, and that’s when we discovered the boards around the tub. Strange, yes? The reason the boards were there made us pull them off to see what they were hiding.

Sorry the lighting is wonky on this one, but you can see we ended up not only removing the tub, but all the walls down to the studs, which were covered in dry rot about 24 inches up the three walls.

Not only that, but the wall behind the tub, where the boards had rotted, was full of dirt! The handyman who repaired the dry rot for us hauled out about twelve gallons of dirt! We have no idea where it came from or how it got there. Maybe it was left from when the house was built!

In July, I called our regular plumber (whom we’ve used for the past 16 years) and electrician to get on their schedule to have them come put in all new plumbing and wiring (since we were down to the studs anyway).

The plumber put me on their “list” and said it would be a few months before they could make it. What? How is that possible?

It seems everyone has a list, with labor and supply shortages.

Then I called the electrician we’ve used for about ten years. It would be NOVEMBER (remember, I’m calling in July) before they could get to us. Really? So I started calling electricians. I called sixteen of them in a 50-mile radius and finally found one who could come before the company we hired was scheduled to install the shower and floor in September. Yay!

The electrician came one morning in early September, spent a few hours and did part of the work, saying he wanted to wait until the walls were up to finish. While I wasn’t happy about it, it made sense. He told us (CC happened to be home that morning) to just call and he’d come right over and finish. (Keep that in mind for the rest of the story).

The plumber kept saying I was on the list, but the list didn’t seem to be getting any shorter.

We got a call on a Friday evening the crew would be here the following week to install the shower and floor. I was set to call them at 8 a.m. Monday morning to tell them we weren’t ready because we were still waiting on the plumber.

Only at 7:45 a.m. Monday morning  their trailer pulled up out front and the installer was ready to go to work. I called the office and they assured me everything would be fine and the local plumber they hired to do the shower install could take care of the rest.

Except the plumber didn’t.

I asked him to replace all the old pipes, and after ten minutes he came and told me he couldn’t get them loose so he was leaving them.

(Insert deep, frustrated sigh here).

I did ask (beg and plead) for him to update the pipes to the sink and he finally did, reluctantly.

It took two and a half days for the shower to be installed, but the installer did an AMAZING job (seriously, he was very good and professional!).

Best of all, they left in the window. It lets so much natural light into the bathroom (and the house!), I really didn’t want to take it out.

Since the walls were not yet up (because we were waiting on the plumber), the flooring got stored in our garage with a promise to come back when we were ready to install it.

The handyman came and put up the walls for us. He was incredible to work with and so kind, and gave us a bunch of tips. I painted the bathroom from ceiling to floor, giving everything three coats of white paint.

We called the electrician and said we were ready for him to come back. No problem – he could run right over … in December! So, we were on the schedule for a week before Christmas.

Once the floor went in along with the toilet and sink (which happened in October – and were done by our fabulous shower installer) we had our awesome handyman come back and do the trim, install the door, and set the medicine cabinet in the wall. It was about this time our plumber finally got back to us that he was ready to do the project. Well, too late, dude!

All we were waiting for to finish the room was electricity! We had nothing but two lines of power poking out of the wall were the outlets and switches would go, and where the light over the medicine cabinet would be installed.

Fast forward to December. I got a call from the electrician they were busy with the holidays and needed to move our appointment to January.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the electrician came and finished the project.


I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that the bathroom project that took six months from start to finish is finally complete.

I decided to go with colors of navy and peach for the room. CC hung a cute little cabinet for me above the toilet. I just love the way it turned out.

We traded an old mid-century tub for a sleek walk in shower. Our hanging sink is now a little vanity with extra storage (hooray for more storage) and the medicine cabinet looks so nice and the rusty hinges don’t squeal each time the door is opened.

Here’s a fun little video that shows the before and after:

What about you? Have you done any home remodeling projects that didn’t go according to plan?

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11 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, what an ordeal!! It sure is worth it in the end because it is truly beautiful but what a road getting there. Our home in The Dalles was 100 years old and anything needing to be done was a major headache, especially the wiring.

  2. It looks so wonderful!
    And I had a whole house that didn’t go according to plan! Ugh! I feel your pain. But now your bathroom is done and beautiful and the stress is behind you and over- yay!

  3. Beautiful!! You have wonderful taste.
    When I paid a friend to finish a couple of downstairs bedrooms years ago, the framer had to do a wall 3 times as our foundation is not level. It caused issues when we did the bathroom too. They had to put shims under the toilet, and it had to be redone last year. Home projects stress me out, lol.

  4. Shanna- It turned out gorgeous. I know your & Mr. CC are relieved it’s over. Lord know Rob and I have delved I to these projects and are so exhausted when we’re are finished. But the end result was well worth the turmoil, enjoy your new tranquil bathroom.

  5. We had our kitchen remodeled in our old house. Something that should have taken a week at most took 6 months. It got very expensive eating out or having take out for 6 months.

  6. What a difference 6 months of hard labor and frustration makes. Every single home roject big or small for us has one problem or ten. This is beautiful! I love your choice of colors.

  7. Our house is sliding off its foundation. All the walls, door frames around the windows, floors ceilings- cracks everywhere! The basement cinder blocks weep every time it rains and floods the basement. The electricity is basically the same from 1956 and only my faith in God and the power of prayer lets me sleep at night that we’re not gonna out in a ball of flames! LOL
    This house needs to be torn down and a new one built!! Only problem is in the past 13 years we’ve been here, what was a pleasant quiet nice neighborhood has had a change and the crime is off the charts! We have a neighbor that gets drunk and has busted our steel front door, and the frame to foyer. The police say they can’t do anything and we’ve called them so much to get these people off our property they no longer come. I get it I get it. BUT, I want out and we just can’t swing it.
    So I’m stuck in a falling down around my ears money pit, in a dangerous neighborhood, and can’t leave. Talk about a nightmare!
    We did try to have some home improvement projects when we first moved in, if I’ve learned one thing from owning a home it is to NEVER EVER EVER call a friend of a friend, or I have a cousin, or I know of someone !!!! NOPE! We got screwed so bad three times. We had roofers mess up the job as well (they were “professionals”) we had to have new gutters and found out then the mess the roofers did in screwing up the gutters and the gutter guys cut so many corners! Not what we paid for! We paid way too much but we can’t clean them ourselves.
    The Govt said they were going to stop helping to pay our heating bill unless the group they hired came and filled in the attic and blew insulation into two three walls.
    When I called to get an estimate on mouse remediation (that will cost 10,000$ so much damage!!) the man kindly informed me that he knew the group that did this insulation gig, and they only blew in three inches instead of 12, the mice were very happy with that. So the govt paid for a foot and got three inches- I feel a bawdy joke is in there somewhere LOL they got hosed, we got hosed.
    All the windows are breaking. The guy who flipped this place got every handyman special and slapped the place together.
    We were down to the wire, in 2010 teh govt was giving out 8,000$ to new home buyers and we needed that! SO this was the best house of all that we’d looked at in almost a year of searching!
    On the surface it is amazing. A good sized kitchen a huge crawl space attic a half finished basement three bedrooms 1 1/2 baths, a double lot, it had a balcony (that was so against code I have no idea how no one died – God thank you for keeping everyone safe!) and like I said at the time the area was really nice and the “bad area” were quite some distance away. But in two years so many older folks moved out or passed away and the new people moving in have just trashed the area and brought so much crime.
    I just gave up trying to improve anything, it’s a huge waste of money.

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