Renovation project (unfortunately)

posted by Jeff | Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4:20 PM | comments: 0

We're starting to plan a bathroom renovation. We've been stashing away money for almost two years, and it's about time to pull the trigger. After the dust has settled (literally), we'll figure out a plan to replace the carpet in the entire house.

But wait, you say, the house isn't even that old. That is correct. We've been here just about seven and a half years. The carpet situation is obvious enough: Pulte installed the absolute cheapest shit that they could find. In fact, the weird thing is that we didn't even have a choice. Everything else involved options, but there were no choices for carpet. You got shitty light brown with the thinnest padding possible if you wanted carpet. While only three of us live here, it looks horrible in every room. We have it upstairs in all of the bedrooms, and downstairs in my office and the front den/living room/playroom. It's matted flat, dingy, rippling up everywhere... it's a total disaster. And it's not even like carpet I've had in other houses, where at least a pass with the vacuum would wake it up a little, at least for awhile. "Builder basic" doesn't even cover how cheap the stuff is.

First though, we want to re-do the bathroom. I know that on HGTV and Magnolia, they're always making bathrooms out as these "retreats" and "spas" or whatever. Ours is definitely not that. In fact, just traveling has made us hate our bathroom more, as every hotel has something that does feel a little "spa like," to some degree. Heck, even the bathrooms on the Disney Wish, in concierge, are nice (though obviously small). When we chose our options, we had slightly nicer plumbing fixtures, a wall tile upgrade in the shower, and a frameless glass door. The rest is pretty stock, including the particle board cabinets that slam shut and basic granite. And it's all so, SO brown. We've hated it for a long time.

We also have to deal with the fact that it's way harder to keep a shower clean in Florida. I'm sure it's partly the water (though we do filter the whole house), but also whatever is in the air, despite being cooled most of the year. Battling mold is a losing battle, especially on the floor which is a white honeycomb pattern with a butt-ton of grout. We've had to replace the "mold resistant" caulk twice. So whatever the replacement is, it has to involve less grout. That means we're probably gonna get a standard white shower pan instead of tiling it. It's less fancy, but way more practical.

Cabinets not made of particle board aren't that expensive unless you get them made custom. The stuff made in standard sizes is still pretty good, with good soft close hardware and what not. The tops aren't that big either, so that won't be too expensive. We'll get a free-standing soaker tub not enclosed in a tile box. We'll keep the toilet. Not sure on plumbing fixtures yet. Wall tile for the shower, we're going big, 24"x48" for few grout lines, and it's only like $2 per square foot. We're looking at some neat glass tiles for the niche. The biggest variable that we're looking at is the flooring, and the funky, swirly thing in the photo below is about $25 per square foot. With around 100 square feet to cover, honestly that isn't horrible. Watching TV, I've seen them spend $10k on floors for rooms smaller than ours.

Honestly, I wouldn't say that I'm happy about doing this, and I'm outright angry about need to replace the carpet, but at least things will feel a little more premium. Our house is not fancy. I don't need fancy, but I guess I'd like it to be a little nicer. Our living room is Ikea stuff, with a chair shredded by one of the cats, and a leather couch that has been abused by the cats as well. Our rugs have not been durable. The kitchen has the shitty particle board cabinets as well, but at least the quartz counters are nice. The bar was updated with the walnut shelves. We still have a kick-ass dining room table, though the chairs have, you guessed it, been, uh, "aged" by the cats.

Our front room is actually pretty cozy. Our neighbor sold us his mother's furniture after she passed away, and it has made a big difference. My office is actually quite comfortable too, with some leather Ikea pieces that have been super durable. I have video gear piled up in the corner behind the Pac-Man machine, but given that I spend 40+ hours per week in there, it is comfortable. We're gonna do the carpet in these two smaller rooms first, hopefully later this year, with the plushest carpet and thickest padding I can get. Unlike most of Flori-duh, I am not carpet averse.


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