The price of (im)perfection in ze bath

23 Jul

I saw a post on a blog once where the person very carefully detailed the cost of her bathroom renovation, and I found it very helpful so I thought I’d do my best to recreate the costs incurred and time taken for my six-month bathroom renovation saga.

Here goes:

Paint stripping (beadboard and door): $100 (PeelAway7, gloves, sandpaper, dremel bits, steel wool, paper towels, wire brushes — plus electricity of heat gun). (3 months or so of my labor)

Tin ceiling: $375 (maybe four days total of my labor)

Powder coating: $320 (sink basin, radiator, cast iron sink legs)

Sink legs: $85 (ebay)

Electrical: $250 (wiring for and installation of ceiling pendant, installation of outlet). (one day at start, one hour at finish).

George Nelson Bubble Lamp, vintage, with evocative holes in shade: $50 (CL)

Plumbing: $500 (replace leaking copper/lead blend pipes, relocate sink, remove then replace all plumbing). (3 days at start, 2 days at finish).

Floor tiles: $350 (this is a guess, because I got about 200 tiles at Re-Store for maybe $15, I think the slate and inside tiles cost $250 at a tile shop, but I got them about five years ago and they’d been sitting around, I can’t remember, then the little black and white border was about $50 at the Depot).

Handyman: $1200 (remove entire old floor down to joists, install new sub-floor, install tile floor) (about two weeks, but he was on vacation for part of the time)

Paint: $125 (brown, black, and metallic gold).

F-ing grout and remover: $50 (still not done. !!*%&^!%$@*# grout)

Antique brass faucet: $75 (CL)

Toilet seat: $10 (AJ Wright)

Mirror: $250

Antique brass towel bar, soap dish, tp holder: $190 (Albany salvage yard)

Marble sink, basin, and backsplash: $0 (found in a closet in the house)

Marble shelves: $15 (repurposed threshold from Home Depot and cheapo brackets)

Curtains: $4 (Savers)

Misc. glue, caulk, adhesives, nails, hardware: $100

Baseboard: $35 (Home Depot)

Stain, linseed oil: $0 (in stock in my basement, and there’s still plenty left for next project)

Wallpaper: $0 (Thanks Liz!)

Wallpaper paste: $15


Grand total: $4024
Time: 6 months (not six months of constant 8 hours a day of work, but six months from picking up the heat gun to finished room)
Injuries incurred: one sprained ankle, one sprained finger, numerous cuts, bruises, and burns (nothing requiring professional medical attention)

Because I did this Gudenov-style, I didn’t incur the whole $4000 all at once, and was thus able to afford it. While I can usually scrounge up a couple of a hundred bucks here or there, coming up with all that money at one time is not part of my economic reality. So this piecemeal style works great — I get the job done, even though it takes a long time (and I unfailingly wound myself).

Luckily, my optimistic nature and astonishingly poor memory combine to help me forget the injuries, agony, and annoyance of each project p.d.q. and then I am raring to go on the next one. Bring it on!

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