Renovating a bathroom – a story in 3 chapters (1)

by Diane on 13/08/2013

Chapter one – getting professional help

When we first moved into our house, the bathroom was one of the few things we didn’t really fancy. Unfortunately it had just received new (although ugly) vinyl flooring, the wall paint was still ok and apart from the shower glass being quite stained, the bathroom was in reasonably good condition. So we decided to leave it as it was at the time.

Every now and then the idea of renovating the bathroom came up between me and Kai, but we kept putting it off – it simply seemed too hard to be done. Back in Germany my dad would do all renovations just by himself; I have never seen a builder, tiler, electrician, glazier, plumber… actually, I have never seen *any* kind of trades person at my parents’ place. I basically grew up around constant renovations and upgrading of existing features, and all the work my dad ever did was perfectly executed. In New Zealand we didn’t really know any good trades people, and we had already had some strange encounters with handy men, window installers and painters, so we weren’t really keen on trying to find out who could help us redo our bathroom.

Add to the mix that neither Kai nor I are particularly interested in DIY, and you’ll know why we never got around to addressing the bathroom.

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Then friends of ours got their bathrooms renovated, and they introduced us to Michelle of Splash Bathroom Design. Michelle is a bathroom designer/project manager extraordinnaire, and she was the perfect person to help us with our mission.

We invited her over one evening, and the kick-off of our bathroom project couldn’t have been any easier and more convenient. Michelle looked at our existing bathroom, checked the rest of the house to get a feel for our taste and potential colour schemes, she showed us a few concepts (we only had to point to ‘we like this more than that’) and went away to do some work in the background. Three days later we got a booklet with ideas for products, as well as a giant bag of sample tiles, mosaics, splashbacks and paint colours. The booklet was basically a list of things that were perfectly suited to our taste, we only needed to tick what we wanted. For the bigger ticket items, such as vanity, toilet and bath, we even got a list of shops where they were on display to look at them in real life if we needed to.

Michelle has a number of trades people at hand who she’s been working with for years and years, so we didn’t even have to take care of that part of the work. It all felt like ‘Choose, sit back and relax, and let others do the work’. Based on previous experience with work on the house we knew that Kai’s tolerance for having strangers coming and going, and for living on a construction site in general, was quite low, so we arranged for him to be out of the country for the duration of the project. He went to work onsite with a client in Australia for six weeks, which meant that I even got a mini-holiday out of it half way through the project.

Sounds perfect so far, doesn’t it? So stay tuned for chapter 2 of the bathroom renovation saga, which will be titled ‘What could possibly go wrong?’.

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