Mr. S and I are confirmed DIYers.
Even if it means many trips to the hardware store….and lots of trial and error….we LOVE the feeling of a project well done by US!

A few months ago, we decided that our master bathroom had gotten pretty shabby after 25+ years of hard use.

 It wasn’t AWFUL…just outdated with a few spots that were down right worn out!

We considered the option of doing a lot of the work ourselves.
We looked at the scope of the project.
We knew that Mr. S was still in recovery mode from his ankle replacement.
Even though we knew it would be more expensive to let the
experts take care of it…we GULP…decided that the DIY route wasn’t in the cards for this remodel.

So….we hired a general contractor and put together a plan and got an estimate for the work.
The sticker shock was a bit hard to take….and then we thought about what was involved and decided to go for it!

It turns out that in this case….spending the money and relying on the experts was not just sensible….it probably was a pretty cost effective way to go.

Let me tell you why!

The first set of experts that we used were the people at the Tile Shop.
We went in….told them what our vision was…..and let them lead the way!

In less than an hour…..with Mr. S wheeling his way through the shop on his tricycle…we were able to choose floor tile, shower tile and all the additional pieces.  The advice we got was superb.  Our “expert” listened to our “wants” for elegant mid-range tile that would stand the test of time.

 Then it was off to find the fixtures…..
We started at the logical spots Home Depot and Menards.  That was not the way to go!  While there were many options…it was too overwhelming to put the package together.  Especially since I had my heart set on a free standing tub that was a good quality.  Many hours of on-line shopping and wandering around in a fog at the big box store….we headed to Fergusens.  This is a bath and kitchen source with a great show room.  We made an appointment for a consultation.  We shared our budget and design parameters and….Two hours later…..our salesperson guided us through the process and we had the whole kit and caboodle selected.  We got EXPERT advice and everything matches!  He even found the perfect free standing tub for way less money than I thought it would cost.

Lessons learned:

  • Do your homework.…so you can tell those experts what you do like and what you don’t like. This does mean lots of looking on line to see what is available.  That time pays off when you are actually making selections.
  • Set a price range and be willing to tell your expert what it is.  There is no shame in sticking to a budget…..but….if you fall in love with something see if there is something less expensive to be found.
  • Don’t obsess….the choices were overwhelming….but really…once we decided on the gray marble look and the subway tile we could really shop price because the high end and low end aren’t all that different.  As long as you talk quality….you can find a mid-range product that will work.  Making the decision to stay with one tile source and one fixture source saved us not just time….but money.
  • Listen and Learn…we found out so many things from these people about all the little things that were necessary and available…and how to save money as well.  If we had set out to do this without the advice we would have been making lots of trips to fix our mistakes.  Instead…we were able to have everything ready for the project to begin and stay on schedule.

Speaking of SCHEDULE….my next post will take you through the actual construction and demonstrate how using experts made sense for us!
Would you believe that the whole project started a month ago and we are only waiting for the vanity counter to be completely finished?

 I can’t wait to show you how it turned out!
Stay tuned….

Have A Great Day!