Small Bathroom Renovation AFTER Reveal

Small Bathroom renovation

The only full bathroom renovation is the biggest project we’ve taken on in this tiny apartment, and it is proving to have the biggest impact! With the neutral tile we selected, I wanted to have a little fun with the paint color. I picked Spruce Shade by PPG Paints from the Voice of Color palette. I was drawn to this color having really been inspired by the 2016 paint color of the year, Paradise Found. This Spruce Shade paint color is a just a bit lighter and brighter than Paradise Found, which is a bit more of an army and natural green.

By the way if you’re in the market for paint here is a 25% off coupon for PPG Paints paints and 25% off sundries like brushes & other supplies.

I seriously love the color. It is a fun color, but still a subtle & soft backdrop for such a small space. The neutral tile, white trim and natural light in the space really bring everything together.

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Finding the perfect shower curtain ties the color scheme all together at Home Goods by Cynthia Rowley.

The most trying DIY project of this entire flip as been installing this bathroom storage cabinet. I was insistent on installing one as there is ZERO storage space in the entire apartment, and you always need storage in the bathroom, right? It was awful. Seriously beware, you think this project is simple and straight forward, but it wasn’t. Finding a stud proved to be impossible, so instead we had to use screws with anchors to secure it to the wall.

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It was frightening the size of the hole we had to screw into our old and thin walls to get the spring fasteners through. The mounting process calls for putting the screws first through the cabinet then through the hole in the wall, which left us blind to seeing what was going on during installation. This was combined with the struggle of trying to hold the heavy cabinet steady and in its level place. There was a bit of shrill shrieking involved in the mounting process. I thought the whole thing was going to come crashing down with half of the wall at one point. But alas we did it! It is still (knock on wood) hanging and serves exactly the function and purpose we need in the space.

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I incorporated a few pieces of silver mercury glass, a unique soap dispenser from Home Goods, and a vintage turquoise Ball mason jar for accessories.

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If the light fixture looks like it is upside down to you, it is. Remember that contractor I wrote about before, yeah he didn’t account for enough room to hang it the right way, with the bulbs down. When I hunted him down to (politely, with serious restraint) ask him why it was like that.  He tried to convince me that the light is designed to be hung either way. Ahh yeah, okay mister! There’s nothing we can do about it now. Acceptance at the time was a struggle. Again this isn’t a home it’s a rental unit, perspective is key.

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All in all I am pleased with the bathroom. Remember the before?

Looking back now, I do wish there could have been budget to select a vanity with a counter top other than generic builder grade white. Did I mention that my BF + I are living in this apartment for the time being? The white shows dirt and hair easily, and is impossible to keep visually clean. This apparently causes a lot of frustration for my BF because my hair “Is everywhere”. Doesn’t bother me so much, as I am used to it. This is one of many joys of living in a very basic, TINY apartment with a significant other 🙂 Perspective is key to move past these tiny annoyances of everyday life.

Speaking of budgets, here is an estimated list of costs involved in flipping this tiny Pittsburgh bathroom:
$2,765

  • Contractor fees : $2,000
  • Paint: $20
  • Hardiebacker: $50
  • Tile & grout : $100
  • Vanity $139  – Glacier Bay package from the Home Depot included the cabinet, sink counter top, fixture and plumbing!  Similar to this package
  • Medicine Cabinet : $60 – extremely basic version from the Home Depot (I did NOT get to pick it)
  • Toilet: $150 – middle of the range from the Home Depot
  • Light – $65 – extremely basic version from the Home Depot
  • Over the toilet storage cabinet – $79 from the Home Depot
  • Toilet Roll Holder : $15
  • Soap Dispenser: $12
  • Shower Curtain: $25
  • Our sanity, free time ( sometimes hours making purchase decisions at the Home Depot) and labor: $PRICELESS

Here is proof that I am an amazing DIYer (haha). I installed the sink plumbing myself, because the contractors left without doing it (of course) and BF’s hands were too big for the tiny space.

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Overall, yes this is a very basic, straightforward, budget bathroom update. But it’s the journey into the unknown realm of renovation we took together as a couple – that is the story. We did it. That’s why we are so proud of this bathroom. It might not be grand, but hey for now, home is where the wine is!

Words of Wisdom: Breathe. It will all work out! 

Tackling a first ever flip or renovation project as a 25 year old couple is hard. Make sure to have an open mind and agreement on the scope and costs of the project. Keep in mind what you need in the finished project, and use that to help you make decisions that fit in scope and budget. We knew we had limited space and budget, so we enhanced the tiny space filled with cheap materials with a beautiful paint color and fun shower curtain.

We learned that a good contractor is a must. We’d suggest asking around until you settle on a contractor that has that great word of mouth street cred. We tried to motivate the contractor by saying we were hoping this project turns out great because we’d love to work on future projects together and refer them to our network. We’d suggested having a list of names of people wanting to see the work on your project, as they prepare to hire for their own. Direct referrals are a contractor’s golden ticket. Communicating proactively and clearly, plus having a paper trail of directions and decisions is a must to fall back on, in the case of anything going differently than planned.

Pin this project inspiration now!

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Small Bathroom Renovation AFTER Reveal

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Full Bathroom Budget Remodel Progress

bathroom remodel tiling

The only bathroom in the investment project apartment needed a complete bathroom remodel overhaul. It was so outdated. Plus, can you believe this place NEVER had a fan or ventilation of ANY KIND?! Gross. Water equals germs and mold. And there was a plywood ceiling, plus a dinky light. Thus a full bathroom budget remodel was a necessity in this flip project.

Bathroom plumbing, tiling and fixture installation was all handled by semi-professional contractors. I say semi because the work was done by a friend’s guy, whom in my high standard of opinion, is not up to par. In the midst of renovation I had to remind myself  that it’s not my place to expect or demand more. Again, this is not my home, nor my investment project. I constantly struggle with knowing my place on this project. I care, but I shouldn’t care too much. Not worth it on this project.

Anyways –  don’t get me wrong the bathroom turned out fine, there was just room for improvement in execution. A lot of work was done in a short amount of time, for an affordable price. The ceiling was replaced with today’s sophisticated drywall actually suitable for bathrooms. The shower was tiled in with new hardware and framing. The floor was tiled. The vanity was replaced and a new light fixture installed. A new toilet was a installed. And most importantly a fan with proper ventilation to the exterior was installed.

Below is the tile that we selected from The Home Depot. The BF’s requirement was that the tile had to be less than a dollar per square foot. My (more important) requirement was that it didnt’ have atrace of brown, beige, orange or red. This was a big, stressful decision just because we had a lot going on all at the same time. We were both feeling the stress of the fact that this project is all risky, uncharted territory for us – especially as a young couple.  We settled on this oversized grey tile with a marbled or polished finish. Grey tile was a safe, neutral choice for this rental, but also more modern and clean than a tile with a warmer undertone would be.

Full Bathroom Budget Remodel

Selecting to grout was also an important choice. We went with a very light and creamy grey, not making too much of a statement in contrast. I was just not really a fan of the idea of using a stark white or dark grout, too much of a contrast for this type of generic apartment.

We did have a post purchase meltdown. After all the tile is a big investment of money for the materials and labor, plus its going to be all over the bathroom and permanent. I don’t remember who had the thought, but suddenly someone was VERY upset that we had chosen the wrong tile. The meltdown included thoughts like:

  •  This tile won’t look good.
  • Why did we choose such a BIG tile?!
  • Did we even get a tile made for walls versus flooring?
  • Can all tiles be placed vertically?
  • What if its too big and heavy to lay vertically?

The freak out was real, panic ensued. I felt guilty and responsible since I had said I’d own the choice when we selected the tile. By the way, there’s little information out there online to help a frantic person figure out if any tile can be used on vertical and or horizontal surfaces.

But it turns out, all is well that ends well. The tiling looks AMAZING for the insanely low cost effort. I personally love the huge, modern, sleek tiles for this rental.

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Bathroom remodel update #ontheblog #linkinbio #remodel #renovation #beforeandafter

A post shared by Moscato Is My Mantra (@moscatoismymantra) on

 

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Renovation Progress, Installing Laminate and Trim

DIY House flip

Since this is an investment property my BF is being very careful and economical with what efforts and spend he puts into the renovation. This isn’t a long-term home, it is a one bedroom rental in an blue collar Pittsburgh neighborhood.  Although this isn’t a huge remake we are still having fun with the project and making significant changes.

After demo we first started by installing laminate floating flooring. In my opinion, this is an intensive project that can only be completed with the proper tools, a more than moderate amount of intelligence, and paired with immense patience and will. The most important part of installing laminate is the measurements and table saw cuts. If you aren’t skilled in either areas you better buy a lot of extra laminate material. You should actually buy a bit extra anyways even if you are a professional mistakes and imperfections are inevitable.

My BF sneakily ordered the laminate without the sign-off from his project manager / personal shopper / interior designer (me) but he did an amazing job and picked something I most likely would have selected myself (probably because I had already given him plenty of ideas on what I would personally choose and also examples of what I would never choose). It’s a lovely warm brown shade in a thick (hopefully durable) laminate.

I was present at the next trip to Home Depot to help select a thicker more formal trim. This choice helps to cover the gap around the perimeter of the room, needed for floating flooring. We painted it with a nice crisp coat of paint in semi-gloss.  We used a paint perfect for trim, Speedhide Interior Enamel Latex by PPG Paints, picked for it’s shine and durability.

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When painting trim it is best to use a high quality brush to lay the paint on thick in the direction of the wood grain. This will minimize the brush strokes for a smooth finish.

Trim Painted with Speedhide by PPG Paints

Check out the  complete Living Room transformation post here.

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A Pittsburgh Flip Demo Day! (Or Demo Weeks)

Demo-Day

It has to get worse before it gets better right? Here’s a look into the demolition it took to tear this place apart before building it back up. By the way I am the self-appointed project manger, design consultant and personal shopper on this renovation!

We pulled up carpeting, padding and many, many nails and staples.

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This is how I looked for months, exhausted and rugged. I was in desperate need for a day that didn’t include a trip to Home Depot, plus a manicure and a massage. (I’m still waiting for those as they were promised to me)

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We gutted the bathroom. There’s a special place in hell for people that decide to install wallpaper. Four weeks of attempting to remove layers of paper by scrapper, steamer and chemical stripping later, I had successfully destroyed by hands and skin and will to live – but barely made a mark on removing the disgusting bathroom and kitchen 70’s wall paper. Seriously I will NEVER EVER choose to install wallpaper into any future project I am a part of and encourage you all to do the same. Simply for the sake of karma. No one should be subjected to stripping wall paper.

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Home Reno – The before…

70s retro orange wallpaper

This is the beginning the story of a Pittsburgh DIY house renovation.

So my boyfriend (of over 2 yrs) bought a house. He had been looking for a multi-unit home for months and months, and then suddenly he had bought one. I had given up on accompanying him to countless showings months before. It was frustrating as it always seemed what he was looking for was changing. First he wanted a single family home so he could have roommates, then it ended up that he was looking for a multi-unit building to flip. It is his investment project, he had to make the decision for himself, so I removed my opinions.
So no, I did not know he had put in an offer, and no I hadn’t heard of or seen the place. This told me all I needed to know about it. In other words, I knew it needed work.

It was too late to share my opinion or change his mind, so when he finally took me to see it I decided I had to be positive, supportive,  grin and bear it to matter what I walked into. That took restraint. Here are some pics of the place from the first time I saw it. This is one of the three apartments in the multi-unit home in a neighborhood North of Pittsburgh.

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Walking through here for the first time I might have been overwhelmed, and my outlook may have been dismal, but looking back this is the moment I first seriously thought of starting a blog. I felt the challenge ahead of us, saw the opportunity to work together to make the most of the project, and saw the potential to share the process. This isn’t a family home it’s an investment project. Stay tuned for more as we take on the renovation.

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