You never realize how handy you are or you have to be till you buy a house and even then you still find yourself not knowing how to do things.
When we first bought our house, outside of it being a flip and the perfect home for us. The bathrooms lacked that spectacal you'd expect from us. The developer short changed the bathrooms and just placed inserts in the showers. These cheap inserts don't last long and can be your worse night mare in 3 to 5 years.
Our Shower Insert.
When we finally got the keys and moved in, we immediately had the master shower renovated. As that's the one we use most often. But the guest shower we left alone. Of course money was part of that decision. But fast forward 2 years and we were finally ready whip that guest bathroom into shape.
We started the same process as before and started interviewing contractors. No offense to contractors but they would walk in our home and double the estimate based on the looks of our home and estimating how deep our pockets were. One contractor quoted us for labor alone on our tub shower combo $9,000.00. As you can imagine our mouth hit the ground. That was more than our master shower renovation cost. The reason we didn't go with the same contractors is because we didn't like their customer service. But the shower looked amazing and still does. . After about 5 contractors we knew this dream of getting the guest shower done was slipping right though our fingers.
Then as I do on social media, I was watching one of my cousin Sam's Instagram stories and I saw him DIY'ing his rental property. He showed the finished work of his bathroom and I was shook. It was stunning. I couldn't imagine how that was even possible to do it yourself.
I messaged Him immediately and He said His father is the one who helped Him. My Uncle . The idea of our renovation started to shine bright again. Now recon I'm just a small town boy, I've never done anything this grand. but I've always been one to have dreams grandeur. Plus I has such a love and passion for interior design, architecture and home renovations. A victim of all the best of HGTV, Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper and Good Bones. But these shows make it look easy. Little did I know what I was setting my self up for.
But let me not get ahead of myself. So my Uncle Eric came by we walked through the bathroom and I told Him my design ideas. Design is one of my favorite things and something I have really grown to love with a passion. He said okay well when do you want to start. I was like, "wait what!" Like we are going to do this and literally 3 days later we are tearing out the shower insert.
I enlisted my wife for her help as well. Just about after we sealed the cement boards and laid the first row of tiles, my wife and I were left to fend for our self with only the wisdom my Uncle empowered me with and his tools to bing this thing home.
Honestly I could not have done this without everything my Uncle Eric taught me. It's so amazing what you can do when you are willing to learn new skills.
You truly are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to.
Before I go any further. This is where the article is going to turn into your best friend, How To Guide and pros and cons and all that exciting stuff. I'm done with my story on how this happened. At the end i will tell you how much this shower remodel cost me.
1. Demo the shower. Be careful not to hit pipes and wires. You don't have to cut the drywall to the ceiling but if your paranoid like me you should. You can get some of the men outside Home Depot to help you or you can do it yourself. If you have the right tools. We did it ourselves.
TIP: Buy a mask, and create a quarantine zone because that dry wall dust will get everywhere if you don't tape the door off. It will get all thought out your house.
When you don't go all the way to the ceiling.
But if you raise your shower head. You should have cement boards all the way to the ceiling.
Make sure to change the insulation.
FACT: The blackness comes from moisture.
2. Fix the plumbing. We raised the shower head. This isn't as hard as you would think. You just are going to need to buy copper piping. you also need to buy a torch and some couplings and a copper pipe cutter.
3. When you buy the drain tube it comes with all the parts to remake the drain, but you still have to do some measuring.
THIS IS THE OLD PIPING.
But we used this to measure the new piping to ensure that we would still be able to connect to the source water pipes from the house.
4. Get the tub in was probably the hardest thing for us as the tub was such a perfect fit that we had to cut some of the framing to slip it in and then reattach the framing. It took everything in us to get that tub to lay just right.
5. Now drill in the cement boards. and to enforce the boards it's best to crisscross the sides of the board. My Uncle said it makes it stronger. Also make sure to leave some space between boards.
6. Take thin set and start filling in the cracks. Then lay the mesh tape and then thin set over it.
7. Once it's dry take the red sealant and paint the whole shower. This will give you the most water proof method you can have.
TIP: Wear your mask, this stuff is very strong and you can get light headed from too much exposure.
8. Start tiling. This takes forever, well it depends on the size of you tile. For us we had the smallest tile money could buy. At least that's how it felt.
9. Then let you tile dry for 24 hours. Then take a razor blade and go clean the grout lines of any excess thin set. honestly take you time and do this right because if you start grouting and run into thin set. It's going to be so annoying to dig out the grout.
10. Start grouting. this was the most miserable experience for me. Because we used subway tile and It honestly took forever and there were holes everywhere that I had to go back and fill.
11. After you finish grouting. Caulk around the ceiling, tub and floor. This will ensure a good waterproofing.
12. Then seal the grout if you didn't put a sealant in the shower grout mix already.
13. NOW enjoy your new shower.
NOW LETS CRUNCH NUMBERS
Yes these are all the recipts from Home Depot.
OUR BUDGET WAS ABOVE 1K
IT COST: $810.20
RETURNING EXTRA SUPPLIES GAVE US A CREDIT OF: $58.55
SO MY TOTAL RENOVATION COST WAS: $751.62
BASED ON OUR LOWEST BID WE SAVED: $4,100.00
Tell me that's not amazing. It's incredible how much you can save if you're willing to get your hands dirty. This has been an amazing experience and I am blessed and so proud of this shower if you guys can't tell. I learned so much and now I'm more than confident to attack any DIY project I may have in my head for the future. If you guys have any questions or need advice on your own DIY projects don't be afraid to comment below or hit me up on social media. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. Now on to the next adventure.