Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bathroom Renovation: Demolition & New Walls

One of our biggest projects in this house has been to take the one upstairs bathroom and, together with two unused closets, create two upstairs bathrooms.  Obviously we needed professional help to be able to pull off something as important as major plumbing, so we called in the pros to get us to a point where we could safely take things over.

 It would have been heartbreaking to have to tear up a beautifully renovated room, but thankfully that was not our problem here!  The existing bathroom was comfortable enough, but hadn't been upgraded much from basic fixtures and linoleum floors, and the space was open but not well used.

The bathtub surround had been tiled already in a neutral beige/gray that I didn't mind, so we hoped to keep it in the new two-room layout.

It's funny for me to look back on it now, but both our realtor and our general contractor tried to dissuade me from trying to add a second bathroom.  They just didn't think there would be enough space up there for two, but I kept insisting-- especially after taking extensive measurements and drawing my own blueprints-- that it would work just fine.  Our general contractor relented and introduced us to an architect who drew up our plans for the project, including where the water lines and doorways should go.  We were honest with her that our goal was to gain an extra bathroom but at minimal cost, so she helped by designing a layout that keeps the new plumbing lines close to the old and preserves the existing tub.  Apparently adding new lines for toilets in distant corners of your house can add a lot of money, so we were thrilled that our bathrooms are back to back, making it easier to keep costs down.

Once we gave the go ahead, they got to work tearing down the walls!  It was so much fun to see it all open up and to picture the new space.  Here you're standing in the old closet, looking into the bathroom where the master bath will be:

Here you can see the seams of the old walls between the two closets and the old bathroom.  This will all be a part of the new master bath.

Next the walls started going up!  (In the background to the left is the new master closet.)

Here you can see where the old room is now divided into two.  The part behind the newly framed wall will be the small hall bathroom, and the existing tiled tub will be in the new master bath.

Here is a view from the master bedroom into its new bathroom.  Not exactly luxurious yet, but it's exciting to see it come together.  And you'll be glad to know that our contractor did at last admit that the new rooms would turn out to be great and plenty big enough:)

Around this same time I took a trip to Home Goods (one of the perks of living back in the US!) and found my instant inspiration for designing the rest of the room;  I love this shower curtain!

Next up in this bathroom renovation series, I'll be posting all about our first attempt at laying our own tile... 




  1. Wise move, Liza! I say, if you have an idea that you believe will add value and function to your house, GO FOR IT! Insisting the second bathroom to your contractors and being honest on your ideal budget with the architect is the right way to start a good design plan. The important thing is to know the original blueprint plan of your house so you’ll know if the proposal is achievable or not.

    Herb Koguchi

  2. Great renovations so far Liza! Good luck and god bless in the future!

    -Bronx Shower Doors


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