25th Hour Organizing

"Because 24 Just Isn't Enough"

Organized Remodeling January 25, 2010

Filed under: Remodeling — Christine @ 8:10 am

For years I have wanted to transform an antique dresser into a sink. Over a year ago, after hearing me talk of it far too many times, my mother donated a dresser for the cause. It was lovely and it had a nice mirror that attached to the back.

I had set my sights on the hall bathroom and decided a complete ‘redo’ was in order. I would repaint the walls, and I wanted my husband Dave to install some nice tile instead of the ugly linoleum currently in the space.

A couple of weeks ago we visited the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and found the perfect floor tiles, just $1 per square foot. This purchase got the gears moving and before long I had located a lovely glass vessel sink on eBay and a tall bronze faucet to go with it.

We sat down yesterday and began to plan it out, including what jobs each of us would be responsible for.

  1. Clear out the bathroom entirely – all knickknacks, etc (me)
  2. Remove the ugly sink cabinet and install shut off valves so we could turn the water back on (Dave)
  3. Demo the rest of the flooring and remove the toilet (Dave and me)
  4. Clean up (me)

We began at around 6pm and finished at 10pm. We also outlined the next steps we needed to take:

  1. Replace section of floor that has rotted (Dave)
  2. Patch all nail holes, remove old wallpaper from behind toilet, and prep walls and ceiling for painting. (me)
  3. Seal the dresser top with an epoxy solution (so that there will not be any water damage and the rest of the dresser with a marine varnish. (me and Dave)
  4. Paint walls and ceiling (me)
  5. Alter dresser by drilling holes for the sink and faucet and altering the drawers beneath to accommodate plumbing. (Dave)
  6. Lay tile and grout (Dave)
  7. Install dresser sink and bolt to wall (me and Dave)
  8. Finish out with new molding and touch up paint. (me and Dave)
  9. Move everything back into the closet organizing and labeling as I go. (me)

It seems like a lot of work and well, honestly it is. But in the end, I estimate we will have spent about $400 and have a lovely bathroom in place of the old, well-worn one.

I am a huge fan of do-it-yourself projects. They save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and you learn handy, needed skills. Keep in mind the following before you begin a project:

  • Have a clearly defined vision
  • Be prepared for setbacks (like the rotted flooring we found!)
  • List out the steps you will need to take from start to finish and assign each member a task that fits their strengths. (Mine is obviously organizing and planning, but I will also be cooking meals and be available to Dave when he needs someone to run back and forth)
  • Keep track of your expenses (this helps you add it up in the end and realize just how much it really costs and how much you have saved).
  • Have a first aid kit handy
  • Have other arrangements (sleeping, bathing etc.) in case the project takes longer than you thought it would.
  • When frustrated – don’t give up and abandon the project. Work it through, consult experts, and finish it with a professional’s help if the work is too much for you.
  • Be ready to roll with the punches!

The last one is especially relevant for us. In January 2007, I talked my husband into taking a week-long vacation and installing a tile floor in our kitchen. I know, I know, that is wrong on so many levels! He obviously loves me because he actually agreed to do it. This was our first tiling experience and it would have been difficult enough except that the day we took everything apart (this included removing the stove and placing it on the back porch) our microwave died, leaving us with no way to cook food!

There is only so much takeout and sandwiches and cold cereal a person can eat before all they can think of is being able to cook their meals on a stove again. It was an incredibly difficult week for us, especially since we had a newborn who I’m sure was convinced she had been abandoned or left to be raised by the dogs.

We were so ‘under the gun to get it done’ that we rushed things and just three years later the grout is cracked and pitted and disintegrating. That’s next on Dave’s “to do” list. And this time, we will take the time to do it right!

So remember…

  • Take your time to plan it out
  • Make a list of all the materials you will need
  • List out the steps to take to complete the job from start to finish
  • Plan for hiccups and delays

Stay tuned…pictures and updates to follow!