They say home is not a place or thing, it is a feeling. We have been homeowners since 2018 and are finally getting around to the remodeling side of homeownership. One of the strongest motivators to remodeling is the idea of the accruing more value rather than the actual enjoyment of the new asthetics. Regardless of the reason, updating a home is quite a fulfilling task, especially when you get to enjoy the new renovations yourself. These renovations, specifically, are enjoyed every time I greet Mr. Hankey (Southpark reference) so it was definitely worth it no matter how long we stay.
2 years ago, I worked with a general contractor for roughly 3 months. During this time, I was project managing 2 different subcontractors. Of all the places I have worked, these subcontractors were the most jolly coworkers that I have ever worked alongside. They were Hispanics consisting of both Guatemalans and Mexicans. Their favorite time was “Luncho!” These guys worked their tails off through the heat, never complained, and could fix anything from plumbing to electrical to carpentry but when lunch time came around, it was 1 hour of communal jokes and rest.
While working alongside these talented professional artists, I picked up a lot of construction knowledge which has proven to be extremely useful. The most functional tip in construction is to learn to use a new tool and you will learn to fix a new thing. I have fixed my porch along with my step-dad’s help, put up a fence surrounding my garden, built a greenhouse, and now I have remodeled both of our bathrooms. Next will be replacing the rest of the flooring throughout the house. The master bathroom was the first to be worked on. I began by taking out the vanity. Initially, I intended to not need a plumber but as I was pulling out the master vanity, I clipped the cut off valve and a tiny leak began dripping. In the middle of the night, Susan got up to use the restroom and noticed a puddle accumulating in the floor. She rushed to turn the water off in the house and when I returned home from work in the morning I attempted to replace the cutoff valve. After replacing two valves and still leaking, I noticed the vanity would not fit with the pipes coming through the floor. In the guest bathroom, I could simply cut the bottom of the vanity so the pipes could fit through, however, in the master bathroom, the vanity has a pull out drawer making it impossible to cut holes out for the pipes. With the valve leaking nonstop and the vanity unable to fit, it was time to phone a friend.
Susan went on to the Next Door app and asked for a trusted plumber in the area. A friendly man in his 60s was referred but remember that in this business, you get what you pay for. In this case, we sacrificed speed for cost. It took the kind man roughly 4 days to finally reroute the pipes and stop the leak but for the price of $150, I’ll take it. That could have easily cost me $600. In the second bathroom, we were able to cut out the bottom of the vanity to not need to reroute the pipes.
After the floor was complete in each bathroom, the mirrors and lights were installed. Lights are surprisingly easy to install and cost us around $50 each. All you have to do is twist the matching color wires and screw the light in. Always make sure to cut the fuse before touching the electrical wires unless you are trying out home made shock therapy. As for the mirror, simple drywall hooks did the trick. Both mirrors were bought at Hobby Lobby for under $80 each. In total, we spent roughly $600 for both bathrooms. The value of the house went up approximately $7,500 so I would say that we did well for a bunch of newbies.
Learn to be productive. Learn to do things, fix things, and build things. The Nike saying, “Just Do It”, really is one of the best slogans because you simply have to initiate in a task in order to learn. Once you begin the learning process, you approach the learning curve whereby momentum potentially accumulates into a never ending artistic pursuit of perfection. The first couple times doing something will be awkward and you will probably mess up. This experience of inadequacy can be humiliating and frustrating. As these feelings of discomfort are felt, resilience and confidence are also developed. Life is an investment. Beautify your surroundings and find reasons to be proud of who you are day in and day out. Remodel your dreams.