WE SURVIVED RENOVATIONS and now have both a beautiful and functional bathroom! We are a family of 5 and share a single bathroom in our 1,000 square foot home. I truly hope that the sometimes stress of our small living space is helping to build some comical memories for my kids. That one bathroom was originally built and designed in 1954 and probably never intended to service 5 people on a daily basis. It had seen better days for sure. The previous owners painted over the pink tile in an effort to make it more eye-appealing. And it was; up until the paint started to wear off. And there was the water damage. Slow leaks. Not covered by insurance. Oh the joys of home ownership and adulting.
With plans of selling our home, we had a realtor come out and spend a few hours doing a walk through. He got to the bathroom and ever-so-professionally explained that kitchens and baths sell homes. We sat on that advice for a while. Who wants to remodel their only bathroom when they have 3 kids; 2 of them right at the age of potty training? Not this mom. Our bathroom sees a lot of action and I had no idea how we would manage. We did not have another place to stay and a hotel would add to our already limited budget. Not to mention, a hotel is even tinier than our home and the only door to hide behind means you are probably sitting on the toilet. However, a hotel does have an indoor pool!
So, let the journey begin!
We interviewed contractors, found a place to stay, did all the shopping, and then watched the men at work. We were thankful for the day we finally got to see the completed project. It took a little longer than expected and there were some bumps along the way. But we are done with water leaks and painted pink tile. I am going to miss this bathroom when we finally move on.
In summary here are my tips for surviving home renovations with kids:
- Find someone to watch your kids while you do the shopping. They do not want to shop for house stuff and they will totally embarrass you. We were lucky enough to experience this on a couple of occasions. Thankfully, we never had all 3 with us at once.
- During the quote process, talk to the contractor about the impact the remodel has on your family and see what they can adjust to help. Our contractor did things a bit backwards and put our toilet in day 2 of the remodel so that we could get back in the house as soon as possible. We had to wait a bit longer on the shower.
- Find a temporary residence for when necessities like your bathroom will be out of commission or at least during the initial demolition. Family or friends are the most economical option if they have room for you. We opted for a hotel with an indoor pool. Everyone LOVED the pool.
- Stick to your normal routine. My kids do much better when we stick to the schedule. Although we were staying at the hotel, we kept dinner and bath time relatively consistent and on schedule.
And here are a few mom-sanity saver tips:
- If you have it in your budget, hire a designer. This would substantially cut down on your legwork. This was not an option for us. We did all of the design coordination and it meant hitting up most all of the tile shops in Memphis. Thankfully I had a good idea of what I wanted.
- Minimize clutter prior to the remodel. Remodels are dirty and dusty. You will be adding a small daily cleaning routine to your schedule. Another reason to budget for a hotel.
- Purchase all of your supplies prior to the start of the project. We had forgotten to pick out a mirror for above the vanity. Last minute shopping under pressure is not recommended.
- Hire a professional to clean after the workers are out of there. This one is a lesson learned for us. No matter how much cleaning the guys did, I still had to get in there and do some scrubbing.
Most of all, try to stay calm. Sometimes we create our own drama. Our first night in the hotel my husband and I were so nervous how it would go and who would be waking up who in the middle of the night. My son demanded the TV be turned off and we all went to bed a little early that night. My girls slept in the same bed and neither woke up all night long. This was a true miracle. My son did have a nightmare about not being able to make a mustache with his Play-Doh. Oh the stresses that little ones have to deal with. We have some fun memories of those days in the hotel.
And finally, we have a beautiful new bathroom. It was worth every moment that we endured.