As some of you might recall, Chris and I have a vague plan to put our house on the market. And I have tried to shift my focus accordingly, from projects that I would like to do if I were going to live here, to projects that will be appealing to total strangers and don’t involve any big messes or indefinite time frames.
Not my forte, guys.
In my attempt to 1) think about other people, 2) not poke holes in the walls, and 3) complete something in a week or less, here’s what I came up with:
The ceiling fan in the living room.
It’s dated. That’s all. Now, whatever I do here will stay with the house, so there’s no point in spending a ton of money on a ceiling fan I actually like. But with a little spray paint and some new shades for the bulbs, I think I could make it less 1980’s. Like this:
Or maybe this:
And it’s little details like those that can help a house sell. So I mentioned this to Chris and he said, “Don’t. We have to be realistic about the amount of time it takes to do projects. We don’t have time for that.”
As you can probably imagine, a discussion ensued. Because, exsqueeze me? Baking powder? In the category of “things that will help the house sell but also don’t cost a lot of money,” if we don’t have time to spray paint ceiling fan blades, what else could we possibly have time for?
Chris’s answer: Renovate the bathroom.
Um, cool. Awesome. It’s just going to be a little hard to do while I’m over here recovering from whiplash.
I write this post for posterity, so that the world may know two things 1) I am not the crazy one in this relationship. And 2) A 25-year-old movie still holds considerable sway over my language.
Here’s why I’m not the crazy one: I know that in order to fix this bathroom, we have to replace the subfloor. We also have to replace some of the wallboard, which was sliced open and carelessly repaired back in 2013 in connection with the Great Kitchen Remodel of 2012-2014. You can’t really see those things in the pictures, but they are the real problems. The rest of it is just eye candy. Cosmetic fixes, like paint and a light fixture and maybe a new vanity, and voilà!
But let’s not gloss over that part about “replacing the subfloor and wallboard.” Because that’s a pretty innocuous way of saying “removing everything that sits on top of the subfloor, such as finish flooring and vanities and toilets.” And “replacing the wallboard” means “tearing the lower half of the wall down to the studs.”
Some people call this process gutting. Chris is apparently calling this process easier than spray painting a ceiling fan.
But. If you think I am going to pump the brakes on a bathroom renovation that I’ve wanted for 11 years, you must be new here.
So when Chris said,”I don’t think I want to spend more than $1,000,” I said,”Sure thing, boss!” And when Chris said,”How fast do you think we can do it?” I said,”3 days, chief!”
And later, when Chris says,”I want a divorce,” I will say,”But this wasn’t my idea. All I wanted to do was to spray paint a ceiling fan.” You are all witnesses.
Even after I did some poking around online and compiled a budget that came to $1600, which is 60% more than he wanted to spend, he still said, “Okay.” And after I said, “When I say ‘3 days’ I mean, like 3 days for the major stuff. Paint and trim and other cosmetic things will take longer. And we’re going to have to plan super well and order all the stuff ahead of time and get daycare lined up for all three days, and even then it won’t really be done, just functional” he still said, “Okay.” And on several occasions since then, he’s said, “You really think we can do this in three days?” and I said, “Not exactly, but kind of maybe yes?” and still he said, “Okay.” We’ve had at least three conversations that started with me saying, “You know, if we’re really going to do this bathroom thing, I’m going to have to start ordering stuff. And then we’re gonna be committed.” And every time, Chris has said, “Okay.”
I’ve been given explicit permission to take on a big messy project that will cost money and probably turn out to have an indefinite time frame. And yet, I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger.
Here’s the thing: you know this isn’t going to take three days. Let’s just assume it’ll take a month. Which doesn’t sound that bad at first. But the time crunch is actually a bit more severe than I may have let on, so a month is a long time. Not just because of the house-selling thing, which is not actually a huge deterrent because of the whole “we have to find another house first thing” and we’ve been looking for a unicorn of a house for over a year already and are willing to wait until we actually find a unicorn. No, the bigger time crunch is that I’m pregnant and due in September and it’s already almost July and the baby’s room looks like this:
And it took me about 8 months to do Rowan’s room which technically still isn’t done even though she’s almost 2 years old, because I haven’t built her dresser yet. Oh and also I would really like to get that done before Number Two shows up, because Number Two will need a dresser/changing table too.
So, in my mind, there’s other projects to choose from besides the bathroom, that don’t involve us living without a bathroom for any amount of time. Did I not mention that this is our only shower/tub? That our back-up bathroom is just a tiny powder room off the kitchen? And also I’m 6 months pregnant?
On the other hand…11 years is a long time to wait.
I think maybe I’ve waited long enough.