A Little at a Time

A Little at a Time

I fell in love with the house I live in the first time I saw it. I loved the big open space in the yard, the cozy kitchen, the nice sized bedrooms. The only thing I couldn’t stand was the bathroom. I let the real estate agent fill my head with grand dreams of gutting the bathroom and redoing the whole thing. It has this very weird 1970s metallic gold wallpaper and terrible light fixtures. And I didn’t know they ever made porcelain in pea green, did you? Because—why?

But then I actually discovered how much it would cost to gut this decades-old nightmare and make the upgrades I really want. I already have student loans and a mortgage, so I wasn’t about to go even more into debt just so I could have a pretty bathroom. However, I knew I couldn’t live with this bathroom the way it was. I had to come up with a plan. Since my pay fluctuates from week to week and I have to set aside money to pay my taxes, it meant that it would be slow going to save the money to do everything at once. But if I was smart about my money and did it a little at a time, I could get a better bathroom as I went along.

The first thing that I did was take down as much of the wallpaper as I could and paint the walls a fresh coat of white. Doing that alone made the whole room look better. Maybe three months into living there, the toilet—which was probably original to the house—broke. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of having to replace a major piece of the bathroom so soon but I hired a plumber and chose a newer, low-flow model in white. I spent ages researching the best toilet online before I settled on this one. I figured white would be easy to match for the vanity and tub when was their turn to be replaced. The new toilet decreased my water consumption quite a bit. That made me wonder if there was something wrong with the old toilet long before I moved in, but it was too late to do anything about it. It’s visually more appealing, it works better, and it saves me money. That makes me happy.

I almost have enough for a new vanity and light fixture. All I need is a couple more good photo shoots or one really good sale and I’m there. The shower might take longer because I want something that I can also use to bathe the dogs—that requires a handheld nozzle and a larger drain with a hair catcher. All those things cost more money than your standard features. I want to do it right, so I’m fine with waiting. Even if every once in a while I do google how to paint your bathtub to see if the process has gotten easier to the point where I feel like I can do it myself (not so far).

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