Spring 2018 ORC: Week 5

This post was originally shared on my former website, OurFiftiesFixerUpper.com, in April 2018.

Hello & welcome!

For those of you are new to my blog, welcome! My husband Josh and I have been renovating our home since we bought it back in April 2016. We do 90% of the work ourselves, from design to construction to decorating! So far we’ve finished our kitchen, master suite, guest bedroom, mudroom, and living room. This bathroom project is the last major project of our upstairs. This summer we’ll move on to our exterior (new siding, patio, landscaping, fixing up the sidewalk, replacing exterior doors, and adding an egress window), and then next winter we plan to tackle the basement (completely gutting and remodeling!). Needless to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us, so I hope you’ll stay tuned!

If you’re new to the One Room Challenge: this is an interior design event for bloggers/designers/renovators put on by Linda of Calling It Home and House Beautiful, during which participants complete a full renovation of a space in their homes in a short time period. The Spring 2018 reveal will take place on May 10. There are hundreds of talented participants and 20 featured designers which means plenty of inspiration to tackle a project in your own home! 

Week 4 has been a big week for us. We worked our tails off this weekend and made a lot of progress. We had lofty goals for this week but we almost accomplished them. We also had an epiphany: we aren’t going to finish this project on time. 

The official One Room Challenge reveal is May 10. That means that before May 10, we’d have to finish laying and grout and seal the tile; mud, sand, prime, and paint the walls; install board and batten; install all of our electrical and plumbing fixtures; install the toilet; install the door, trim, and decor, and have the tub refinished. Sound like a lot? That’s because it is! Unless we put in 10 hour days every day until then (which we can’t because our fantasies that we’re Chip and Joanna Gaines end every Monday when we have to go back to work at our real jobs), there is absolutely no way we will finish this bathroom on time for the reveal. Although it’s disappointing to realize this, we also realized that of all the projects in the One Room Challenge, very few people are doing an entire gut-to-finish project entirely on their own.  A bathroom remodel done by professionals often takes about 6 weeks, so maybe our goals were a little lofty!

Here’s a full list of what we had hoped to accomplish in Week 4:

Week 4 Goal Recap

  • DONE: frame in the new linen closet
  • DONE: hang drywall on all of the walls
  • ALMOST DONE (ran out of mud!): patch drywall (taping and mudding)
  • DONE: waterproof the cement board surrounding the shower
  • HALF DONE: Tile the shower surround
  • NOT DONE: Tile the floor
  • NOT DONE: Grout all tile (unlikely, but maybe)

Last weekend, we got all of the drywall installed and the majority of it was taped and mudded. I applied thinset to the backerboard and then waterproofed the tub surround.

Josh also framed in and drywalled the linen closet.  I started tiling the shower on Sunday, and after 4 hours of tiling, I realized I was not going to be able to finish the entire tile job like we had aimed for. We’re stacking the grout lines vertically, which I had thought was going to be easier than the typical brick-stacked pattern. I should’ve known- the walls aren’t perfectly square and level, so after doing two rows, I realized that finishing the final row will require cutting every single tile at different lengths. We also realized that doing a bullnose edge on the side of the shower will be much easier than trying to be so precise with measuring up to the metal edge that I had purchased. Since we’re doing white tiles with black grout, any imperfections in grout lines and tile spacing will stand out like a sore thumb- meaning that the perfectionist in me is coming out strong. I need the grout lines on this tile to line up as close to perfect as possible- and that takes time!

Essentially all of the finish work is tedious: from mudding and sanding, to installing board and batten, to building the closet shelves, everything will take time. With both of us working full time, we just don’t have the time that we need to do high quality work to finish the bathroom. We would much rather take our time and do a good job than rush it and regret it down the road. It’s also finally starting to get nice in MN after a long, cold winter, and we’d prefer not to spend every one of those nice days cooped up inside. Last Sunday, after putting in probably 12 hours over the weekend, we decided to throw in the towel and take our dog on a walk. We ended up going on a two and a half hour walk and explored a part of the park near our home that we had never seen before. It was so fun to just forget about projects for a while and enjoy the outdoors!

That being said, we’re certainly not just going to give up and stretch this project out over months. We still aim to get it totally finished by the end of May- or ideally, as soon as possible. We have a lot planned for Week 5, and I’ll still be participating in the “reveal” day on May 10- it just very likely won’t be photos of a completely finished bathroom!! I will of course continue updating weekly until we do finish the project, and I am just as excited as you all to see the space in its completion. Week 5 is chock-full of plans, and a lot of them are things I’ll be able to help with, which will help to decrease the finish time.

Week 5 Goals

  • Finish patching drywall (taping and mudding)
  • Finish tiling the shower surround
  • Tile the floor
  • Grout and seal all tile
  • Sand all drywall
  • Prime the entire room
  • Paint the ceiling
  • Buy the toilet
  • Buy materials for linen closet shelves
  • Install lights
  • Install shower fixtures

I’m off to pick up the bullnose tile and some more mud today, so I can continue with the tiling and mudding projects either later today or tomorrow. Here’s to hoping we have a productive week!!!

How are you all doing with your projects? Anyone crunched for time, or are you ahead of schedule? Anyone completely give up on making the deadline, like we did?! I’m so lucky that the ORC community is so supportive and emphasizes community over competition! It’s been such a fun thing to be a part of!

If you’re just checking us out for the first time and want to get caught up on the previous weeks of our project, make sure to visit Week 1Week 2Week 3, and Week 4.

Update 7/18: The bathroom is DONE! Check out the reveal here

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

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