New Nest House Tour – Second Floor

It’s time for Part Two of the tour of the new house. Come on up!

Foyer and Stairs

From the top of the stairs there’s a hallway to the right that leads to all the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

hallway

The closed double doors you see above lead to the walk-in linen closet. At the very top of the stairs on the right (the partial door you see above on the right) leads to our guest bedroom.

Guest Room

A guest bedroom was high on our list of “wants” when searching for and then planning our new house. Since all of our family live out of town, we wanted to have a space for them when they come to visit (hint-hint). We have already put this room to good use and it has been so nice to offer our friends and family who visit, a place of their own in our home. (I hope they enjoyed it too!) And we don’t have to offer them blow up mattresses in make-shift “bedrooms” any more.

Guest Room Ensuite

The guest room also has its own ensuite – again to give our guests a space of their own when visiting. No need to subject them to the boys’ bad aim, or the ring of dirt they seem to leave in the bathtub every.single.time.

Next up I’ll show you around what I’ve been calling “boy zone”.

boy zone 1

Open door leading into Harry’s room. Closed door leads into Foster’s room.

boy zone 2

Door to Foster’s room.

boy zone 3

Looking out of “boy zone” into the hallway towards the guest bedroom.

When we were first planning the house I thought this space was kind of wasted, but based on the design plan the space couldn’t really be attributed to either boy’s room or it would make the doorways extremely awkward. Our builder also pointed out that this division helps to give some separation to “boy zone” (the bedrooms) and will help with sound dampening as well. And now that we have it, I really love it. I think it’s unique and gives our boys a little extra shared space, and I have so many ideas about how we’re going to make this area special and functional for the boys.

Foster's Room

Foster’s room is the one at the front of the house and it gets beautiful sunlight in the afternoon and evening. The door you see above leads from Foster’s room into the boys’ shared bathroom.

Boy's Bathroom

From each bedroom the boys enter into this common sink area. I really wanted to do something fun and special for the boys’ bathroom so we opted for the green cabinets, and a single trough sink with two faucets. I LOVE how it turned out. (Also the door you see above leads into Harry’s room and is the only peek into his room that we have from before the move).

Boy's Shower Room

From the sink area, the boys then have a tub/toilet area that can be closed off from the sink area. Which I think will be really great as they get older and want some privacy. The separation will allow them to both use different parts of the bathroom at once.

Master Bedroom

And our master bedroom is at the back of the house and our large window makes use of our great views. We often see deer out in the field behind our house in the mornings or at dusk and the sunrises are incredible. If you were standing at the window looking out and turned right you could see into our master ensuite.

Master Bathroom

We decided to go with classic white for the cabinets and the countertops are a white quartz with just a hint of sparkle to give it a bit of elegance. We also upgraded to a kitchen height cabinet in our bathroom instead of standard height since both husbandman and I are relatively tall. It was well worth it.

Master Bathroom Shower

Our walk-in shower is insanely large. What else can I say?

Master Bathroom Tub

And this tub is just awesome. It faces the window (the reflection of which you can see in the shower photo above, and the first bathroom photo) and it looks out on the field and the green space behind our yard. I specifically asked for the window to be large and low so that I could take advantage of the view while in the tub.

So there you have it! A tour of our 2nd floor four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

If you’re catching up, check out these posts: New Nest – The Plan, New Nest – Exterior Tour, New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

Renovating – What I learned

I’ve had lots of great compliments on our bathroom makeover, so thank you very much for all the kind words!

I thought I’d share a few things that I learned along the way as a renovating virgin. Sure, we’ve changed things here and there but it’s always been DIY and mostly pretty minor changes, so this bathroom renovation took us into new territory for sure.

1. Be prepared for the Day One Blues

What’s behind your walls and in your ceiling is anyone’s guess. So unless you originally built the house and are now renovating you are likely to come across a surprise or two as demolition progresses. For us, that was how much spray foam insulation was in the walls. Luckily that surprise just meant that finding a receptacle was a bit (okay a lot) more time consuming than it normally would be. Another surprise that we uncovered on Day One was that the shower (the old one) was installed with basically no ceiling above it. That meant we would need to build out a new ceiling for the bathroom. An easy fix, but still a surprise.

spray foam madness

Not to mention that our shower line was cut to our other bathroom, our bulkhead was cut through, and I was told that the ceiling structure above the shower was questionable and the spray foam mess required the trades having attic access. By the end of Day One I was wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into!

2. Be at home

Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s not a good idea to be away while work is being done in your home. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t step out, but in my opinion being present keeps people honest, on time, and let’s face it… working. I think that on Day Two if I had been home while the electricians searched for the end of the receptacle I would’ve been able to direct them with more helpful locations to search. That may have saved them some time, and from searching in the back of my pantry and having to take down a light fixture in the process. And being around means that you can answer questions like “You wanted the tile to run this way right?” or “How high do you want the mirror hung?” or “What kind of tile pattern did we say again?”.

3. Ask lots of questions

If you’re home then hopefully you’re answering lots of questions (See item #2), but asking a lot of questions is just as important. It’s your house and your money, after all. Ask why something needs to be done – even if you’ve previously agreed in the contract or otherwise that the work needs to be done – if you want to know ask again. As your renovation evolves new issues arise and sometimes the original plan is adjusted, so just ask why option A was chosen over option B etc. During the renovation I was always asking my contractor how long he thought the next stage of work would take. I would ask when I would expect him at the house the next day. At the end of the day I would ask what tasks were scheduled for the next day. Communication is key.

4. Be prepared for your house to be taken over

I had no idea how much disruption would take over our house during the renovation. And by no means were the contractor or trades overly intrusive. I naively thought that my master bathroom renovation would be confined to my master bathroom, and maybe overflow into our bedroom, of course, as work was ongoing during the day. Cue the outrageous laughter. Yes our bathroom and our bedroom were out of commission while work was being completed. But, as I mentioned attic access was required and our attic access is in our master closet, so that meant that I lived with quite a bit of re-arranged clothing and closet organizer pieces throughout our bedroom. Our family bathroom was no longer just the boys’ bathroom. We needed to shower, brush our teeth, and get ready in there too. Our garage was used to store the larger fixtures and was used for work like painting trim and casing. We didn’t park our cars in the garage during the renovation at all. The driveway was taken over during the day with the large trucks and trailers that our contractor and trades used. Our (luckily) unfurnished living room was used to house the vanity and figure out how it was to be assembled. And during the day while work was ongoing our foyer and staircase was all covered in tarps so that the mess could be contained. And finally, Foster’s nursery was a no-no for daytime naps on the off-chance that some work was loud enough to wake him, so he slept in a pack and play in the basement. That’s 8 spaces in addition to our bathroom and bedroom!

5. Be flexible

There are so many reasons that you need to remain flexible. If you’re not flexible you’ll likely have a pretty awful experience. You need to be flexible with your time and expectations. As I mentioned in item one, you don’t know what’s lurking behind your walls and something as simple as spray foam can set you back a whole day’s work. That’s not your fault. That’s not your contractor’s fault. But there’s not much you can do about it. You need to roll with those punches. Even when I was told that my countertops were scratched I remained remarkably calm. It was an honest mistake. When I told my dad about the mishap he suggested that they could’ve put the drawer on the floor, but then I would’ve had scratched hardwood floors! They had no expectation that the drawer would scratch. And they immediately made suggestions on how they were going to fix it. We had our tiler in until 7:30 pm one evening to finish grouting the tile. We had our “drywall guy” in on the weekend so the walls would be ready to paint come Monday morning. We allowed these few minor disruptions to stay as on-schedule as we could.

Being flexible doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on your original vision (unless it’s just not possible) or that you need to be a push-over. Most definitely stand your ground and get what you want, but if you can keep a little flexibility your experience will be so much more enjoyable.

So that’s what I learned and I think the results are pretty darn great.

day twelve

Hopefully these tips will help you in your next renovation. I feel ready to take on the next project. How about you? Do you have any of your own tips to share?

Happy renovating!

Bathroom Beginnings

You guys! I’m so excited to tell you that yesterday was the last day that any work took place in our house related to our master bathroom renovation. I’m super excited that no one is coming to my house today. And I’m so so so glad that the pictures you’re about to see feel like a distant memory already.

But first…

When we moved into our house we knew that it was in great shape. The two previous families had taken excellent care of it. Some of the house had already been updated (the kitchen, for example) and other areas that hadn’t been updated had been well-maintained. That said, the bathrooms are all a bit dated. The previous owners had painted or wallpapered the walls, even painted vanity cabinets and updated light fixtures but for the most part the bathroom fixtures in all of our bathrooms are original to the house. That means lots of grey and bisque coloured toilets and sinks etc.

Waaay back in the spring Roland and I started talking about renovating our master bathroom. At the time it made the most sense to hire out the work since I was pregnant and/or going to be with a newborn when the work would eventually get started. Fast forward to August and we still haven’t had any work done. In any case, we had gone down the road of hiring the work, and given the scope of the project – nothing is as simple as you think it’s going to be – it’s probably a good idea that we left this job to the professionals.

So without further ado, here are a few pictures of how the bathroom looked the day before demo started.

bathroom before

bathroom before 2

So, what was the plan?

  • Remove and replace all the fixtures: shower (goodbye space tube!), grey toilet, vanity, and drawer cabinet.
  • Replace the floors with ceramic tile floors. (Currently peel and stick) See what I mean about how the bathrooms had been updated, but not renovated?
  • Electrical work to terminate a receptacle (above drawer cabinet) and to install a new fan.
  • Build out the wall and install an acrylic shower base, tiled shower walls, and glass sliding doors.
  • Paint the walls.
  • Hang a new mirror above the vanity

And it’s all done! But not without a few hiccups along the way (that I mentioned before), and this week I’m going to take you all along for the ride that I got to take over the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy.

You’ve got to admit that without even seeing the results this has the makings of a great before and after, right?