Day Five of Office and Bathroom Reno — In Which I Go Shopping with the Most Patient Man in the World

(Post 111 of 263. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr. As I mentioned in the post announcing Bast’s passing from COVID, I thank everyone for your generous donations to the original Fundrazr campaign, which resulted in sponsored 263 posts. I will continue to honour the commitment to write those 263 posts, but I will not commit to more. The link above is to a new campaign to help Bast’s family.)

Today was the Home Depot run for bathroom fixtures. My contractor, Adrián, is so amazing! He was very patient as I hemmed and hawed and tried to find something I’d like from a rather limited selection and displayed items not being in stock. I do have to give myself credit, though, because I was able to look at was there and make a satisfied choice of what was available rather than holding firm to a vision and making myself unhappy for not being able to realise that vision. So instead of a vintagey bathroom, it is going to be super modern! That actually goes with my plan to make the office look different from the rest of the house. For my other bathrooms, I plan to buy from special-order faucet catalogues to have more selection.

But this little bathroom needed to come in on budget because the reno overall is right at budget now. Adrián had said he could bring me in for around $50,000 all-in for his part of things. With the floor surprises and my very pricey custom chair, I’m now at close to $90,000. My hard budget was $100,000. Sounds like a scary number, but that’s still only 5,000USD and includes a full bathroom, custom doors, a stone desk, and, the aforementioned very pricey chair, so I’m getting a lot for my money!

Some items on the list turned out to be easy. For the mirror, I was fine with just a plain mirror since the tile does have a pattern and I think a frame would look too busy. I spotted a mirror in the correct dimensions with a little shelf under it and Adrián went “That’s the one. You’re not going to otherwise have anywhere to put things down.” We were both surprised by how absurdly reasonable the price was, around $1,000. The accessories — towel bars, toilet paper holder, and robe hook — were tougher. The one I wanted was out of stock. The next closest looked okay, but I was worried would be a cheap chrome-finish plastic that would not wear well, so I was happy when I opened up the box at home and the pieces had heft to them.

The sink was the biggest question mark. I wanted something like this, a basin over a concrete slab, and Adrián said that was a great idea and would be inexpensive as long as I didn’t want the in-wall taps!.

Home Depot had this exact sink in miniature, but as we looked at it, we both realised that the taps I had spent all that time picking out wouldn’t work. Neither one of us liked the drop-in sinks that would fit the taps, and I absolutely did not want an all-in-one sink and MDF cabinet that would look like crap in a few years. Adrián made me leave the sinks and took me to pick out a light fixture. That was way easier than he expected — I found the bathroom light fixtures section, quickly eliminated anything pretty, and picked out a very sleek modern LED fixture that turned out to be a bargain purchase!

Next, we grabbed a shower curtain rod. All that was left was the sink. I asked Adrián what he would do. “I’d sort of stick to your vision, but for the size of the space, I’d do a round basin instead of a square one, and then change the faucet to a taller single-handle one in that style you told me you’re not keen on.” I decided I really wanted that style of sink so I was willing to compromise on the faucet. Back we went to the faucet aisle and… I almost immediately found the perfect faucet to match the shower taps! It wasn’t even on display, but I spotted it in a box underneath the display! It had been so hard to initially find a matching set of shower and bathroom taps that we knew the bathroom gods had just blessed our design! 😆

I keep finding little details that have been taken care of without my asking about them, like this cable runner for the AC copper grounding wire.

I’ll add painting it to my sign-off list, but knowing them, I’m sure it’s already there.

I’m thrilled with the progress this week and have been promised my office will be done by next Friday! So now, I have to schedule Izzi to come move my modem. We want that done before sign-off day because the last time they were here, the installer made a lot of damage to my new exterior paint job. The hope is that if he can be here at the same time as the crew, he can be better directed and then the crew can patch up if necessary.

Onward to work. I have two days to catch up before the work starts up again!