In her second feature for Single Women and Their Spaces, interior designer, Casey Keasler, offers a tour of her newly renovated bathroom. (Check out her dressing room here!) Part of the One Room Challenge, Keasler had to accommodate an aggressive timeline and took on major renovations herself (demo, tiling, grout, and installation) leaving only the plumbing to a professional.
We asked Casey to walk us through her process and to share some tips for women looking to tackle a project of this nature on their own. Read on for her budget suggestions, tool recommendations and her biggest piece of renovations advice (+ lots and lots of before and after photos).
What should any person consider before tackling a major renovation on their own?
Budget: Always include 5-10% contingency funding in a remodel.
Time: How much free time do you have? Remodels are incredibly time-consuming, especially if you're inexperienced and even if you aren't doing all of the work yourself. Someone still has to make all of those decisions. This is my biggest project that I have taken on (mostly) on my own. I spent 150 hours doing the labor and had 80 hours of help. These hours do not take into consideration the design time, picking up supplies, fixtures, hardware store runs, coordination or getting materials to my house for install. It's strict labor.
Skills: Consider your skill set. Do you know how to do any of this work? Do you want to know how to do this work? Do you like doing this type of work? The last thing you want to do is start a project you cannot or do not want to finish.
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"Set a humble table and eat beautiful simple food. Nothing has to be fancy. When you make yourself comfortable, your guests will feel comfortable."
Goals: Set a deadline, a side project like this could linger on for months. Realistically think about much time each week you will be able to spend working on your project. Factor in everything (plans, trips, delivery time, etc.), even if it is your best guess.
For any woman interested in remodeling her bathroom in a similar fashion, what are some necessary tools and some ideal tools to own or rent?
- Cordless drill with extra battery back up
- Set of good quality drill bits
- Basic tools like a screwdrivers, hammer, level
- Safety glasses
- Gloves — heavy and light duty
- Trowel — size based on tile selected
- Tile spacers — based on grout thickness
- Tile float for grouting
- Taddle bit for mixing mortar and grout
- 5-gallon buckets (2 or 3 of them)
- Large sponges
- Utility knife
- Tape measure
- Paint supplies (pan, brush, roller, painters tape, dropcloth)
- Tile cutter and tile saw (I borrowed a friend's because I needed it for five days. And you nee outdoor space to cut tile, it gets messy and is incredibly noisy!)
- Compound miter saw (I own this and use it regularly.)
- Sawzall: for demo (I ended up buying one for this project, not required but it makes heavy-duty demo easier.)
- A truck to pick up larger supplies (like a bathtub and pallet of tile) and take demo'ed materials to the dump or salvage yard
* I hired a plumber to do all of my plumbing work.
If there is one piece of advice you could give to a rookie or novice DIYer who wants to, for whatever reason, do a project this large in nature solo?
My biggest piece of advice is to plan and research as much as possible so that the unforeseen or unknown doesn't totally derail you. That includes watching videos on all tasks you need to do, creating a budget, schedule and having a person or two as a backup resource you can call in an emergency. Remodel is fun and incredibly gratifying, but it's also a big risk that you need to understand before diving into.