Same Story Different Day

The Builder and I were watching HGTV the other night (he'll tell you it's the only channel I watch - not true, I just love Property Brothers, Rehab Addict and Fixer Upper...well, and Sarah's House and Candace Tells all, but those two don't have new episodes anymore, bummer!!). You know, any place I can get ideas! 

Anyway, Fixer Upper was on and they opened up a wall and found water damage. And The Builder informs me he's afraid that's what he's going to find when he opens up our master bath shower. What? OK, there's a small hole along the baseboard on the outside of the wall, but it could be anything. Right? All he does is look at me. Yeah, probably not anything. Probably more shower tile that the grout is now leaking like it did last year in the kids bathroom upstairs. You know, the one that still has the temporary vanity and no bathroom mirror. Yeah. The Builder also informs me that since that's a load baring wall, we need to open it up and check sooner rather than later.  

Don't get me wrong. I am beyond ready for a bathroom update.  Take a look at what I currently have:
This shower is 34 x 30. A tiny shower. And look at those glass blocks!!!! I've seen other houses in the neighborhood - it's not original. Someone, at one point, chose to put that in. They were also leaking when we first rented the house but The Builder came in and put clear silicone over the grout lines. Overall, it's a functioning shower (and remember, this is the shower six people shared when he was renovation upstairs!!) but there is nothing about it that says master bath. I've also indicated where it's leaking (that we know of!!) which isn't apparent at all from the shower side. But take a look at the wall on the other side:

The stairs are to the left and the right opens to the dining room. That right corner is also load baring. Thankfully, we don't see any damage to that beam. This, in comparison to the upstairs bathroom, is mild. We've cleaned it up to leave it open to dry out for now but 4th of July weekend, we have plans to start our next renovation.

Here's a close up of what it looks like:


I swear, the hole was small. Like someone kicked the wall by accident coming downstairs (yeah, I don't know how you kick a wall by accident, but I have boys, so it could happen!). The Builder brought out his sawzall to open up the wall....but, it wasn't needed.  He just barely tapped it and it opened right up. No question is was water damage at that point. Might I add, this is the first thing you see when you enter my front door. Giant gaping hole. Fun. 

So, what do you do when faced with this dilema? Fix it and be done. A few new pieces of drywall, re-seal the grout, replace the hardy board. A true weekend project. So that would be the easy thing to do. We rarely do the easy thing.

As you can see in the first photo, this shower is ridiculously impractical. There isn't room for a single shampoo bottle or bod wash. I can't tell you the last time I bought a bar of soap. We're a body wash type of family! I've been on Houzz and I'm seeing a trend towards "shampoo niches" so this is what we're going for. The other thing we opened up was this weird spot in our wall that we thought might be part of the load baring beam. It houses the ONLY electrical outlet in the entire bathroom (which is the vanity that The Builder claimed, of course). 

Yes, it's really a two plug outlet. Enter my hair dryer, his electric shaver, my flat iron, my electric toothbrush, my curling iron, my hot the very least, we should each have an outlet, right?! And you can see that this is about 10 inches off the wall.  It makes no sense whatsoever. 

So we have a plan.

The short term goal is to move his vanity to the right by about two feet. This will allow us to extend the shower to 54 inches wide. 34x54 is actually a normal sized shower (not super big, but almost double the width we have now). We have found shower pans online, which we won't be able to use since we are not moving the drain, but this will allow us to get rid of the hideous glass blocks and put in a standard glass shower frame. Since we're moving the vanity and the power, we're going to run power to BOTH vanities. Novel concept, right? "Eventually" we're going to build a new double vanity.

Right now we're picking out tile for the shower, which I think we've made a decision on, and pricing shower doors. I wanted a seamless glass frame but that may not be cost effective.  

Here's a few ideas for my inspiration
Traditional Bathroom by Etobicoke Design-Build Firms Design Excellence
This is about the size I'm thinking the final shower will be.  See the shower niche in the wall?  Love it! Practically speaking, we won't be tiling the ceiling, but it is lovely.

I like these vanities, particularly the bump out with the extra storage:
Traditional Bathroom by Edina General Contractors REFINED LLC

And since we're going to be opening up the wall on my side to run additional power, might as well go all the way and add some pretty shelving:

Traditional Bathroom by Clemson Architects & Building Designers Studio 511

I'm working on the final design board now. Stay tuned!