Let It Rain!

by Telling Dad on October 25, 2011

Heather has long talked about wanting to add a full bathroom to our home because we just don’t have enough stress in our lives.

I can understand why she wants one. We have three children who treat our current bathrooms as second homes. But still, I just can’t yet justify the cost versus the reward. Then there’s the whole “we can’t afford it” issue. Although that’s made it possible for us to appear shrewd and practical. We’re not tight, we’re just savvy discerning shoppers!

According to Remodeling Magazine, the cost of adding a new bathroom ranges from an average of $40,700 for a 6′x8′ bathroom addition to an average of $78,400 for a 10′x10′ bathroom addition.

I can only assume these prices include diamond-encrusted toilet paper holders, gold-plated platinum faucets, and your own personal heinie wiper (referred to by the rich as a “buttler”) because I just can’t figure out how they arrived at these figures.

The quotes I received from guys who held an outstretched thumb to one opened eye ranged from a modest “three to five grand” to “you’re looking at about $7,000 if you go all out.” Even adding in Heather’s Wish List of a whirlpool tub, ceiling shower, and actual matching toilet wouldn’t push the cost over $10,000. You could also set aside another $10,000 for “unplanned incidentals” like a flat-screen TV, pool table, and mini-fridge, and STILL pay 50% less than the snooty magazine rate.

Could you justify spending $40,000 for a 6′x8′ bathroom that isn’t even capable of housing a tub? All you’d really get for your money is the luxury of options when it came time to pee. Between you and me, and anyone with a clear view of our backyard, I already have options. Lots of them.

They’re called trees.

As a man, I’m hardwired to be content peeing on anything but myself. And if drunk, even THAT is a judgment call. But Heather isn’t furnished with the equipment or lack of decency it takes to be able to drop trow in public, so her options when nature calls are pretty limited. As such, the only way she can enjoy the same ‘Stop, Drop, and Go’ advantage as men is to make sure multiple potty stations are located throughout the home.

Not wanting to begrudge her a creature comfort, but also knowing a bathroom addition wasn’t feasible, I looked into installing a ceiling shower so she could at least cross one item off her wish list.

I’ve never worked with plumbing before. And until this summer, I’ve never even really worked with a wrench before. Still, I thought it’d be a nice DIY project and a nice introduction into single-handedly destroying our home through self-confidence.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I didn’t have to lift a finger to give my wife a ceiling shower. Gravity and Kamryn’s bath time did it for me.

It's not a moon crater. It's our ceiling.

When taking a bath, Kamryn is known to expel more water from her holding tank than Shamu. If you’re in the vicinity of the bathroom, you’re in what’s known as the “Splash Zone.” Panicked swimmers don’t thrash around as much as she does and we have the repeatedly soaked floors to prove it.

We never really thought much of it until today when a pool of water bored a hole in our ceiling and cascaded into the office below. Apparently, the seal between the tub and our tile was cracked so water simply collected underneath. Over time, the water gathered, pooled, and gained mass until it finally broke free.

The water dripped steadily on our printer, computer desk, and less than five inches from our Power Supply unit that housed eight active plugs. I’m not sure what effect a bucket of water has on electrical current but I’m certain it can’t be good. While the water destroyed a lot of paperwork, damaged our ceiling, and made a mess of the office, I still consider us lucky because it could have turned out much worse. It could have hit my DVD collection.

For now, we’ve relocated the office into Kamryn’s room and relocated Kamryn into ours since she always ends up there anyway. It’s actually been a nice change and we’re now contemplating our options. Do we patch up the hole and return the room to its office glory? Or do we embrace this mini-flood as a head start to our addition?

I guess it all depends on how much we’d save with the ceiling shower already being in place. I’d hate to just return it to an office if the ceiling shower equated to like $5,000 of the $7,000 remodeling budget. If all we’d have left is some tile, a toilet, gold-plated faucets, and those diamond-encrusted toilet paper holders, then why not finish it up?

Even if we don’t opt for the addition, I’m still going to look into hiring my own personal heinie wiper. I just think it’d be nice to have someone to talk to while I’m in there. Not to mention the corny comedic value of always exiting the bathroom with, “Heather. Guess what? The buttler did it.”

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Gena Morris October 25, 2011 at 2:26 am

I think you are on your way to a new bathroom! Since you already saved on the ceiling shower, why not get the flat screen tv. Even better? That hand washing thing that looks like a drinking fountain. Hm or maybe it’s a tush washer. I don’t know! But it looks cool. Congrats!

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Karyn October 25, 2011 at 4:12 am

Wow, I would think that will be kind of a big deal to fix, and when you do may I suggest a completely fitted out fiber glass bathroom floor so now water has anywhere to go but whatever drain is close by? Alternatively you could get one of those tubs that has a shower screen across it as well – so her splashing will just end right back on her rather than your computer/office/priceless DVD collection!

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Karen C October 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

Oh my! Home reno’s. Now your talking my language. We are currently undertaking a makeover for the extension my hubby and best mate built 20 yrs ago and I swear any sort of update/change/newness moves at the pace of cold molasses here.
Before you start – do you have any idea how hard it is to choose a cupboard handle?? We are now 8 weeks in and the handles alone have occupied 3 of those weeks – AND WE STILL HAVEN’T GOT THEM!
This all began because one shower recess needed re-tiling. . . . .
So now, the kitchen is in but I can’t use it because we don’t have handles to open the cupboards. The painter is due next week and everything that belongs in the kitchen is spread around 3 rooms. But that’s not the worst.
Last night our 20 year old water-bed sprung a leak and we are now sleeping in the family room among the rubble.
It seems that no matter how small you start the whole house eventually goes out in sympathy.
Dear Heather,
You might want to think very carefully about this, coz it could end in tears.
Call me.

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MrsTellingDad October 25, 2011 at 5:20 am

Kamryn and I have a plan…ruin the floor and walls so that we have no choice but to remodel the current bathroom! I’m thinking luxury shower and my claw foot tub for soaking.

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Lesley October 26, 2011 at 12:03 am

Don’t forget the Butler!!

Karen October 25, 2011 at 6:23 am

Thought I caught you in a spelling error. It took me a moment to get “buttler”. Very nice pun – kudos!

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Jessica Meats October 26, 2011 at 3:08 am

There is not emoticon for a groan of despair at a terrible pun (or if there is, I need to learn it now). It’s a truly dreadful pun and I’m embarassed by how long it took me to get it.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All October 25, 2011 at 7:01 am

If the office is big enough can you just add a partial bath there for you and then redo the other bath for Heather? While I’m sorry to hear about the damage I;m glad it wasn’t worse and noone was hurt.
I remember when we added a bathroom. We did most of the work ourselves, except for hiring an electrician. Our friend is a plumber and he took care of well, plumbing, and we took care of the rest. The whole thing came in just over $3500. It’s small but it has a tub, shower, toilet, sink and linen closet. So small in fact that you can reach everything from everything else. For three weeks my house was in disarray. And here I was thinking it’d be simple and done in a weekend like it in on those DIY television shows…

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Joanna October 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

Oh TD, I am so so happy to have found your blog (by way of The Bloggess)…it never disappoints! Oh, and just a head’s up, we have been building our “dream home” for the past TWELVE years, yes, you read that correctly (although me having a bout with cancer while simultaneously giving birth to a child with special needs may factor in there somewhere) ….and my husband is a contractor. So you, good luck to you, or more, to Heather! ;)

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Carrie October 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

And to think I got totally out of my mind over wood floors in my bathroom.

Never thought of a flat-screen.

I’ll put that on my list of requests for when I have a loving husband. Cause being single and all, I’m pretty shrewd and practical, too. =)

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guineapigdude October 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

they probably added in the price of contractors to get that price.

We did our own bathroom, its small and took….4-5 years after the purchase of a tub.

And my dad is a contractor to. they don’t seem to like to do the work on fixing up you’re house when they live there.

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Karsen October 25, 2011 at 9:38 am

Good luck! We gutted our bathroom down to the studs this summer & did everything ourselves – moved all the plumbing, put in a 6′ tub & went from a single tiny sink to two. The room is about 70 square feet, we put in a new window (old one was cracked) granite top, slate floor & shower surround. I think we’ve spent about $4500. Would have LOVED a whirlpool tub, but those things are crazy expensive! The only big thing that doesn’t include is the glass shower door. They are super expensive too because nobody stocks them in 6′; around $2000!
It all depends on the materials you use, and if you get a contractor. The knowledge you get from your favorite home store is invaluable. The hardest part: moving the hot water baseboard. The most tedious: tiling & grouting. Plumbing & electrical was pretty simple, and we’ve never done any of it before!

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Mrs. T October 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

I say just take the plunge and get the full bath done. Kamryn isn’t going to be little forever and she’ll need her own as she hits tweendom. Better to do it now, so there is no argument with MrsTellingDad’s design. You wait until she has an opinion and it will take this project to a whole new level.

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Jaime October 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

it’s times like this when I’m thankful I rent….. if something leaks, breaks or gets damaged.. I just have to contact my landlord and he sends someone out the next day to fix it and it doesn’t cost me anything.

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mark @ yelling near you October 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

NASA must have been doing the estimates on those $40K+ bathrooms. My advice is to embrace your new water feature and turn the old office into the mediation room. Add bonsai trees, cover the floor with sand, get a rake and some rocks. With enough meditation, I believe you can will the urge to pee away.

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LeeAnn October 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I want a Buttler!

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Bella October 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I’m on team Heather. A woman definitely needs a bathroom with a tub and a whirlpool where she can de-stress and soak till her skin resembles a prune. I think the problem with the ceiling is the universe’s way of telling you it’s time to build this wonderful place of solace. :)

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Rachael October 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh, man that sucks. And something we’ve been living with ever since we bought this darned house 11 years ago. Last year, my husband redid out bathroom himself. He ripped everything out, retiled (floor to ceiling 12″ gorgeous granite looking tile) and replaced the tub, moulding, new sink, toilet, the works. Buying everything from Home Depot and on sale as much as possible, and doing 100% of the labor ourselves (most of it him) it still cost us about $3,000, for a very tiny 6×8 bathroom.

And my daughter is very much a splash-zone similarity to yours. Which necessitated our having to remodel the darned bathroom last summer.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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Jamie October 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

After 20 years of nagging, whining and begging the hubby and I did a complete DIY bathroom remodel . All I wanted was as stand alone shower stall. What I got was a claw-foot tub, shower stall that I could dance in and yes a flat screen TV. Go ahead, take the plunge, your wife will fall in love with you all over again and the flat screen will impress your buddies.

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Cris October 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

ha! we’ve been back to almost every house we’ve ever built (contractors) because homeowners do not know what “maintenance” is. you need to keep the caulking between the tub and flooring in good repair. anyone can run a caulking gun…it’s expensive to get the drywaller back over to fix those waterfalls that appear on the first floor!

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awesomesauciness October 26, 2011 at 8:24 am

Dude! You bought a grey toilet! I can’t even imagine a universe where a grey toilet wouldn’t be an unwise decorating choice…thank the gods.

That means, btw, that you don’t get to make any more decorating decisions. Let Heather have the bathroom she wants, and for the sake of all that is holy, stay out of it – figuratively and literally.

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Audra October 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Excellent description of bath time, if I may say so. We have a rule in my house: No splashing. If you are caught splashing, bath time “fun time” has ended and bath time “clean time” has begun. Once “clean time” is complete, its OUT of the bath for the offender.

Not because I care about my floors so much as I DESPISE getting my socks wet. If my socks get wet, you are out of that bathtub with a quickness. Mom and her socks do not play around!

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Melinda October 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Whoa! I wouldn’t even spent $7K on a bathroom. Why would you when you can have a boat instead. Floating on the biggest bathroom of all with no square foot limitation. I guess that’s not convenient in the middle of the night though.

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Julie October 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Consider yourself lucky that all that ended up in the office was water. When I was in middle school my best friend’s BATHTUB ended up downstairs on their dining room table! I kid you not, the floor/ceiling gave way from prolonged water damage and the entire unit plunged to the first floor. Two rooms destroyed in one fell swoop!

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Brian the Kwyjibo October 27, 2011 at 12:25 am

I assume you mean just No. 1 when you talk about doing your business outside wherever you happen to be when the urge arises. If you’re doing the stop, drop, and go for something that requires a wipe, just think–you have all members of the public as potential butlers. Jeeves…!

Probably a good idea to either install an actual ceiling shower or find ways to keep more of that bathwater upstairs. Letting it continue to drip down into the former office and considering that your shower could lead to a $40,000 repair of a 6′ x 8′ corner of your house.

Best of luck with whatever you decide!

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