The state of that room - the grungy floor, the rusty tub, the peeling walls and ceiling had finally gotten to be too much for my husband, so he broke out the tile, the dry wall, the 350-pound cast iron tub ... and took the whole room down to the studs. And then, he paused. Because he had absolutely no idea what he was doing.
"Uh, Jen. Is it too late to change my mind and stop right here?"
But we're part of a small group and one of the men that come to our home every Sunday evening, had remodeled a bathroom or two, and he encouraged my husband that he could do this. Charlie was also encouraged by his big brother, Steve, who is a licensed contractor in California. So my husband went to Home Depot, bought a big orange book on Home Improvement 1, 2, 3 and started reading.
Several weeks passed.
Six to be exact, before he summoned the stamina and courage to do the next thing.
Over the course of the next four weeks, and with the tremendous support of Steve via telephone nearly every day, and numerous YouTube videos that Charlie watched and has him convinced he can do ANYTHING with the help of the internet, he installed a new tub ... plumbing ... lighting ... insulation ... drywall ... and then, tile.
All by himself. This is the finished product and although you cannot see the intricacies of his handiwork, believe me when I say it is flawless. I'm so proud!
On the opposite side of the tiled bathtub wall, is another bathroom: the bathroom adjoining the master bedroom. Now that he has a very good idea of what to do and has one remodeled bathroom under his belt, this week, while I was at a business trip in California, Charlie decided to start demolishing the master bathroom. When I returned home late last night, he was still working at taking the tile down.
At first, he was smashing the wall with a sledgehammer, but when I told him I was afraid he was going to crack the beautiful tile that he had just installed on the opposite wall, he delicately began chipping away at the three-inch concrete with his hammer, one tile at a painstaking time.
He's calling this his "Shawshank Redemption" remodel because at this pace, he thinks it'll take him two life sentences to complete.