Tips on babies and bathroom conversions
So phase #99293 of our building work is finished, and we finally have two completed rooms in our house. Bizarrely, they were also the two most expensive, and one of them wasn’t even a room before. It’s our new bathroom, and new downstairs loo (converted / created out of a cupboard).
It’s been, erm, interesting having all this done around Eliza and also being pregnant at the same time. Luckily, because we had the downstairs loo done first it meant we didn’t have to move out when the entire upstairs bathroom was ripped out. No shower or bath made for some fun times though.
Thinking of having building work done yourself? From the benefit our our experience, here’s some tips:
Get a child-friendly builder. I only know this with hindsight, as ours has been brilliant. He has two children of his own, is friendly and decidedly non-sweary, tries to minimise the noise, tidies up each night as much as possible and also goes on lunch breaks during nap time.
Involve your child in it…if they’re interested. Although – thankfully – Eliza’s only been briefly distracted by the piles of tools and equipment perched perilously everywhere in the house, she is fascinated and is constantly asking ‘what’s that noise? What’s the builder doing?’ She now has a lot of building-related vocabulary, and apparently is inviting the builder to a party she’s planning.
Be out of the house as much as possible. Especially if there’s drilling going on that day. Drilling days are not good.
Your expectations may not lead to the most practical solutions. Be prepared to change your plans. Our bathroom plans changed so much as we went on (from my pre-baby urban dreams of exposed brick, metro tiles and a stand-alone bath to something far more child and budget friendly).
It will be complete chaos. At one point we had no bathroom, rubble everywhere, new bathroom in our front room, tiles in the dining room, 6ft flooring boards in the hall, a bath in our garden and dust everywhere. But it’s worth it in the end.
Next on our list, as well as the ongoing decoration and general stuff, is the kitchen. And after that, the loft extension.
The loft is our unofficial third bedroom; it was converted on the sly about 15 years ago and never finished (like so many things when we moved in). About the only proper thing the previous owner did was install Velux windows in the loft, so this is one thing we know we won’t have to replace. Because of the windows, it’s really light and airy up there and we also have a Mary Poppins-esque view over the rooftops of Bromley. We need to get the rest of the room up to the same standard now. Along with everything else.