Upstairs Bathroom Renovation/Addition Part 1:

When we moved into our new house the upstairs was actually missing a bathroom. (yes, it is okay to judge our sanity after that first sentence…we did) Walls were there from what used to be but someone had started the demolition and never finished. We set in right away trying to put this part of the house back together. In addition to tearing out everything that was there the previous owners had started building what looked like a spot for a stall shower or a closet…we will never know.

Here are some before pictures of what we moved into:


Blake and a carpenter spent a day just tearing the floor up and finishing the demo. Lots of hardwood and linoleum came up and some of the old drywall came down. We also made the decision to add a pocket door between the sink area and the toilet/tub area. We will probably end up doing a post just on how to hang a pocket door because pocket doors seriously come with the worst set of instructions I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s like a picture book for a 3 year old. No words…only drawings by someone who, if I had to bet my house on it, probably isn’t an artist.


After adding rolls of insulation between the studs we started putting up drywall. Neither of us had ever put up drywall before. Want to test your marriage? Hang drywall after working all day.



Next came the mudding which Blake tackled on his own. (Note to ourselves if we do this again: lay it on THICK. It’s better to sand off extra then to wipe 3+ times.)



Then we sanded. We pretty much prepared for a zombie apocalypse before doing this. We LOVE our 3M respirator masks and are so glad we invested in them! We hung plastic all around the outside of the bathroom so dust would stay as contained as possible. Next we rigged up our shop vac to blow out the window. MAJOR NOTE: unless you have a fine particle filter for your shop vac (they don’t come ready with those) it will not catch drywall dust. You will turn around and see a giant white cloud which if it gets into your air system let’s just say you will get a white Christmas early. So…. This is how we prepared for drywall dust battle 2012.


The feeling of seeing actual walls is the best feeling in the world after all you’ve seen for what feels like eternity is studs. The shape of the bathroom really starts to come together. Blake says this is that turning point in renovation for him. Not I…my turning point is paint. Next we primed the walls in “new wall primer”. That stuff is about $12 a gallon and spreads reallyyy well so that’s all we needed and we even had probably a third of the can leftover. Super. We can add that to the paint store I seriously could run out of the basement.

Capture before and after

We’ll be back later with Part 2 which covers the floor, paint, trim, and the final product!

10 thoughts on “Upstairs Bathroom Renovation/Addition Part 1:

    • blakeandkatiehoward says:

      Shannon, Thank you so much! Your blog was the first blog that I got hooked on and I actually still check it every day 🙂 We have what feels like an endless project but we love it. it’s a mess but it’s our mess. Thanks again!

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