Big Changes to a Small Bathroom – From Hatch to Drain

Hi everyone! So for this post, the man behind all of this remodeling work, my husband Mark, is going to write about our recent bathroom remodels.

Mark here. I appreciate Margaret giving me the chance to make my first guest post here on M&M renovation.

The half bath was in desperate need of some help. The bathroom door opened into the kitchen and collided with the door to the garage if they were both opened at the same time. Along with that, the ceiling paint was peeling, the vanity mirror was missing with only a large hole in the wall for where it used to be, and the bathroom had an old smelly smell. Cover your eyes! Here’s a before picture of the bathroom.

half bath before

This is a small bathroom, 3-1/2 ft wide x 6ft long.  Our goals for this remodel were to maximize home resale value in the most cost efficient way while creating a bathroom that we like. The wall behind the toilet connects to a small 3-1/2 ft x 3-1/2 ft room with a door to the garage. This odd room only had a crawl space access hatch.

Now up to this point in my remodeling career, taking out a wall is something I haven’t done. This space behind the toilet has the unique potential to be converted into a shower – just have to hop over the toilet to get to the shower – that’s not going to work…

Okay so now we’re talking moving the toilet and taking out a wall!? Margaret and I aren’t so sure we’re up for this. I move the toilet and vanity around the room seeing how I can arrange everything. That’s when we realize one very important thing – with the toilet positioned on the long wall, sitting down on the toilet becomes an awkward task. When sitting down on the toilet you naturally you lean your upper body forwards a bit, but with a wall so close there’s no room to lean forward. I’ll save showing you the picture of Margaret testing this out! Back to the drawing board this design isn’t going to work.

The toilet was moved out of the way into the garage. Most of the time during our early months in this house there was a toilet in the garage from which ever bathroom was being worked on. Our neighbors must think we’re trying to make a bathroom in the garage.

After brainstorming ideas for the layout and drafting it out on paper, I’ve got the design down. The bathroom door now needs to move too! This is turning into a whole series of home renovation items I’ve never done before – removing a wall, cutting into another wall for a new doorway, and running drain plumbing for the new toilet location. Somewhere along the way I just told myself I’m going for it and mustered up the courage to start the demolition.

It’s best to get the demolition out of the way early – and that’s the fun part too! Margaret doesn’t like demolition much, maybe it’s only a guy thing to think it’s fun? Reciprocating saws, pry bars, hammers, what’s not to like? Here’s a picture of the half bathroom with the wall partially removed.


I found a nice surprise when I opened up the wall (doesn’t that always happen?). The plumbing vent piping had come apart and there was black mold on the drywall from leaking water from the pipe. I was glad to get that smelly drywall out. Vent piping was rerouted out of the way and the leak fixed.

Next it was on to moving the door. Here’s a picture of the old door location with new drywall and around the corner where I moved the door to.

Door Moved!

I made a new crawlspace access in the hall closet and repaired the joists and subfloor in the old room off the garage. I ran plumbing for the new toilet location, vanity location, and new shower. Short crawl spaces are tough to work in. This was the tough part of the project – doing all the work that’s hidden behind the scenes.

I decided to custom pour the shower base from cement to avoid the overly pricey preformed bases available and to get the exact size I needed. Custom shower cubby holes with lots of room for the wife’s shower items are definitely essential in this project. Here’s a picture of the shower in progress:


The entire shower was coated in a green waterproofing membrane and then tiled. Margaret was the chief style coordinator for this bathroom and decided on some nautical modern design choices. Distressed white washed wood tile, teal glass tile, river rock shower floor, and a beige tile to tie it all together. Also a glass shower door and new toilet. This turned out really nice and a big change! Here are the after pics minus some new corner shelves I put in:

IMG_7834    IMG_7820


Fitting this all into a compact 9ft x 3-1/2ft bathroom is a very efficient use of space. This bathroom has officially become Margaret’s favorite bathroom of the house and she has claimed it as her bathroom.

That’s fine by me as I now get the bigger bathroom. Big design changes definitely paid off.






Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe Blog is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Rental House Done and Rented

Foyer area/Front door






Front Living Room


IMG_1458 IMG_1475 IMG_1217


thumb_IMG_7532_1024 thumb_IMG_7531_1024

Family Room/Living Room


IMG_1460 IMG_1455


thumb_IMG_7528_1024 thumb_IMG_7527_1024




IMG_7416IMG_1208 IMG_7414




Bathroom 1






Bathroom 2


IMG_1446 IMG_1447 IMG_1448


After – will look for more pics. Was painted, tiled, and new toilet.


Bedroom 1


IMG_1220 IMG_1221


thumb_IMG_7538_1024 thumb_IMG_7539_1024

Bedroom 2




thumb_IMG_7544_1024 thumb_IMG_7546_1024

Master Bedroom


IMG_7399 IMG_7400IMG_7401


thumb_IMG_7540_1024 thumb_IMG_7543_1024thumb_IMG_7542_1024

Outside – front


Outside – back

thumb_IMG_7557_1024 thumb_IMG_7559_1024

Rental House

Life has been busy these past few months! We bought another house in February and we are fixing it up to rent out. I will put up pics of when we first got it. This is the progress and some before. We hope to have it done very soon. We will take a break and then get back to the house we live in. More pics will be put up of our other house soon.



IMG_7427 IMG_7426 IMG_7425 IMG_7424IMG_7429



IMG_7422 IMG_7421 IMG_7420 IMG_7419

Laundry room

IMG_7418 IMG_7417


IMG_7416 IMG_7415 IMG_7414

Family room with fireplace


IMG_7411 IMG_7410

Living room



IMG_7406IMG_7407 IMG_7405 IMG_7403


IMG_7402 IMG_7401

Master Bedroom

IMG_7400 IMG_7399


IMG_7397 IMG_7396

Front of house

IMG_7439 IMG_7437

I will put up more recent pics soon. The hardwood floors are finished and shiny now. The kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms are being tiled by Mark currently.

The Tear Down

In the last post I said there was a big project we’ve been working on. We are adding a shower area to our second bathroom! This bathroom was formerly a half bath and fairly small but now it will be a full bath. The area that we expanded back to was the former crawl space “room.” Yeah, the crawl space entrance had it’s own “room” and door in the garage devoted to it. LOL We moved the crawl space entrance to the cleaning supplies closet. As you can see in the pictures, we brought down the wall dividing the two rooms. We are in the process of filling in the former door entrance.


half bath

After (still in progress):

IMG_4616 IMG_7079 IMG_7086

As you can see in previous posts, the location for the laundry items was moved to a former storage area. That move caused an empty area in the kitchen that needed to be filled. The former plumbing connections had to be covered over as well. We debated for a while for what would be best to put there.



We decided to put another set up white cabinets. More storage and counter space, yes!! The bottom cabinet was cut in order to match the height of the other cabinets.

IMG_7117 IMG_7119

After: (still in progress)


We did a few small changes including putting up blinds in the kitchen and 3rd bedroom and changing out the old fans in the living room. We also finished up the flooring by adding in stained dividers to match the floor.



IMG_7128 IMG_7132 IMG_7137 IMG_7138

We found an awesome and practical addition for my work. A new desk! Well, new to me LOL. As you can see in the picture, it has a wood top with LOTS of space for my computer and other items. It has two drawers and the bottom area is painted black and a little worn. (adds that country look that I like ;-))In this picture, it has my(Margaret) BS degree from Purdue to give me some inspiration as I do my work endeavors.


Stay tuned to see the project we are working on in the other bathroom! Hint: It involves great smelling cedar wood. 😉

House Update – fireplace, laundry area, 3rd bedroom, and….roof!

Hello again everyone! It’s been a while since the last posting but projects were worked on. We also went on a week long, much needed vacation to Colorado. We intend to fill our walls with our pictures from there! So pretty!

We’ve just about finished our fireplace project. The fireplace area was OK looking before but we felt it lacked proper color and contrast. Here’s some pics to show how the work went down.

IMG_4979 IMG_4993 IMG_4994

Our fireplace has fangs!!


Needs some transition trim between the wood floor and the tile but is just about done.

We also FINISHED the laundry area!! Woo! Added in shelves for towels, laundry stuff, table clothes, etc. Then added in louver doors and put the trim back.

IMG_5025 IMG_5033 IMG_6322

Then we got started on the 3rd bedroom. Ripped out the LAST of the smelly carpet! Another woo! Filled holes and painted. Next will be installing flooring. I think we’ve got this room thing down to a pattern haha!



IMG_5023 IMG_5022 IMG_5021


Here’s what we have so far.

IMG_5029 IMG_5028 IMG_5027

The overall roof is good but, as you can see from these pics, the ridges were not doing so good.


image_1 image


Mark cutting the ridge shingles.


IMG_6332 IMG_6328

Also, another little fun buy for our front porch…teal chairs! I’ve been eyeing these at Lowes all summer. Got them on sale a month ago. Score! Would love to add a little table and/or outdoor pillows on them.

Love my chairs! Sorry for the leaves on the porch. It’s been super windy around here!

Now that we are back from our awesome vacation, we will be back to work on some larger projects. I haven’t even mentioned one of our larger projects that we will be tackling soon…stay tuned to find out what it is!

House Update – Bathroom and Living room

Hey everyone! We have some more updates to catch you all up on. Family came to visit last week and this weekend, so M&M had a break! Before that though, we were like busy bees doing projects. I’ve been inquired why I (Margaret) don’t take pictures of all the processes being done. Well, I will answer that here. I’m the other hands making these processes happen! haha Certain projects and objects are a bit much for just Mark to handle and he needs another set of hands. 🙂 Below are some of the things we’ve been doing. Check it out!

Bathroom vanity before:

This is the original bathroom vanity. We put it on Craigslist if anyone is looking for a vanity this size. It’s pretty good quality but just not the style we were wanting.



Bathroom vanity after:

This is the new vanity! It’s a beautiful granite top that we just love. Gradually, the bathroom is coming together.



Living Room before:

Just want to note that earlier pictures of the living room are located in older posts. Once rooms are completely done, we can put the whole progression of it together. As you can see in these first pics that we ripped out the carpet (which was very smelly). Of all the rooms, I’ve been looking forward to working on the living room the most. lol

IMG_4941  IMG_4944 IMG_4946

We painted the living room a light gray.



Here’s Mark in the midst of putting in the same wood laminate floor seen throughout the other rooms.



Living room after:

Here is the living room with the paint done and the flooring almost done. We still have to put in transition pieces to the kitchen and the exterior doors. The trim also is going to be nailed in soon. We will also hang some pictures on the walls very soon too.

IMG_4967 IMG_4970


Our living room is an interesting shape which includes an area for a table near the kitchen. We wanted to put ours in the kitchen which leaves an awkward space in the back of the living room. I came up with the idea of a reading nook in the back corner. Fun fact about me….I love to read! This layout may change someday when we get or make a larger second table. For now though, this works great. 🙂


This is another area of the living room that is a different shape. I’m still trying to figure out what makes sense in this area. For now, there’s extra chairs and a lamp. For the wall, we were thinking of putting some of our pictures in a collage. (with frames) Maybe a family or vacations wall?


Here is the tile we plan to do on the fire place. We also have to put back the glass in front of it as well once that’s done. Then we have to figure out the tile to go on the bottom areas. Probably a gray toned one.


So that’s what we have now. I love seeing the whole house done at the end, but I have to admit, I love seeing the progression as well. I’ve learned for myself that sometimes the travel to get to a goal is just as important as getting to the goal. We love to put hard work into things and see and enjoy the results afterwards. The work makes the enjoyment even more. 🙂

Stay tuned for updates soon!

House Update – Hallway, Foyer, and 2nd Bedroom

The past week or so has involved our 2nd bedroom remodel and hallway/foyer remodel. This included ripping out carpet, filling drywall holes, sanding, painting, flooring, and putting back the trim. We are also continuing on with our bathroom projects. Pictures for that will probably be next week. Here’s what we got.

2nd Bedroom Before:




2nd Bedroom After:



More Hallway (and now Foyer) After:

We painted and put down laminate wood flooring, as seen throughout other rooms. We do plan to change out the front door for one with a window. I love sunlight so more the more the better. We may also paint the door we plan to get a turquoise/teal color. We’re in the process of adding closet doors to the laundry area. It’s becoming a little bit of a struggle because they may be a bit close to the washer/dryer. It may involve changing the washer door to the other side.



IMG_4922 IMG_4920


My garage sale find! We wanted have some sort of coat hanging/key placing area near the front door. Currently, it’s being used for nail and hearing protection storage. I promise this will change eventually. lol Mark feels it’s good to keep these items in an easy place to find them. 🙂 Gotta keep this M&M remodeling machine running so I agreed.


Stay tuned for more updates soon!

House Status – Coming along in many different rooms!

For today’s post, I’m going to present which projects we’ve done, are doing, and will be doing all at once for each post. There always seems to be multiple projects going on with ones “on deck.” haha I guess you could call this the “progress report” then. Today, luckily, we will be taking a break for the evening and going to a concert in the park near us. As a good friend of mine told me, it’s important to take a break every once in a while. As exciting as these projects are, it does become overwhelming and it’s important that we refresh. Gotta make sure we squeeze in our M&M time too! So before I bore you too much, here’s our progress report. 🙂

Laundry Room Before (not the total beginning though – that’s found in an older post):

Here we have all of the drywall and drywall mud up for the laundry area. Also, we pulled out the carpeting in the hallway, so what you see is the OSB sub-flooring.

IMG_4852 Here’s my goof wanting a picture of his hand and painting the inside of the laundry room. IMG_4862 IMG_4867

Laundry Room After:

Painted, base trim, and flooring all in! IMG_4876

My washer and dryer that sing to me before and after they’re done. I probably love that WAY too much. lol IMG_4903

Putting in more hallway flooring. IMG_4899

Kitchen Before:

Disclaimer: Kitchen is not done yet but will get there eventually. The kitchen originally was not horrible but just isn’t our taste. We wanted to go a little more modern and the roosters just didn’t make the cut. lol

kitchen2 kitchen3 kitchen4 roosters

Kitchen After:

We want to go a little more neutral with our colors so we went with a semi-gloss grayish white for the walls. We now have a fridge and stove in there. We want to replace the counter tops and put up a back splash. Cabinets will probably fill the area that was formerly for the laundry. Crown molding around the room may be a possibility to add a nice touch because we feel the edges around the ceiling are a little dull right now. Maybe the roosters were important to the design?hmm…….nah! IMG_4883IMG_4881IMG_4888 IMG_4885

Back splash to go up in the kitchen. We are also going to do this on the fireplace. 🙂


Bathroom Before:

Disclaimer: Well, just like all of the other disclaimers…not done. Here is the larger bathroom of the two. The wall color is WAY too dark for our taste. It was a very dark brown. So as you can imagine, we want to lighten up this room and add a little more “airiness.” For some reason the shower picture came out with blue walls? Not sure how that happened. full bath 2 full bath1 full bath4

Bathroom After:

We painted the bathroom the same color as the kitchen. It does seem very bright but we will definitely have other colors and decor in there. We plan to replace the counter top, put back the mirror and lights, and put in tiling or wainscoting in that lower half. I’m voting for wainscoting, but we’ll see. We just got our counter top last night and love it! Can’t wait to put in in. 🙂

IMG_4868 IMG_4902

Well, that’s where I’ll leave you for now. Plenty more to come soon!

Laundry Room – before the finish

So, a laundry room did NOT exist in this house when we got it. The laundry hookup was in the kitchen. Well, we didn’t mind having the extra storage with these built in cabinets in the hallway and bathroom. However, it seemed like the perfect area to put a washer and dryer (stacked) and some shelves. Besides, the drawers were hard to open, the inside was smelly, and we weren’t particularly fond of the previous paint choices…

Before pics:

Here are pics of the before of these and with the drawers and cabinets taken out.




We put in proper sub-floor. Then we filled in the open part of the wall where the bathroom is. Next, we put in the connections for the washer and dryer. Lastly, we put up drywall to make proper walls.






We are going to be finishing off the drywall, painting the walls, putting in floors, and we’re getting the washer and dryer very soon. Stay tuned!