If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Our story so far: In the midst of the framing and mechanicals phase of renovating the 126-year-old church into our home, we tackled showers. And it was like having a cold shower—a real wake-up call. The first quote was a doozy.

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We would have to make some compromises. We started by eliminating custom showers on the second-floor and in the basement; we could go with fiberglass surrounds for those showers—only our guests would be using them anyway. We also relegated the basement shower to Phase Eight when we tackled that level; we needed to get the main floor habitable first.

So Tyler went back to the acrylic shower guy and got a quote on the master bathroom shower only: Still $8,728 plus plumbing and fixtures.


We had two insurmountable hurdles for this shower. It was extra-large so we couldn’t go with a standard insert. And we wanted to maintain an openness in the bathroom that demanded two glass walls. “Extra large” and especially “extra large glass” were pricey.

OK, let’s get another quote, this time for tile. We approached a well-known area remodeler who sent a knowledgeable and efficient estimator to the church. He asked informed questions, performed detailed measurements amidst our dusty church and returned a professional, detailed quote: $12,500. Plus fixtures and plumbing.

Oh, boy.

Well, unless we left out a toilet and sinks, such a beautiful shower was still more than we budgeted for a master bath in the Tequila Budget.

This was a problem.

While shopping for cabinets elsewhere in the church, Tyler spied a do-it-yourself shower option that wouldn’t require us to tile. The material for the shower walls came in full sheets that could be cut to size.

Price for this do-it-yourself option? $7,414 plus plumbing and fixtures.

Well, we were getting warmer, I guess.

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Tomorrow: Serendipity in the form of a gentleman pays us a visit. Read about it here.

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