Rachel and Ben's Bathroom Renovation
Budget Savvy, Midwife Rachel saved over £5000 by getting her partner Ben and Grandad Michael involved.
Rachel and partner Ben purchased their first home, a 1930’s renovation project in March 2021, and the first room they decided to tackle was their family bathroom. They stripped it back to bare brick allowing them to rearrange the layout to make it a better fit for them.
With limited funds and no real time scale due to their handy downstairs wetroom, Rachel and Ben turned to Rachel’s Grandad Michael for help.
Michael, who turned 80 last year, is Rachel's go-to for all things DIY as his skills in plastering, woodwork, tiling, and brickwork are second to none. Rachel says Michael “will put his hand to absolutely anything. If he can’t fix it, in my eyes it’s not fixable.”
Rachel explains that her Grandad worked as a TV Engineer and has always been interested in electronics, tiling, and plumbing. During ‘the good old days’ he used to go to the library and learn from DIY books ‘before all this YouTube nonsense’.
Lucky to have a wetroom downstairs, Rachel says, “It meant that we could do the bathroom at our own pace.” This was a big relief for Rachel, who works long shifts as a midwife as it allowed her with the help of partner Ben and grandad Michael to fit work in where possible, and really enjoy the renovation process. Taking on the renovation themselves, without builders, also meant they could speed things up or slow down depending on their budget.
When asked how she’s feeling now that her dream bathroom is completed Rachel laughs and says, “now that it’s all done it’s obviously a big relief”. With one room ticked off their renovation list, it has allowed Rachel to switch off and relax after a long shift at work.
Working as a midwife can be a truly rewarding job but Rachel tells us “Midwives are very thin on the ground at the moment, so it is quite stressful.” However, she tells us that her new bathroom oasis helps her to relax. "It does make a difference having that little space that’s finished where you can go to sit and be quiet.”
Unable to contain her excitement Rachel treated herself to both a bubble bath and shortly after a shower as soon as the bathroom was complete. She tells us “For me, I absolutely love having a bath. I was so excited to have a bubble bath as soon as it was finished.”
When researching for her bathroom renovation, Rachel found Google shopping a useful resource for finding things on a budget, but she also highly recommends reading reviews.
Rachel was amazed at our prices being half the amount of competitors and wishes she had found Plumbworld sooner. “My experience with Plumbworld was really positive.”
Rachel admits she can’t take too much credit for the project due to her grandad’s involvement and hard work, but explains how vital it is to plan and really consider how you want to use the room as well as deciding whether anything needs to be repositioned.
The couple moved the bathroom around as the old layout didn’t work for them and Rachel was very clear on her vision, that the bathroom would be completed to suit them and not Rachel fitting around the bathroom.
Rachel is obsessed with the on-trend black and white contrasting theme and tells us “I love traditional stylish and period homes.” But she also wanted to ensure the bathroom didn't look too old, deciding to include a contemporary touch or two.
She might have splashed out on her dream shower head but Rachel recommends having a look on Facebook marketplace for cheaper items such as cupboards, giving them a clean and investing more on that one feature item you really want.
“If there is one feature that you are in love with get it,” Rachel tells us. Although this may not be good financial advice, she feels that she would still be thinking about the item she wanted if she had compromised. So even if it means waiting a little longer, why not treat yourself.
When asked what her biggest learning curve was, Rachel tells us to plan roughly when you want things completed as “it’s hard to get the motivation, especially when you’re doing it yourself.” She goes on to say, “Don’t stress yourself out doing it, and don’t put lots of pressure on yourself.” Take your time, work to your own schedule, and don’t overwork yourself are all things to take into consideration.
Rachel gives us one last piece of advice, “take loads of pictures.” When you sit back at the end of the project and look at the progress you've made, she says, “You feel such as sense of achievement.” If that doesn’t give you the motivation to start your own renovation project, I’m not sure what will.
Bath Taps - Park Lane Winchester Basin Taps
Radiator - Duratherm Classic Heated Towel Radiator
Shower - Luxura Square Grid Bath Screen Black
Shower - Park Lane Thermostatic Mixer Shower
Floor Tiles - RAK Symphony Gaudi A Tiles
Wall subway tiles - RAK Subway Metro White Bevel Décor Glossy Tiles
Rachel and Ben can be found on Instagram @beyond_the_bumblebee sharing the progress of their first home, a 1930s renovation project.
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