Okay, so I told you guys I’d be back to share more details about the specific remodels I did. First I did the kitchen remodel, which I will talk about in the upcoming blog, but I’ll get started on the bathroom remodels. For me, I wanted my guest bathrooms to be remodeled, but the MAIN reason I did a remodel on them is because neither of them had hot water running to them. The architect was going to have to dismantle all that plumbing in the shower, destroying the tile etc. to get that done, so I figured for a couple thousand dollars I would just do a full remodel on each to update them.
I am in LOVE with marble, so I elected to have the sinks/counters be constructed of marble. Yes, even the sinks are marble as you can see in the photo! They are beautiful and I love them so much! I of course added new, water saving toilets to each bathroom as well, not only are they nicer looking and new, but the fact that they save water is a super plus. Luckily, the utilities here in Colombia are not so bad. For one month of water, gas and electric in a 3 bedroom, 3 bath apartment here, you can expect to pay anywhere between $80-$100. This depends of course how energy efficient and water saving you are trying to do. I also have a washer/dryer combo (very uncommon in Colombia) but with al the humidity here I’ve found it takes 2-3 days for your clothes/bedding to dry and as I am currently running a successful Airbnb I just don’t have that kind of time to worry about getting linens dried for my guests.
So, the bathroom remodels included removing all the tile on the walls, new plumbing fixtures a new vanity, floor tiles, a nice fresh coat of paint and a sealant on the bathroom ceilings which are made of slatted wood (very common in Colombia because it more easily allows the humidity to pass through the space. Also, there is usually always a window in the shower you have open to allow the water/steam to pass through as there are no ceiling vents for this as far as I have seen. Just as they don’t have/need air conditioning or heating, there are also no bathroom fans. For this reason the windows are very helpful. I elected for gray and white (which is reflected in the colors of the marble used) and I am very pleased with the final product. One day I may change the lighting but for now they are basic bulbs in the ceiling.
So, about the remodels, remember how I said remodels can be a thing of frustration here in Colombia if you are not mentally prepared for constantly changing deadlines? Please don’t take this lightly. If you mentally prepare yourself for the “delays” then you will be much less anxious, stressed, irritated, frustrated etc. I was not mentally prepared, and was hoping/assuming I’d have the bathrooms up and running on the schedule that my architect provided to me. But this was not the case. This job ran just under 6 weeks over the original deadline my architect and I had discussed. Mainly, because my architect has/had many jobs to complete at once. I mean, who doesn’t want more money right? But at the same time, I like to know that my job and the services I’m paying for are also taking some type of precedence. So, please, for your sanity, expect the deadline to be extended by at least 2 weeks. I believe this bathroom remodel (of 6 weeks over the deadline) is abnormal, but allow at least two additional weeks.
Many guests have already loved the new bathrooms as they just feel really clean and modern, I guess if that’s not your thing you wouldn’t fancy them so much, but for me, having an updated bathroom (with hot water!) was very important for me. I am very glad I did these, and I will soon be completing a remodel on the master bath as well, but for now (while I am living here) I am waiting. Although I will definitely be adding a bathtub in the master remodel. I love bathtubs and I’d say less than 1% of Colombian homes have a bathtub. Personally, myself I have yet to see one bathtub in other apartments, nor in the hotels, they have showers, although I know that there must be some that have a bathtub. They also are not big on hot water which is why I suppose it wasn’t hooked up in the guest bathrooms. They prefer cold showers, culturally, according to many Colombians I have talked to about it. In the US I know we are accustomed to having/showering with hot water so knowing my guests would be from various parts of the world I wanted to make sure that all my guests would be comfortable.
So have you bought an apartment here in Medellin? Are you looking to do a remodel? I hope that you have a great experience with it, just make sure to be clear and specific with what you want as many architects will take some “artistic license” unless you are very specific. Oh, and one other thing! You might think that the remodel comes with such fixtures being replaced (such as the towel and and toilet paper holders, but they are not. Once my remodel was “done” I was like, where do I hang the towels and toilet paper? And my architect replied simply, oh, we didn’t include those in the estimate we gave you for the project. They are easy enough to buy at Home Center (similar to Home Depot in the US) but it’s just one more thing that surprised me. Take that into consideration and if you want them included in the project make sure to specify that.