Let me introduce you to my old, 1973 turquoise fiberglass shower stall that needs to be replaced.
Drink it in, my friend!
All that rich brass and 70’s detailing….
Imagine how fashionable this was….30 years ago!
But this is 2016 and what was hot in 1970 is not what is hot and popular now!
As I explained in a previous post about the evolution of my master bathroom, this shower stall really has come a long way!
I’d tackled it with a laser focus 5 years ago when I saw all the mold behind the fake shower tiles…
…I fought the fear of what was lurking behind it as I warily peeled it off…
…I squirmed through the panic of “OMG, how am I going to fix this?! I don’t know what I’m doing!”…
…and I’ve jumped up and down when I realized, “Say whaaaatttt! I actually can do this?!!”
But now I’ve come to a crossroads:
I want this outdated fiberglass shower stall gone.
Nope…I don’t want to paint it like a reader suggested.
I do not want to just remove the door hang a shower curtain over it to hide it.
I’m tired of hiding and disguising.
I’ll just be very direct: I want a new shower.
I want the works: a nice, clear glass door with beautiful tile inside, maybe iridescent tiles that remind me of beautiful pearls…
But here’s where this shower stall replacement gets tricky.
The Professional Said It Would Cost Nearly $6,000
Let that soak in for a second: $6,000.
Think of all the amazing things you could do for $6,000:
Buy a used car.
Take an amazing family vacation.
Buy every piece of clothing in a thrift store.
There’s no way I could imagine paying $6,000 for a new shower.
Nor do I want to go another 5 years with trying to cover up an old shower stall that has lived its life.
Which means, I must tackle this project myself.
I, dear reader, am going to rip out my fiberglass shower stall and replace it.
And this scares me to death.
How to Tackle a DIY Project That Scares You to Death
You’ve probably been in this situation, too: not having money to do something but really wanting it done.
The fear is real.
What if I mess it up?
What if I kill or injury myself?
What if I create a bigger project than if I had just left it alone??!
But I do believe that most DIY projects can be done by regular ‘ole people like you and me. It’s just a matter of getting the right tools, the right information, and the confidence to at least try it.
Some projects are better left to the professional–like–I’d never try to rip out all the plumbing in my house, install a new roof, or rewire my house!
But a shower stall?
Oh, yes. It’s on!!
And if you’ve been as scared as me to tackle a DIY project that you’ve never done before, here are some tips that will get us through it!
TIP #1 – Make YouTube Your Best Friend
What in the world did we do before YouTube?? Like, seriously. How did we learn? YouTube is the best invention known to mankind. LOL. I’ve learned so many things from their free video tutorials from the communities!
Since deciding that I’m likely going to tackle this shower removal and installation myself, I’ve been watching as many tutorials as possible! I’ve shuffled them all into a special playlist that I’ll be able to re-watch as I’m going along.
My Favorite DIY Home Improvement tutorials!
Here are some of the videos that have been soooo helpful in learning how to do home improvement projects in my home!
- Best video tutorial for How to Install Crown Molding
- Best video for How to Replace a Toilet
- Best video for How to Hang Drywall on Walls
- Best video for How to Use a Sliding Miter Saw
- Best video for How to Cut Porcelain Using an Angle Grinder
I’m still on the hunt for the best video tutorials on removing a shower stall and tiling a shower, so I’ll keep you posted! 🙂
TIP #2 – Phone a Friend
If you’ve got a friend that knows what in the world they’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask! I’ve got a contractor friend named Edmundo and I call on him when I don’t know what in the heck I’m doing (he taught me how to replace my exterior door). He’s always nice enough to come over to help! If I can just have him walk me through what to do, I don’t mind doing the heavy work. I just need someone to say, “Okay, step 1 do this, step 2 do that.” If you have a friend that can help, by all means, ask them!
TIP #3 – Imagine Your Worse Case Scenario
When it comes to plumbing, I’m scared there will be a water leak that causes thousands of dollars in damage and mold. When it comes to electrical projects, I’m afraid fires will start or I’ll shock the crap out of myself and die. When I climb a ladder, I fear of falling off (which is why I never climb too high!). And while these are real struggles, I think knowing what could happen helps to plan ahead so that you can prevent those things from happening.
Maybe have someone spot you on the ladder. And learn how to turn off all the electricity to your house. And learn where the main water shut off valves are. Learn what to look for when checking if you’ve done the job right (e.g. water leak tests). And if the worse that could happen means you’ve got to call in a professional to finish the job, maybe it means it will cost $3,000 and not $6,000. 😉
But I really think the more you research and take notes, you’ll know how to reduce your chances of worse case scenarios coming true!
TIP #4 – Make a List and Check It Twice
What materials do I need to complete the project? For this bathroom shower stall removal, I have everything I would need to rip it out, including the power tools to cut out pieces of the shower stall (with a reciprocating saw, and maybe a grinder to cut around sensitive areas). I’ll be making a list of things needed, and will keep checking in which Edmundo or people at Home Depot to see if there is something I’m missing.
Download the free checklist!
I’ve created a Master Materials Checklist that you can use to check off all the supplies you need to complete your project! Just enter your first name and email now!
TIP #5 – Keep Telling Yourself How Much You’re Saving
This is why I love free estimates. They’ll tell you how much it will cost to have a professional do it. So while you’re knee-deep in a project, you can keep repeating to yourself, “I’m saving $6,000. I’m saving $6,000, I’m saving $6,000.” LOL. I think if you keep that in mind, you’re more likely to keep going when you start having doubts.
TIP #6 – Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Professionals get the job done quickly and efficiently. They’ve done it 1,000 times. Us?? It will take 3-4 times as long simply because we have to stop and research and make sure we’re doing it right, fix mistakes along the way, etc. That’s why I probably won’t include the shower as part of my 30-Day Room Makeover Challenge because I can guarantee it would take longer than 10 days! I am aiming for the New Year, though!
TIP #8 – Think About How Much Smarter You’ll Be
This should be #1. This reason matters soooo much! I absolutely love home improvement and the idea of growing my skillset gets me all giddy inside. 🙂 When I taught myself how to put up crown molding, it was the best feeling of pride and accomplishment because I learned something! It’s a skill that I can always have, no matter whether I’m DIY’ing my own house or helping out someone else. And that feels amazing. (P.S. The crown molding has yet to fall down on anyone’s head–success!!).
TIP #7 – You Can Always Start a Project Fund!
This is probably good to have regardless of whether you’re doing a project yourself or not. You’ll need a little fund to draw from in the event you can’t finish a job or run into a problem. I know that this project will take $4,000 – $6,000. So most big projects like this will cost thousands. Best to start saving in case another project comes up that needs to be done professionally! I wrote a post about legit ways to make money online, so you could alway do some of those ideas and set that money aside in a little fund.
I’ll admit that my nerves won’t stop until I have completely ripped out my shower stall and have bathed myself in it at least 10 times without it blowing up. HA! Maybe then I’ll feel confident!
In the meantime, I’ll keep researching, keep asking questions, and keep taking notes on the next steps.
My house deserves to be updated and beautiful, but I shouldn’t have to pay $6,000 to make it happen! And neither should you. 🙂