Living next door to the in-laws has its rewards. When Kevin and Jennifer Johnson, owners of a 1917 foursquare in tight-knit, family-centric Lowellville, Ohio, redid their only bath, Kevin looked for help from neighbor Bob Coppola—aka Jennifer’s dad—and a network of local suppliers and advisers.
From an aunt, who, coincidentally, lived in the house 60 years ago, they learned that the space once held a kitchenette. That explained its generous footprint, but not, as six-foot-one Kevin puts it, having to "scrape my knuckles on a lowered ceiling while showering in what felt like a cave." He and Bob took the room down to its studs; replaced pipes and wiring; popped in a new vanity, tub, toilet, and sconces; and crafted new casings. They finished with paint custom-tinted by Bob, a retired painting contractor.
A plumber friend provided know-how, and the only paid help was the tile installer. Says Kevin, "I like that we did it ourselves—and everything works." See more in DIY Bath Renovation: From Dated to Sophisticated