bathroom of the this old house reader remodel grand prize winning house
Photo: Laura Moss
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Labor of Love

Our contractor had just abandoned the project, taking with him thousands of dollars earmarked for construction materials and leaving us with gaping holes in the bathroom. You could see right through it from the first floor to the third. So with the little bit of money we had scraped together to hire another pro to fix the bath, we instead bought our plane tickets to Africa.

Upon our return, I did the bathroom myself using fixtures and finishes that people had donated, including a vintage claw-foot tub and pedestal sink from my mother-in-law and marble mosaic floor tiles from a generous neighbor, who had them left over from a job. It isn't perfect, but it works well for us. And having my daughter Zinash is so much better than a professionally installed bathroom. No question about it.

Shown: Mark single-handedly turned the bath from a feral-cat litter box into a charming retreat, featuring beadboard walls and a recessed medicine cabinet.
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