Coming Updates for the Screened Porch, Along with the Master & Hall Baths

Welcome to the 687th Metamorphosis Monday!

I was hoping for this week’s Met Monday, I’d be able to share the two screened doors I had custom-made a couple of years back, installed out on the porch. Unfortunately, when the contractor and his crew arrived to install the doors, we discovered the doors were a tiny bit too snug for the openings.

Build a Screened Porch



When I ordered the doors, I had measured the openings exactly down to the 16th of an inch for the carpenter who would be building them. I communicated that information to him, thinking he would make them slightly smaller to allow for any variances since door openings on a screened porch are rarely perfectly square. The doors were almost the correct size but they turned out to be a tiny bit too snug. They needed a small amount taken off on one side so the doors would open/close easily.

My contractor, David, was able to get that done quickly by his crew, but I had to go out of town the very next day so that has delayed the installation. I can’t wait to share them in place on the porch sometime very soon. This Before/After has definitely been a long time coming!


I think I may have convinced David to build me a Little Free Library–at least he hasn’t said, no. 🙂 But I think we are probably going to conspire on renovating a bathroom first since that’s really what I need to have done the most.

Little Free Library, Neighborhood Library


I’m a little anxious about the whole bathroom renovation process, never having done a renovation of that kind before. I need to spend some time online and on Pinterest to get some ideas. For the master bath, I’m torn between two options: 1. A renovation that keeps the walls in place and just updates everything in a beautiful, efficient way, OR, a renovation where a couple of walls get removed and more major things take place–like moving the shower and adding a window–or maybe a few windows. I need to decide just how much I want to spend because as with any renovation, you can really go overboard if you’re not careful. At least baths and kitchens are two places where you usually recoup a lot of your renovation expense when it comes time to sell.

Also, I need to decide which bathroom to renovate first–my son’s old bathroom, which is the upstairs hall bath, or to go for the more expensive renovation first–the master bath. I lean toward doing the hall bath first just to get my feet wet since it’s been a while since I did a renovation of any type.


I will be a little sad to see this baseball wallpaper removed–it was an expensive paper and still looks as nice today as the day it was installed. I plan to keep both bathrooms light, bright, and pretty neutral in color. I may still go with wallpaper again for the walls–I love the look of wallpaper in a bathroom. I hope once I start looking online for ideas, I’ll get excited about these two bath renovations. Bathrooms don’t excite me the way adding on a screened porch did back in the day.


Do you find bathroom renovations exciting? If you’ve completed a recent bath renovation, I would love your input on what to consider and what to avoid during this process. Was there something you really wish you had known about going into your bath renovation? Anything you would do differently? One thing I’ll need to decide is whether I should keep the tub in the master bath or leave it off and only have a really nice shower. If you’ve been debating that decision for your own bath renovation, check out this previous post, especially the comments on that post! The comments were so interesting and helpful! You’ll find that post here: No Tub for the Master Bath: Good Idea or Regrettable Trend?

Baseball Themed Bath


I’m looking forward to sharing the screened doors in place soon!

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Susan, we did both of our bathrooms a few years ago. It is a very messy job but we did one at a time and that helped. We opted to remove both tubs and put large showers with glass doors and with benches built in as we are only getting older! HA! We used a product made in Kansas called Onyx instead of tile=looks so great and is a dream to clean. I hated the tile grout. Never looked clean no matter what I did. We also used LVT for the flooring that looks like wood. It is great and so easy to keep clean. We are still so pleased and everyone comments on how pretty they are. Hope you enjoy the end result and forget the process! HA!

  2. Hi Susan. I think you should think about doing your master bathroom first as that is the one you use everyday and I would think that your grandsons really like the baseball bathroom! We took out our tub and put in a big shower stall and are quite happy with that and honestly I haven’t even missed the tub. Happy planning.

  3. Heated floors!!! I renovated 3 bathrooms and put in heated floors below the tile. Life changing!!! When I renovated my kitchen 2 years later I also put in a heated floor below the tile. Not really that expensive, the don’t heat the entire floor. Just in front of cabinets and appliances or in front of vanity and commode. Best decision ever made!

  4. Good luck with your project! Am sure you will enjoy it more once you start selecting the items. My biggest petty peeve?….spending dollars on lovely updates and leaving the cheap plastic flush handle on the toilet, lol…
    I had a big whirlpool tub for 10 years and used it only in the winter…lined it and kept my potted geraniums and ferns in it, haha. Definitely a shower girl!
    If you have a HOA, make certain you are allowed to install one of those precious libraries. Some boards are ruthless!

  5. BamaCarol says

    We added on a large master bath 11 years ago when we added our elevator to our home. I refused to have a tub put in against the advice of the builder but we have never regretted it. We never take baths and the much larger shower with bench is perfect for us. We plan to age in place in our home and did what we wanted rather than thought about resale value.

  6. franki Parde says

    Oh, my goodness gal…here “we” are…I, too, have been thinking of a bathroom reno. Ugh! I know what I’d “like”…now to FIND it. You are WAY ahead in this game…I’ll be watching… Are you “thinking” of a dressing room, too, per chance…franki

  7. Definitely recommend heated floors and a recessed heat lamp just outside of your tub or shower. It’s what keeps me from freezing to death in winter…that and my heated jacuzzi. We replaced our tube with a walk in shower which is much easier to step into now that we’re older. If you go with a shower I recommend having a seat built into it. I think most do that now anyway. I’ve found it to be a necessity now that I’m older. The most difficult thing we ran into was finding a good shower head that could also be hand held and deliver enough pressure. The other thing I did when we renovated was reconfigured my vanity. I had an electrical outlet installed inside with a slide out shelf for my styling tools to rest on a piece of marble so I don’t have to leave it out until it cools down completely. It’s probably my favorite change I made. Bathroom renovations can be messy depending on what you do so be prepared but it’s worth it in the end.

  8. Diane King says

    I updated both of my bathrooms after I moved in. I immediately repainted and refloored both bathrooms to get a quick refresh. Later, I realized that the dinged up tubs needed replacement along with toilets, lighting and mirrors. I replaced the tub surrounds which were already fiberglass and tubs, too. I later realized that I had difficulty getting in and out of the tub so I replaced the master tub with a shower enclosure by Kohler that filled the tub space. I LOVE it! Cleaning is a breeze since I opted for a shower curtain instead of glass doors. It looks so fresh and clean! I had a new vanity cabinet, marble top and mirror added. I went with all white for a spa look. I accented with navy and aqua. My hall bath is ready for its makeover now. I will watch how you handle your reno before I start.

  9. Susan, first an overdue reply to my request for info on the Calista curling iron. I’m still hanging on to mine until more broken teeth make it totally unusable. Maybe a new alternative can be found by then. Regarding this bathroom post, I’m in exactly the same place, deciding how much renovation I’m willing to do on my 50-year-old bathrooms. I have the original silver foil wallpaper in one. It has cute line figures in showers and tubs. My friends and family have begged me to keep it. If I decide to redo, I plan to take a piece of some the leftover wallpaper and frame it for a new bathroom.

  10. Sally Ide says

    Hi Susan, I love reading all your very helpful and interesting posts!!
    We just built our home from scratch. Had the older home on small downtown lot torn down.
    For bathrooms please strongly consider putting in heated floors in both bathrooms. I didn’t think the cost was bad at all for the luxury it gives you. And will definitely contribute to keeping the whole room warm. A heater built into the fan and light is great also. I loved designing and choosing materials for our 4 and a half baths. Two sinks is a necessity in a master bath and in hall one too if you have room. I have been a Realtor for 35 years in Illinois and one thing I always hear my clients complain about is not having two sinks in every bath room, except powder room.
    Only wish I had done was to put more pretty marble tiles in my master bath on the lower walls and maybe use the ceramic marble look tile we had installed in shower, cover ceiling as well.
    You will never regret the heated floors even in Georgia. Oh also I have one shower with out a door and it doesn’t seem much colder than shower with a door. Love not cleaning it!! 🙂 Good luck with your renovations!!

  11. I renovated my main floor bathroom 11 years ago and my lower level bath 7 years ago. If you start moving the plumbing locations, that’s where your costs will really skyrocket. I also kept to my budget by using pieces right off the shelf, including granite countertops – nothing custom! I still got amazing looks in both bathrooms that have led to so many compliments from friends and family. I would do it this way if I ever renovate again.

  12. Sharyn Kimbrough says

    Susan, if you plan to “age in place,” I suggest a walk-in or “roll-in” shower. I have friends who can no longer step over a bathtub and that day will come for me too. Good luck. Love your blogs.

    • Yes, was going to suggest giving thought to if you might stay in your home. Check out a design concept called “universal design” which incorporates features for aging in place or special needs without looking institutional. Example, a walk in shower is way more practical than a curbed shower stall, or tub/shower – nothing to step over. Also shower entry width. I think if you keep one tub, and eliminate one it would not affect resale value much. Double vanities are way more practical; who doen’t want more storage? I think you take a Realtor’s advice in to consideration but do what works for you. We took out our pool several years ago and now have a lovely landscaped yard with a tree. Every Realtor we’ve told we removed the pool looked horrified but it worked for us (never used it, have no maintenance costs now, and would have cost as much to repair as it did to take out).

  13. Susan, I love your screen doors & am especially drawn to the dragonfly. Can you please tell me if the dragonfly is cut into the wood or painted or ???

  14. We have done several bathroom renovations. In one house we took out walls and increased the size of two bathrooms, added windows, and moved the plumbing. In our current house, we kept the footprint of the master bathroom, left the plumbing where it was, but took out the huge unused jacuzzi tub and created a huge walk-in shower with zero threshold. Comfort height toilets are a must. In both of our master bathroom renovations, we splurged on a heated floor. Best decision ever! I think either approach can result in a great renovation. Your eye for detail and materials will make it beautiful.
    We have a guest bathroom that needs to be undated and I am struggling with whether or not to remove the tub and install just a shower. The room is small and I think it would look larger with a glass-doored tiled shower. Everyone keeps telling me I need to have a bathtub in the house for resale.

  15. Celeste B says

    Definitely hire a bathroom designer. We just did it ourselves and now I see things that should have been done differently. When we did our kitchen, the designer had just a couple of tweaks to our design but they made a huge difference.

  16. Joyce Greenfield says

    I’ve remodeled three full baths in the past 6 years. One thing that I was told by our realtor and my contractor is that buyers want to see a tub in the master bath, even if they aren’t that “in” to taking baths. Step in showers are fabulous – we did one with a tile floor and one with a standard pre-made floor. I don’t find the tile floor hard to keep clean and it’s the shower we use daily. Don’t forget that your home is probably going to sell someday to someone with children, so you may want a tub in the “hall” bathroom for bathing younger children. I would think twice about adding windows as it brings another set of complications (repairs to the exterior of your house) that will be costly. It all adds up quickly. And finally, go classic, not trendy with your tile and fixture choices. One of the hardest things to find, in my opinion, was light fixtures for the bathrooms, so be prepared to visit several different stores to see the options.

  17. Susan, I just moved into the new house I built. I have a porch and I am wondering the size of yours? I want to incorporate a table in the decor but I don’t know if I will have enough room. I did a two way gas fireplace as we get cold weather here in NY and it has a tv above it. I have to leave room for seating to view the TV.

    • My screened porch is 18 feet wide and 14 feet deep. I would love for it to have been a couple of feet wider to allow for a bit more distance between the seating and dining areas. Also, would love for it to have been a couple of feet deeper. But it does work fine in its current size. I lucked out in finding a table that was the perfect size/shape for the space I had. Consider different sizes/shapes for your table (round, oval, square, rectangle) and hopefully, you can fit one in. Rectangle turned out to work best for my porch size/shape. Hope that helps a bit.

  18. Susan, we did partial updates in our bathrooms, two full and one powder room. I recommend taller vanities and toilets and I asked our designer to find toilets that were easier to clean the outside (sleeker styling). We selected Onyx for our shower and sinks in the primary bath. I would recommend keeping the tub in the second bath for resale purposes. Young families want a tub to bathe young children. To save money and update, our existing mirror was cut down to the size of our vanity in our guest bath.

  19. Gayle Kesinger says

    Just love those screen doors. Can’t wait to see them installed. I have upgraded my bathroom three times and I am now done. Got rid of the tub but should have gone with the shower with the flat entrance although it is not too much of a problem to step over the small curb. Widened the door to allow for a wheelchair when the time comes and installed a new sink to also allow for a wheelchair. I am in love with my new sink. Nothing allowed on the sink except for a Simplehuman soap dispenser. Used all the same colors and decorative items for all three renos. Since I only have one bathroom, each decision was really important.

  20. Mary from Virginia says

    We did the taller cabinet/counter top in our very small master bathroom. I regret the taller cabinet because I am 5 feet tall or short. I hate that cabinet sink height. I end up using our guest bath with the standard bathroom height counter and cabinet/sink. In the master I wish I had never ever used a marble style granite. I don’t like marble. I have no idea what made me select that tile. If we did a walk in shower again, I would have it made level with the floor. Nothing to step over to step into the shower.

    Ann on Sutton Place blog redid her bathrooms both master and guest before they put the house on the market. She selected very economical products that looked very pretty and stylish.

    I would hire a bathroom designer to help select the finishes. Not some random person working at the tile store that knows nothing about undertones, colors, and classic design.

    Do I sound bitter? hahaha. I would do things very differently if given the chance.

  21. Yes to heated floors…best thing we did.. If I had it to do over again I would use either granite or quartz in the shower walls so you never have to worry about keeping grout clean. Of course some sort of tile on the shower floor could be used. Under the counter sinks. If you put in new window/s I suggest Pella windows with the blinds between the glass. Lets see pictures when done and good luck. rls

  22. I’m so excited about your bathroom remodels! I am in the process of buying the materials for our contractor to begin the job in June. I’m trying to keep the existing oak cabinet and I’m having such a hard time because of that. I’ve found a great quartz for the counter. It’s a remnant and will save us a good bit over buying a slab. I’ve brought home so many tile samples for the shower, tub surround, and floor. Nothing seems to work. I want a classic traditional look.

  23. Beverly Anderson says

    Tips for your bath remodels: Make sure ALL items (new cabinets, sink, tiles, fixtures/ hardware) are ordered, present and on site PRIOR to any demolition being done! Have all contractors (i.e: the tile setter, plumber, countertop templating, millwork) scheduled in like clockwork based on demo finish time. You don’t want a gutted room with no work being done due to “supply chain issues” and poor scheduling (by your general contractor) ahead of time. Also, Avoid having work done in December as many contractors and subs take their time off.

    • Excellent advice about having all items present on site before demolition. (It’s not the same for renovations as it was three years ago.) When we had the plumbing fixtures in our house replaced, we couldn’t find faucets, etc. in stock due to supply chain shortages. And, the demand for skilled workers has the consumer waiting weeks to get anything done.

  24. Hi Susan,
    If you should choose to keep the tub cast iron tubs hold the water temp better. We just did our shower and vanity and we had a fold up seat put on the shower wall and extra grab bars installed. Best of luck with your renovation.

  25. Wow – you go!! I love any kind of renovation, so I’ll be eagerly following along. Thanks as always for hosting, and hope you have a great week!

  26. Helene Reid says

    I recently renovated 2 bathrooms. I added a wall nitch for soap and shampoo in both and am happy with the choice vs a shelf or soap dish. I feel there is always a chance they can break off which happened in the past. One bath is small and I added a barn door which gives me more room vs a door that could only open in. Have fun.

  27. Adding to what Beverly said, be sure that even the small things–cabinet door pulls, toilet paper holder, door knobs–are ordered early because delays are affecting everything, big and small. If you don’t go for heated floors, you might want to consider a heated towel rack. I first discovered those in a hotel in Ireland. Years ago when I did a bath redo, I made the mistake of not considering shower head height and counter top height, leaving it to the designer because I was so busy with work, I overlooked some details. It was only afterward I realized the shower head and counter were both too tall for short little me. The designer was a tall person, so it all seemed fine to her.

  28. Pamela Hall says

    We redid both our upstairs bathrooms a couple years ago. As for order of which to do first, do what makes sense for you. We did our hall bath first mostly because of my husband’s work needs. We also removed both tubs and replaced them with large walk in showers with built in benches. We have not regretted that decision. We based the decision on our needs and preference, not resale, as we expected to be in our house for another 10 years. By then, both rooms will need refresh so if there is a new owner, they can reinstall tubs if the want them. We added a separate hand held shower wands/grab bar combo in both baths which added about $2000 to the cost but we have not have not regretted that decision. Make sure you include plenty of task lighting for your various needs and add receptacles inside your vanity cabinets to have a place to charge razors and toothbrushes so they are off your counter tops. The only thing we regret not doing was heated floors. I, too, could not get excited about our renovation but I have certainly enjoyed it every time I walk into either bath.

  29. We’ve done two bathroom renovations…and put in a 3/4 bath on the lower level…in our laundry room. Heated floors…while nice…unless you live in a cold climate (such as me)…or plan to spend a copious amount of time hanging out in the bathroom…in my opinion..not worth the $. Heated floors in main living area…now that is where I’d put my money. Our main bath is typical size for our area at the time our seventies split was built…circa 1973. 6 ft wide x 9 ft long was the standard bath size. We took about a foot from the guest bedroom to accommodate a free standing tub…with a walk in tiled shower. Our sink is 4 leg pedestal…with no storage. We’re still looking for a cabinet or tower to hold towels, body washes, etc. The one we ordered…should have fit behind the door…it doesn’t.

  30. We updated our hall bath 5 years ago and reno’d the master bath 2 years ago. Both bathrooms are small (late 1970’s). We’ve never had a tub in the master bath and had no desire to add one.
    As we are aging and plan to stay put, we concentrated on making the master bath more accessible. We raised the counter top height, made the shower a “roll in,” put handicap bars put in place, and widened the doorway to the toilet area. The shower is a nice size and when we gutted it, we had the walls “blocked” for reinforcement for handicap bars. We added a separate hand held shower and my husband was able to find a nice vertical handicapped bar that allowed attachment of the hand held which kind of hides the fact that it is a handicap bar. We also were able to add another bar in an unobtrusive place so the shower doesn’t look like it belongs in a Nursing Home! While neither of us are mobility impaired, I’m surprised how often I grab those bars now. We also used a penny tile on the shower floor to make things less slippery. Overall I love both bathrooms. My only regret in the master are the lovely dark charcoal grey porcelain tiles I put down on the floor — they show every watermark imaginable!

  31. Susan,
    Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful party each and every week!! I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into it along with visiting all the links and choosing Features!!! Thank You!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  32. Hi Susan – Can’t wait to see the doors installed. I just love them. When we lived in our home and had a bigger screen porch that was just the kind of doors I wanted. Now in our apartment we don’t really need a screen door as we only have one entry. I look forward to to your updated baths, too…but can I say as a baseball fan, I just LOVE that baseball bathroom! I have a “themed” Paris bath and guest room, and think if my husband knew about the baseball we might have to switch to that! We now have a very nice main bath with a zero clearance walk in shower. We LOVE it…great now and will be great if we ever need it in the years to come. We had the option to have the grab bars put in – or not, just the anchors behind the tiles for when we wanted them. We put them in and are glad we did. I also added two shower heads…and love them. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  33. Personally, I’d update the bath I used the most first. My best advice? 1) Don’t move the plumbing, 2) install heated floors, and 3) renovate it for your use, not potential buyers. We recently renovated our master bath. I described our thought process in

  34. Thank you Susan and good luck on your bath renovations, I have done many, but lucky me, most have been done by my son who is a bath remodeling specialist…the key is a good reliable contractor!

  35. We renovated our master bath and 2nd floor guest bath several years ago. To get them done in a timely manner, our contractor did both simultaneously. We have a third full bath in the basement gameroom. We kept the tubs in both bathrooms and did not alter the footprint or plumbing to save on costs. With that in mind, I allowed myself to splurge on the cabinets and finishes. Cabinets are custom made and are counter height instead of the usual vanity height. The extra few inches makes a difference. We also had higher toilets installed and we love them. The bototm line is do what works best for YOU. Take your time doing your research and figuring out what makes your heart sing. I love both bathrooms and wouldn’t change a thing in my design but it took me 18 months to complete those designs. Also, I knew what I wanted before I hired a contractor. It just made the process easier for me. Good luck! I know the end result will be great because you have great taste!

  36. We renovated both bathrooms last year. It was a challenge!
    Hope all goes smoothly with yours, Susan.

  37. Sorry to comment so late. I’m catching up on emails. My whirlpool tub requires dusting occasionally, because I can no longer get in and out safely. I would still like to have an occasional bubble bath, but not enough to change to a walk-in tub.
    Before you choose a tub, why not go to some showrooms and see if you can climb in and out of a few tubs comfortably.
    My husband wanted a very large shower with a seat when we built our house and I’m very glad that was included in our master bath. We had that redone three years ago with new tile and fixtures and the large shower is one of the best things we included in our master bath. The guest bath has the tub shower one piece combo in case someone wants a tub for children if I sell the house. I’ll leave the whirlpool and the next owner can keep or not.
    My favorite item in my master bath is a ceiling fan and everyone thought I was nuts to insist on that. If I’m using a hair dryer and straightener to fix my hair I appreciate the breeze from the ceiling fan. It drys the mirror faster than an exhaust fan and I leave it on for a few minutes to dry the shower. My doors are sliding glass, so I can leave them partially open when I finish. Good exhaust fans suck out all the heat or air conditioning along with the humidity.
    I realize a ceiling fan wouldn’t work as well in a small bathroom or maybe not in the north, but we’re in the South and if you enlarge your space you might enjoy one. At least they are still pretty cheap.
    I just finished getting some rooms repainted and a half bath redone. The flooring guy and the plumber did a wonderful job and I would hire them again. I don’t ever want to see the painters again and I’m looking for someone else to fix what they messed up.
    Good luck on all your projects.

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