Project Fail

What’s that saying? Something something best laid plans something something? Measure twice, cut once?

Right. Well you know how it goes. It’s always best to have a plan before you tackle a project. But even if you try to plan for everything, it’s almost a guarantee that something will go wrong.

What about when nothing was accounted for?

Because we purchased a flipped house everything is new and updated…so you may be thinking what the heck am I doing replacing anything? Well, flipped generally means contractor grade materials, aka the cheapest, but nice looking products one can buy (like 2 for $20 ceiling lights). AKA, not our taste. Over time I’d like to phase out the items that don’t match our style. Like our upstairs bath vanity.

Upstairs vanity
So, so close to the toilet
Upstairs vanity
See how close to the toilet?!

Currently we have a 24″ vanity. Do you know how small a 24″ vanity is? With just a tube of toothpaste and two toothbrushes it is always cramped and after a few weeks I couldn’t take it anymore.

We needed storage space badly but the distance between the top of the faucet and the lights did not lend itself to replacing the mirror for one with storage. The next best thing was to replace the vanity! I measured the distance between the toilet and the door and we could easily fit a 30″ vanity with room to spare. That would be a whole 6″, at least 3″ additional inches on each side, or more depending on how wide the sink was.

That was that, the decision was made and within a day we brought home a shiny new vanity that offered drawers for organized storage.  I’ve updated two bathrooms, including replacing the flooring, the toilet, vanity, mirror, etc, so I have some experience and a vanity replacement should easily be completed in a day.

So, back to the whole ‘nothing accounted for’. I shut off the water,

Water off
Always turn the water off first!


unhooked the pipes connecting the faucet to the water lines, detached the vanity from the wall and removed it. I opened the new vanity, carried it to the bathroom, and was faced with this:

Not measured properly
Something’s not quite right

You see, I accounted for the distance between the toilet and the door and at no point considered the location of the pipes. Doh! I should have known better, but I didn’t. I considered a few options, like shortening the length of the drawers, moving the location of the hot and cold lines, updating the toilet to a smaller one to gain a few inches, any solution that would work because I did not want to return it.

But there was an even bigger problem. See the accordion-like pipe in the picture above? That’s used because the pipe from the wall does not extend far enough to line up with the sink drain, but it’s not a proper way to fit a pipe and in some states it’s not even up to code when used. So I had a plumber come out and quote the cost to fix the PVC to extend it and make it legal, but the estimate was more than I wanted to spend on the project at this time.

In the end it just didn’t make sense to 1)spend more money to make it fit 2)damage a brand new product to make it fit 3)rip open the wall to correct the improper pipe. So for now, we are back to living with a cluttered 24″ vanity lacking storage. I haven’t given up on this project yet, just tabling it for now.

Have you ever had a project gone awry? What did you do? Have you completely scrapped a project, or just put something on hold?

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