Just about everywhere you look inside of my Vermont home, you can see a bit of my handiwork. That’s because when it gets cold outside, I like to stay busy inside where it’s nice and warm. Over the last few cold seasons, I’ve installed wood flooring, laid down slate tiles, replaced my kitchen cabinets and backsplash, and brought my laundry room into the twenty-first century.
This year, I’d like to turn my attention to the master bath. I’m feeling pretty ambitious. I know I’d like to replace the drywall, install a new vanity and toilet, and tile the floor. The question I’m stuck on is whether or not I want to install a new shower door, or if I want to pay a professional to do it.
Before I can answer that question, I need to figure out what kind of shower door I want. That’s important for at least a couple of reasons. First, it will help me decide if a new door and a professional installation are both in my budget. Second, the difficulty of installation varies with the type of door. I’m pretty handy, but I’ve never installed a shower door before.
After making a visit to a nearby shower door showroom at Portland Glass, I’ve narrowed my decision to either a frameless design or a semi-frameless design. I love the clean, open look of the frameless doors – it’s almost like the door isn’t even there. Semi-frameless doors are almost – but not quite – as new and sleek looking. Both are a vast improvement over the curtain I use now.
With all else being equal, I’d go with the frameless shower door design. But there are two important considerations:
• First, the frameless designs cost a few hundred dollars more than the semi-frameless.
• Second, the frameless designs are more difficult to install – given their expense, thicker glass, and greater weight, these are probably beyond my comfort level.
At an earlier stage in my plans, I was hoping that I could ease a more expensive shower door into my budget by performing the installation myself. Now I know that frameless designs – as lovely as they are – don’t present that option to someone not used to installations like this.
I went back to the glass store, and looked almost exclusively at the semi-frameless designs this time. And it occurred to me that one of the shower doors would look really good paired with the new vanity I had in mind – both shared antique bronze elements similar to others that looked great elsewhere in my home. Maybe that semi-frameless design could win over my heart as well as my mind.
As cold weather approaches and I get ready for this fall’s home improvement work, my shower door has been special-ordered. It will arrive around the time I’ll want to stay cozy indoors. I haven’t yet decided if I will install it myself, but I’m comfortable with handling the work myself. I can’t wait to see how nice my updated bathroom looks by the time spring arrives.