Lessons LearnedWhen we built our home in 1998, we knew we wanted a floor that would stand up under the wear and tear of people and animals, so we went for vinyl tile. (It seemed a good idea at the time; it was cheaper than wood, which is what we had before, along with no wax congoleum.) We never thought about waxing; we'd never done it. We ended up with a floor that was slippery when wet, and even when it wasn't wet, a running dog could slide down the Great Hall from the front door to the back door. I learned that there is a non-slip wax, but when I checked into having the house done, it wasn't the expense, but the fact that the company wanted us to move all the furniture outside ourselves that stopped us. We have some huge pieces! Also, for some reason this floor has become marked up from the furniture--marks that are almost impossible to remove! We're really sorry about our floor decision.
When we were building our house, we learned all we could and often visited a friend who was also building a house. One of the things he told us was that we should get noise insulation. Good idea, we thought, but when the time came to make choices and the total budget seemed to be going up like a rocket, we decided to stick with regular insulation. That is not a problem except in a bedroom that's next to someone else's bathroom. (The other two bathrooms are fine.) I'd give a lot to be able to go back and put better insulation between those two walls. Yes, I've thought about ripping a wall out, but the bathroom wall has a big mirror over the sink and a tiled shower on that wall, and the bedroom wall was sponge painted.
There are a number of things we never thought about when building our home, and one of them was niches in the shower. Where do you put your shampoo, sponge, etc.?! We have thought of getting one of those racks you hang over the showerhead or a pressure pole with shelves, but it's one more thing to clean and get in the way. And why didn't we get a bathroom sink with a built in soap holder? I've lost count of the soap holders we've bought for all the bathrooms, but we've spent a lot of money trying to find one that lasts.