When we lived in the Midwest, we renovated every room in the house, and added on a two car garage. It was an interesting experience and we had the best craftspeople and builders doing the work. But we were a lot younger then, and all the inconveniences are long forgotten. We have lived in DC now for almost eleven years and the bathroom in our tiny condo was showing its wear and was poorly constructed to begin with. So we finally decided to bite the bullet and have it completely gutted, put in a shower rather than keep the iron bathtub, and update it once and for all. Luckily we have our tiny studio apartment across the hall and can stay away from the mess - and it is a mess. We live in an 1890's building with an 1890's infrastructure and it can be scary maneuvering your way around it. Luckily for us, the builders doing this work did most of our son's house down the street - every bathroom, fireplace, kitchen - you name it. In fact, they have done probably touched every house on this block and have run in to just about every wierd experience imaginable. So we have confidence in getting the job done, but it's not as easy as the last time we did all this. And because we live in such small spaces, it means a lot more to get this one right.