Finally moved in, and ready for its debut, here is one piece of our new home!
Background: We purchased our 860 sq ft,1940’s farm-town bungalow from a woman in her 80’s who had lived there for 35 years! Her realtor told us she would’ve stayed, but the few stairs between the kitchen and bedroom spaces were hard on her arthritis. She loved her garden, and told many people that she hoped whomever bought it wouldn’t scrape the lot and build a giant home (like many people in this area have). Lucky for her, Brendan and I fell in love with the existing home and its lush gardens, we never considered destroying it… but it did need a HUGE facelift.
The first piece of the project we will be featuring on the blog is the bathroom. This is the smallest room in the house
Here are the pictures from the listing:
Looking in from one of the bedrooms, you can see the majority of the bathroom. The shower is just to the left of the vanity. One of the huge challenges of this house was this bathroom because it is so small and has two access doors, one for each bedroom.
All the contractors we brought in to look at the project all paused when they saw the shower. It appeared to be only coated in stucco with a sealant. No one had seen anything like it before.
I’m not going to lie, I kinda loved the 60’s flower power wainscoting, the mustard counter top and matching vent… but no one loved the flooring.
The bathroom also came with the most inspection issues: we had dry rot in the floor under the sink, toilet, and shower (so basically the entire room), the wax seal on the toilet was desperately needing to be replaced, the walls were made of plaster, and we were really not sure if the shower was actually water tight at all.
So we demo’d the entire thing, down to the studs.
mmm… old glue
Once the wainscoting was off the guys began in on the shower and discovered that it was built like a bomb shelter: stucco, tile, 6″ of concrete, chicken wire. The wall had to be smashed with a sledge hammer, then the individual chunks had to be cut free by clipping the pieces of chicken wire… it was a pain in the rear end.
Next the plaster was removed from the walls
In a moment of exuberance, Brendan smashed the wall with such a mighty blow that a huge chunk of cement flew off and broke the bowl of the toilet, the only piece of the bathroom that we weren’t planning on removing. SIDE NOTE: if you ever break a toilet, be very careful the shards are EXTREMELY sharp and will cut your hand, limiting the amount of demo you can do that day, and possibly sending you to the urgent care for stitches. In our case we just used super glue, no stitches were “needed.”
and before you know it… we were down to the studs. While the house was barren, we had all the pipes updated to current code so the shower and the toilet would be good to go for another 20 years. Then we rebuilt.
We included a secret laundry chute; covered by a medicine cabinet mirror (pictured in the next photo).
Yep… the toilet didn’t come with a toilet seat…
At this point, we moved in. The kitchen was not done, the lights hadn’t come in for the bathroom, but we had running hot water, and that was more than we could say the week beforehand.
I would like to say that since finishing the bathroom it’s been smooth sailing… unfortunately it has not. The shower fixture we purchased began leaking, 2 plumbers later we found out the part that needs to be replaced isn’t made in the US and now we are waiting for it to come from China. If I could do it over again, I would not overlook where the replacement parts come from as the shower has now been leaking for 2 weeks and the part has yet to arrive. :-/ Great way to conserve in a draught.
We also hit a snag with the glass shower door and for sometime we had a makeshift shower curtain. Then the door showed up, but it was scratched. Finally, when they replaced the door they didn’t line up the weather stripping on the bottom, so our shower leaked out onto the bathroom floor whenever you took a shower (the golden retriever was in HEAVEN).
As with any new renovations, the house has begun settling into the remodel and we have had to re-grout and caulk sections of the bathroom as well.
What I’m saying is: being a homeowner is really just asking for endless amounts of tasks to be added to your to-do list. :-)
Hope you enjoyed this little section of our remodel!
-The House of Harcourt.