Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Bathroom Remodel, In Progress

This is how awesome my in-laws are: after our having made plans to be in Ohio for the first week of July, they responded with a proposal. What if Steve's dad and younger brother came home with Steve at the end of the first week, and Amy and the boys stayed in Ohio? The guys could work on the bathroom all week, and then Steve's mom could drive down with Amy and the boys, and ride back with her husband and youngest son a couple of days later.

Um...twist our arms! Seriously? Steve got them started on Monday, but had to return to work the rest of the week--meaning that Tuesday-Friday, his dad and brother spent all day at our house alone, framing, plumbing, hanging drywall, and mudding. Is that crazy-generous and wonderful or what? It also meant that I got extra time in Ohio to enjoy...

...a playdate with my best friend's boys...

...lunch with a college friend...

...dinner with my cousin... evening with my college roommate...

...and girls' night out with my two best friends from high school!

All this was thanks to my awesome parents, who were so gracious to babysit while Mama got some time away. And then I got to enjoy my lovely mother-in-law's company for the drive home (she actually squeezed into the backseat between the two carseats for the home stretch when Jude was screaming!). 

We arrived back in Tennessee to discover that the guys had indeed been working hard. What a transformation! By the end of the weekend, I was able to take a shower in my fully-functioning downstairs bathroom! So, without further ado, some "before" and "in-progress" pics: 

Let's review what it looked like at first (minus a small cabinet hanging on the wall--I never think to get "before" pictures until it's almost too late)...

Oh yes, that is a window *in* the shower. When we moved in, it was covered only by a small curtain in the window, rather than a full-size curtain--it is a miracle that whole wall was not rotted right through. There were all kinds of other awesome things about this tub, like that it was original to the house (ever tried to clean a 70-year-old bathtub?)...the classy tile job along the end...I could go on.

Here's another angle:

Better hope no one opens the door while you're sitting on the toilet, or you'll get slammed in the knees. Better hope you have nothing but a toothbrush to set down on that tiny vanity. Be careful you don't get electrocuted, with the outlet so close to the faucet. And if two of you want to be in there in the same time? Well, I hope you really like each other :)

One more view:

Notice me in the corner, pressed up against the wall, trying to get as much of the room in the photo as possible. That's with a very wide-angle lens. The green cabinet with a mirror, for the record, is full of the HVAC duct for upstairs. It used to be a bit of linen storage, but I lost that five years ago--meaning we had NO linen storage. (You'll get to see that in a future post.)

What I unfortunately did not get a picture of was the ceiling. Words can't do justice to the level of disgusting that ceiling was. Mildew everywhere, causing the paint to peel. That would be because the brilliant builders "vented" the bathroom fan into the *attic* instead of through the roof. All that humid air had nowhere to go except elsewhere in the house. OY.

Anyway, moving's what the bathroom looked like during demolition:

Walls behind the tub in better shape than we imagined, though as my father-in-law pointed out, it was a bit like a historical dig, what with 27 layers of paint and wallpaper underneath the cheap, ugly wallboard.

Fast-forward through a pricey and unexpected professional asbestos abatement, as well as Steve in a respirator and coveralls knocking out a possibly-lead-paint-covered wall...

And now...

Ta-da! The window can actually let natural light into the room instead of being covered by a shower curtain! And there's floor space! You could have a party in that bathroom!

Guess what's behind that door? A LINEN CLOSET! And do you see my pristine shower?!

No grody tub to clean! And from the shower, here's the view:

Cutie in the doorway says "Teeeessss!"

We gained several square feet for the bathroom by knocking out the closet in our office, and it made all the difference in the world. There's still a lot of work to do here, of course. First I have to figure out what in the world I want it to look like, which I haven't even begun to consider because until a week before we left for Ohio, I assumed that process was still quite some time away. We'll be getting a new, larger vanity; for now, the tiny old one is still in use. Besides the obvious paint and flooring and woodwork, there are the little things, like a mirror (right now it's the chipped front of the old medicine cabinet, held in place by oh-so-classy bare screws) and a shower curtain or glass door, and some kind of treatment for the window instead of those improvised five-feet-too-long blinds. But, y'all, I have a working bathroom. And it is already a massive improvement over what we had before!

Celebrate Progress
This Old House: Always Something


Danielle said...

Wow, Amy! That's awesome. Not just the remodel, but how awesome your in-laws are! :)

Zoanna said...

What a blessing and it was done not just "While You Were Out," but while you were out having a great vacay with your friends and relatives. I am so impressed with the self-sacrifice of your in-laws. I can think of so many things I'd rather do than spend four days remodeling a bathroom, esp someone else's. So, God will reward them bountifully! Oh, and BTW, I don't know what it's like to clean a 70 y.o. tub but am familiar with 60. Had one in our second house which was built in the 1930's and we bought it in the 90's. No one had enough grease in their elbows to make it shine. I am duly thrilled (and a wee bit envious) of your new bathroom. Our master bath is is in dire need. There is NO ventilation sans a window . I guess the builders assumed we'd want to open it all year long. Hmmm.

Zoanna said...

PS I tagged you. Play along if you want.