For the first time in its approximately 120-year-old life, this grand old house has two functional toilets, and two functional bathroom sinks.

The upstairs full bath still has a lot of tiling to finish, not to mention be painted and have the fixtures mounted. However, what is done looks amazing and is hopefully a testament to what the original bath may have looked like:

The porcelain sink, the most expensive purchase for the room

The porcelain sink, the most expensive purchase for the room


Presley on our new low-flow, comfort height toilet

Presley on our new low-flow, comfort height toilet

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How we live

I knew that renovating a house would be long, hard work. I did realize this. No, really! I did! But I never knew that on the one year anniversary of being homeowners, we’d be living like we are. In a nutshell, it’s sort of like camping, but indoors. And with plumbing. But just as inconvenient, and just as dirty as camping.

Since April, we have gutted 4 rooms: the current kitchen, the current full bath, and the space that we are turning into the new first floor half bath and butler’s pantry. We had to do so much at once because we had the opportunity for Jeremy’s dad, Dale, to spend two weeks at our house overseeing some of the system work. Without his help, we couldn’t have made such progress finishing the plumbing and electrical in these rooms. So, we had to do a lot at once.

What’s left is a lot of tweaking with these systems and all of the finish work. This is going to take the better part of the summer. In the meantime, I thought I would upload some photos showing how these in-progress rooms look today. When I complain about inconveniences, people say… “Oh, but everything will look gorgeous when you’re done.” Sure, sure, this is true. But seriously. This is how we’re living.

The utility sink, where we brush our teeth, wash our faces, and clean out buckets used to mix grout:

It\'s a bit on the icky side, I realize

Opposite this wall, is our drill charging/coffee making/pantry area:

pay no attention to the alcohol next to the coffeemaker

 And the kitchen, where we make lots of frozen pizza and Lean Pockets:

If you look close, you\'ll see drywall!

 The new bathtub/shower, not yet tiled until some leaks are taken care of:

At least it is clean!

 To the left of the tub, where the new sink and toilet will be:

gutted, but with promise

The beginning of the new half bath, downstairs, which contains the only functional toilet in the house. Oh, and that white thing in the upper right hand corner? It’s a sheet. Which in this case, is also a door.  

the first contender to be finished

And last, but not least, the dining room. (In name only.) Right now, this is our Home Depot satellite office:

Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 9:42 pm  Comments (1)  

The renovation thus far, in numbers

Years lived in home: 1

Total money spent on home improvements: $10K

Funds left in renovation loan: $1,200

Funds needed to complete all proposed improvements: $40K

Times Katherine has broken down in tears due to being overwhelmed by demo: 5

Swear words uttered by Jeremy during projects: 178,299

Rooms affected by renovation projects: 7

Rooms completed: 0

Boxes of slate tile installed: 5.5 (out of 36 purchased)

Average trips to Home Depot per week: 3.5

Returns to Home Depot: 7, including 1 bathtub (post coming later)

Dumpsters rented: 2 (1 10 cubic yard, 1 15 cubic yard)

Animals present in home: 1 cat (permanently) 3 dogs (guests), 1 mouse (ousted)

Animals present on property: numerous birds, cats, oppossums, racoons, groundhogs, moles, squirrels (Uh, yeah, we do live in the city. Go figure.)

Unnecessary gas lines removed, in ft: 60

New plumbing fixures installed: 8

New outlets/lights installed: 20+

Glasses of wine consumed: too numerous to count

Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Doing Laundry on the First Floor ROCKS!

Watch Jeremy as he describes his master plumbing efforts to make our laundry room functional. 

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this man? There are three videos following:

[livevideo id=CDEB77691F8542D28C69D73A14E088AF/435026/jeremy-mud-room-1.aspx]
Jeremy – Mud Room #1
[livevideo id=FBAA9C76220645DDBC5393D5ACB41955/435613/jeremy-basement.aspx]
Jeremy – Basement
[livevideo id=1960E6E3E1DA43D794C03A2129296030/435052/jeremy-mud-room-2.aspx]
Jeremy – Mud Room #2
Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

The sky is falling!

When we started the kitchen demo, I was completely unprepared for the apocalyptic fallout that would result. I knew that there would be a mess in the room that we were working on, but I was dumbfounded at what lengths and in what quantities the plaster dust would travel. 

The first thing to go in the new kitchen was the ceiling. The original plaster ceiling was crumbling from old plumbing issues in the bathroom upstairs and rather than fixing or replacing the plaster, this was how the previous owners dealt with the problem:

Let’s just hide it with a dropped ceiling!

So, the first steps were removing the ceiling panels and metal frames. Easy enough. Then came removing the decaying plaster.

(There are no pictures of this process because Jeremy and his dad accomplished it while I was taking a nap upstairs. They had asked for old bed sheets before I dozed off, and I was completely unaware what they were up to. Note to self: no afternoon cocktails resulting in naps when Jeremy’s dad is over, and old bedsheets DO NOT contain the massive amounts of dust that destroying plaster creates.)

Every surrounding room was caked in black dust when they were finished. Here is a plant that was in an adjoining room, supposedly protected from the demo:

Kitty needs a bath

Next came removing the wood lathe strips from the ceiling. I was awake for this process, and a short trip to Home Depot prior ensured we had plastic sheeting in place protecting other rooms from more dust.

Jeremy and Dad contain their mess

And here, the result:

The ceiling is on the floor

After several hours of binding the strips, tossing the smaller peices into a garbage can, and shop-vaccing the remaining plaster bits and dust, viola:

That’s the heating duct to the bathroom

See the old knob and tube electric wiring?

All this happend two weeks ago today, and we’re still tackling the mess that ensued. Volunteers, anyone?

Published in: on August 4, 2007 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment