The next big thing

{ Wednesday, August 25, 2010 }
We, like most homeowners I imagine, have a list of projects we'd like to complete around our house. We even have them prioritized and roughly scheduled for the year that we plan to complete them in. Our townhouse's 1 1/2 bathrooms definitely need a complete redo (they're all original circa 1975--blue sinks! Almond toilets!), but we have a few other projects we'd rather complete first and had put the bathrooms off for a couple years. We've recently learned, if we didn't know it already, that sometimes houses have a way of screwing with your priority list.

Let me tell this story a different way. If our house had a nickname, it would be Niagara. You may remember that we discovered and repaired several water leaks when we redid the floors a little over a year ago. And the floor is where this story starts. Our beautiful new wood floor started to bubble up in the hallway, just a few feet outside of our half bathroom, a phenomenon that I now know is called cupping. A few weeks later, that area of floor completely buckled. In hindsight all the clues were there, but it took us a good while to track this floor damage down to a leaking toilet in our half bathroom. We should have noticed, but didn't, that water was leaking from the bottom of the toilet tank at an alarming rate, flowing between, around, and under the old, cracked floor tiles and wreaking havoc on the subfloor below.

All this is my drawn out way of saying that we're remodeling our bathroom. Not that we have a choice--once we pulled out everything that was wet, soggy, and rotting, there wasn't much left and nothing to do but try to put it back together. Well, let me show you what I mean.

Here's our bathroom before we started ripping stuff out.

The bottom few inches of drywall around the toilet had to come out, but luckily we were able to save the rest of the drywall in the room along with the subfloor, but everything else had to go. Since there's a good chance that our walls were originally painted with lead based paint, we tried to be very careful about containing the mess that we made. We sealed off the room with plastic, cleaned up with TSP at the end of each day and showered before holding the bean.

After a long weekend of trading off between demolition and bean care, we were left with this.

I always reach a point during big projects like this where I start to panic. Late in that first weekend of work, I looked at the empty room and had to lay my head down. Neither of us have taken on a project this big before and the confidence I felt at the beginning waned a bit when the reality of the work ahead of us settled in.

Nothing to do but put it back together, right?

1 comment:

Strawberry said...

Um, can you just swing on by and re-caulk our tub? ;-)