Monday, March 30, 2015

Full bathroom!

Here she is in all her finished glory!
You mostly saw this last time, but we added the shower curtain.
And... Whoop, here's the sink side!
Light, bright, clean, and open!
This shot might not look like much, but here, you can see the little set of buttons next to the light switch. We have a timer for the vent fan, so it can run longer than a shower to clear the humidity, without someone forgetting to turn it off.
Do you remember what we started with? The glass shower doors cut the room almost in half. The toilet had a permanent old house smell. The light fixture was as yellowed as the tile accents and it barely let any light through. The vanity cabinet blocked most of the heat vent, so it blew at hyperspeed into the tiny little space. 

Warning, pedestal sinks installation is not for amateur plumbers! It was pretty challenging getting that darn thing into place and making connections that we could barely reach behind the pedestal!

What's your favorite feature? I'm kinda thinking the bead-board walls and pedestal sink.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bathroom progress - tile shower and tub refinish

It's pretty fast and fun to make a hot mess by demolition. It takes a lot longer to put it back together!
This bathroom had a decent tub, so we didn't replace it, saving the rough ugly walls to simply cover back up. Next time, we think it would give a better product and make a few things easier to just replace the tub.  This is a pretty traditional house, so we planned to make a pretty traditional bathroom, with a hit of pizzazz in there. Let's put this mess back together! 
Had to level/smooth the walls some with thin-set in a few areas before installing the tile.
Brian worked with the plumbing for a few weeks before getting to this point. Hello tub/shower faucet!
We finished the floor tile first, but saved the grout for a later step. It's 12x24 inch tiles, which to me is where some of the more modern flare comes into the bathroom.
White subway tiles are a budget friendly and classic look that lighten and brighten this tired old bathroom!
Once the tiles were in and grouted, we turned to "freshening" up the tub surface. We thought this would be a fun new product to try and save a lot of time and money over replacing the tub...  We thought.
Here's the product, it includes a special cleaner and basically a spray paint.
Lots of masking to get this ready!  We had already painted the room, so our masking skills were warmed up.
We grouted the floors after the tub was sprayed to make the best line between the two (didn't want to spray white onto the tan grout). The problem with that plan was that the tackiness of painters tape caused some blemishes in the under-performing tub coating.  Since we sprayed over white, you really can't see it unless you get your nose in there and look for it, so all is not lost. We just think it wouldn't have cost too much more time or money to put in a new tub in the end.
Put the final touches on the plumbing and you have a fresh white new shower!
Next up, the other side of the room...  We need a toilet and sink.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cutting heating costs

One of the things we learned while we were taking our year to "just live with it" at this house is that it's off the charts drafty, air-leaky. Brian has been reading about some do-it-yourself spray foam insulation. Of course we had to try it. He had fun learning how to spray the tight knee wall areas in our second story.
Here's the product we used, and the sweet protective suit that came with it.

He had to work in some seriously tight spots...

Since I'm a slacker blogger, I can tell you the resulting savings from this winter! In February, when adjusting for heating-degree-days our house was 22% more efficient. December were similar, January had a hole in the ceiling for the bath fan install.
Our assessment is that this is a great product. It costs the same as calling the pros if you have a big job, but is great for those smaller jobs.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Things are happening!

When we moved into the white house, we were knee deep in Superior Condo construction and tired of living under-construction that having been our nearly perpetual state at the yellow house.  We committed to living here for a year before doing anything major.  You can see when we painted the living room and did a little lighting/electrical update in the dining room.  We didn't consider those major.  Knocking down walls or taking on plumbing projects pushes into major.  Well, we've made some things happen here at the white house...
Noah taking the lead on re-building his bathroom

Dad teaches tile removing technique

Before shower/bathtub

Before sink and mirror

Noah working hard to get it taken down

Once he was nearly knee deep in broken tiles, he took charge of cleanup

Tile gone, sink and toilet gone, mirror out. Ugly light remains.

Bath surround gone.
We had to open up the wall at the bathtub because the valves were leaky and it didn't have a built in shower, just an add-on shower piece.  We wanted a shower in there!  This was a one-owner house, built in the late 1940s.  There's evidence that this wasn't the original bathroom, but we estimate that the updates were done in the 1960s.  It had served it's time!  Another funny thing that we observed - once the toilet was removed, the old house smell that we just couldn't clean away was finally gone!

Updates coming for the bathroom:
Electrical outlets
Exhaust fan

Of course, the whole room is getting updated, but those were the major drivers.