Happy 2011.

Resolution #1 – to put this house back together.

And, I’m giving us all of 2011, but we vow to have it put together – painted, renovated, updated, upgraded, and awesome by the end of the year … at least on the inside.  (The outside is a whole ‘nother story, but we have to start on some of that because otherwise the city is going to kick us out.)

Wish #1 – that we’ve found all of the surprises that the old owners left us; which is less of a wish, and more like wishful thinking.

So far during this renovation, we have gotten to fix the floors, fix the plumbing in the kitchen, fix the plumbing in the bathroom (one down, another to go), fix the piping in the basement (upgrades to code), fix the roof, relocate all of the junction boxes in the kitchen & bathroom, fix the floor joist, insulate the crawl space (and fix 2 gaping holes for animals to crawl through), and … well, I know there was a lot of other smaller stuff, but that is probably all of the major stuff?

Side note … The roof repairs have come in to play twice now.  Again, let me reiterate from previous posts: they are dumb – either the previous owners or the shitty people they hired to work on the house.

  1. We now have new venting in the kitchen.  The old venting?  They just built the roof over the flashing for the vent.  YES, they just nailed down the shingles right over the vent flashing.  It didn’t work.  The roof is rotted through.  So, when our contractors moved the vent, they installed the flashing correctly, and will now fix that section of the rotted roof so that we don’t end up with a much bigger roof problem down the road.
  2. Second instance – bathroom vent #1 (remember, we still have another bathroom to renovate that we haven’t gotten into yet).  When they repaired or replaced the vent for the bathroom – a large iron stack that goes from the basement to the roof – they didn’t even feel like installing flashing at all.  Wanna know what they did feel like doing?  Throwing some tar around.  Yep, just making a good ole fashioned tar pool on top of the roof – that outta seal it in good, right?  Our contractors will fix that too.

Boo to people who just let their houses deteriorate.

But, anywho, we have more decisions to make, pronto.  We have to add some electrical stuff to the bathroom – to bring it up to code and pass inspections.  But, our electrical box is full.  It’s up to code, but full. And we knew this when we bought the house.  So, now we get to make another (someday we’ll fix that) decision now.  Do we: a) add a sub panel to the existing box, getting us more space for now; or b) replace and upgrade the entire system (the better, but, who’d a thunk it, more expensive option!).  The problem with option a is that when/if we run out of room in the sub-panel, we’ll have to resort to doing option b in the future; and when we do option b in the future, everything we have just gets tossed out – meaning that if we pay for option a now, and have to do option b next year, we just wasted money on option a.  Still with me?

Wish #2 – that money actually did grow on trees (another gosh darn thing that Dad was right about way back when).

But, since at least we’re seeing the pretty progress, the outflow of cash doesn’t seem to bother me (or Pat) quite as much.  There has been a lot of work done so far; mostly the behind-the-scenes kind of work that people don’t think about when they see a new bathroom, but definitely well worth the time and money.  But, nonetheless, we are this close to a completed bathroom renovation.  I mean we are literally days away from having a completed master bathroom!  The shower tiles have been completed – so the tub is in and set too, with the faucets.  The drywall is all in place; it’s been mudded and painted.  Pat got to see the layout of the floor tiles when the guys were spacing and measuring, and he said it looked awesome.  But today they actually laid the tiles and grouted!!  IT ALL LOOKS AWESOME!!  They did a great job matching the grout to the tile … which is harder to do with dark colors!  And, have I mentioned that our contractor custom built a window casing to match the rest of the doors/windows in our house … it’s all PVC so that it won’t ever rot out, and it looks unbelievable.

And, we’ve been told that the next bathroom will go much faster.  Which I hope is true.  Not because we are in any way upset about this first one taking so long – because we are so very grateful for the immaculate work being done (these guys all know their shit!).  But because I just hope (wish) that there isn’t nearly (or any) as much behind-the-scenes work left to do on the next bathroom.  I mean, I listed them up top – the plumbing is updated, the electrical is (probably) going to be updated, the addition was put on in the 50s, so it’s not nearly as old school … there has to be less, right? 

Renovation Mindset #1 – hope for the best, plan for the worst.

It sounds like a pessimistic viewpoint, but if we expect that we’re going to have more plumbing updates, and that maybe (likely) the electrical back there is a hack-job, done in-house by the previous owners, and that the vent to the roof will probably have to be replaced/fixed/totally new … then we’ll end up happy when we spend only 125% of the budget for that bathroom, and the guys we hired do an awesome job.

Renovation Mindset #2 – ahhh, it looks so pretty when it’s done.

The two work hand-in-hand together.  It’s a pessimistic viewpoint that is far out-weighed by the reality that in the end, we got exactly what we wanted, it’s exactly what we hoped for, and we have complete confidence that it was all installed correctly and have faith that it will work. (Which is far far more than I can say about anything else that was sold in or near this house, and will be a HUGE vantage point for the next buyers!)

Here are some pics of the updates … these might be some of the last renovation pics I post (of this bathroom anyway!) … hopefully the next update will be about the completely completed bathroom!

Floor joist cracked ….

Floor joist fixed!

Shower tiled …

Drywall up …

Drywall primed …


Custom built window casing that looks awesome and matches our home’s other doors/windows.

Floor goes in …

and it looks awesome!

Tiled shower with faucents installed.
Center light and fan are installed and working!

We’re this close … this close!!!  Till next time …

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