in a handbasket, Part 2

2 Jun

It occurred to me this morning, I’m ridiculously bad about updating this blog. I don’t have time to update my blog about my home renovations because I’m too busy doing home renovations! However, I’m going to try REALLY hard to do better. I miss writing, a lot. I feel like I need something to do other than be covered in a constant shroud of drywall dust and paint.

Anyway. I was telling about the horror that was our front yard: broken sewer pipes, hand digging trenches, plumbers who won’t show up, etc. I know, I sound bitter. It’s just that we went from this:

To this:

Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit on the first picture. It actually looked like this:

What you can’t really see in this picture is how awful it really was. Yellow plaid wallpaper, straight out of the 70’s on one wall, the other walls were this horrid green color (which you can kind of see in the mirror’s reflection). It’s also the size of a small closet. Literally, my bedroom closet is bigger than this bathroom. But, I was determined to make it better. When we moved it, there was a wall to wall sink/vanity thing that took up nearly half the floor, it was so big you couldn’t even use the toilet without bumping into it. Oh, and the countertop was yellow. Like the wallpaper. It was so ugly. I don’t think I even have any pictures of it, it was out of here so fast! We took that out almost as soon as we moved in and discovered the previous owners didn’t tile all the way to the wall. They only tiled to the vanity. So we had an area of bare concrete covering about 20% of the floor, which was super pretty. We replaced the sink with a much smaller, much less Brady Bunch sink. The walls were also in really, REALLY bad shape. They had wallpaper and paint layered and layered. I tried refloating the wall (did you know I could do that?! Shocked me too!), I tried painting (you can see my test area on the left of the picture, a rally pretty blue), and finally I had the best idea ever. I’m talking EVER, people. I took some whitewashed vinyl plank flooring, the peel and stick kind, and used it as wall covering. See it there in the picture? The pretty boards?Basically, redoing the walls weren’t in the budget and I wasn’t about to live with yellow plaid for the next 10 years, so I thought this was pretty smart. I really liked how it was turning out, it was very beachy and cool. My only problem was that because the walls were in such bad shape, the planks weren’t sticking very well, so we got out the nail gun and away we went. So here I am being all crafty and smart, and the plumber says, as she’s hooking up the plumbing in the master bathroom (which is adjacent to this bathroom), “what is this? A nail?” I wish I could describe the sheer horror that was on Chris’ face. Indeed it was a nail. Right through the copper pipes. Then she said, “Hmmm, I see some mold back here.” I literally thought I was going to pass out. Just so we’re totally clear what I’m talking about here, the pipes were the pipes inside the wall, like the ones that you’re never supposed to have to worry about, or even know are there…unless of course you decide to nail up vinyl plank flooring to the wall, then it might be a good idea to know where they are 😦

Suffice it to say, the walls were coming down. Chris and I decided there was no way we were going to chance letting the mold spread, so we ripped down the whole wall. Just for good measure, we ripped out the other 3 walls too. I mean, why not, right? You’re already down to the studs, it’s not like you’re not living in a horrific mess anyway.

Chris ripping down drywall. See that purple through the wall? That’s our bathroom. We were already putting up sheetrock in there because they hadn’t been up since we moved in.

He thought it would be helpful to demonstrate this point. I tried to demonstrate the same point, but I got my head stuck in the wall and got a bruise on my face from trying to squeeze it back through the wall. Sadly, we don’t have a picture of that. Ok so, down to studs in the bathroom. Which is no problem because our plumber has agreed to fix all the pipes, hang the new drywall, re-install the tub surround, and basically get us back on the right track again. Except she disappeared. Again. For several weeks, she came off and on. She’d work for about an hour and leave. Then one day we decided we’d had enough. We asked her to complete all the plumbing, make it functional and all that, which she did. We fully planned on asking her not to come back when we spoke to her the next day, but she never came back. It’s been 4 weeks, we think she probably won’t show up again. So, Chris and I did it ourselves.

To date, we’ve hung all the drywall, taped and floated all the seams (I did that part, which I still can’t believe. I’m really good at it!), we put up the tub surround, laid most of the new floor, and Chris reinstalled the sink. We still have a little more left to do, I have to caulk the tub seams, we have to attach the knobs in the shower, finish the floor and touch-up paint, but we’re almost done. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that tomorrow will be a before and after day. I can’t WAIT for it to be done.

For anyone keeping track, this week marks our 6th month in the new house, as well as the 8th week that we’ve been dealing with these plumbing issues.


One Response to “in a handbasket, Part 2”


  1. to do list « twentysixfiftyeight - February 1, 2011

    […] (you can read all about the plumbing nightmares here and here) […]

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