Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A remodeled bathroom

Can you hear me screaming? Though only in my mind, it is very loud. Seems that every cut of trim, every line of tile, every everything in our beloved 1924 house needs to be custom. It takes so long and is so very resource consuming. It just goes on and on and on. First one wall of the original bathroom had to be covered with a false wall in order to properly fit the plumbing and electrical. This is because the original wall was comletely covered both by a layer of 1”x 6” lumber and lath and plaster that sat directly over a concrete foundation wall. You could not get through the floor to the crawl space and you could not get into the wall because of the Fort Knox construction. But that was only the beginning. Nothing in the room is square, plumb, or level. Thence, all the customizing. But I must say, it is looking pretty good.

My son Rick originally took a week of family sick time off from work to remodel our bathroom to meet handicap standards for his dad who was in a rehab center. It took two days just to gut the room and to construct walls for the new shower. Thre was trouble finding a preformed handicap shower locally and the cost was prohibitive. So that had to be custom built, starting with a 36”x36” shower pan. Would you believe that plain white subway tile was hard to find? Well enough of it anyway. Rick ran into trouble with old plumbing and electrical, losing precious hours before we finally ended up calling in the pros. Thank God both were available. On other projects, I have had to schedule their services weeks in advance. Needless to say, the week was soon done but the project not nearly so. So a couple weeks later, over a long Memorial Day weekend, Rick took another stab at it, hoping to complete the work in 2 ½ days. Don't laugh, he worked his tail off and made a lot of progress.

It was Rick's intention to work until about noon so that he would have time to finish the job, clean up, load his truck and spend a couple hours relaxing before the long drive back to Seattle. At 4:00 p.m. he still had not finished the trim, grouted any of the tile, or repaired the wall in the hallway were the bathroom door was widened. By 5:30 he did manage to hang sheetrock on the hallway wall, cut the ¼ round that goes around the floor between the tiled floor and baseboard in the bathroom, and drill holes in the shower tile for attaching the grab bars. But someone else, most likely my daughter Dianna will need to do the grouting, nail in the ¼ round, and actually hang the last two grab bars. I will need to do the fill work, painting and papering before this project can be declared complete. Thank goodness I still have some more of the wallpaper left that is in the hallway. I don't want to redo the whole thing.

All our kids contributed some funding and/or labor, and we re-used what materials we could, but this bathroom will keep us pretty broke for the rest of the year. Supplies, professional tradesmen, and equipment rentals are to the point where I don't even want to think about them.We have been talking about remodeling this bathroom for many years, but there have always been “other things” that took priority. So what can I say, our hand was forced and it will end up being a room safe for my husband to use, a room styled to the period of the house, a room we can be proud of. Please tell me it will be finished soon.