The Powder Room! 99% DONE!

Behold! We are finished! (Well, almost. The plumber needs to come back and re-caulk the sink because I made him take it down because it wasn’t 100% level and I am insane. And of course, when he removed it, we found that the sink itself was cast that way. So I’m stuck with it. Also: we are having ALL the windows replaced in February, so try and ignore the blue tape and beat up trim along the window.)

BUT HEY! I don’t want to start on a negative note, so let’s discuss what is awesome, shall we? Because there is a whole lot of awesome in this bathroom. I want to show everyone just how much this room improved.

Here are a few before and after shots side-by-side. (Remember: this room is mega tiny. We had a very limited space to work with. I feel we did a great job making it look bigger than it really is.)

Same view of the room from the doorway (before and after):

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The sinks (before and after):

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Looking up (before and after):

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And so, where did I get everything? What did I buy? Here’s a list!

The Toilet

I ended up buying the TOTO CT416-01 Aquia II Elongated Bowl from Amazon. I am happy with it so far. But I gotta tell ya! The plumber, as well as the contractor, did not seem to keen on all toilets skirted! I guess they are more difficult to install? But I heard some groaning coming from the plumber when he realized what he’d be dealing with. Oh well! I wanted something easy to clean. I wanted to avoid older toilets where you see the outline of the pipes, you know what I mean? The ones that bolt down into the floor. They just become so filthy and collect dust, urine and who knows what else. I get tired of trying to scrub around those creases, which is why I opted for a smaller skirted toilet.

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For the tank, I got the TOTO Aquia II Dual Flush Toilet Tank from Amazon. Again, no complaints. We had the dual flush at an apartment in Brooklyn and I liked it. They use VERY little water and are less likely to leak. So, yeah. Toilets!

I would happily order my bathroom fixtures from Amazon again. I like Amazon. We use them constantly as we are Prime members. And while they are now charging send-back fees, it’s still worth it as they will take anything back. I like knowing they will cover anything and everything that is their fault. I feel like I am in good hands with Amazon. So, yes. When we do the upstairs bath, I will order from Amazon again.

The Fan

We had a super mega quiet fan installed (official name!), the most silent fan money can buy. Honestly, I am actually not sure what fan we ended up with, because our electrician hooked me up when I told him what I wanted. But it’s awesome. When we move upstairs, we plan on getting one with a timer as we want it to stay on for 30 minutes post-shower to avoid mold.

The Sconce

We got the Satin Nickel, Cut Corner Bath Light (Two Lights) from Shades Of Light.

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The Mirror

For the mirror, we purchased the Rectangular Tilt Bathroom Mirror from Shades Of Light. I was hesitant about the mirror at first. But Toby wanted it and I’m super glad I gave in. It’s really great when you have little people who need to see themselves as it tilts down so they can look as well. My only suggestion to you, should you buy one, is that you purchase something soft to stick to the back of the bottom trim to protect your wall should Junior get a little too pushy with it. But, for what it’s worth, so far, we haven’t had any issues with it hitting the wall.

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I wish to state: I can’t recommend Shades Of Light enough. Their stuff arrived well-packaged and SUPER fast. I would order from them in a heartbeat.

The Tile Floor

I went back and forth about what type of floor would stand up to living with THREE little boys. After talking with people and looking at samples, I decided on Pennyrounds with gray grout. We went with Pennyrounds from NEMO Tile. I got sd244. The gray grout goes really well with the grayish blue color of some of the rounds. And I LOVE the way they look. I highly recommend Pennyrounds for smaller spaces. I would not recommend Pennyrounds for larger areas, however, simply because they tend to be very difficult to lay well. And the bigger the area, the more room for visual errors. I hope that makes sense.

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They come in 12 x 12 mesh sheets. It’s not impossible to do or anything, but over a large space you run the risk of the rounds not lining up well. But, man! Does it ever look great.

Toby and I want things to match throughout the entire house, so we plan on using Pennyrounds in the kitchen as a backsplash most likely. You see, this powder room is right off the kitchen, so they need to work well together. We had to think about this now as we plan on doing the kitchen in the next couple of years.

The Wainscoting, Radiator Cover, Trim and Door

The fit and finish was done by our general contractor. He and his men custom cut everything to fit. We are VERY pleased with their work and plan on using them again.

And finally…

The Sink

OK, so the sink caused me a great deal of stress and uncertainty up until the very end. Hell, the sink is STILL causing me heartburn, but I am stuck with it, unfortunately.

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We ordered the sink and the faucet from Vintage Tub and Bath. (I will not be linking to the items because I don’t recommend the company. More below.) Had you asked me months ago, when I first started working with them, if I would recommend them, I’d have said ABSOLUTELY. But then things started to fall apart fast. I won’t go into TOO much of this because it’s super annoying and my heart rate rises whenever I think about it, but they aren’t too great with the whole returns policy. After some sleuthing, I found that I’m not alone and they have many other unhappy customers.

Here’s the skinny: if you order something that you don’t want or that doesn’t fit, you have to pay the return fee as well as the restocking fee. They may tell you otherwise, but I would hesitate to take their word for anything, really. Usually, because you’re paying by weight, the amount to send these puppies back costs almost as much as the items you’re returning. And some items come in multiple boxes, so you’re paying twice.

What I learned? Scrutinize. Make absolutely sure it’s a PERFECT fit before you buy anything from Vintage Tub and Bath. I mean, I can’t fault them for making you pay the return shipping, at least a percentage of it, but the full amount PLUS the restocking fee? Well, I think it’s too risky to buy an expensive item from them without seeing it first.

However, let’s say you DO make sure that you got the right item, the right fit, you know exactly what you wanted and all is well in the world? Make sure you open your item and have the person (plumber) inspect it within 48-hours of receiving it. Because if there is something wrong with the item, you have that long to let them know. After that? You’re screwed.

And I don’t just mean cracked or broken, I mean items that were cast improperly at the factory, which is what the case ended up being with this sink. (As well as a pedestal I ordered, which, thankfully my contractor took off my hands.) The bottom of the sink isn’t cast level. But I didn’t know this even though I did open it (it’s not my job to know this, frankly. It’s a plumber’s eye that I needed) until long after that 48-hour period. So, yeah. No option to return it. They will not budge. I’m stuck with it.

So, the sink isn’t completely level, but we did what we could with what we have. And the plumber is coming back to re-caulk it after adjusting it to my liking.

I don’t see myself ever ordering from Vintage Tub and Bath again. BUT! If I have to for some reason, I will get EVERYTHING they say in writing. And I will have someone inspect the item ASAP because I can’t have this happen again. Ultimately, however, I plan on going into the city and buying locally next time. I want to inspect the items and if I get the wrong thing, or ANYTHING goes wrong, I want to be able to get my money back or credit toward the right item. Vintage Tub and Bath does not appear to be that company.

The Fixtures

ALL of our fixtures, eventually throughout the entire house, will be Brushed Nickel. The ones featured here were purchased from Amazon, the MOEN SAGE line. The only piece in this bathroom that isn’t brushed nickel is the doorhandle and that bugs both Toby and me. However, they didn’t have the option, so we made due with an antique gold, which matches the other doorhandles in the house. I imagine down the road we will replace it. I’m not sure.

Whew! So, yeah. It’s almost over! We will have new windows installed throughout our entire house in February, at which point I will need to find a privacy feature for the very large window. Otherwise, we’re done here. Our work is done here.

Lollipop Special!

It’s the holidays which means I’ve been busting my ass making lollipops, fulfilling orders, making faces happy. It also means, I have a variety of extras! So every year I sell the remaining suckers at a discount.

Today I’m offering 5 lollipops of my choosing for $5.00 (plus shipping).

My days

This offer ends Thursday, December 17th. They make killer stocking stuffers and great last minute office treats.

Another Bathroom Update

It’s been a while since I wrote about our powder room renovation. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and so sometimes I forget what I’m sharing and where. Anyway, we’ve made some progress.

We now have wainscoting, a new door, and the floor has been tiled in penny rounds. The carpenter is also making us a small radiator cover, which isn’t yet finished. This is what all of that looks like pre-paint.

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So, a few things: we were considering using penny rounds in our kitchen as well because I love the look. But they seem nearly impossible to make look 100% spatially perfect. It’s fine for a bathroom, but for a larger area, I think any off-spacing (which would be likely) would drive me bonkers. I stared at our floor for what seemed like hours. I looked online at other pictures of finished penny tiled floors and I saw spacial issues on many of those as well. And it’s making me feel crazy. In fact, Toby thinks I’m crazy and has told me to stop. I think the graphic designer in me wants to kern the living f*ck out of our floor.

One more small confession: I’m still not sure how I feel about the gray grout. I chose it because I felt it would age better. While I love the look of white grout, it just doesn’t seem to age well and gets so gross over time. So, I chose gray. It’s OK. I think. I think I’ll love it once everything else is in place.

Anyway, the painter arrives tomorrow to paint the wainscoting, the trim, the door, the radiator cover, and the walls. For the wall above the wainscoting, I have chosen a blue that matches almost perfectly with the darker glaze of the penny rounds.

I am very excited to see how our bathroom takes shape over the next couple of days. And I can’t WAIT to not have to walk my fat, pregnant ass up the stairs every time I have to pee, which is about 100 times per hour.

Exciting stuff! I’m learning a great deal. And I’m happy we did this tiny powder room first because when we move onto the kitchen and master bath, I’ll be much better at making decisions and a lot less freaked out.

Pink Socks and Coconut Spray

There was a time I ran ads on this site. Then the organization hosting said ads (and making a killing from it) kept rotating popup ads when I explicitly asked them not to. Well, it continued, so I told them I was done making them a ton of money when I got so little out of it. (I made like 100 bucks a month and was taxed on top of that. It simply wasn’t worth it.)

Then there are the reviews. I get hundreds of requests to review stuff and 95% of the time I ignore them. Here’s the deal: I take a great deal of pride in how I conduct myself online. It wasn’t always that way! But it is now. I try and be honest and truthful in every aspect of my life, and my online life is no different. If I were to start agreeing to review stuff, I would have a great deal of trouble NOT being honest and not everything made and sold is awesome. I just don’t think I could ever lie about a product. So, instead of being faced with the possibility of NOT writing a review because a product isn’t all that, OR simply just lying, I choose to avoid reviews altogether.

Plus, given that the non-monetized, personal blog is becoming increasingly more endangered, I’d like to keep mine ad and review free.

Buuuuuut…

I did receive two items from two different marketers and now I feel obligated to write about the items. While I don’t intend on reviewing stuff here in the future (I had toyed with it) I feel I owe them a writeup. So, forgive me, fair readers. I’m about to tell you about two products sent to me for free. And I hope this doesn’t upset anyone too much.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t know the rules when it comes to reviews on blogs, but since I have nothing to lose—meaning, I don’t intend on writing any more reviews—I’m just gonna tell it like it is and be done with it. So, here goes nothing.

ITEM RECEIVED:

The first item I received is called CapriClear. (Here is the Amazon link.) It is an all-natural, spray-on, coconut moisturizer.

WHY I SAID YES:

I was drawn to this freebie for two reasons: it’s natural and it’s coconut based. I love coconut. Plus, it’s used to treat Eczema and dry skin. Since I am pregnant, and I am careful about what I put on my body, I figured the natural aspect would be perfect. Couple that with having just moved into a drafty house with radiator heat, and having excessively dry skin due to pregnancy, I took them up on their offer for a free sample. And, for the most part, it’s fine. It moisturizes and keeps what little moisture I do have in. Plus, it’s super easy to apply which is insanely important to me right now as I am huge. I like the spray-on applicator because bending over these days, or contorting in any way at all, is nearly impossible. I can’t even put on my socks or shoes all that well anymore. So the spray on feature was an added bonus.

However! I have to be honest, the spray tickles my throat! At first I wasn’t sure if it was just a coincidence: spray stuff, tickle, then cough. But it isn’t. Every time I spray it, I get a tickle and I cough. It’s not terrible, and I still use it sometimes. And it doesn’t make anyone else here cough. So, I’m left to assume that this is some weird pregnancy thing. Anyway, I’ve given it to Toby. When I’m no longer pregnant, assuming there is any left, I will try again.

My only other “complaint” is that I actually wish it smelled like coconut. It’s truly smell free, which is exactly what they were going for. You know how some companies say something is “odor free” and it so isn’t? (I’m looking at you, Tom’s of Maine deodorant!) This is completely smell free. And while that’s probably a good thing for those who need it, I love the smell of coconut, so I kind of wish they had an option that smelled like coconut. (Again: this is just a picky, little personal thing. Those with Eczema or other skin issues prefer things to be smell-free. And this is just that.)

ITEM RECEIVED:

The second item I received was a pair of socks called Heat Holders. I was sent hot pink ones. I love pink.

WHY I SAID YES:

I have something called Raynaud’s Disease. It’s not going to kill me, but it does annoy me. Basically, I have terrible circulation in my hands, feet, chest and ears (to name a few). This was truly awful when I was a skier. I was constantly battling the poor circulation in my feet and no matter how many socks I wore, or how warm they were, I was unable to stay out for very long. And I was a pretty good skier too!

It sucked. So when this woman reached out to me asking me if I wanted a pair of the warmest socks in THE ENTIRE WORLD, I said yes. (I’m exaggerating her stating IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, but dude.)

THESE SOCKS MAKE MY FEET SWEAT. They truly are warm socks. And I would LOVE to try skiing again to see if they solve my problem. But I can’t because I’m pregnant! I do, however, wear these socks around our drafty, old house. And they keep them cozy warm. So, yeah. Thumbs up on the warmth factor, Heat Holders.

My ONLY complaint about these socks is the packaging is pretty bad. (Sorry, Heat Holders!) You asked a graphic designer to review your product, which is a good product! But get better packaging!

People: packaging goes a long way. You can sell almost anything if it’s in a well-designed package. Heat Holders, while awesome, has ugly packaging. If they change that, I think they’ll sell a whole hell of a lot more socks. Because they work! I can attest, so can my cold feet: they work. Just upgrade the look and you’re golden, Heat Holders.

THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE

OK, so that’s all I have to say about all that. And I feel better for having written this after agreeing to free stuff. It didn’t feel right accepting their goods and not writing anything. And even though I don’t intend on continuing this line of writing, I feel like less of a chump now that I wrote something.

Thanks for reading! More about our slow-moving bathroom renovation in a few. We have progress!

Toby’s Birthday Cake

Toby turned 36 yesterday. I asked him what type of cake he wanted and his only requests were: chocolate and that the boys decorate it. This wasn’t nearly as difficult for me to agree to as one might image. Y’all know how much I love decorating cakes! But not this time. This time, I sat them down in front of a piece of cake, gave them a bunch of decorations from my stash and let them go nuts.

This is what we ended up with:

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Elliot was a lot more reserved with his cake, which didn’t surprise me at all. Emory, on the other hand, he turned his into a New Year’s cake, or possibly something that Liberace might create. I was impressed! Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I do believe this will become a tradition for many years to come.

The Everyday Horrors of Parenting.

Elliot started school last week. He’s having a tough time adjusting, so we are taking it slow. The kid has been attached to me since the moment he was born. So I knew it would be a difficult transition for him. But since the new baby will take up a lot of my time come March, I figured it’s best to introduce Elliot to some independence ahead of time.

The new school is pretty great. They are very accommodating when it comes to potty training, which is important to both Toby and me. Without turning this into a debate, we are pretty adamant about not pressing the whole potty training situation. We let the kids figure it out on their own (with guidance, of course). When they are ready, they will use the potty. Before that, we don’t push them to do so. It’s just the way we do things.

So, yeah. Elliot is not yet potty trained. And I am pleased that this school is very flexible on this issue. They work with the kids, talk to them. But never do they introduce shame or force it upon the child. Instead, if the child goes to the bathroom or even tries to go to the bathroom, the child gets a high five, a hug; basically, the child gets praised. And that sits very well with us.

And wouldn’t you know, after 3 short days, Elliot is already making progress. (Being around other kids helps!) He is now letting me know when he has to go. And that’s a huge step. Before now, he would poop and then run away from me, hide in the corner, whatever he could to avoid EVER having that diaper changed. I’m all for not pressuring the kids to use the toilet, but sitting around in their own feces? Well, I have to draw the line somewhere. It’s been a bit of a struggle.

But that’s now changing, thankfully. Elliot is more vocal about it and no longer runs away when it’s time. He’s even letting us know beforehand, which is awesome.

But all of that backfired today.

(Warning! Those who are annoyed by parents sharing too much, or those who are squeamish about feces should stop reading.)

I picked Elliot up from school at 12:30. Once home, he played with his trains. I love listening to Elliot play. I listened from the other room.

At about 1:45 he came up to me and said, “Mama! I pooped! Den I change mah dipah!”

“You did!” I said, proud of him even though he didn’t currently have a diaper on. Realizing that this meant there was a used diaper somewhere, I had to find out where the crime took place. “Elliot, where did this happen?”

“Ovah hee-ah!” He said, turning away from me, exposing his pooped-streaked legs.

Oh shit. I thought.

I followed him into the living room to discover the dog gleefully licking the carpet. A tiny pair of pants had been tossed aside, leaving a skid mark in their wake. And there was a clean diaper that had been used as toilet paper.

I was horrified, but I kept my cool. Poop doesn’t really bother me, but dogs eating poop? That bothers me. And poop all over my kid, the floor and the carpet when we have to leave in 15 minutes to fetch the other kid? Well, bad timing all around. This particular scenario sucked.

But Elliot was so proud! He felt he had taken a HUGE step and I could not let on otherwise.

“Wow!” I said, giving him my biggest fake smile. “You DID change your diaper!” I shooed away the shitty dog. “We have to clean you up now, OK? How about a quick bath?”

“But I don’t want a bath.”

“But you have poop all over you and I don’t think wipes are gonna work.”

“NO BATH.”

Ah! The impenetrable independence again. He refused to take a bath, kicking and screaming. Refused. And the clock was ticking. I had two choices: put him in the tub, kicking and screaming; or, bring him to Em’s school covered in feces.

Trying to negotiate with two and three-year-olds when you have all the time in the world is nearly impossible. Trying to negotiate with two and three-year-olds when you’ve been given a time limit? Forget it. They know. They know you have to leave the house in a few minutes so they become even more stubborn. So, I picked him up and put him in the tub. I let him stand, reassuring him that I wasn’t going to give him a bath, because, God forbid. I told him that instead I was just gonna hose him off.

“HOSE OFF? NO HOSE OFF!”

He moved to the back of the tub in protest as I delicately began hosing him off. Poop made its way down his legs and into the bottom of the tub. I looked at the clock. Five minutes. Crap.

To make matters even worse, the plumbing in our master bathroom is simply awful. The tub doesn’t drain well at all. (This is what you get when you buy an old house with a master bath that’s not been updated in 100 years. Yes. It’s true. We have a 100-year-old bathroom.) So the tub began to fill up.

Every now and again, there’s really only one thing left for a parent to do and that’s weep. So as the tub began to fill with brown liquid, I did just that. I wept. And weeping made me feel better.

Elliot screamed like the water was acid. And since it seemed like I was torturing him, I stopped with the hose and began to wipe him down instead. And as poop and tears made their way slowly out of our ancient tub, Elliot continued to scream.

I’m not sure how we made it out of the house in time, but we did. And I made sure to roll up the carpet before we left in hopes of keeping the dog from repulsing me even further, to the point of no return. (Civilized animals DO NOT willingly eat poop. This is why I was born a cat person and will die a cat person. Sorry dog.)

As we drove up the hill to fetch his brother, Elliot says to me in his sweet, soft voice, “Mama? Sorry I got poop on cahpet. But I change mah diapah!”

“Yes you did, baby. And I’m proud of you. But next time? Let me do the wiping, OK?”

“Otay!”

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.

We current drive a RAV4, which I love. However, Toby and I realized recently that come March it likely won’t fit all five of us. We don’t have a lot of money thanks to the moneypit of a house we purchased, but we need a bigger car.

And so, fine, Internet people, if you currently cart around 5 people, what do you drive? Are you happy with it? Do share any information you might have.

(Incidentally, I posted this question to Twitter, which was once super helpful for matters like this. And not to derail this update, but I am becoming increasingly more frustrated with how useless Twitter has become—at least for me. I once loved Twitter for its social interactions, which were plentiful and helpful, but now? Now it just seems like people are sending out messages without reading anyone else’s updates or responses. Less and less people seem to be replying. Less and less people seem to be reading. More and more people seem to be trying to sell me shit. I suppose that has to do with people following too many people and vice versa? I am not sure. And I can’t say it about everyone and I can’t say I’m not guilty of it as well at times. But it just seems to be… I don’t know… not what it once was. Or maybe I’m just a grumpy asshole today. And holy tangent.)

The Powder Room: A Gut Job

Last week, we began with our first, big cosmetic project by gutting the powder room. You may remember it, if not, here’s a brief, visual refresher:

Entire Bath

UnderSink

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You can read a bit more about the original bathroom here.

Well, it’s been gutted. They tore out the wavy plaster. They tore out the four or so layers of crooked flooring. They tore out the nasty old toilet, the sink, and the light fixtures. Forgive me for the quality, these shots were taken from outside since they seal off the bathroom between updates, the bathroom currently looks like this:

Powder Room Gut Job

Powder Room Gut Job

Powder Room Gut Job

Yesterday, the plumber showed up to remove and install new pipes. I am not sure how plumbers do what they do, frankly. This poor guy had to cut through an ancient, feces-infested pipe and move it so that we could adjust for a modern toilet. (The bathroom was “updated” in the last 100 years, but they didn’t update the plumbing, so the toilet sat about 4 inches away from the wall. And it was on a slant, so we are paying to do it right this time around.)

He worked his ass off, refusing coffee and snacks along the way. And I was ready to offer him the hard stuff because, dude? The only way I’d be dealing with 100-year-old, shit-lined pipes is if blasted drunk. (Although, I have surprised myself with how much I’m willing to deal with when I simply must. There was that time I was on a bus heading home from a 12-week ultrasound. I’d consumed 32 ounces of water prior my scan and even though I peed right before I left, minutes after I got on that bus I realized there was no way I’d make it home; I was going to pee my pants. So I got off the bus and entered some 24-hour diner—like the kind of diner that comes with its own string of permanent junkies—and I embraced that bathroom. It was horrifying. Remember that scene in Trainspotting where he hallucinates that he’s swimming down through the feces infested water? It was just like that bathroom. But I didn’t care. I made that bathroom my temporary home. It was the most wonderful place on earth. And you wouldn’t believe the “bathrooms” a distance runner will use while out on a long run. But I only share those stories with one person in this great big world and that’s my brother, Ryan. Poor guy.)

But I digress. This dude was a champ. He came in, moved some pipes, capped others, cleaned some out. He updated the ones that were falling apart and then took 15 minutes to make sure the new toilet would be positioned just so. I don’t know. Plumbers should make millions of dollars. How come the folks doing the jobs no on really wants to do, the folks doing the work everyone NEEDs done, tend to make so little?

The plumber left and now it a section looks like this (eventually, it will be made up in a nice, trendy stainless steal material, or so I’m told):

Powder Room Gut Job

As I type, an electrician that looks remarkably similar to Michael Stipe, is installing “up-to-code” electricity, including electrical sockets, a fan, eventually new sconces. There is a lot of drilling and sawing and hacking away. And I can see things happening, changing and it’s ALREADY a huge improvement over that impostor bathroom, the one pretending to be modern. This bathroom, even down to its bare skin, the hole in the floor, its exposed wiring—fans and all—is a huge improvement.

The house is lighter. Things are being done the right way. And I’m so excited.

Next week, we start to rebuild. We will install walls, a floor, and that’s when things get really good. And I’ll take pictures and share along the way.

Roof Rot and Other Stuff.

We had a new roof put on last week. And it’s amazing. It makes the house look lighter and happier, which I didn’t think was possible. But the house looks better than it did before when it sat rotting from the inside out, covered in green moss and mold.

Here’s a picture of our new roof.

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Our contractor took it all the way down to the plywood. They removed THREE layers of shingles, because, of course the previous owners cut corners and instead of replacing the roof, just added more shit to the top of it. And that’s comedically obvious because once the three layers were removed, our single-layered roof exposed at least an inch worth of unpainted wood from where the old roof once sat.

But, yay! NEW ROOF!

So that brings us to today when they showed up to remove and replace our old gutters. The old gutters were ridiculously beat up. They hadn’t been replaced in at least 20 years. (Like most everything else in this house.) Thing is, when they began tearing them down, they discovered the wood below them was rotting, giant gaping holes sat staring back at us. I am not surprised by this, but it still stings a bit. But this is precisely what happens whenever you cut corners on your roof. If you don’t add a proper rain shield and/or runoff along the bottom edge of your roof, instead of having the rainwater runoff, it pools up below the shingles and eats away at the wood.

Here are a few pictures of what that looks like.

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Anyway, today we get new wood and then new gutters. (Insert lame internet sigh here.)

So, yeah. Still learning! And my husband, who is notorious for researching everything to a fault, can probably tell you more about roofing and the proper way to do things than the contractor selling you your roof.

Stay tuned for next week’s adventure when we gut the powder room and tear up the 25-year old patio out back, the same one leaking rainwater into our basement.

Refinishing A Clawfoot Tub.

I wrote briefly in the previous update about the top floor bathroom and how the tub was left to rust and rot. We knew when we purchased the home that there was a leak leading from it into the boys’ bedroom below. But we didn’t know how bad it was until we opened the ceiling. The previous owners let water sit and rust an otherwise lovely clawfoot tub. And since it was leaking into the bedroom below, they deemed the entire bathroom off limits, you know, instead of repairing it. Because, why would anyone want to fix something? No. Instead, they told their middle child (the one whose bedroom was in the finished attic) that she shouldn’t use that bathroom at all.

So, it sat there unused and rusting. Meanwhile, a family of five shared one bathroom. Not that that’s a big deal; we’ve been doing just that. But why have five people share a bathroom if you don’t have to? Especially when someone uses the bedroom attached to it? (Both our boys are too young and/or scared right now to move to that floor. In time, however, I am certain they will be fighting over it.)

So that was annoying. But this isn’t remotely close to being the worst problem we inherited. This is nothing. I’ll share the rest of it over time, I am sure.

Anyway, here’s how we inherited the tub:

Clawfoot Tub. Finished Attic. Before Shot

The rust around the drain ate through the tub and so water was basically pouring out onto the floor below, which was then pouring into the ceiling below. So. Yeah.

Anyway here’s the finished product:

Finished Tub

We priced getting a new clawfoot tub, but they are very pricey. So I started researching having the tub sanded and refinished. Originally I was planning on doing it myself. But since I’m pregnant, and the finish involved can be toxic, we decided against it.I paid someone instead. They came out, sanded the tub, got rid of the rust and then refinished both the outside and inside for right around 500.00. (It would have been cheaper if the tub was outside or in an otherwise better ventilated, and bigger space.) So, for what it’s worth, if you have a tub that seems like it’s past its prime, don’t throw it out! You can have it redone for so much less than buying a new tub. And if you’re up for a challenge, they sell kits at Home Depot specifically for this type of job.

We purchased the fixture from Amazon. You may see it here. I had our awesome plumber install it all AND make sure the leak was fixed. It is! Come over! Have a bubble bath!