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:

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:

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):

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.

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