Friday, August 20, 2010

Before the Bottom Falls Out...

I had heard the expression before, but this week, it took on a whole new meaning!

Mondays are Josh's days off. He typically likes to sleep as late as possible (which is only until about 8), watch SportsCenter, play all day with Jake, possibly take a nap, and generally, if he didn't get to it over the weekend, he'll mow the yard. So this past Monday started out like any other... my husband woke up, got his cup of coffee, and since it was about time to give Jake his morning cereal, he volunteered to feed him so I could get some work done. Our son, being the calm, cool, and collected kid that he is (insert voice dripping with sarcasm here), decided that he needed to smear his cereal all over his face and in his hair. Okay, so I have to be honest, it was pretty darn cute. He was still in his pj's and hadn't had a bath the night before, so I recommended just giving him a bath. Jake loves bath time anyway.

So into the downstairs bathroom they went. Josh leaned over to put our son in the bathtub and his foot literally sank into the linoleum (Josh's foot- not Jake's). Since linoleum is one of the world's most flexible materials, it didn't crack or anything, but he knew there was trouble underneath it. After bath time (and before I could even wrap my mind around what was happening) half of our bathroom floor was pulled up. That's okay, I thought, I didn't even like that old blue linoleum anyway. What I didn't realize, and what Josh had to point out to me, was that the linoleum wasn't the problem. The subfloor (which is a new vocabulary word for me this week) is made of wood and had completely rotted out. Our toilet has been leaking for only God knows how long and the floor that holds up our bathroom was basically a big, spongy mess. After further investigation, the water damage had spread under the toilet (obviously), under the 350-pound cast-iron tub, and even under the closet that is adjacent to the bathroom. In a word, our bathroom would have eventually fallen through the floor and into the basement! Could you imagine???

So after discussing our options, we decided that the smartest thing to do would be to renovate the entire room- including knocking out the wall between the bathroom and the closet to make it bigger and add a shower. This is an idea that we had been toying with since moving into the house, but it was a project that was pretty far down on our wish list. But sometimes these things have a way of happening more quickly I guess!

So on his day off, Josh spent hours demolishing the old floor, walls, and prying off every last inch of old plaster. It was quite an extensive job! He also generously sacrificed two of his vacation days to stay home and work on the project so that we won't be without a bathroom (no worries... we do have another one upstairs seen here) for too long. And the added bonus is that his dad was coming up this way anyway, so he just came up sooner to help out. Thank goodness they are handy!

So here is what we're dealing with to help you visualize our mess:

This picture is taken from the study. The door on the left is where the old closet used to me (seen in the next picture). It was a pretty good sized closet and as deep as the bathroom. The door on the right is the bathroom door. There is also another door that leads into this bathroom on the right of the bathroom (not seen) that goes into our kitchen. Because we don't need three doors going into the same bathroom (a bit of overkill, don't you think??), we are rebuilding a very shallow closet where the old one used to be and using the rest of the old closet space as a stand up shower.

It's hard to see how deep this old closet is here, but this will be our new shower when this is all said and done. This picture was actually taken when we looked at the house and we didn't have nearly this much stuff in it, so I'm not too worried about what will be displaced. Those old drawers are original to the house, however, so we're hoping to keep them and eventually build something that will utilize them

And here is the bathroom before destruction as seen from the unseen door to the kitchen mentioned above. The toilet will stay in the same place, but the wall behind it will only be about 2 feet wide from the left. The rest of the space will be open and will be the entrance to our new shower. We are losing the tub, but we're okay with it since we have one upstairs.

Now here's the same space seen above plus the added space from the old closet:

This is the subfloor. You can see where they had to pull up some of the diagonal planks of wood to replace them. before the new wood went down, you could see straight into the basement. The hardwood floor that we left in there (on the left upperhand side of the picture) is the depth of the closet. The rest of the space in the back there will be the shower.

As of the end of last night, the planks had been replaced, the concrete subfloor (that we will tile over) had been laid, and the new wall for the closet had been built. We've decided to not make the wall go all the way to the ceiling to make the room appear even bigger. Our ceilings downstairs are very tall.

So that brings us to today. Today's projects included a lot of working in the basement to reroute the plumbing from the old bathtub to the new shower. Fun fun! And I am just staying out of the way as to not throw in my two cents. I feel as if I'm an expert because of the amount of time I spent watching HGTV!

I will definitely post more pictures as our project progresses! It's just always an adventure here in Mauneyland!

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