And so it begins. Again. Ok, for those of you just joining us, this is a chronicle of the DIY (design it yourself – we leave most of the heavy “do-ing” to the professionals) antics of me and my hubby as we set about improving our 1920’s house. We’ve just completed the kitchen, master bath, guest bath and bedrooms (though I have more decorative touches to add to those rooms soon), and are about to set forth conquering the dreaded family bath.
We call it the family bath since that’s who uses it most: our family and friends who stay with us when visiting for holiday affairs, or just to get away from their citified lives. We call it dreaded because it’s a logistical nightmare, and one that’s sure to test our budgetary limits. So, I thought I’d take you guys right on through the process, sort of from the beginning to the end. The actual beginning was about 4 years ago when we bought the house, but the drawings and purchasing only just happened, so I can share the process with you.
Mid-week 15, day 73, and the plumbing is finally done! Shockingly, the heating install went well, smoothly even, and the last tasks to complete the punch-list for Team Plumbing were done in less than one day. Relief, disbelief, joy. Wow, we’re seriously almost done now. (Thanks, Matt!) We’ll still need a final plumbing inspection, but it’s looking good, working, and helps us get to the next (last) stage of our renovation: completion.
Team Carpentry was back, including Dave (duh), J.J. (as a jack-of-all-trades helper again), and Jonas (the cabinet/furniture guru among them). Dave worked the last bits of baseboard trim, completed the cutest (can I say “cute” about something that’s made of wood and metal?) little radiator cover that cleverly removes (!!) for access to the heater, and began the process of moving out of the garage (that could take days). J.J. worked his way down the punch-list, painting windows, corbels, touch-ups on walls and doors, and vacuuming debris along the way. Oh, and he fixed a tile that got cracked during a small carpentry adjustment. All in a day’s work, eh, J.J.?
Day 60! We made it! Well, that was Friday, and I’ve been so busy since then that I didn’t even get a chance to tell you about it. So, Friday capped off a great week (and capped of 12 weeks of work so far!). Caleb and J.J. finished tiling and grouting the backsplash, Dave finished building the pantry nook (which I LOVE, by the way), and started working on the shelves for the baking nook, while I cleaned, sanded and painted the radiator covers for the entire first floor. We were all busy, motivated by the Shakira and Beyonce channel on Pandora. (Let the record show, this was a request by the boys – they even sang along to some of the diva-tude. It was rather cute.)
Day 39, and I’m still reeling from the quantity of things that got done today. First, a roster of people working at the house today: Dave, Eric, Frank, Brad, Matt, Josh, Caleb and J.J. (I’m out of breath just listing them!) Second, a list of things they worked on: sinks, faucets, toilets, refrigerator, dishwasher, wall ovens, cooktop, trim paint, door jambs, shower tile, door removal, stair sanding, floor sanding, clean-up and reorganization. (Phew!) The project just went from plodding along to full-throttle in the span of a day.
Day 37 was kind of like a dud firework – you’re all excited for it to go off, and then, and then… it fizzles. Which, in this case, isn’t really a bad thing, it’s just the way things went. We had our countertop installers come by (Team Stone) to make some templates and confirm the details of the space, and had a wonderful surprise early visit from the plumbers (hooray!). However, our Team Carpentry was a man down (illness), and Team Tile got tied up with other business elsewhere (you mean to tell me I’m NOT your only client? Well, I never!), which made progress grind to a crawl. Planning, organizing, and design decisions were made, but not much physical happened.
Day 13, and now I’m superstitious. Ok, not really, but the electrical inspector stood us up. Didn’t call, didn’t send flowers, just never showed. After three calls (and a few HOURS waiting) we learned that he was “really busy” that morning. How nice for him. How nice for him to make an appointment and then totally ignore it. Grr. He’s supposed to come tomorrow. We’ll see about that. I’m sure this humid, sticky, return-to-summer weather isn’t helping our patience. At least the electrical is ready to be inspected (high five, Brad!).
Day 10 went by so fast, it’s almost a blur in my mind. In fact, it almost seems like it’s still happening. Ok, well, it is. We’re on day 10-B now, as the plumbers are working part of today to make up for the time they lost when they had to (last minute, and unexpectedly) postpone their start day earlier in the week. (What professionalism! Dedication! We have such a good crew!) But, man, oh, man, did everyone get tons done Friday. Framing of the closet? Check. Framing of the pantry? Check. Framing for powder room door? Check. Recess built for radiator? Check. Lights hung and awaiting our approval? Check. Bathroom fan hung and vented? Check. Preliminary venting done for range hood? Check. Plumbing – ok, I don’t know what any of the plumbing is called, and the plumbers are such hard workers that I daren’t stop them to ask- but, plumbing stuff? Check!