Bathroom Remodel – Installment One – The Before

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In case you’ve been wondering where I have been, wonder no more!  DJ and I have been remodeling our upstairs bathroom.  Anyone who has undertaken such a DYI project knows it can be fraught with unexpected difficulties, interesting discoveries, and creative language.  Compounding these known expectations, our house was built in 1846.  For anyone who doesn’t understand what this means to a remodel project, let me explain a little.

This is a pre-Civil War era log home.  It is 2 stories; it had one open room downstairs, and the upstairs space as haphazardly divided into 2 spaces.  This is per the previous owners, E and L, and E was born on the property when her grandmother owned the property.  At that time, there was only an outhouse out the back door, no electricity, and the water pump (still functional) on the porch.  The home was sold outside the family and E and L bought it back in the early 70’s.  Sometime prior to that, a functioning bathroom was put in upstairs.  E and L remodeled that bathroom in 1982, to what you see in the pictures.  We purchased the place in 2012.  But as usual, I digress…

What all this means when you try to remodel, the floors and ceiling aren’t level and the walls are not plumb and square.  There is crazy wiring, confusing structures with no purpose, and plumbing through the floor instead of the wall.

I’m sure in 1982, when E and L had this bathroom put in, it was very nice compared to what they had been using.  All the beautiful woodwork was done by E’s cousin, and because E is under 5 feet tall, the sink and vanity tops were very low.  The light fixtures beside the medicine chest made it nearly impossible to see anything in the mirror when standing in front of it, and was the only lighting in the room aside from the vanity lights surrounding the make-up mirror.  The standard 5 foot bathtub had a wall and shelf at the back, not really functional.  No shower.  The bathroom door opened out into the hall, which wasn’t a problem if you were in the bathroom, but we had to close the door to get around to the stairs.  Oh, and everything was that lovely shade of green.  Did I mention no shower?

Fortunately for us, E and L put in a small bathroom downstairs and included a small (very small) single stall shower.  Remodeling the downstairs bathroom is on our 5 year plan.  And since the upstairs remodel is now complete, we even had the ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon, tonight we get to enjoy showers upstairs for the first time ever in the history of the house.

The next installment of our bathroom remodel will cover the demolition.  While you are waiting impatiently, ponder these bits of trivia about what occurred in 1846 that DJ contributed…James Polk was president, Lincoln had not yet been elected.  As  noted previously, this was pre-Civil War, and prior to the California Gold Rush.  The Liberty Bell cracked while being rung for George Washington’s birthday.  And the first major battle of the Mexican War was fought in Texas..



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