Posted: July 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: bathroom, gross, plumbing, progress | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

dreadful bathroom IT FLUSHES!

toilet: before and after

Exciting bathroom progress: I finally got this stinking toilet clean! It took me a ridiculous amount of hard labor and experimenting with different cleaning products. I started by putting on rubber gloves and throwing away the ghastly toilet seat, then over the course of a few months I tried scrubbing it with toilet bowl cleaner, soaking it in bleach, dumping in vinegar, and scrubbing it with more cleaners (sequentially, not all at once). Each effort produced slight improvements but the real winning trick was to wait until it was disconnected (and therefore empty), then scrub the living hell out of it with a pumice stone and liberal doses of Ajax. Why did I waste so much time on this thing, instead of throwing it away and replacing it as any normal person would’ve done? I guess I hate to waste something that could be saved. I’m on a tight budget. And once I’d wasted a few afternoons scrubbing it I just refused to accept defeat and had to keep scrubbing until I conquered it. Today I declare victory!
But the best part is: it is now reconnected and it works!! The most satisfying thing about this whole weekend was completing the plumbing updates so that we once again have indoor plumbing. Just as we were re-installing the toilet, I discovered a pair of childrens’ scissors lodged in the drainpipe! Glad I caught that. Explains why it wasn’t working so well.

amateur plumbing amateur plumbing

baby’s first plumbing project! it took me a ridiculous amount of time and thought and trial-and-error and labeling and marking and color-coding (and infinite amounts of help from my dad) to figure out how to run the pipes and fit all the pieces together. But it was worth it because it WORKS.

I also improved the bathroom by ripping out all the flooring. It’s a shame because it was sort of new and relatively decent (compared to the rest of the house, that is) but it had such an unholy stink. You don’t even want to think about it. Now the flooring is all out and the smell is basically gone. The subfloor seems to be in decent condition, not too stinky, though I’m treating it with a hydrogen peroxide-baking-soda odor removal treatment just to be thorough.

kitchen before & after

Posted: March 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: excitement, slow progress | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We’ve gotten pretty far into demolishing the kitchen! I’d love to start re-building soon but there is actually more destruction to do first. We got the counters, cabinets, sink, wallboard and old insulation out; we still need to get some remaining tidbits of wallboard out, and maybe the ceiling too. Also thinking of demolishing a bit of a wall, between kitchen and dining room. Right now there is a wall with a big wide doorway; we’re thinking of leaving just 1/3 wall and the other end wide open. The soon-to-be-exposed chimney would be all that remains where that end of the wall is now. This would make it easier to place the wood stove smack in between the two rooms, to heat both kitchen and dining room!


kitchen, before demolition

the kitchen

kitchen, in the early stages of demolition.

I want to keep that memory curve over the sink! It has been carefully set aside and hopefully we can fit it back in when we’re done. I’m drawing up floor-plans for the new kitchen and trying to think about what we want to do for the new kitchen – it’s so exciting to have a blank slate but also I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ve never really thought about how to plan a kitchen before. I wish I had more inspiration materials to look at but whenever I look at magazines (or apartment therapy or any of those websites) I just think “ugh, I don’t want to live in a magazine house with a magazine kitchen!” They all look too sterile and trendy and over-designed. I guess it’s best to just let our kitchen evolve, rather than trying to design it.

we got the sink out!

no more kitchen! Just windows and plumbing!!!!

One of the best things about this whole project is that pretty much every day I come in to start work and I look at the task before me and think, “Uh oh, I don’t know how to do this. I better wait until somebody else comes along to help me or show me how or do it for me.” Then I look around for an easier task, and everywhere my eye falls, I think “That looks really hard. I don’t think I can do that right now.” And then I realize there is nothing easy to work on, it’s all complicated and messy and unfamiliar and difficult, and then I’m like “OK, I better just try and figure out how to get started” and I make a first cautious attempt, and next thing I know I am knee-deep in plaster and figuring out how to get it done! And then afterwards I’m all “That was easy!”

eliza the plumber

taking apart the sink!

before and after!

Posted: March 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: progress, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Spent the past three days working hard in snow and rain to empty out all the crazy junk that’s been packed away and left behind in the ell! This is the first floor (attic photos to come later!)

inside the ell

before cleaning the ell

after cleaning the ell!

after cleaning the ell!




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