Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Problem With (and the Solution for) the Bathroom

The other day I mentioned something to Vern about "the blog."

"Yeah," he replied, "when was the last time you posted something? November? Maybe you should give up the whole blog thing."  Supportive eh? 

My response? 

"Ummmm, no." 

While he is technically right (November was the last post) it's not for lack of trying.

Look at all those drafts!!! See! The intention is there! But I get's worst blogger. I know, I know. Meh.  Moving on...

Instead of focusing on another flip house this year, Vern and I decided to FINALLY work towards finishing our own house!  There is a to-do list of roughly 101 projects that have slowly accumulated over the last 2-3 years.  We've made progress.  Actually, we've made quite a bit of progress, especially in the last few months, but there is still a lot that needs to be done. A lot.

Ideally, we would like to have our house in a place where we could sell it tomorrow if we found a piece of property/house we really like.  The reason we've been so fortunate with the properties that we own is because we were willing to move into them.  When a house is owner-occupied, you will receive far better mortgage rates than if you're using it as an income generating property.  Granted, with the real estate market the way it is today, the likeliness of us going anywhere is pretty slim. Either way, our focus has finally turned back to our own house and I couldn't be happier.

Over the next year we plan on adding a master suite to the first floor, finishing the backyard landscaping, replacing the roof, repainting the exterior, and adding a covered front porch.  All of those are rather large projects that require lots of monies and time to complete, so our progress is going to be slow and steady.  In the meantime, I've made it a point to tackle the little projects that have gone unnoticed for far too long.

Our initial intention when we bought our house (dubbed the "Mason" house) was to flip it.  I was adamant that I, "WAS NOT MOVING AT ALL. NO WAY. NO HOW!"  Obviously I changed my mind (much to Vern's annoyance), and we stopped all work on Mason and focused on moving. Once we were moved, two more flip houses came into the picture and before we knew it, almost three years had come and gone.  This is the longest we have ever lived in any house.  For awhile, Vern was making me move every year, so I'm happy to stay put for awhile.  Maybe I'll actually live in a finished house for once! Ha!

The first room on the to-do list? The bathroom.  Ugh. The bathroom. I hate the bathroom. I hate cleaning the bathroom. I hate working on the bathroom. I hate the bathroom.  It's my least favorite room.  Some people love bathrooms. I don't.  Give me a beautiful, big kitchen over a bathroom any day. But our bathroom was in dire need of some updates. Not big updates, just time consuming ones that I had put off.

For reference sake, here's the layout of our upstairs.  At the moment there is one full bathroom upstairs and a 3/4 bathroom downstairs. Eventually we're going to turn the upstairs guest room and "junk" room into a master suite, but that's a rather large project that we're just not ready for at the moment.

And no, that's not an accurately scaled representation of our house, but it's close enough.  I can already hear Vern's comments. Shhhhh!  

The bathroom was in pretty bad shape when we received the keys.

Everything was outdated and gross.  There wasn't anything to salvage, so we took the entire room down to the studs.

Then slowly put it back together again. 

New bathtub. 

New tile. 

New paint. 

New sinks, electrical, mirrors and lights.

New everything. 

We went from left to right and called it good.  And it was good.  The bathroom worked for us...for awhile....until it didn't.  We didn't design this bathroom for ourselves, we designed it to be a flip house bathroom, which isn't to say that it wasn't done properly.  There were just a few things that I would have done differently if I would have known we eventually were going to live there. For example, I would have gone with a double sink vanity rather than two separate single sinks.  There is absolutely NO counter space in this bathroom. Something like that is just one of the little things we didn't really think about. 

Over the last two years I started noticing that things were looking a little rough.

Not necessarily "bad." Just rough.  Granted, the above photo doesn't look horrible, but upon closer inspection...

Cracking trim around the window.  Wenatchee's temperatures fluctuate greatly.  Winter is freezing cold and summer is ridiculously hot.  Because of the fluctuating temperature and moisture in the air, we typically notice cracks more in the winter as the air is colder.  All of our trim is MDF, and MDF doesn't have a grain like lumber, so it shrinks and expands in the winter when the air is dry.  The window trim wasn't the only area being affected either.  The crown molding was suffering the same fate:  

Dirty and messed up caulk where the tub meets the tile floor.  When Vern installed the tile he decided to use the color matched caulk rather than white silicone caulk.  We definitely learned our lesson on that one.  The bead didn't run smoothly and the caulk was just poor quality.  Poor quality caulk doesn't have the ability to stretch and flex, and over time will lose its elasticity, which is exactly what happened here:

The same happened around the toilet.  The caulk looked awful and just generally gross. 

But the biggest eye sores?  

The wall next to the shower: 

...and the grout lines on the floor. 

Eeesh. Not pretty.  The wall was due to water from the shower sneaking out of the shower curtain and down the wall.  That problem ended up being an easy fix.  A clear acrylic lip affixed to the tub to stop water from leaving said tub.  However, the wall has sat like that for over a year. For the most part it's honestly not that noticeable, until you use the toilet and are staring right at it.   And the tile?  Yeah, that mess is completely our fault.  We never sealed the grout lines, which allowed dirt to slowly stain them. Sad bears. 

 Sad and dirty looking is how I would describe the state of the bathroom, which is NOT my style.  

When Vern told me that he was leaving for a week-long climbing trip, I resolved the finally fix the mess, and I resolved to do it $150. 😀

Plan in place:

And a direction on design: 

Time to get to work! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Credenza that Almost Ruined my Marriage

You might look at that title and think: Oh, she's joking.

I'm not. Not even a little. 

Ok...well...maybe I'm being a little over-dramatic, BUT the credenza fiasco was a big deal, and became the proverbial thorn in Vern's bony little side for well over a year.  

Let me explain...

When we received the keys for the 503 House we did an initial walk-through to figure out where to start.  This mostly consisted of me pointing at things and saying "That needs to go" or pointing at walls and asking Vern if they could be removed.  We almost never used the front door at 503, instead we always chose to enter through the side/kitchen door.  When we walked in that first night, I ran my hand along a cabinet base that was to my immediate left and said, "Don't throw this away. I want it.  It would make a great credenza."

This is the best "before" picture I could find. Sorry folks!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Big Office Reveal

We've been living with a fully functional office for quite some time now and it is absolutely amazing. One room down and 12 more to go!

There's nothing that makes me happier than a functional space, well, other than kittens, wine and my beautiful man-friend, but functional space is a top contender.

I was actually able to dig up a picture of what this room looked like when we first purchased this house.

Friday, July 21, 2017

IKEA Desk Hack, Office Makeover - Part 2

What a tease I am.  Two posts in one week and then silence for four.

At least it hasn't been over two years like last time!

I know you all were waiting on pins and needles for the next phase of the office makeover, so let's get on with it.

When we left off, I had painted three of the four walls with BM's White Dove, and then one of the walls with BM's Hale Navy.  Then I DIYed a stenciled accent wall leaving the room like this:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Office Makeover - Part One - DIY Stenciled Wall

Once upon a time, Vern bought a house on his lunch break. 

And that's how we wound up with the Mason house (our current house.) 

Before the real estate market became what it is today, we were still able to find salvageable homes at a really great price.  In 2015, he came across this little gem on 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Tiling Begins and the first ever GIVEAWAY!

Guess what we started over the weekend! :)

Yes, the tiling has begun, which means we are another step closer to having a finished kitchen!  

I woke up Saturday morning to find that Vern had already made a trip to Home Depot to pick up tiling supplies and had maneuvered different versions of subway tile against the wall for comparison.  Originally we thought of going with individual subway tiles, but instead we chose to go with the smaller grouped tiles. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Updates - The Ceiling is Down!

I know, I know - I promised updates and then two plus weeks went by with nothing. NOTHING. I'm sorry.


I'd like to give you a good excuse, but I really don't have one.  So my apology will have to suffice.  

With the counters installed we began the daunting work of re-texturing the ceiling.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

They're HERE!

The counters have been installed!

Although it's been about a month since we ordered them, it feels like this whole process had gone by rather quickly.  We only lived without counters or a sink for a few days, which sucked, but it could have been worse.  I still managed to make a lasagna without them, so high five for me.

There isn't a whole lot of description for this post.  The subcontractors pretty much did everything.   By the time I got home yesterday evening, the counters were on and they were finishing up the seams. Luckily, Vern knows the drill and snapped some pictures of the whole process.

When we left the kitchen last time it looked like this:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Goodbye Trash Compactor

Ladies and Gentleman! The trash compactor has left the building!

Well actually, it's sitting on the corner of our street with a "Free! It Works!" sign on it, but it has officially left our house! If I danced this would be the part where I do I little happy dance, but I don't dance - so you'll just have to use your imagination.

The new counters are being installed on Monday, which means we have to get the kitchen fully ready for that phase of the remodel.  All the old counters need to be removed and the existing cabinets need to be prepped and ready for the install.