Monday, December 3, 2012

The accidental remodel

I have been trying really hard to stick to my one room at a time rule, which means that nothing has been done for a while because we need money to move forward with the sewing room remodel. Well, there has been a tiny bit of progress.

That was thanks to a toilet overflowing into the bathroom vent and the water coming out the vent right above the shelves. I don't know how you clean toilet-water-soaked wood shelves and I didn't particularly feel like finding out. Or trying. So down they came. I'll get around to framing our new closet soon.

Anyhoo, as I mentioned in the letter to my house, we had a leaky faucet in the bathroom, which caused a mold problem in the vanity. It went unnoticed for a while because all we keep under there is, ironically, the replacement faucet. Also the scale. Lord knows I don't use that very often. But once I knew about the leaky moldy grossness, as far as I was concerned it could never be clean again. It literally will never be clean again; the bottom of the vanity was all stained up and nasty. The decision was made to rip it out and replace it with a pedestal sink and separate cabinets.

The pedestal sink (or pedestal stink, as Yaya says and I now cannot stop saying in my head) idea came about for two reasons. One, I've been planning this remodel for a while and could not find a vanity I liked that wasn't hugely expensive or that required a lot of DIY, either through building one from scratch or converting a dresser or buffet. I thought about going the DIY route, but I realized that I wouldn't get it done for months or years. Two, we already owned a pedestal sink. There was one in the trailer when we bought it, but we went with a cheap Lowes vanity instead. Unfortunately that pedestal sink is nowhere to be found. I had had no intention of using it (but you don't throw away a perfectly good sink), and I'm sure I told my dad he could sell it. He doesn't remember selling it, but it's not there, so that's really all that matters.

We bought a new pedestal sink. It wasn't too expensive for someone on a budget: $199 for both pieces. I could have gotten one cheaper than that if I had been willing to go with the least expensive option, but I didn't like how it looked and there was no overflow. So we went with the Kohler Devonshire.

I was ready to splurge ($19 more, I think) and get the Archer, but it's set up for an 8" center spread faucet and we have a 4" faucet.

The major points of the bathroom remodel plan were originally just to replace the floor, bath surround, light fixture and vanity top and sink, so I don't consider this scope creep; the remodel is only bigger by the vanity. But I am referring to it as the accidental remodel because, if not for that leaky faucet, the bathroom would have been pretty low on the list.

Now on to the actual work. I took out the backsplash, mirror and medicine cabinet thingy (technical term) that was below the mirror. All easy stuff that took less than ten minutes total.

Then out came the vanity.

That took much longer. All day, in fact. Not because of the vanity, although it was very well-built except for the mold. No, I had to go to Home Depot three times to get the right shut-off valves. We ended up with one push-lock type and one compression type. I'm sure that when the next owners replace that sink they'll talk about us being huge idiots.

I'll admit, at this point I was thinking about all I had to do and getting pretty stressed out. We bought new tile for the floor because the blue vinyl is hideous and also going to have a hole where the vanity was, but the floor should go in before the new pedestal sink. There's also the drywall work, the painting, trim, etc. So this very quickly went from what could have been a quick faucet replacement to a multi-day project where I have to install tile for the first time ever and uninstall and reinstall a toilet for the first time since high school. (We had to take a life skills-type class to graduate. I had to know how to change oil and brakes, too.)

Anyway, I'd like to promise that tomorrow I'll have more about the bathroom remodel. But I might not. We might live without a sink for a week until I can get a solid day of work in. I hope not, though.

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