Sunday, November 22, 2015

Coming Together

The tub skirting and touch up paint in our master bedroom has been done for a couple of weeks now. I just now managed to get around to taking photo's.  It's been crazy busy at work, plus my kids schedule's and then my school schedule.  Yikes!  

I LOVE it!! The tile, the trim, the deep soaking tub. All of it is perfect. The built in is also finished now:

I still don't have the dial from the old jetted tub covered. Eventually it may end up being a light switch. Maybe. I'm not done with the planning stage of phase 3, so it's anybodies guess at this point.

I love how the built in mimics the window. same profile on the header and ledge, same molding and trim on the sides. So much more storage space than I had before!

You may have noticed I haven't accessorized yet. I'm waiting until the new vanity is built. I still need towel racks and bathroom rugs. The purple won't be staying. The built in needs baskets (I stole those from my sewing area!). Small details. They will all come together in the end. But I'm not at the end. Yet.

Since we bought a bigger tub, it's no longer centered under the window. This is bothering The Builder. A LOT. I think the solution will be several floating shelves to fill the space.  We'll build those too. The Builder has made me several already throughout the house and they're easy to make. 

I was hoping that the vanity would be built by Christmas. But that isn't going to happen. So we'll start that project after the first of the year. 

AFTER we complete a small kitchen renovation to refresh our tired kitchen!!! The goal for that is to complete it over our four day Christmas weekend - which is really 3 days for since we won't work on Christmas day.  More on that later...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Let's Talk Molding

So I've showed this 80's, built in medicine cabinet before:
BLAH. Let's talk about what I don't like.
  1. The 80's shutter door. Yes, it's been painted white (I've seen photo's of homes in our neighborhood that still have it the original honey oak) so this is actually an improvement - yikes! But even in the 80's, I didn't like the country shutter door look.
  2. The size. It's terrible. I have tall bottles that don't fit. I have small things that I have to stack because there's not enough space. To say this doesn't work for storage is an understatement. Wider and taller so that I can have a second shelf would be ideal.
  3. That it's a traditional medicine cabinet. Which is weird, because as a rule, I like traditional decor. For this one though, I actually wanted an open concept shelving. I am not usually a fan of open concept. But maybe that's just in the kitchen. In this bathroom, in this spot, I wanted something pretty and open. 
This.  This is what I want. I love what this blogger did with this project. Well, for the most part. This looks pretty narrow in the photo. But the two shelves for tall items and the shelf for smaller items? Yep, totally envisioned that in my bathroom. The Builder liked it too, so it's a done deal. 

You may remember the opening when we took out the medicine cabinet, there was pink wallpaper from the original bathroom on back of the drywall.  We did decide to leave it there, but we used construction adhesive to adhere 1/4 wood to the back of the drywall. I wanted the shelved to be as deep as possible so I could have some decorative baskets to hold my miscellaneous junk.The blogger I got the inspiration for the built in used hers for nail polish. I love that I can customize this to make it something that will work for me. Ironically, the wall she built hers on is next to a diagonal wall as well. Go figure.

So here's what we have so far.
We started by making the cabinet wider. There was just a 2x4 in wall to hold in the medicine cabinet in place, so we opened it up all the way to the stud. That added about 2 inches. Not huge, put just a little wider. Ignore the switch, it won't be staying. It used to operate the incredibly noisy, leaking jets on the old tub. One day we might run a light fixture off of it, but the plan for now is that we'll cap it and close it up. The screws in the wall are wear we installed 2x4's to adhere the 1/4 inch MDF.  Where we gained the most space was in the height. Overall, we added 4 inches to the height. This will let me hold some of my taller bottles here instead of all crammed under the sink. Even when we're not sharing a single vanity, I never had enough storage for my makeup and toiletries.
Then we added a ledge to match the one at the window. This one is lower profile. The wall to the right is actually on a diagonal. I didn't want one of us to come around the corner and walk into a ledge that was jutting out too far. You can really see how out of plumb these walls are! A lot of this will be covered with the molding. We have to work with what we have. There was no way we were going to rip out and replace any more studs! The Builder is fussing about it still, but I think it will be fine. I'm completely over tearing out any more studs in bathrooms!

And here's where we are at the end of the weekend.
Already, you can see that the trim makes up for a lot of the edge not being plumb. We think the molding really adds height to the look of the cabinet. And now that switch looks really close! Clearly we have some more drywall work in the not to distant future. 

We still need to fill the back of the built in so there isn't a seam, as well as fill the nail holes on the molding. We still have 2-3 shelves that will need to be installed, as well as paint and primer. So a little more work still on this one. I really like how it mimics the window on the next wall:

OK, don't look out the window. It lets in beautiful natural light, but sadly, the fence seems even worse than it did when we started this project a few months ago.  The temperatures have finally cooled down for Houston, so I suspect here in another month or two, a new fence is in our future. Thankfully I have blinds! But you can see that the molding and the casing matches the built in as well. 

Again, we still have primer and paint to go, but we're down to what The Builder would refer to as "the punch list". The light at the end of tunnel!!  However, that means we're going to have to get started on the vanity next so we can say the entire project is done. We're so close to being done in here!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Back To The Tub

The front door is done.  It looks fantastic. But I don't have a good photo! It's been crazy around here and keep forgetting to grab a photo of it. My neighbors have commented that they love it, so that's got to be a good sign.  Photo's soon for the door.

Today we're talking about the tub again!  It's been awhile, but actually, The Builder we've done a lot of work.  Last I posted, it looked something like this:
The tile looked good. But there was no grout. Nothing was painted. The ugly medicine cabinet is still in the wall. There's no tub skirt or molding and none of the drywall repairs had been done. Basically, it's about as unfinished as it could possibly be. 

See that list above? It's all been completed!

So no, we didn't do it all this weekend. We've been working on it for a few weeks. Oops. Let's get caught up, shall we?

This is the molding we decided on. This is actually one of those happy accidents. I originally wanted this molding just to frame out the window and the medicine cabinet. You may recall my inspiration project here for my medicine cabinet. The Builder put the piece right under the bottom of the window too, and I realized I really liked it. So he grabbed an extra piece and we realized it butted up against the tile almost perfectly! We hadn't decided how we were going to finish the top of the tile or frame out the tub and skirt, so this was a happy discovery. Back to Home Depot we went to get enough trim for the entire project:
Total cost?  Right at $50. We had considered a 'pencil' carrera marble trim that would have been $9 for 10 inches. Significantly more in cost. And if I had really like it, I would have spent it. But I didn't. It was all wrong for our bathroom. I didn't even bother to bring home a sample. The Builder didn't like it any better than I did, so there was no point. We looked at a LOT of tile to trim it out, but nothing seemed right. So I'm very happy we discovered an affordable option that we think is perfect.

Nothing is painted yet. In fact, you can see the rounded edge of the window sill The Builder installed. We bought the trim pre-primered and this photo shows the nail holes filled. We didn't want to paint until it was all ready to be painted, and we still had the tub skirt to finish - which you can't see in this photo.

So this weekend, we worked on framing out the tub, the window, and the medicine cabinet. I thought it wouldn't take long. I was wrong. It took most of Saturday to get it all installed, and even then, we're waiting for the construction adhesive to set.

You may notice the walls have been painted as well. The walls have all been correctly textured and look so much better!! I can't wait to put artwork up on the wall. But that's still a ways off. Did I mention I love this trim?!

And last but not least, the tub skirt has been filled, primered, and trim added as well:
I'd love to get a shot of the entire tub, but the old vanity is still in the way. And since we haven't build a new vanity yet, it's going to stay there a bit longer. Again, this is just filled and primered. We still need to caulk the edge and then paint it all out. Still, it's really nice to see it not sitting in the wood frame.

Tomorrow I'll post the updates to what was the medicine cabinet!

Monday, September 7, 2015

No Drama - Part 2

Dear No Drama Red Door:

Just one coat of paint sprayed on and I love you already.

Mrs. Mike

Yes, just a light sanding and one more coat of paint and it will be done...!

No Drama

The long holiday weekend has definitely encouraged The Builder and I to get in and work on projects. He finished the drywall repairs, sanded down the horrible bathroom wall in our master bath and rolled on the new texture - the right type, not the "lets hide wallpaper we're too lazy to peel off" outdoor stucco texture. Out next step is to paint, install the new window sill, and maybe get the first piece of the tub skirting installed. We've also got crown molding to put on the window and we need to finish off the tile around the tub (grouting, sealing, etc.) I've taken lots of photo's of that, but that's not what we're here to discuss today.

Today we're talking doors.  Specifically the front door.

My front door is a mess. The varnish has been peeling since the day we moved in (2011 if you want a reminder). When I take any photo's of the front door, I fade out the door and concentrate on the wreath or the actual decor. Because the door looks that bad. I really, really wanted to buy a new door. I found one at Home Depot that I loved. It had a price tag of $650+tax. Which I was OK with (it was half the cost of the $1300 door I initially was admiring). Except with bathroom renovations and back to school expenses, there was no way that was going to be in my budget this year. And my door keeps looking worse and worse. 

Take a look at the bottom of the door where the worst of the damage is (no clue why!). You can see the original color of the door where we removed the door knocker - which I'm not sure that we'll be replacing. Those seem really dated. We also discovered the threshold is almost completely rotted out. So that needs to be replace too.
So The Builder completely sanded the door down and went back and filled all the dings. Sanded down, the door doesn't look bad at all.  In fact it was in really good shape under the ugly varnish. I was tempted to just stain it and put a new coat of polyurethane on it and call it a day.

But you may remember, I'm really a red door type of girl. I had one for a whopping month back in 2011, before we moved into this house. I didn't see any red gel stains that would give it that bright punch of red I was looking for. So while at Home Depot on Saturday, I decided to pick up a can of paint. 

It's called "No Drama".  And it's red.

More to come!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wallpaper Woe's

Today The Builder and I headed to Home Depot first thing this morning to pick up supplies to finish repairing the bathroom window ledge in our master bath. The window sill that had been there previously was wrotted out from water damage.

I had a plan. I eventually plan to take out the ugly, shuttered medicine cabinet and replace it with this:
Mandi from Tidbits From the Tremaynes posted a great tutorial for it here and I pinned it as soon as I saw it. I rarely like open concept shelving, but this really appeals to me. The Builder liked it too, so it was a done deal. The other think I like though is the trim on the top and bottom. And since this will be right by my bathroom window, we decided to trim it out the same way for a balanced look. 

I didn't choose the exact same molding she did, and this project isn't on the forfront of my "to do list". But we figured we'd get the molding to do the window and it would be a start. 

"Start" was the key word.

The Builder was cleaning out the window sill, preparing to get it prepped for installation, when he saw a small little piece of wallpaper that needed to be removed so he could do some drywall repair. 

Do you remember the last time I found a little bit of wallpaper that needed to be removed? Yep, The Builder had to completely re-mud and re-texture the wall.  You may guess where I'm going with this story...
Those "sheets" in the bathtub? Umh, that would be painted over wallpaper. They literally put texture in the paint and painted right over the 80's pink and silver swirly wallpaper. And it came off in great big sheets in this section! Of course our concern then was if the whole wall was this bad. 

It was.

The wallpaper came up as if it had been glued on with a temporary glue stick. I kid you not, we literally just pulled it up as easy as you would rip out a sheet of notebook paper. Not good. Eventually I want to put some artwork here and I don't want to have to worry about wallpaper peeling up if I need  to install anchors or want to hang anything up. There's also no point in putting new paint over that. 

This section came up super easy and was done in under 10 minutes. However, the rest of the wall wasn't so lucky.

It appears in this section, they did start removing the wallpaper. And apparently they determined it was too difficult. Probably the same issue with some of the drywall paper peeling up as you saw in the photo above. 

Instead of taking primer, sealing it, and fixing the damage, they decided to throw up a layer of mud through the entire center section of the wall (including where there was STILL wallpaper) and smooth it out. Then they added a heavy texture to the pain and rolled right over it. So in some sections, it was super easy to remove, like this:

Yes, I'm holding the camera and pulling off the "paint" at the same time. 

But the large majority of this section was adhered to the repaired mud. While we didn't need wallpaper remover to get it off, it did take a LOT of scraping and several hours for The Builder to get it all off. 

See the white peeking through under the paint? That's where they did the repairs. Just slapped it on over the gouges and wallpaper and then smoothed it out and painted right over. There's a term I hear frequently here in the south. Hot Mess. And that describes this perfectly. What he couldn't scrape off, he had to take the hand sander too. I am very thankful that this appears to be the only wall with the wallpaper. Perhaps it was a feature wall?

We decided to pull out the medicine cabinet just to make sure we had all the wallpaper remnants out. 

Take a look at what we fond behind the cabinet:

Yes, that's a pristine, never seen the light of day, original piece of wallpaper. Why is it behind the medicine cabinet, adhered to the drywall in my closet? Yeah, your guess is as good as mine on that one. We're going to leave it be since it will never be seen.

So we end today with the wallpaper completely gone and primer where we need to mud over the gouged drywall.

The Builder says all the drywall repairs need to be done before he starts on my window sill. 

While I'm disappointed that they project I really wanted to see done this weekend most likely will be put off until next weekend, I'm beyond thrilled that all the heavily textured walls in my bathroom are gone. We had always suspected there were wallpaper remnants still there, just not full sheets!

For now, my window sill can wait...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And Then There Was Tile..TILE!!

It's truly amazing how quickly a project can progress when there are no unexpected surprises.  Just a few days ago, we had happily dropped in the tub. It wasn't level, the plumbing wasn't attached, and we still have drywall to replace and repair. But I was happy to see the tub in.  It was a start.

Today, not only is my tub in, level, and the plumbing hooked up, but The Builder managed to get most of the tile surround in!  Here's a few photo's of the progress today:

The Builder took out the drywall and replace it with Durock (cement board) all the way around. This should really be used anyplace that's going to be near water. There's no piping for a shower here, so we didn't do the additional step of waterproofing it, but the Durock is better than standard drywall

I didn't get a picture of plumbing connected. I'm not sure it would really be an interesting photo anyway, it's pretty standard. But now everything is covered and today.  You can see how far up the old tile came. The new tile won't come up quite so high. After this photo, The Builder put backarod in the gap before he started tiling.

This is the same tile we used in the shower. I don't like the look of too many different materials and patterns in one space so using the same tile gives it a more cohesive finish. 
As you can see, there is still some drywall repair work to do before we can paint. We'll use the same grout we did in the shower.  I can't wait to cover up the pink studs with the skirting, but unfortunately that's still some time off

Yes very pleased with the progress made this week!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Making Progress

When started our bathtub remodel with this:
A nice blank slate once we tore out the old tub.

And then we added the framing for the new tub:
You can see how the space is going to be filled.  This is progress!

Tonight, The Builder made even more progress:
The tub is IN!!

OK, so it's not level in this photo. The Builder had to go in and make some adjustments to the frame so the tub would fit securely. That's not a fun photo though. 

Notice that the old tub fixtures are gone. He pulled those out tonight too. 

Here's a close up of the faucet he installed for me as well:
Yes, it's absolutely perfect! I didn't think I wanted chrome, but I have to say, I think it's going to look perfect in this bathroom.

And while drilling the holes for the faucet, The Builder discovered that this tub is insulated. Which means my bath water will stay hotter longer. I love a hot bath and nothing could make my heart happier. Since the last tub leaked and didn't hold water for long, this is really an added bonus!

As you can see, we need to replace the drywall we tore out. The water lines aren't hooked up either, and we need to install the new drain kit we bought. 

Once the drywall is in and we do the patch and repaid, we might be ready to install the Carrera marble tiles we bought to go around the tub. We wanted it to tie in with the shower and not have too many patterns and different materials, so this was an easy choice. 

Hopefully next post we'll have running water!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tub Framing

The goal last weekend was to get the tub framed out.

It didn't happen.

The Builder's back was bothering him and I put the kabosh on any building.  Even though a good soak would have done his back well. It was even harder to keep him from relaxing when our faucet was delivered later in the day on Saturday.

But today is a new day and he stopped at our favorite orange home improvement store to pick up supplies on his way home. Before I show you his progress for today, let's talk bathtub faucets for a  moment.

I wanted a waterfall faucet.  Something like this:
Pretty. Oh so pretty. 

But there was a problem.

See how wide this is overall? Well I also want a corner mounted faucet, not a side mount, as is shown here. And after looking at the phoroe of what I wanted, The Builder quickly pointed out there is no way this wide of a faucet would work.

There are narrower faucets in this style. But that's not what I wanted To me, they look like they should be on a bathroom sink, not a bathtub.

I looked at bathtub faucets for days before I finally ordered one.  I didn't like anything at Home Depot or Lowe's. I was afraid to go to an actual bathtub store because this is supposed to be the most affordable part of our bathroom renovation. So a $300 faucet was not in the budget. I looked at goose neck faucets, but those looked like belonged in a kitchen (who knew I was so picky about a bathtub faucet?!). I finally settled on something fairly traditional, but still updated from the pitted mess that is currently in there  This is what I ultimately purchased:
They had a brushed nickel, which I actually prefer However, my new shower is all in chrome (again, it was the only one I like at Lowe's!). I just feel like they should be in the same finish since they're in the same bathroom. I was surprised that it is bigger in person than it looks in the photo, but that's good.  Our tub is big and this is a good size in correlation to it. I think I saw matching faucets too. I may pick two of them up while they still have them in stock, since the vanity is right next to the tub. But I'm not ready to start that project quite yet, so we'll see. 

And this is the progress The Builder made today:
Please ignore the falling down fence that is now completely obvious from this angle...

That WHOLE space is going to be my tub! We went with the pink 2x4's like we did in both the upstairs bathroom and the re-framing in our shower. Did I mention it was such a relief to not have any serious damage when we pulled out the old tub? We have to turn the water off to remove the old bath fixtures, so that will need to wait until this weekend. The tub we bought did not come with a frame so we gave a lot of though about how we to finish it out. One of my favorite bloggers is Kristy at Addicted 2 Decorating and she enclosed an existing tub on a recent bathroom renovation. We're using her directions for a tub skirt to finish off ours the same way. This will give me a nice sized ledge to set my candles on, which is another important feature to me. We also wanted to build it out to the edge of the tile to cover it so we don't have to patch in any more than we have (as we will when we're ready to do the vanity).

Still to do:
  1. Installing the new plumbing
  2. Attach the faucet and drain
  3. Drop the tub into place
  4. Install the marble tile surround
  5. Complete the tub skirt
Of course that just complete the installation of the tub. On the wall to the left of tub, we're going to install shelving. We also need to tear out the old 80's style shutter medicine cabinet.  I found this one:

I. Seriously. Love. This.

I don't like clutter on my vanity. Which is all I have now that I'm sharing a single vanity with The Builder. It's a hodge podge of stuff that doesn't fit in the cabinet under the sink and things we use frequently. I love glass jars in the vanity (which is reflected on my Bathroom board on Pinterest!). This combines the practicality of a medicine cabinet with the update of open shelving. I can't wait until we're ready for this project. Which won't be until after tub is completely done. And maybe the vanity too. As much as I love this, it is not top priority on my list. But it will be in my bathroom eventually!

Saturday can't get here quick enough, I want to see my tub installed!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Let's Talk Tubs

It's been awhile. Lot's of things going on in my life and home renovation projects have been on the back burner. But we decided this was the weekend to get moving again.

 This is my bathtub. From this view, it's not bad.  It's a garden tub with jets. It's original to the house.

Still not so bad. This is a nice large window over tub and faux wooden blinds. This photo was taken at night, so the blinds are closed. They hide the not so nice window behind them that doesn't open, as well as the oh-so-stellar view of the falling down fence between my house and my neighbors. But that's a post for another time.

Can you see the ledge over towards the left side of the photo?  This is my collect all. It holds an assortment of baskets for the junk I don't have space for since we took out the second vanity. Here's another quick peak:
The towel bar?  Completely impractical. It's not close enough to the vanity to be of much use. Shelving would have been such a better option here. Certainly more practical. That's what will be going up eventually. My pretty purple glass vase looks small from this angle (and oh so dusty from all the concrete dust that I am still cleaning up from the shower project, yikes!) but it's actually about 18" tall. This whole section will be gone when we install the new tub.  The new tub is a soaker tub that will just barely fit in the whole space. I'm ridiculously excited about the bigger tub.

This is the not so pretty part of the tub. I have no idea what they had in the bottom of the tub. It's a fiberglass tub, so it's not rust coming through from underneath. And the black electrical tape? That's the only way to keep the water from leaking out the jets when they're not running. Yes, they leak down the drain, so no water damage, but what's the point of having a jetted tub that the water drains from? 
Close up. No, that's not the original stopper. I don't know what happened to the original. This was what was here when we moved in. As renters, we didn't want to put any money into the tub (even though The Builder re-caulked the tub because it had completely peeled up and someone had put a 'push in' caulk down - it looked SO bad). If the jets had worked, I may have just considered refinishing the tub. But the jets don't work. They are horrifically loud and they spray water all over the place. We'd have to replace all the jets. That's actually quite a bit of money in repairs for a tub that I don't like in the first place! Wait until you see the tub that is going in it's place!! 
1980's pitted, ugly mixer and spout. This just screams builder grade. And it is. Why upgrade your tub if you're not going to put in decent hardware to go with it?!

And to make matters worse, the faucet is horribly pitted. I'm not sure why, we don't have hard water. None of the other faucets look like this. But this one is gross. I just never feel like clean.

Enough said:

There's no point in keeping this.

Let the demo begin! This morning The Builder broke out his hammer and some large trash cans and started tearing everything out. Zorro, one of our two cats, saw the sunny window and immediately went to investigate.  Construction noise doesn't bother him in the least!
I think demo is actually his favorite part of the job. So not mine. I hate demo. It's messy and dirty. So it works well that he enjoys it so much! Excuse the shirtless-ness, it's hot here in TX and all my boys are shirtless in the summer.
When we moved in, all the tiles here in the ledge portion were loose. The Builder glued them all down to prevent further water damage. What I have a hard time understanding is how this area got water damage. The faucet is at the other end and it would take a lot of water from the vanity to spill down and cause the damage. But there was, as will be evident in a few more photo's! Not  as bad as some of our other bathroom reno's, but still aggravating.Not a bathroom renovation photo.  This is Sam. Sam's dog house sits outside the bathroom on the shady side of the house. As soon as the window was up, Sam was watching the work. See the falling down fence behind him? Yeah.  Another project we need to get done. 
The skirting is off the tub and the mess has commenced. Yep, Sam is still watching all the progress. We cut out the piping for the jest. If the tub had been worth salvaging, we would have been careful to take it all out in tact. But since it's leaking and stained, we didn't bother. It's all going to the dump.
The tub is pulled up! You can see that there's absolutely no damage to it underneath. Certainly nothing to give it the rust looking stains in the bottom of it. I don't know, the stains puzzle me. But out it goes! 
Yuck, yuck, and yuck. So when they did the original renovation, they painted over the original vanity.  What you don't realize until you start pulling things out is that the "wood" on this is basically contact paper. Yes. That they painted over white. It's pealing off on the other side. This side, they painted right around the tub. See the hole at the bottom?  It's completely rotted out. As I said earlier, I have no idea where the water came from to cause such a big hole. But we'll be building a new double vanity in the not so distance future. I only need this one to work for a bit longer.  
Ta-da! The tub is removed and we're ready to frame in for the new tub. I'm ordering a waterfall side mount faucet for the new tub, we have a new carrera marble surround to install, shelving to install, and maybe a chandelier (I am a tub girl, must have a pretty space!). We have a power supply already on the wall from the time for the jets, so it may be something easy. We shall see on that. The builder also sanded down the heavily textured walls. The paint in here was cheap and some of literally peeled off the walls, so we may need to sand and primer as well. But that's a project for another day.

More to come!