Day 4: Drywall Sanding

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in House Stuff | 0 comments

So clearly I suck at blogging on a regular basis.  In my defense, I have been practically living in my bathroom for days on end.  Let’s catch up, shall we?

Day 4 consisted of more drywall sanding and finessing a la BK, so I ordered a few more items for the bathroom and steered clear.  Ray worked on the yard.  This day was a blur and I don’t even have any photos!

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Day 3: Mud!

Posted by on Sep 11, 2012 in House Stuff | 0 comments

Day 3 was mostly devoted to cutting and hanging the last pieces of drywall as well as the cement board in the shower area.

Since there wasn’t much for me to do, I decided to run a couple tile-related errands and call around for the electrician and bathtub refinisher.

By 7:30, the room was cleared, prepped and ready for mud.  BK used 90 minute mud for the first rough coat.

The drywall will likely be finished on Day 4!

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Day 2: Asbestos

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in House Stuff | 0 comments

We started off Day 2 looking like this.

Natural light from the attic window.

The first thing on our to-do list for Day 2 was to rip out the floor “real quick” so that our friend BK could start prepping the space for drywall.  Unfortunately we found asbestos tiles under our linoleum, so “real quick” turned into 4 hours of careful analysis, consideration, research, and ultimately, removal.

One of the less ugly tile patterns we've encountered in this house.

We knew we had asbestos floors throughout the rest of the house, so this really wasn’t that big of a surprise.  Luckily, BK was able to carefully remove the tile while it was still attached to the plywood below in 4 large chunks.  Since we only had to break the tile in a few places, the health risk was very low.  Normally you would try to leave asbestos tiles in place and install over them, but we needed the height for our soon-to-come heated floors!

While Ray finished up a few tasks in the bathroom (installing insulation and pulling out the floor chunks), BK and I ran to Home Depot for my most expensive hardware store run to date.

Back at the house, Ray and BK worked on prepping the walls, including replacing some destroyed lathe and adding a few outlet boxes.  I puttered around the house not quite knowing what to do with myself.  The bathroom’s too small for 1 person, let alone 3.

New outlet boxes for the new fan and heated floor thermostat

BK cutting holes for the faucet fixtures to poke through

At around 8pm, the first pieces of drywall were up!  Its amazing what a difference some drywall makes.

We left a surprise for the future owners.  A few weeks ago I had to be fitted for a nightguard, and my dentist offered to let me keep the impressions of my teeth.  As soon as I got home, Ray had the brilliant idea to hide them in the bathroom wall.  We love finding things from previous owners (so far we’ve found newspaper from the 1930s as well as some old, old, Rainier beer bottles).  Hopefully whoever finds this thinks its cool and not terrifying.

We stuck them right behind the vanity.

Goa has been a champ through this whole process.  It took her some time to get used to the plastic taped over all of the doorways, but now she’s happy to sleep soundly with loud power tools nearby.  Apparently it doesn’t bother me, either.

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Day 1: Demolition

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in House Stuff | 0 comments

Day 1 was all about demolition – tearing things down, ripping things out, and getting back to square one.

We got through almost everything we needed to:

- Removed the sink, medicine cabinet, toilet, shower surround
- Demolished the walls (drywall and cement board) as well as the ceiling (drywall with lathe and plaster)
- We encountered some irregularities in the wall cavities (our house was built in 1926), but there was also a decent amount of recent framing support that had been added, which was nice

We had help from a plumber to rough in our new sink and shower fixtures, which was a huge help because it involved a blowtorch and knowing what you’re doing around water lines. We stayed away for that part.

Otherwise, the demolition was just a combination of attacking things with a hammer and prybar, and even just yanking at things with our hands. It was dirty and loud and I found it overwhelming and stressful, plus I had a growing “oh shit” feeling all day as the room crumbled around us. Ray was better at it than I was, with his extra height and strength and naturally positive attitude, so he pulled us through at the end while I layed on the living room floor (too dirty to touch any furniture) and wondered if we’d made a huge mistake.

Ripping out drywall

Ripping out the drywall at eye-level was fairly easy.

Ripping out drywall in the bathroom

The bed of the truck started filling up fast.

After yanking down the old lathe and plaster ceiling, brute-force style, Ray emerged from the bathroom completely covered in dirt.

Ray stands triumphantly in the gutted bathroom. That's the attic above him.

This face says, "Shit is getting real".

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Reno-cation Live Blogging

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in House Stuff | 0 comments

So, we haven’t posted in months, but its not for a lack of post-worthy things to share. In fact, its all of our fun house projects that has left us with little time for this blog. Plus, the growing backlog of blog ideas only continues to be more paralyzing, and suddenly we find ourselves not having posted in the better part of a year.

Maybe someday I’ll go back and blog a few of our best projects, but for now we’re moving forward!

We’ve taken a full week off of work to rip our bathroom down to the studs and start over.


I decided to “live-blog” the process because I knew I wouldn’t want to go back and blog about it when we’re all done.

We only have one bathroom, so we’re on a tight timeline to avoid living without a toilet and shower for too long! I’ve spent the last two months thinking about nothing but bathrooms, reading every “how-to” article about drywall, tiling, moisture control, caulking, thinset, grout and sealant. I’ve been slowly accumulating all of the pieces of our new and improved bathroom. Now its just time to actually get started.

But first, some more “before” photos.

As you can see, the bathroom wasn’t awful. But it certainly wasn’t great. Here’s hoping that we emerge on the other side of this with something amazing!

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Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in The Great Outdoors | 1 comment

We have been so grateful to work from home for the past two days amidst all of the snow and ice. Yesterday we built this massive snowman! He stands over 6 feet tall, and people have been stopping to take pictures of him as they pass by.

We’re currently cat sitting Polar Bear, in the window above. He’s a fluffy Himalayan that was born for this weather! Goa, on the other hand, has been spending her days like this:

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Flattening the subfloor

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in House Stuff | 1 comment

Ray and I both took last week off of work, in one huge push to finish our bamboo floor installation. It took nearly every waking hour of the entire week, but we’re done! They’re not perfect, but they look great and we’re so happy to have them done. Expect a full round up post with lots of before and after pictures soon!

In the meantime, below is a teaser of a time-lapse video that we took of one day of the floor flattening process. Stay tuned for a full video soon!

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