Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's not ALL fun and games ...

Nope, it's not all fun and games here at Casa de la Vanderdogan! Sometimes you have to get down and dirty, or in this case, down and filthy! Yep, we're talking demo. We're talking reno! We're talking not.my.favorite!


But, because I love this little old house as much as I do, and I love seeing those numbers in my checking account rather than on checks passed out to contractors, and plumbers, and masons oh my!, I'm going to try to tackle most of this myself. Our second floor bathroom shower sprung a leak a few months ago, and because there is another shower it wasn't really on the top of the list of things to fix; but as I learned that I'd have family visiting in May, I thought it's time to call in the plumber and fix'er up! I had to remove the plastic shower basin, which meant taking out the bottom row of tile and the grout from the floor tile abutting it, at first!



Turns out, that in order to get the shower floor out of the area so the plumbing could be checked, I had to pull up all of the tile in front of it, OR knock down the wall that had the plumbing for the spray head and handles. So, bye bye ugly tile. I had secretly wished as I removed the tiles one by one carefully that they'd all come crashing down - and even though that didn't happen, they will have to come out. Why?




Our trusty plumber says: "Install the whole surround - it's better for the space, and the best thing to prevent leaks!" So, out comes the tile, and in goes the surround, by whom? Yours truly. Our plumber won't do the job as it classifies "home remodel", but he did inspect the plumbing and said that we were good to go with the install. So, hopefully with a little muscle, and a lot of smarts - we'll have it up and running again in no time.

Now, I know many of you out there are thinking about how ugly those preform fiberglass shower surrounds are, and I have to say, I agree. No matter how many decorative forms they put in them, there is something much more fanciful about a tile surround. We did find a nice one though, and with the market in Niagara Falls the way it is - putting more than $2000 in a bathroom remodel is crazy, we'd be lucky to recoup 1/2 of that.

So, budget bathroom remodels, gardens and patios, pergolas, and burlap curtains ... when will it ever slow down? Oh, and by the way, if any of you happen to be married to a plumber - email me, will ya!?

19 comments:

  1. Oh boy you have a project! I hope your bathroom remodel goes smoothly with no snafus. Plumbing can be a royal pain but I have every confidence that you can do this! Its going to be wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just love your sense of humor, "Casa de la Vanderdogan" ;)

    You know what, I can't wait to see the finished project because I am thinking of getting one of those surrounds. We have white tile that is in great shape....but we have well water...not a great mix. I was thinking if they had a fake brown granite, lol...it would hide the well water stains better.

    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Designer, Gardener, Artist, Sewing Master, Chef, Construction Worker... Is there anything you cannot do? I'm sending you a superman cape! You can use the shower as the phone booth. hehe.
    I hope this goes smoothly! I know it will be gorgeous when you are done! Go Artie, GO! xoxoxo Isa

    ReplyDelete
  4. It never slows down Artie. We've been making a home for 20 years. One things leads to another and things cycle around. You replace one thing and the next thing breaks. You just always have to have money put aside for the unexpected or the next fun project.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow...what a project, gotta love those old houses! I agree, the look of the molded showers is not the best but in your case it seems like the most practical thing to do. I am sure when it is all done it will look great and no one will even notice the shower!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for dropping by to visit my blog! I commend you for having the energy & patience to redo your bathroom! Can't wait to see the finished product!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bernie, you poor thing! I know it will be nice when it's finished, but it's the getting there that is sometimes a bit trying. We have lived in old houses for years and finally bought a newish one! I can sympathisize with renovation trials. ;-)

    I would let the plumber do the plumbing part. But you have done a great job with the demo... looks like you are well on the way there!

    BTW, are you in Buffalo? I had ancestors from there (the Pratt family).

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Artie, I just realized I called you BERNIE! I just left his blog earlier. SO sorry for that blooper! I know your name! LOL! Though I'm wondering today if I know my own...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Artie, oh, my you're going to be the busiest one! I know it's going to be so lovely! Dont' tell anyone, but we have a nasty fiber thingy surround as our shower in our olden home. I hate it! You can't get it clean! Oh, I hate it! We are going to do a reno one day and that won't be soon enough for me!
    I'm so glad you came to visit. I thought you'd forgotten about me. I know I'm not the designer blog type, I'm just a silly. I admire you and your design style.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bless your little pea-pickin' heart, Artie...this is HARD work, man! I know cause we had to do the same thing a few years back to a little second bath. It's been 23 years now and narry a leak!!
    Good luck to ya and you are very wise to not invest too much money....not a good time!
    Can't wait to see the finished product.
    xo bj
    and, I'm glad to see you are feeling better about whatever it was that had you so down. GREAT !!

    ReplyDelete
  11. When I was about your age, Artie, we tackled a big ol' reno. We knocked out walls, extended rooms, poured concrete etc etc etc, all by ourselves...but none of it involved plumbing. I commend you for taking on this project!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Better you than me ~ Gunga Din!

    I have three (count 'em) three of those hideous shower surrounds BUT I must say they are easier to keep sparkling clean.

    Be safe with all the reno.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Artie, it sounds as if your plumber is providing good advice. If you don't plan on staying in this house for many more years, the preform will do fine. Anyway, you will need the extra shower because of all the hard dirty work you and Scott will be doing installing the new brick and pergola. Best.
    G in CT

    ReplyDelete
  14. Uh huh, you knew what I was thinking. Artie? A shower surround? Can't be!!!!!!!! The least you could have done was show us the one you chose!
    Geez Louise, that's a lot of extra work you didn't need.

    Justine :o )

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do not envy you and all the work ahead, but I know it will be fabulous and you'll be so proud that you did it yourself. Just keep telling yourself that to get through it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love your house. Love your blog! I can't wait to see the finished product!!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, as someone who is sick to death of scrubbing 20+ year old grout, I was almost excited this morning when my faucet valve sprung a leak. I thought yippee! I 'm getting rid of the beige circa 1979 tile! No such luck - my Dad got right on it for me while I was slaving away at work. ('til 7PM, with a front tooth emergency, I might add - ugh!) He found a replacement piece and fix'd her right up. I was thinking I wanted an all Silestone shower stall. It would be easy to clean, hide water spots, be all one sheet like the fiberglass surrounds and the flooring could be the stones - not slippery, maybe foot massaging in the process...But, I bet that would be high buck. I 've had the fibergl. surrounds and I think you will be happy. It'll be nice and clean and fresh! Show us the pics, Artie so we can all oooh and aaaah as usual! ~ Robyn

    ReplyDelete
  18. you are incredible - I would be totally lost here - can barely follow even reading about it. what a good husband you are!!!! or would be !!! love your picks for tile and can't wait for the finished work and I know it will be as fabulous as all your other projects - think bookshelves! ok, now go hurry up and finish!

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments, so thank you for leaving them!