When we took our first walk-through of the house, we knew some work needed to be done to make it livable for our family. Our realtor actually asked us, ‘what would it take to make it home?’. Our answer was simply a new kitchen and a third bedroom. Don’t laugh. Those things didn’t seem like a big deal. But if any of you have moved into an old house before, you know what we didn’t: it is never that simple.
After our inspection, I decided that before we started the big kitchen reno, the bathroom needed a little cleaning up. It was quite old and dingy. It kind of creeped me out. There was the vinyl floor for example. All three layers of it – the top layer seeming to just hover over the other two layers. In fact, our home inspector thought there was no heat vent in the bathroom because the loose vinyl covered it. No joke.
The tub and surround seemed fine save for some new caulking. But a new more efficient toilet and extra storage was definitely necessary. There are five of us sharing one bathroom afterall. There was the rusty sink and the ugly old light fixture too.
Anyway, changing some flooring, a toilet and some cabinets seemed pretty doable in a short time. We would leave the tub, surround and wall tiles until later. So, a week after we moved in, on a December afternoon Dean and our dear friend Jeff (who happens to be a plumber) began the demolition of the existing fixtures.
It all went pretty well. Initially. Remove toilet. Remove homemade cabinet. Scrap off triple layers of vinyl sheet floor. Wait a second. Um, oh dear. Pause. Uh-oh. Really? Why can we see down into the crawl space? I’m no genius, but I’m pretty sure that’s not normal.
It seems that 50 or 60 years of baths splashing over onto the floor is bad. Hmm, imagine water rotting wood. (Note the sarcasm here). Never mind that when our house was built the hardwood was laid right on top of the joists as the subfloor. Even in the bathroom. Ridiculous.
Here’s where I have to give kudos to Jeff. Dean and I were about ready to have heart attacks. Really. We almost fainted dead away. This was the kind of thing we had counted on our building inspector warning us about. To say we were freaking out was an understatement. But Jeff, who had helped his family with house flipping and renos before, just said “we’ll fix it”. And we did. And it really wasn’t that bad.
And here is what our bathroom looks like now. Clean, crisp, uncluttered. See the difference?
Have any of you redone your bathroom? Have you been surprised by what you’ve found? Leave us a comment to tell us about it. We’d love to hear from you.