Monday, January 11, 2010

Here we go again

Round 50 of home improvements. Well, maybe not, but I have lost track of how many renovations we have done on our house. Since Alann is currently unemployed and his school schedule is rather light this semester, he decided to take advantage of the situation and remodel our half-bath. The half-bath is connected to the office, which most people use as a master bedroom. (We live in a very much cookie-cutter subdivision. There were maybe 3 floor plans. Most houses have been customized and are slightly different now, but you can still find the bathroom in just about any house you walk into in our neighborhood.) We chose not to use it as our master bedroom because 1) it has the most hideous paneling, 2) it has no real closet (just a very flimsy curtain rod in a half-finished closet), and 3) it's smaller than the room we do use. We had a lot more bedroom furniture when we moved into the house, so the size of the room was a consideration. Now that we have condensed, we could probably use the office as the master bedroom, but since we are probably moving in a few months anyway, it doesn't make sense to go to all the hassle of rearranging. Anyway, I use the half-bath as my bathroom. It makes getting ready for bed easier and it means I can keep the sink as clean or dirty as I choose, instead of constantly dirty like it seems the other one always is. So for the next few weeks I have to share bathrooms with Alann. I am all for double sinks next time we buy a house.
This should be a pretty cheap project. A lot of the stuff we already have or can make do. There is a semblance of a closet in there already. Basically a little wooden box at one end with a closet rod. We took down the rod and put shelves in. The shelves all were salvaged from pieces of our old kitchen- no cost and recycled to boot. (yay greenness.) We already got rid of the mini-vanity that was in there and replaced it with the old one from the other bathroom, which is in fine shape, just didn't go with the decor in there. It also was a little small for that bathroom, and left this tiny little gap that you couldn't clean out and was a collector of dog hair. (Yay more recycling.) The toilet is fine, we won't replace that. The medicine cabinet is way old, and was rusty when we moved in. I painted it to last until we replaced it. When Alann worked at Lowe's, he found two really nice medicine cabinets on sale for $20 each. I forget what they were supposed to cost, but it was over $100. So we bought both. One is already in our full bath. The other will be living in the half-bath shortly. (yay for a mirror I can see my face in. The current one has a ripple in the middle of it, right through my nose.) The bathroom had paneling in it (ugh) that someone had painted white (double ugh). It was bubbling, since they didn't use enough nails and no glue (kind of yay for demolition purposes) and looked pretty awful. Also, it apparently didn't quite reach the ceiling (which we discovered when we took it down) and someone had put chair rail up as crown moulding. It has always looked funny and I hated it. We removed the paneling and the plaster underneath is mostly in good shape. There is one spot behind the toilet that has been damaged that we will have to figure out a repair for. But then we will just paint (kilz first) the walls and call it done. We did find more pink paint in the bathroom. I swear, at one point, my entire house was bubble-gum pink. It has been in every room we have remodeled from bathroom to kitchen, bedroom to baby's room.
The plan is to remove the vanity, toilet, and mirror (which is already down), repair the walls, paint everything (shelves and walls) with leftover paints, of which we have plenty, replace the flooring, and put the fixtures back in. The floor I will not be sad to see go. It is this awful black and green linoleum tile. There are a few tiles that aren't attached anymore. I try not to sweep them out of place. It may have looked nice when it was new, but it isn't anymore, and it never really matched the rest of the decor- the vanity or the walls. This is the only place where we may spend money. We have to check our stock of tile (since we have random bits left over from other projects) and decide if we have enough or not. Then we may buy tile or more linoleum tiles. The bathroom isn't large by any standards, so it should take one or maybe two boxes of tile. We just have to decide what we want to do with it. I'm looking forward to a nice new clean bathroom to use. And I'm looking forward to the construction being done, as usual. It just makes so much dust. And it doesn't help that the bathroom is farthest from the garage/ workshop so things get tracked all the way through the house.
Once we get done in there we just have to figure out if we want to tackle the office or not. I would love to say bye-bye to the hideous paneling, the painted-on trim around the doors (not kidding about that), the chair rail as crown moulding, and broken black mini-blinds. But we might not get to it. It would definitely require money, and money is one thing we don't have much of these days. Maybe we will just have to slap a coat of paint on it when we try to sell and call it good. I don't know what we would do about the gaps between the panels though.
It is a warm-fuzzy feeling to think about how far the house has come. It went from "desperation home buyer" to someone who might buy it because they actually like it. I didn't buy this house for its looks, that's for sure. I bought it because it was available, it suited our needs, and it was in our price range. Oh, and it wasn't broken down or needing 500 things done before we could live in it. It was perfectly habitable when we moved in, which was important to us (since most of the houses in our price range were not move-in ready). We don't mind doing the work, and if it means we break even when we sell (instead of losing value as so many of the homes that aren't improved have done in our neighborhood) than I am happy.


Shannon said...

Woohoo for remodeling the bathroom! That will be nice. It is hard to be too motivated though when you know you're going to sell, but hopefully you'll make some money on the house. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that the housing market will have somewhat bounced back before we try to sell this place. Anyway, invite me over to see it when it's done. Promise?

MommaKAS said...

Is it possible that all that bubble-gum pink paint throughout your house is really primer? Maybe there was a sale on pink primer at one time ...

Becca said...

Could be primer I guess. I don't think pink would be that great of a color for a primer though.