Remodeling and Redecorating: The Story Continues…

Aside from my having a serious case of spring fever, and being filled with anticipation and excitement about being able to get back out in my garden again, I also have remodeling and redecorating on my mind.

Those of you who have been “rambling” with me for a while are aware that I recently moved back home and began updating my mom’s house.  Last summer I began a series of posts entitled “Relocating, Remodeling, & Readjustments” to share about some of that.  I have them listed under “Home Improvement” in my categories section if you care to take a look at the suffering and torture I’ve endured thus far.  😉

Seriously though, it really has been quite an undertaking,  I’m a bit on the girlie side and not the handyman/handywoman type, so it’s been very challenging for me, to say the least.

Most of the focus so far has been on the upstairs of the house, as all of our bedrooms needed major updating prior to moving in (I nearly killed myself redoing the floors in mine and my mom’s rooms).  But there is still one room remaining upstairs that needs doing ~ the bathroom.  And before beginning any updates on the downstairs, I really want to get that finished first.

I found an old draft from August that I had started writing about the bathroom and thought I would publish it now since I am contemplating once again about taking care of some bathroom business…

Relocating, Remodeling, & Readjustments ~ Bathroom Business

Next up on our list of things to take care of at my mom’s house is the bathroom.

Over the course of time things tend to wear out, and one of those things was the bath/shower fixture in my mom’s main bathroom.  Some of the tile had shifted away and separated from around the faucet area, so a bit of leaking had developed which could cause serious problems down the road.  That would be bad…

With my not having a clue as how to do anything in the realm of plumbing, my mom called a local plumber and made arrangements to have this fixed.

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Well, a plumber came and while he was out attending to something in his truck, I went in there to sneak a peek and snap a quick photo of his progress. Here it is after the old fixture had been removed.  It looks pretty yucky inside there.

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In order for him to have full access to the pipes, he needed to create access from the other side of the wall, so he cut a hole in the wall inside my daughter’s closet.

This photo is the view from that side.  You can see that the wall directly behind the faucet definitely had some water damage from leaking behind the tile.  Of course the worst of it had already been cut out.

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No worries about having a gaping hole in my daughter’s closet because he put in a nice little access panel over it.

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Here is the new fixture, all bright and shiny!

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Next up was getting a handyman to come in to replace/repair the wall behind it and fix the tile.  Plumbers don’t do that part.  We found a very nice handyman guy, named Joe to do the work for us.  His fee was reasonable and he turned out being handy for a few other things as well.

We ran into a bit of a problem with the tile because the new fixture is not the same size/shape as the old one, so we were not able to reuse the tile that was removed from the area, and matching the color of tile from 36 years ago… yeah, not gonna happen.  We thought it would be nice to find a complimentary contrasting color that would pick up some of the colors in the floor tile, but that proved to be more difficult than it was worth.

So we just got white.

Blah.  Not the fanciest, but it does blend in somewhat with the white tub, and it’s 100 times better than it was.  Handyman Joe did a great job!

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While he was waiting for the grout to dry, Joe fixed my bedroom closet door that kept slipping out of its track whenever I opened or closed it, adjusted my daughter’s bedroom door that would get stuck shut whenever you closed it all the way, and fixed two other pieces of tile that were missing from another section of the wall in the bathroom.  All at no extra charge!

He also came back a different day and framed in around the inside of windows in the bathroom for us.  This was something left unfinished from when my parents remodeled last time.  There had been a problem with ordering the right sized windows or something like that, and since there were curtains that my parents kept closed the majority of the time in there, it just never got attended to.  But I want to hang blinds in there so we needed it to be finished off a little better.

Before

And after…

There is still a thin unfinished strip of space that was uneven between the piece of wood he put in and the window, but all I need to do is paint it white and I think it’ll look just fine once I put the blinds in.  🙂

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My mom’s tub also had a crack in it, so we had to get that repaired as well.  Handyman Joe didn’t do that type of work, so my mom called a placed called Surface Specialties to fix it.

Here is is before…

And after…

Nothing like posting a completely blank photo that looks like absolutely nothing, but this is the repaired area so there ya have it.  😉

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The next plans for remodeling as far as this bathroom goes will be replacing this wallpaper that is peeling.  I’ve never removed wallpaper before so I’m kinda, sorta worried about the process.

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Also, the light fixtures in the bathroom look quite outdated (as is the case in the rest of the house as well), but I like these that are hanging in there, so I don’t care if they’re outdated, they’re staying.  🙂

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So there you have it, that was the draft that I previously wrote about the bathroom.  Taking off the wallpaper is first on my agenda of what to do in there next, and I’m feeling really nervous about it.  I’ll have to read up on it, hopefully it doesn’t give me too much trouble.  Wish me luck…

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15 responses to “Remodeling and Redecorating: The Story Continues…

  1. Love love love remodeling things! Just painted my bathroom too! 🙂 Score the paper (easy to use, cheap tool at Home Depot or any other home improvement store) and get yourself a spray bottle and a putty knife to scrape it all off! Messy, but it will work! Can’t wait to see the pics when you are done! Miss you bunches! Laur

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    • The only part I love about remodeling is the finished part. Hah! Well, I guess I like the planning part too, it’s just the work part that isn’t so much fun. 😉 It wouldn’t be quite so bad if I didn’t have these horribly aching knees giving me so much trouble, they really make me have to pace myself, and we all know that instant gratification is way more fun. 😉 Sounds like you’ve tried your hand at removing wallpaper before, thanks for the tips. I have yet to go online and read more up on it, but I think it will definitely be quite a messy job. But hey, how bad could it be after those hardwood floors right?! 😉

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  2. Rehabbing is like the never ending story for me as well Jewel. It seems like if I ever get done with one house then I sell it and start it all over again. Next up for me building a whole new house. The three tradesman you guys got did a very nice job, place is looking good.

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    • The two homes I owned previously were brand new construction, so there wasn’t any rehabbing needed, and of course the construction workers did all the manual labor of building them. I only had the fun part of picking out everything, loved that! 🙂 My last home we designed ourselves and made it exactly how we wanted, I really loved that house. My mom’s place was built in 1902 and hasn’t been redecorated since 1976, so it’s in dire need of updating. Yes, the three tradesmen we had come out to take care of those things in the bathroom did do a really great job, but with finances being tight, we really need to do as much of it as we can ourselves (meaning me ;)). I’m excited to see the place you build, Gordon, it sounds like it’s gonna be really cool!

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  3. I love watching a British programme called ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ which is about people who buy derelict houses under auction and then do them up. I love refurbishments. To me, it represents renewal of the self. The home is who we are at the deepest level, and when we refurbish, we do away with the old and bring in the new. You’re onto something wonderful, Julie. Keep it up, no matter how hard it gets. Your life will change for the better because of the transformation you are going through. Again, I love the photos!

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    • Oh Yaz, I love how you put that, and what you said was really an encouragement to me, so thank you! I have felt a bit lost since losing my house back in 2010. It wasn’t just my house that I lost, but many other things all at one time as well, and my entire life as I’ve known it is being redefined (almost daily). I’m really hoping to make myself a home here back at home, but I still feel a bit uncertain about where my life is going exactly. For now I guess I’m just living in the moment and trying not to feel like I have to have it all figured out. I love that you used the word “transformation” because that definitely feels like what I’ve been going through. In the end I hope it turns into something beautiful. The house… and me. 🙂

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  4. Thanks for the post and the pics – great illustrations. I just heard of a process called “reglazing” that can do wonders when updating a bathroom – and you can choose any color you want! It seems kind of like a paint job for the tile but instead of paint, they use liquid porcelain (kind of). Anyway, we are researching how to redo the tile in our shower and I came across that. What I’ve read is that you should hire a professional and not try to do it yourself. You might want to check it out if you want the tile to all match or look like it belongs together. Enjoy the process! 🙂 – Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach, http://www.destinysfreedom.com

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    • That “reglazing” sounds like a cool idea. Nearly the entire bathroom is tile, the whole floor and 3/4 of the way up on all the walls. But we’re probably going to leave that as it is for now, it’s a nice neutral tone and it’s in great condition (although I may need to regrout the floor to freshen it up). It would have been nice if we were able to match the tile around the tub faucet with the existing color, but the white we ended up with does go fine with the white tub. Good luck with redoing you shower tile, I hope it turns out awesome! 🙂

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  5. Great work! What a nice handyman. He’s a keeper! 😉
    As for the wallpaper, I did my Gran’s whole house before it was sold. I didn’t score it because I was going to paint it and didn’t want to risk damaging the wall. Every room was so easy using a spray bottle (you could also use a paint roller) using HOT water with vinegar. Spray or roll it on and let it sit, but not dry. You can spray again just before you start using your putty knife. Some people use dish soap instead if vinegar.
    The kitchen was hell! I have no idea what she used to put it up but it took days! Keep it hot and wet and you should be able to get it off. Good luck, everything is looking great!

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    • Thanks so much for the tips! It’s already peeling off so hopefully it won’t be too hard to get it off. Yeah, the kitchen wallpaper is what I’m dreading doing the most, but I’m also looking forward to it too because it’s just so gross that I will be really glad to take it off. 😉

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  6. I really like the pendants in the bathroom, too. I’d keep them. I just peeled off some wallpaper myself. I don’t even want to discuss…ugh, people do the strangest things! lol

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    • Would you believe that wall in the bathroom is still left unfinished? I got preoccupied with all things outside related and completely blew that project off. I also got discouraged when I realized those walls were going to require a bit more elbow grease than just paint. I suppose I’ll have to get back at it soon now that I’m wrapping up things outside. Feeling a mixture of dread and excitement about it…

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      • Oh, I can totally relate. When we bought our house, I saw what it could be. Just a bit of tweaking here and there. After living in it for a few weeks, I found some more little things to tweak, and they all are quite small, but added up? Oh My.
        Outside feeds our souls. Inside, well, it can make or break a mood, but it’s never as glorious as outside.
        A house we owned about a decade ago had awful peeling wallpaper. I tore it down, with bits of wall. I spackled, and then I painted it with that gritty texture paint. The painted wall started above the tile, at about 5 &1/2 feet, so it really did the trick. I did not want to run into “renovation land” and end up exposing who-knows-what, or installing green board. It was the only bathroom in the house. I wish you luck, and I very much enjoy reading your posts!

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      • I was thinking of trying a textured paint, but some parts of the wall are so gouged and damaged that I’m not confident it will cover it up enough, plus I’ve never used textured paint before so I could end up really botching it up. But that’s about my only option so hopefully it’ll turn out alright. All of the homes I’ve lived in apart from this one were new construction that my ex and I designed ourselves so there were never any real “repairs” that needed doing, so this is all new to me, and my physical condition isn’t what it used to be so that makes everything even more difficult. This house was built in 1902 and has been in my family since the 30’s, my parents did a complete renovation on it in the 70’s, but nothing has been done on it since then. It’s well kept up, but really outdated, especially the kitchen ~ it’s all done in 70’s gold! You can see pics of it here… https://ramblingsfromjewels.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/so-anyway-moving-right-along/ That’s going to be the biggest challenge and it’s all going to be a very long process. Thanks so much for saying how much you enjoy reading my posts, that really means a lot! I like reading yours too! 😀

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  7. Pingback: Misadventures in Caulking | Ramblings From Jewels

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