Monday, December 31, 2007

Been a while...

It has been quite some time since I've posted. It has taken way too long to do it, but we are finally making progress on our upstairs bathroom. Having to wake up in the middle of the night to make the trek down the stairs and across the house to pee hasn't been fun. The tiny half-bath, which seemed so small and "easy" has found itself in the same category as almost every other project this house has had in store: a pain in the @$$. First, we had to find a sink that would fit this small space... that is, fit AND have the door open. I raided my parents' place and took a sink right off the wall. Perfect fit. Oh, but Jeff failed to mention that his under-the-counter water heater wouldn't exactly be attractive under a pedestal sink. Well, we can fix that.

We'll get a little cute set of drawers or storage to sit beside the sink and the water heater can be hidden underneath. Beautiful! We went on yet another antique-scavenger hunt and viola! There is was... a perfect little washstand with a marble top! We loaded it up, brought it home, and to our exhausted dismay it did not exactly fit beside the sink. It was more like an "either/or" situation.

Hmmm... What to do? We cannot return the piece, and my dad will surely kill me if I tell him we cannot use the sink that I stealthily absconded from the bathroom. I had an idea. We'll save the pedestal sink for the 3rd floor bath, get a vessel sink, figure out how to cut a hole in marble, and make our washstand into a sink and cabinet. The idea sunk in, the sink is purchased, the tile floor is in, the walls and caulked and painted, the ceiling is almost complete, the copper vessel sink is ordered, and the toilet actually fit into place (and *may* even work.. I just discovered that Jeff has been stressing about this plumbing situation for months and feared we would be making a bathroom that was only decorative and not useful!)

In other news, we have replaced our fallen oak with two 30 foot tall Bosque Elms. They are beautiful! I am so pleased! Jeff has begun fixing the fence, and we still need to replace the walkway, but I can see our front yard will be great!

Since we've moved upstairs, we have had a real genuine living room! This room was a make-shift kitchen when we bought the house, was the boys' room for a while, then our bedroom, and now it has finally made it. Here are some pictures...


Stephanie said...

Hi Holly,
My name is Stephanie and I just discovered your blog. We are thinking of buying a century home and I wanted to ask you a few questions.
This house has mice and probably other critters, how did you guys get rid of your critters and seal the house to ensure no openings were left untouched? Also you took up the floor boards, was this to insulate and or to remove the critters? Also did you have any foundation problems and what was the basement like, i.e. excavating, dirt floors and having to pour a concrete foundation Also did you have any lead paint to deal with? Do you have any general advise? I know that is a lot of questions but any info you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

Holly said...


We were working on the house for 6 months before we moved in. This gave the baby owls time to grow up and fly away before we sealed up the hole in the attic. Really, that was the owls were the only critters living inside the house when we bought it. There was evidence of a squirrel nest, and there were nuts and all kinds of goodies stashed away under the floors, but luckily nothing else was actively living there. We just closed up the holes and have been lucky enough to be pretty much critter-free. A squirrel did find its way into our attic this winter, but his stay is about to end!

We took up the floorboards to put in supports. The floors were springy like a trampoline, so we reinforced them. We also took the floor boards and ran them through a planer to get all the paint and gook off of them so we could stain them and have them looking great.

Luckily, we didn't have foundation problems. It is on a crawlspace.

We did have lead paint to deal with. Just buy the lead paint detaction kit (hardware store or you can get it online). It will let you see where you have issues. Just wet sand the chips smooth and paint a few layers on top and you're good. It's no problem that the lead paint is under there, it just needs to STAY under there and not show because of peeling or chipping. Our boys were 18 months old when we moved in, so I was PARANOID! I had them tested to check their lead levels every 6 months and they were always fine. I must have did a pretty good job!

Good luck to you! All I can say is, be patient and be flexible! When we bought this house we thought, hey, the worse thing that could happen is we'll fail and quit and sell the thing! Hang in there and you'll be fine!