One of the things that attracted us to this house was that the bones were good. Visually/cosmetically things were outdated, old, and in some cases poorly installed. But underneath it all the structure, the electrical, the plumbing, the AC, etc was good. The inspector identified a few areas of concern like leaky faucets and slow sinks – but nothing that scared us away. In my opinion, that’s just normal house maintenance that wasn’t given the proper attention. But J and I are here to give it proper attention!
Last Saturday, my dear Papá volunteered to help address the leaky bath fixtures in the kids’ and master baths. He had previously taken a look and thought it was old washers so he brought over his plumbing tools and with J’s help took things apart.
Sure enough the washers were essentially gone – half the size of brand new washers which meant water was just leaking around the seal. The insides of the handles were also full of hard water deposits and corroded, as was the drain trip lever and the spout. We ended up getting a complete rebuild kit with new stems and handles (this kit from Home Depot); and a separate new drain lever. We still have to swap out the spout and the shower head but after that the kids’ bath will be completely leak-free and brand new. I think J and I picked up some handy tips from my dad as well. It’s good to be new homeowners learning the tips and tricks of home maintenance.
The shower head in the master was constantly dripping. I thought it was just a bad shower head but my dad and J explained that if the water was dripping from the shower head then it wasn’t properly sealed and shut off at the handles. Duh – seems so obvious now. So once again they pulled them off and found they needed to be replaced just like the kids’ bath. It was cheaper to get a second rebuild kit with two handles and a diverter than it was to get everything separate so now we’ve got an extra diverter – yay! We went with the cheaper chrome for the kids’ bath but spent the extra $5 for the brushed nickle for the master. Et voilà!
The last time we visited the half bath J and I had removed that green wallpaper. Since then we pulled the toilet to finish removing the wallpaper.
Also, another great find (like that tile)! We were definitely not planning on replacing the vanity. All the cabinetry in the house is in fairly good shape just a bit worn and dated colors. The half bath vanity though had been chewed and scratched by the dogs. So we were planning on replacing the doors. But then, The Home Depot special buy of the day was bath vanities. I immediately forwarded the link to J after reading the daily email. We ended up snagging this combo for roughly equal what we would have spent on doors plus shipping. And in the words of the legendary Barney Stinson: “New is always better”.
And we get a new mirror! The medicine cabinet in the half bath is actually attached to the mirror. I was going to try to separate them and reframe the mirror but now we have a bonus new mirror!
Next step: New flooring. With the toilet and vanity out in the garage, we have direct and easy access to the flooring so they will remain in the garage until the old linoleum is replaced (probably with bargain tile). Stay tuned!
All the walls are gone! We’ve completely opened up the entryway and it looks freaking amazing. I was concerned about it looking too open and compromising the flow of the rooms as being separate rooms. But after removing the entryway closet and taking the drywall all the way back, it was obvious that our original plan of taking it all out was really the best plan. I love Before & After pictures so enjoy! Here’s a sampling of what it looks like. Since it’s a small area it is kind of hard to capture in pictures but we’ve tried our best. All that’s left is to put the place back together: drywall, flooring, paint, and other finishes.
From the Dining Room
From the Living Room
My apologies that this picture is backward (after then before, I use Google Photos and there is not currently a control to order collages, ugh).
With that last stair completely exposed we’ve now got the option to replace with a more decorative, larger stair. So we’ll keep than an option as we move forward with finishing the entryway. Let us know what you think!