Posts Tagged ‘Unexpected’

We introduced our plans for the basement bathroom here. After actually tearing the walls out, we found out that Plan A will not work :/ We were planning on having a doorless shower.Like the image below,you would walk past the glass panel to enter the shower from the left.

Shower Layout

After demo, we found that the entire width of the bathroom will be 7 ft, not wide enough for the glass and an entrance.

One to plan Beta.

We considered a two person shower the full width of the room. The door would have this layout.

Custom_Two_Panel_and_Frameless_Glass_Shower_Door_2009_051but the glass estimates (had to be custom at that width) were $1800 to $2100… our entire budget.

We also considered make the bathroom narrower. 5 by 8  is a very standard bathroom size, and that makes the bedroom 12 feet wide. Our new layout for the basement would be this:

Basement layout

But that would make the den cramped,and it’s the most-used room down there.

We decided to frame-in a standard 5 ft shower and leave the 20 inches to the right (next to the toilet) as a small storage area.

Basement bathroom layout

I’d like the storage to look as much like this as possible.

Bathroom Storage

After demo and modifying our plan, it’s time for procurement.

We got the floor tile, shower drain, and grout from the Tile Shop (40% off black Friday sale, yay)  The tile is porcelain 12 x 24  ‘Burma Negro’ at $3.89 a square foot. It was over budget,but it is super awesome. We spent $945 on the tile materials for both the bathroom and mudroom. 1/3 of that will be used in the bathroom. This picture is from the tile installed in a  mudroom at Fat Hydrangea blog with London Fog grout.Burma Negro Tile

We grabbed this sink (complete with faucet) off Craigslist for $100.

Kohler Sink

The mirrors (KOLJA,$20), lighting (BASISK, $20), and glass shelves (BAREN, $30) were picked up at IKEA.basisk-ceiling-track--spotlights__0138856_PE298668_S4

A rain shower head came from a local Homegoods-style store ($30):

showerhead

And the ceiling light/vent  (Hunter/Ventura Exhaust Bathroom Fan) was $54 from Homeclick.com.

Ventura+Exhaust+Fan

The shower door was our big-ticket item. We wanted a frameless pivot-door shower. The Dreamline SHDR-20597210S was $776.

Shower Door

Option B (Dreamline SHDR-21587610) was $542 after a handy 10% discount.

vitreo-2

We chose the second, which was $542 beans at Faucetdirect.com . We went about 10% over budget for the shower door, but we’re still doing great overall.

We still need the wall tile, shower pan materials, and miscellaneous hooks, plumbing, electrical outlets, etc. The shower pan materials will be at least a hundred dollars over budget, but that’s what that $345 buffer is for 🙂

Item budget spent
shower door 475 542
floor tile 320 285
sink 100 100
plumbing 100 35
ceiling vent 55 55
glass shelves 50 30
Mirrors 45 20
vanity light 30 20
Total 1175 1087
shower surround tile 500
tile materials 155
wall hooks,etc. 50
outlets, light switches, etc. 25
buffer 345
Total 2250

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Our basement is officially gutted.

We’re finishing this floor before we start on the kitchen and the bedrooms upstairs. This way, we can escape the remodel disaster zones and maintain slightly more sanity.

Here is the current layout:

basement layout current

And the intended layout:

New Basement Layout

We’re making some large changes, but we have our reasons 🙂

Reasons 1 & 2: Bedroom-caves

The two rooms down here are pretty useless. They need an egress window to be a legal bedroom.

Bedroom of Cave-ness

The plan is to combine the two rooms into one legal bedroom with a gigantic storage closet. Since we’re turning an upstairs bedroom into the master bath, this will keep our bedroom count at 4.

Reason 3: Terrible bathroom

As we talked about in this post, the bathroom has a terrible layout. Actually, the only thing I like about it is the adorably ugly sink.

Mini Sink

We’ll be removing the space-eating linen closet, and redoing the resulting 7.5 by 8 foot bathroom.

Reason 4: Utility looking room

We’ve introduced this project, also.

Utility Room

We’ll be covering the pipes and wires when possible, and upgrading the floor.

Reason 5: Wandering layout

The basement is currently split with this short hallway.Maze of Doors We’ll be opening the wall up to make the basement feel less cramped and reduce the likelihood of someone getting lost in the maze.

Reason 6: It isn’t pretty

Spider Room

Brick linoleum and paneling is not my idea of a good time.

We started demo in the laundry room. Then we scratched our heads a bit about whether we were starting on the laundry room, the bathroom, or the entire basement. The only thing we used on this floor was our 35 year old dryer and it’s slightly younger pal. We decided to gut the whole floor, and hook the new washer and dryer up in their sad little concrete room full of pipes. At this point, that laundry room is frightful looking.Somehow, it looks worse

After making a mess with the laundry room, we realized that step 1 should have been removing all of our stuff. Whoops 🙂 A ton of it is being sold or donated, and we moved everything else upstairs into a spare bedroom. Just emptying out our junk took most of one day. Note to self: have less stuff .

Then we removed bits of the building 🙂  We listed the paneling, carpet, media cabinet and interior doors on Craigslist for free, and it was gone in a weekend. Someone actually paid us $50 for the carpet… even though it was free.

Less basement

Electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures were donated, and we knocked down the hallway wall and  linen closet. The only trash was the carpet pad, some linoleum, broken trim, and the shower.

Voila! Empty(ish) floor.

Empty Basement

After Demo came Discover. The best thing was this linoleum hiding coyly under the bathroom floor.Beatiful vintage find

I think I may keep it.

We also found 29 mice skeletons in one wall. That’s not an exaggeration; we counted. They had a lizard buddy hanging out too.

The less fun discoveries include water :{ Water seeps between the floor & concrete block in the laundry room.  That seam is easily fixed, but both corners of the basement  have seepage through the wall. Shucks

The adhesive on the floor looks like a puddle in that pic, but only the concrete bricks are damp. Coincidentally, that’s exactly where the gutters drain to. Our plan is to improve the gutter drainage, which should fix it. We’ll waterproof the interior corners as a back-up.

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New Toys!

Evidently January was our appliance month. We were on the hunt for a new washer and dryer. Our 35 year old dryer has a place in our hearts…

Washer Dryer Wall

But no longer in the laundry room. We started at Best Buy hoping to take advantage of a relative’s discount. We glanced over the laundry appliances… but they were twice as much as like-new Craigslist sets after the discount.  A new washer and dryer wasn’t worth that much to us, but I kept being drawn to one of  these pretty things next to the entrance.

French Door Pretty

You’ll notice it does not do laundry. It was, however, a perfect condition floor model at half price. The plan was to find this exact type of fridge used on Craigslist and buy it for about $1000… Eventually.  This fridge was 1.) Not on Craigslist and 2.) $1300… making it  more than my budget :{

But we splurged and bought it anyway. Eventually we’ll move it to the ‘breakfast nook’ wall, surround it with cabinets, and get rid of the peninsula. But we can’t put it there since there isn’t a water connection for it yet 😦

We sold the old fridge on Craigslist for $200,

Ye Old Fridge

removed the upper cabinet, displaying the lovely vintage wallpaper,

Snazy Wallpaper

and then the behemoth slid into her temporary purple cubby hole.

Our Fridge

So far I’m still disproportionally excited that I can adjust the temperature of our ice cream from -2 F to -3 F. Plus, the freezer  drawers on the bottom are more functional for us. The most random feature I like is that there isn’t a tray in the bottom of the ice dispenser. No tray means nothing to turn yellow and gross like this:

tray

After our washing machine shopping resulted in a refrigerator, I resumed stalking Craigslist. We found our new set. They were the Samsung 328 series, white, and about 5 years old. They were being sold by a grumpy guy an hour away, who wouldn’t drop the $750 price lower than 675. We planned to wait a week, call him, and try $600 again.

Grumpy Guy's washer

During our wait, a gray 2 year old LG set was listed for $25 more than the Grumpy Guy’s set. This set was closer, prettier, and I  prefer the LG brand to Samsung. Hence: more new appliances. Well, these new would have cost $2150… new to us for $700 is more our style 🙂Our new Washer & Dryer

Our old washer and dryer sold for $200 in Craigslist for-sale land.

So there are our 3 appliances for the month . Maybe next January we’ll find our oven and dishwasher and be done 🙂

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Refinance for the Win

As I straight-up bragged about in this post, we’ve finally paid our mortgage down to 80%, which means no more $81 per month PMI.

But our mortgage company refused to cancel our PMI (we didn’t have a 24 month payment history). We may have qualified in 8 months… The appraisal fee they require, plus PMI til then would be about $1000.

Which is why we refinanced … at 2.875! The refinance cost us $1885 (appraisal, title costs, etc), but we’ll break even in December. Our payment is about $400 less, and the savings over the life of the loan will be about $15k.

image from http://www.moneywalks.com/

That’s phase 1 done, now we’re on to brightening up the garage.

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We have a tiny, tiny sink in the basement bathroom.

It has to be that tiny in order to fit past the awkwardly placed door.

However, once we remodel this bathroom (spoiler alert) that door is going to move about 3 feet farther away from the tiny sink. We’ll still need a narrow sink, but at least we can have a full depth one!

Kohler Bancroft Pedestal Sinks would make a good fit. These are $225, and we could pair it with a Kohler Fairfax faucet ($106) for a good quality, compact sink at $331. That same setup would work perfectly in the half bath that we want to install later. Despite how well pedestal sinks would work, Michael and I don’t like them much, so we wouldn’t spend $662 on them.

Luckily for us, someone listed three of them on Craigslist for $125 each. We landed two for $100 a piece. Here they are in their previous house;

We’re planning to get the basement ready for us to live in while we tear to shreds remodel the upstairs, so the  basement bathroom will be one of our first projects, but we’re still on Phase 1 of the remodel (pay the mortgage down to 80%… boring!) so they’ll be sitting pretty in a shed for a few months. In fact, I shouldn’t even be thinking about this bathroom yet 🙂

However, the sink has kicked me off into full-on planning mode… In fact, the plan (I really want to have a solid plan before kicking off any of these projects) is 90% done. I may have even picked up two mirrors, the vanity light fixture, the new vent fan, and some glass shelves for above the toilet already 🙂

I’ll be back on here with the basement bathroom plan in a few months (or weeks?) when we can legitimately start a new project. Until then, I’ll be agonizing over paint colors.

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Evolution of a Door

We upgraded our front door this year. The door matched the bland siding color, which I disliked. We were able to switch this original solid door to the new fiberglass 3/4 glass door on the right. The best part is; I only used half a quart of paint (blue and black) for this entire exchange. Here’s how I did it…

1. Paint the door slab.

I picked an exterior paint with Semi-Gloss finish, and one quart was more than enough for this project. I used a metal putty knife for an edge guard while painting around the glass panes, and it worked amazingly.

My goal was a medium-dark royal blue. It ended up exactly the color of a smurf.

2. Paint faded green storm door and trim glossy black. We needed two coats.

3. Enjoy your finished door. We had planned to enjoy our quirky smurf door for several years. However…

4. The door was ruined when our house was burglarized, and we replaced the front door with the settlement check. The new door lets so much more light in, and it qualified for the Energy Saver tax credit. There is definitely a bright side, even to pretty awful things.

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