Bathroom Remodel Day 5 & Day 6

At the end of day 5, I had cut in to trashcan sized pieces the old shower stall and had removed the toilet (saved, to re-install after cleaning it up) and the vanity, which was given to one of the workmen who admired it.

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Workman? You say. Yes. I have so much to do before May 1st, and I knew that I was going to hire our some of it, like the plumbing and the asbestos removal. I got a couple quotes on having someone else do the tile and I decided it was worth it. Boy! They work so much faster than I do. At the end of day 6, the cement board was up and the plumbing ready for the tile guy.

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The workman also moved the window up, so as not to cut off the top of the curve of the outside arch.

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I’m quite pleased with the progress. And now that I have helpers, it should move much faster now. Yeah!

Bathroom Remodel: Day 4

As you recall, this project is sort of stalled while middle son is home for winter break and using the sink and toilet. We have busied ourselves with decluttering. I did get another day of work done by taking the fiberglass shower wall pieces here

2015-12-27 11.24.16-1and cut them into pieces that I can put into my trash can.

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It took a lot more time and muscle that I expected, so I bought some new tools.

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Even with the powerful reticulating saw, it took several charges of the lithium batteries to cut through all that fiberglass. While I was waiting for the batteries to charge, I filled in holes in the drywall in my son’s bedroom.

Daughter Declutter Project

And here I thought I wasn’t going to get much work done while the kids are home. Ha! Everybody is in decluttering mode. Lucky me!

Beloved daughter went through her stuff (something she does almost every time she is home) and found the following items to release to the universe.

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There were a few things that did not make it into the photo: a pair of boots, some books.

And yes, that is her confirmation dress hanging off the drawer handle. And yes, I did sew it for her according to her design.

But I am not a sentimental person, and the dress has served its function. Beloved daughter can’t wear it and some little girl, whose mother shops at Goodwill, will put it in her dress-up box and she can play princess or bride or “I’m going to the prom” all day long, until the thing is in tatters and that will make me more happy than for it to grow moldy in a closet.

 

 

Middle Son Decluttering Project

I have informed my children of my plans to sell the house this summer. They are in agreement, no one seems too sad about it. Middle son plans to be overseas this summer when the house selling occurs. Because I do not want to have more work than absolutely necessary, I asked him to go through his boxes of stuff, to make sure I did not move twice something that he was just going to get rid of once it made it to it’s final destination. Hoo Boy! What a great idea that was. He and I spent 5 hours, going through his stuff. Here are the items he wanted to go to Goodwill:

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And here’s what he wanted to keep:

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You can’t see it in the photo, but the boxes are all labeled with his name, making the move easier.

Bathroom Remodel: Day 3

I haven’t been posting much…because I have been working a lot at my day job..and then working on the bathroom. So, having completed the 24th hour of this project, I have photos.

The peel and stick tile left so much sticky on floor that middle son says they were exfoliating to bottom of his feet. He laid down cardboard.

Removed the bottom of the drywall. You can see the subfloor.

Mostly this last day of bathroom work was less dramatic. Cleaning up the edges, the bottom, the mess.

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Subfloor at the head of the shower.

The peel and stick tile left so much sticky on floor that middle son says it was exfoliating the bottom of his feet. He laid down cardboard.

The peel and stick tile left so much sticky on floor that middle son says it was exfoliating the bottom of his feet. He laid down cardboard.

So then end of day 3 is not so dramatic as the end of the first 2 days.

And now the project is (mostly) on hold while my winter visitors are present. Next post: a HUGE decluttering project with middle son.

 

Bathroom Remodel Day 2

The remodel was held up by my frugal self. I decided that I would put all landfill materials in the trash bin that I pay a monthly fee for, and would not sent more than that to the landfill. This is actually not that difficult as I usually only put 1 12 galleon trash bag in the landfill each week.

trash can full of drywall and wallpaper refuse

trash can full of drywall and wallpaper refuse

note the editing of the beautiful arched window by a "modern" contraption.

note the editing of the beautiful arched window by a “modern” contraption.

This is the shower area, that I have removed a fiberglass  surround and partial wall to reveal the beautiful arched window.

The fiberglass surround did not go willingly. But  it is out. I had hoped to recycle the surround, but it will end up in landfill. :(

The fiberglass surround did not go willingly. But it is out. I had hoped to recycle the surround, but it will end up in landfill. :(

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Shower pan

Shower pan

I'm going to leave the sink and toilet in place till after the college winter break, as there are many more persons  in this house this next month and having 2 toilets and 2 sinks will be great!

I’m going to leave the sink and toilet in place till after the college winter break, as there are many more persons in this house this next month and having 2 toilets and 2 sinks will be great!

Wood framing that is removed due to change in shower structure. These studs will go to recycle.

Wood framing that is removed due to change in shower structure. These studs will go to recycle.

Day 2: Summary.

Simplifying Christmas

Simple decoration

Simple decoration

Whoo Boy! For those of us in the cultural extravaganza of December in the United States, there is an overwhelming mish-mash of marketing, family sentimentality, religious holiday, social obligations, marketing, career obligations, style points, cultural obligations and oh, yeah…marketing.

Whatever stories you are telling yourself right this minute, this second day of December….I just want to point out that you can’t do it all. Not only can you not do it all….it is not desirable to even try.

If your family or work culture mandates that you celebrate with them, you have options beyond a vacation in a non-Christian country during the last month of the Roman year.

Here is your mandate: spend a quiet afternoon all by yourself (coffee shops and book stores count, when you need to get away from obligations) and reflect on what, if any, part of the holiday/cultural extravaganza you value. Write it down. This is the only part you have to participate in. Really!

Over the years, I have valued and opted out of different parts of the celebration.

  1. I have attended Christmas church services with my family.  This year I will work for hospice.
  2. I have spent $$ and time creating the perfect Christmas tree, visible from my living room and the street, via a window. I do not now.
  3. I did Secret Santa with my co-workers. I do not now.
  4. Travel through blizzard conditions for four hours to be with biological family who insulted my life choices. Won’t do that again. Ever.
  5. Purchased, addressed, mailed Christmas cards to 300+ friends and relatives when I had 2 children under the age of 2 and was so sleep deprived, that 5 of the cards came back with wrong/insufficient addresses.

Here is h0w I celebrate now:

1) Often, I work Christmas day. This allows my co-workers with small children to spend this precious time with their families.

2)  My one and only Christmas decoration this year is this wreath on my front door. $18.00 and compostable after the holiday.

3) I do love to shower my children with gifts. But I buy one generic paper wrap (any/all occasion–not birthday, not Christmas, not Valentine’s Day) and I use it till it is gone, then I buy another generic wrap. Other years, I have used the comic section of the newspaper as wrap and also, the paper grocery sacks from the store. When they had logos printed on the outside, I turned them inside out.

4) I shop all year long/ And I re-gift. If I find something that I think would be a great gift for a loved one in February or July…I nab it and put it into my secret storage site. I keep track of how much I spend on each child because….

5) I set a dollar amount that I will spend on each person that I plan to give a gift to. When the kids were very young, it was not a dollar amount, but number of gifts. That was how they counted back then, and I did not want anyone to feel slighted or less loved because of the presents. Now they are older, and a bit more sophisticated. So I set a dollar limit for each person and when I have spent that amount, I stop buying gifts for that person. Sometimes a small re-gift will fall into my lap. I do not tend to count them in the dollar amount. I might if it was something spectacular.

So what do you do to manage the excess of the season?

Bathroom Remodel: Day 1

Expenses so far: $26.35

Band-Aids: $2.00 Flat Bar: $13.00 Goo Gone: $3.80 Wallpaper scorer: $7.55

Band-Aids: $2.00 Flat Bar: $13.00 Goo Gone: $3.80 Wallpaper scorer: $7.55

Materials taken to Habitat for Humanity (recycle store):

2 foot x 3 foot beveled mirror

3 pressboard shelves (each approximately 2 foot square)

matching porcelain and brass towel and toilet paper holders

shower sliding door.

In the Recycle bin:

the wallpaper

Tin/aluminum wallboard edges

Various nails/bolts/screws

(to be burned in the fireplace later)

shelf supports, which are mere pine molding.

Things that made it to the trash/landfill:

the peel & stick tiles

plastic anchors behind the drywall

drywall (about 1/3 of a large trash can.)

I’m pleased with my progress.

 

Bathroom Remodel: The Rules

I love to watch the transformations that occur to homes on the TV Channel HGTV. But I hate watching the homeowners and TV host taking a sledge-hammer to solid wood kitchen cabinets because they are “too dark” or “not modern.” Ouch!

I am planning a (almost) total gut of the upstairs bathroom for reasons that will be enumerated. But I am a Green Person. I will do this remodel as environmentally responsively as possible. And I plan to be transparent with you all about the process.

I will track and report to you:

  1. Hours worked
  2.  Materials donated to a recycling entity (Habitat for Humanity)
  3.  Expenses
  4. Materials recycled via my waste handler
  5. Trash that actually makes it to the landfill.

But first the reasons why I believe I need to gut this bathroom to sell the house.

The ugly wallpaper

The ugly wallpaper

The cheap peeling and chipped floor tiles.

The cheap peeling and chipped floor tiles.

The poorly functioning shower stall. Nobody has taken a shower here for 10 years because the water flow is poor. Even the tall kids that have to duck their heads to shower downstairs.

The poorly functioning shower stall. Nobody has taken a shower here for 10 years because the water flow is poor. Even the tall kids that have to duck their heads to shower downstairs.

I’ve started the gut. More posts to follow.

The Dining Room

The new table and chairs

The new table and chairs

I was actually in the middle of redoing this room when I had my epiphany that I was spreading myself too thin, between too many (and some conflicting) goals. When I started the remodel of the dining room, my goals were to get rid of the blue walls and chairs that I had grown weary of, and to get furniture that would seat our entire family for a holiday meal.

A shot of the old blue walls and yellow curtains. I never liked those curtains. I can't imagine why I bought them.

A shot of the old blue walls and yellow curtains. I never liked those curtains. I can’t imagine why I bought them.

Sometime in the middle of the remodel (but after I had bought the furniture) it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be using this furniture but for a couple of years before I move into my RV, and likely it was not a good use of my money. That said, I like it very much. We will enjoy it until then.

I gave to Goodwill a large piece of art that I didn’t love anymore and replaced it with this movie poster promoting a movie my kids made a few years back.

Daughter in left upper and son in right lower

Daughter in left upper and son in right lower

The poster and Buddha are the only art in the room now.

This little guy was a housewarming gift from my mother who collects Asian art.

This little guy was a housewarming gift from my mother who collects Asian art.

I didn’t do anything to the corner hutch.

This is enough color in the room for me now.

This is enough color in the room for me now.