Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No guts, no glory

All right, sports fans, another big project has begun. Kiss those filler blog posts about punch list items good bye - we're off on another renovation bender. Drum roll...the CELLAR. Soon to be a fabulous guest suite/apartment/non-creepy gross place.

When we bought the house, the basement had a bathroom (3/4), bedroom, and large front room. All in paneling and with brown carpeting. It appeared to have been pimped-out as a Greg Brady-like teen boys' residence. And then it promptly flooded (sump pump issue). So we tore out most of the paneling and all the icky carpeting. And proceeded to fix the rest of the house.

We're back now - it's time to fix up the cellar. So, this past weekend we completed the tear-out. It will be a big, varied, and action-packed project. And CHEAP. We've been saving up parts for a while and will be doing this whole project for as little cash as possible.

Here are some highlights from the before and after demo reel:

The shower: it's great that it had one, especially when the other shower was torn out, but it was creepy. I called it the "Dr. Who Shower" due to its phone-booth-esque quality.

Bathroom ceiling. The ceiling in the bathroom was pegboard, painted white. And, when we removed that, there were all sorts of electrical naughtinesses right over the shower. Bad.

The toilet, which was kind of a neat, Art-decoish one. Granted, the pink seat was a bit over the top, but the commode was cool. But it constantly ran (despite many attempts to fix it), it was a big water guzzler, and the door hit it when you opened the door. Awkward.

And here's the toilet, out. We would have donated it to the ReStore but it refused to come out without severe breakage. Perhaps the only phrase grosser than "cellar bathroom" is "draining the toilet in the shower". Do you have the creepy crawlies now? I do.

The sink. Nothing overly insulting about its appearance, but it did not drain anymore and the porcelain was all cracking. Time to go. Note the obligatory razor blade collection - all stuck to the insulation - behind the former medicine cabinet - 3 types! It's like the American Razor Blade Museum back there. Note that some jackass had insulated all the interior walls of the bathroom, and even worse, put the vapor barrier exactly the wrong way so all the moisture was trapped inside the bathroom. Super-duper!

Backing up, this is what the bathroom looked like from outside (note unneccessarily angled wall, which made the door hit the toilet. But why?)

And here it is by Monday morning, a gorgeous blank canvas:

There are three other rooms to be (re?)constructed down there, though the bathroom will be probably the most time consuming:

A bedroom in this corner,

A living room will arise from this mess,

And a kitchenette will be at the other end of the living room.

And we're off...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tea and company (well, we were!)

We snuck off for the holidays - literally. We surprised my parents at their winter abode in sunny Arizona, after paying a nice visit to Ken's sister, brother in law, and visiting parents in Colorado. Only someone from Maine would consider Colorado to be "on the way" to Arizona, right? But once we head south on the highway, we might as well go everywhere.

We went to one of the fabulous tea shops in Boulder and I picked up some lovely Oolong (magnolia type - it's softer than regular oolong). I was out of oolong altogether, and I'm obsessed with drinking it on rainy days. Don't know why. Anyways, I then thought that I'd like to see about some neat tea canisters because all my various teas are in a mis-matched mess of jars and tins, one with (gasp!) just plastic wrap for a lid, and some in bags. Perish the thought!

At any rate, the cool, stackable, tidy, classic, space-saving tea canister search turned up nothing (there are cool tins at $15 each!!, or too-big square containers, or simple tins from industrial suppliers with ridiculous shipping), so we went to the old standby: jar lids screwed to a board. Seriously. Cheap and it actually looks and works just fine.

While in AZ we also visited some great spots of architectural and historic note - we will fill you in later. Still adjusting to the time change and the whole going-back-to-work thing. Too...lazy...to...blog....