Tuesday, July 21, 2015

the future master bath

There are times when words just don't cut it, and I'm afraid the last post was one of those times.  So, floor plans, drawn just poorly enough to still be useful!

First, here's how the room was originally...  The largest bedroom in the house, southwest exposure (stunning in the evenings), overlooking the original front of the house all the way down the hill which used to be part of it's estate (now filled with small infill 20's homes).  Judging by the size and masculine fireplace, I'd guess that this was Mr. Kelly's room.  His wife Agnes' likely adjoined on the left (our current master, and the smallest of the main bedrooms) given the art nouveau fireback, gas sconces, lincrusta, tower and feminine wallpapers.

Next, the room as it was when we bought the house...  Drop ceilings, no working electrical or plumbing, leaking badly, saturated with cat piss and missing moldings.  What else, hearth tile missing where the wall was built on top, rotted corner where they had ripped out a window and not properly closed up the hole, missing flooring and burst pipes from the radiator freezing when the house was empty, caving in plaster and badly damaged double hung windows.  I'm sure there's more, but that's enough to give me nightmare flashbacks.  It's also the list for most every room in the house I suppose.

And now...

If you know me at all, you know making these changes upset me.  After the indignities this house has suffered there is nothing it deserves more than a true restoration.  At the same time, even though we plan on being carried out feet first, we have to think of the house's future, and insure that there is no excuse for future travesties.  It's unlikely that future owners will have need of 9 bedrooms, or be able to fit their clothes in an armoire in the bedroom, so some changes are inevitable.  In the case of this room, it was the only one with access to plumbing, or that lent itself to being split up.  On the plus side, no structural changes are being made, and we've restored a hidden window and added a stained glass window.  Is it a net gain?  Probably not...  But a second floor laundry is certainly all it's cracked up to be, and having a decent shower in the distant future won't be so bad either...

An addition to these plans is Ross' fantastic entry - woe that we couldn't have made it work without major expenditures.  It also brought an issue to my attention - the basis for these drawings were done years ago now, there is in fact NO WINDOW next to the bay window in the bathroom.  It was theorized at the time, and historical photos have proved we theorized wrong.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Just a brief update between chopping up the tree that came down last week.  While I'm more than a bit disgruntled to be wasting the time when there are so many other things to be working on, I should be grateful.  What came down was directly in between the schoolhouse and the fire pit, and nearly on top of our stored roof slate.  Other than an impaled plastic chair and a cracked cinder block, nothing was harmed, not even the antique iron lantern that was still standing after the tree fell AROUND it.  Mind boggling....


Another plus?  The new chainsaw we had bought and given up on as hopelessly broken three years ago (and forgotten to return) was able to be coaxed back to life now that we know considerably more about repairing tools.  It's nice to know the chainsaw is back in our arsenal.

As far as work on the house itself, we decided the now fully walled and insulated third floor can wait till cooler weather for floor finishing and painting.  Instead, we've turned our attention to the future master bath which adjoins our bedroom.  As I've mentioned before, it was the largest and most beautiful bedroom in the house when it was built.  When we bought the house it was saturated with cat urine (badly enough that we thought it was a mystery leak and almost walked away from the deal), chopped up with walls going across the fireplace tile and had a dropped ceiling -all this on top of the issues every room in the house had with water damage and abuse.

 For now it's just storage, and aside from partitioning the room with the laundry and walk-in closet, and a quick pass on the floors, nothing's been done.  We're many years from affording the bathroom, so for now the room needs some additional plaster repair, a temporary box built over the exposed laundry room plumping, trim and paint stripping.  All of these are in progress - finished is boxing in and blue boarding the plumbing (plastering will happen in the next couple of weeks.  Not exciting unless it's your house I suppose, but I guess that's the case with most things I do and write.  Boxing in the plumbing actually turned into a monumental task after a tiny leak was discovered coming from the washer plumbing.  We thought we were going to have to rerun the pipes, only to discover the leak was coming from the hook-up box in the wall.  Trying to repair that leak lead to the Watts Intelliflow emergency shut off malfunctioning, i.e. no laundry right before having house guests, and a few weeks of back and forth with them to figure out exactly which part was broken.  Thankfully, all fixed now.

As part of the work, we stuffed all the exposed cavities with Roxul Safe and Sound to mitigate the noise from the laundry and bathroom - the difference is amazing, even with the door to the bathroom open and the broken stained glass window on the laundry wall.  Well worth the $50 we spent on the bag, and I'm glad local stores have starting carrying it.

With all this rain we've been having, the yard isn't the only thing growing like a weed, Maugrim is 9 months old and around 90 pounds.  He finally met a dog bigger than him the other day, and wasn't quite sure what to make of him.