Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bathroom Reno - Part 1: Demo

Let me tell you a little story about how one of the most stressful nights of my life somehow led to a new bathroom.

It was about 9:30 at night, I was reading and winding down for the night. Rob's sister, Rachel, who was staying with us, was taking a shower. All of a sudden, I heard this loud high pitched non-stop beeping. The kind that makes your heart race and makes you immediately leap to your feet. I started running around the hallway trying to figure out where the heck it was coming from. Disconnected the smoke detector - no luck. Poor Rachel ended her shower a bit early because of the crazy high-pitched noise coming right outside the door. I finally figured out it was the alarm system that was I ran to our alarm keypad and everything looked perfectly normal. So I called our alarm company helpline...and frantically tried to explain what was happening, fully expecting them to just shut 'er down.


Miss-not-so-helpful lady on the phone condescendingly (and quite rudely, I might add) walked me through the steps for me to manually shut off the system. It was a disaster. The alarm system was installed before we moved in and we just re-activated it so I didn't know where anything they were referencing was located in our house. It took me 30 minutes to find all the parts and disconnect them. All the while, the terrible alarm that is supposed to scare big bad robbers away is screeching in my ear. My heart was racing the entire time and poor Rachel and I were on a scavenger hunt to make the madness stop.

During our little treasure hunt, we found the reason the alarm system was on the fritz. There was water dripping from the main floor into the basement...and it happened to be dripping onto the exact location where the alarm system battery was located :) And since it's an alarm, designed for security, everything is bolted and screwed shut so not only did I have to find the dang battery, but then free it from captivity and then deactivate it by removing a wet wire from where it was connected. I asked the lady if I would get electrocuted and her reply "I dont know. Why don't you just try?' #nothelpful

Eventually we got the noise to stop, right before Rob arrived home to two panicked, exhausted, annoyed girls. And then Rob and I set about trying to find the source of the leak and shut off the water. Problemo numero dos - Since our house is so old, we can't shut off the water without accessing it through the street, which we need a street key for. What a night!

So we just stopped using all sources of water for the night until our handyman could come check it out the next day. The culprit: the hall bathroom shower. And the solution was looking rather grim - just to replace a couple tiles, it was going to take a couple thousand dollars. What.

Luckily, the story gets better from here! When the tile guy came to give us a more exact estimate, he said that he could replace ALL the tile in the entire bathroom (aka new bathroom!) and fix the leak, all for the same amount that we were originally quoted. We were completely shocked. I mean, nobody likes to unexpectedly run into a pricey problem out of nowhere but if you have to, you want to at least see some progress and changes in the right direction for that kind of money. We got another quote as well from somebody that could do just the leak repair for a couple hundred less, but we decided we would rather pay a little more to get it done the right way and to have a chance to majorly update the bathroom. We also didn't feel comfortable tackling this ourselves since there was a leak involved that would cause us a lot more damage and expenses down the road if we didn't get it fixed professionally.

So to save some money, we decided to demo the bathroom ourselves. And by we, I mean Rob. So yesterday, Rob and Sandy (our basement roomie) tore up all the tile and took out all the fixtures, sink, and toilet to prepare for the tile crew to come today and get started on the renovation.

Check out the before pics and renovation pics as of last night. The whole bathroom is TINY - it's just less than 20 sq feet for the actual floor and less than that in the shower.

More pics to come later this with inspiration, progress, and final project in the next week!

Demo crew

Bye bye toilet and sink...and floor. At this point, Rob hadn't removed the red tile since it was tiled to drywall (a no-no). But this morning he tore that up too.

So long, shower.

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