1980's Master Bath Reno-Permits & Hiccups

Thursday, February 9, 2023

We are four weeks into this reno, but technically only four days of work.  When I tell you there have been hiccups...oh man.  However, this bit of progress I love.

To remind you, this is the design plan/mood board.

To start the project, demo was done on day 1 and 2.  Plumbing was rerouted to hook up to the new tub and vanity, and the vanity lights and outlets were moved over the new, smaller vanity on days 2 and 3.  When I went to schedule the inspection, I realized I needed to have the electrical and plumbing contractors submit affidavits to the county.  That took over a week to get uploaded to the system and get the inspections scheduled.  This closed out my week I had with my tile contractor and he wouldn't be able to come back for another month.  Rookie mistake. 

Along the way there have been other hiccups. During removal of the pump for the jetted tub, water leaked out and wet the ceiling below.  So we had this unexpected damage to repair. 

An issue I anticipated was having to remove parts of the door frame to get the bathtub in the room.  The doorways to all the bathrooms here are only 23" wide. (Why???)  I couldn't find a freestanding tub that would fit.  The tub I found was 23.5" wide, and I was hoping the door stop trim could be removed without causing too much damage.  But the doorway is busted up pretty bad.  

On the bright side...hello beautiful tub!   It isn't here to stay just yet, but the plumber wanted to make sure he got the placement right for the faucet and drain.

The initial rough inspection of both the plumbing and electrical happened several weeks ago.  Plumbing passed, but electrical did not.   My 1980s bathroom/house is wired with 14 gauge wire and a 15 amp breaker.  Code now requires that bathroom outlets be wired with 12 guage wire on a 20 amp breaker.  I tell you, I am LEARNING so much on this project, lol!  So the bathroom circuit has to be completely rewired.  All this because I moved a couple of outlets over 18".  Yikes, if I had only known, I'm not certain I would have moved those outlets.  This has been the most frustrating hiccup in the project.

What else?  The plywood underlayment was only 3/8" thick, so new plywood needed to be added.  The old mortar and mesh flooring that was removed required adding a couple of layers of durock to bring them back up to original height.  And the floors were unlevel needing a layer of concrete(?) to level them back out.  At the end of which the floors are higher now than the original floor was.  No big deal except now I am pretty sure the bathroom door(s) will have to be cut down to fit back on the hinges. 

Just typing this all up is stressing me out again, lol.  Good news is work resumed this week.  In between then and now, my tile guy came back and put in the initial layer of plywood and durock.  I primed the walls and trim and started installing vertical shiplap a few weeks ago because the multiple colors, old wallpaper, and holes in the wall were driving me crazy and making the bathroom look incredibly hopeless, lol.  I only did two walls so far, to visualize how it would look from the doorway.  Just having that small bit of progress made all the difference in the wait!

 (a bit of progress)

(Demo day view)

Work resumed this week, so I will be back with tile work next.  Looking forward to having the electrical work completed too.

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1980's Master Bath Reno-Design and Demo

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Hey, it's been a minute, right? Here we are in 2023, and we're finally starting our master bath reno.  If you had told me in 2016 that we would be nearly seven years later renovating this bath, I would have said "No way!"  It's exciting but has also required a lot of decisions and patience.  A couple of months ago I nailed down my design plans into a a mood board.

I've been dreaming of what I would do to this space for seven years.  Originally I thought we would keep the vanity, but changed my mind on that over the years.  I always dreamed of a freestanding tub underneath that window, but had a difficult time finding a plumber that would move the plumbing without opening up the ceiling below.  We almost started the reno back in 2020, but Covid had gotten back up to a level where it didn't seem safe to invite strangers into your home.  But finally this year we started work.  This is what the space looked like before demo began.

What I love about this room is its size, the amount of natural light it gets thru two windows, and the separate tub/shower.  It also has a nice sized linen-closet.  I do wish that it had a separate WC, but I appreciate that it at least has the wall to provide some privacy.  

In October of last year I started ordering materials and told myself there will be hiccups, but everything is figure-out-able.   I've chosen to act as my own general contractor, pulled the permit, and hired trades to get the work done.   Work started on January 2nd and by day two, this is what we were working with.  OYE!

Already there have been hiccups, but I think setting my expectation that there would be some made them feel less overwhelming.  They have NOT been the hiccups I expected.  Since I've had a bit of space to think about them, honestly I guess they're not so bad.  My fear was that we would discover some horrible leak or rot underneath the shower or tub.  Nope!  Or some termite damage or rot in the walls.  Nope! The actual hiccups have been one of my own making, and one from a failed inspection, and one from the doorway size.  The work has been paused for a month because of one of the hiccups.  The good news is demo is done and I actually started a DIY project while I have been waiting for work to resume.  But I will be back to share more about that!

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Updating the Front Entrance with SW Pinky Beige

Monday, September 26, 2022

Oh hi there! I've been piddling away over a few DIY projects over the last several months, slowly updating the front entrance.  The last of which was painting this new front door.  This pink paint color has me in LOVE at the moment. It really made it feel that the entry way has changed quite a bit from it's original look six years ago and thought I would document it's phases.  

I always thought the original entrance was charming.  I love the detail of the trimwork around the door.

(Original entrance 2017)

But back in the spring I finally replaced the exterior lights and doorbell and touched up the trim paint.  

I originally wanted to add a glass security door so that I could open the front door and let in the light.  But I started thinking I don't want to have my front door open all the time just to let in light.  So when I stumbled across this beauty from Masonite that was basically a window-door it was a perfect solution.  I can't seem to find it online, but I will link the 9-lite version.  I'm thinking this may be an older style, but it was very reasonably priced.  I found it in a Masonite catalog they had in-store. I ordered it in March and was able to finally get it installed until July.  It comes unfinished, which allowed me to play with the color.  

 I originally painted the door SW Anonymous, a lovely warm gray (or so it seemed), with the intention that we would soon repaint the trim a lighter cream and match the shutters to the door.  However, painting is on hold, and the color didn't read as warmly as I thought it would.  The existing cream trim color has pink undertones which clashed with the grey.  So I was trying to figure out what color would work. I thought about doing a light blue and actually bought a sample.  But was flipping thru some mauve-toned paint chips I had picked up, and they looked really nice with the existing trim color.

It seemed better to complement the existing trim and shutter colors rather than fight them.  Pink was never on my radar, but I really like it.  The color is by Sherwin Williams called "Pinky Beige".  How can you not love a color with that name?

What do you think?  Do you love?  Or is it awful with the green and the brick?  

To select lights, I ordered a couple of sets and actually personally liked the arched one better, but the hubs liked the tapered one better. Both were good, so easy compromise.

I also wanted to replace the doorbell and this lovely little number was the perfect shade of gold.  I kind of wanted to get a video doorbell, but also kind of wanted to keep that 'classic aesthetic'.  Plus so far, we haven't had any porch pirates.  Of course, maybe we shouldn't wait until we have a problem, but like I said...aesthetics won.  We have a second doorbell at our garage door, so I would move this one there if we ever did switch to a video doorbell.

With a new door, I also switched out the hardware.  I chose the Hamden Handle Set from Emtek with the Norwich Knob in French Antique Brass and hinges in a matching finish.

And that is how we got to here!  

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How to Turn Store-Bought Bookcases into Custom Built-ins

Monday, December 14, 2020

I've been planning to write up a post with more detail about the Home Office built-ins' trim work even before the One Room Challenge ended.  I think many of us are visual learners, so hopefully having the trims listed out will help if you want to do a similar project.  I started with Target bookcases, but I think the premise can be applied to any basic bookcase.  And feel free to use these trims as a jumping off point.  There are so many different options, so mix and match to cover seams and create a look that you like!

These bookcases were previously standalone bookcases from Target, that I added an additional unit to, to the raise the height.

After vertical shiplap was added to the wall, the upper and lower units were secured to the wall.  I also secured them to each other using 2 1/2" trim screws.

Then I added lots of trim to create a seamless, built-in look.

The pictures below show the exact trims I used for upper and lower sections of the bookcases, and trims used cover the seams where the all the individual bookcases met.

All of my trims were attached with my Ryobi brad nailer and then caulked and painted. I don't generally use glue when I add trim. That way if I need to adjust or remove, it's easier to take apart. To see the full finished office, click here.  If you tackle a similar project, tag me on Instagram @oakhousedesignco! I would love to see your work!
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Three Money-Saving 'Home Hacks' for the Winter

Monday, December 7, 2020

I've been thinking of several little small gadgets or swaps that I've been wanting to share that I use that make life a little more convenient and save money.  They're sort of random, but somewhat related, but hopefully you'll find one that's helpful!

It's gotten cold here lately which made me think of my heated mattress pad.  I've had it for years and originally found it on clearance at Walmart.  It goes underneath your sheet and mattress protector, it's washable, and has dual controls.  I love that you can turn it on and it keeps your bed nice and toasty for 10 hours and automatically shuts off.  At night, you're not walking around your house, or at least I hope you're not!  So why keep the heat up high in the entire house overnight when you're only in your bed?  And it works really well too.  They generally have about 5-10 different temperature settings, although I usually can't take anything over 1 or 2.  But you can adjust the heat to whatever works best for you.  I'm including a few links below to different ones, but both the Amazon and Walmart links are for the Sunbeam brand that I have.  

Heated Mattress Pad
Amazon | Kohls | Walmart

The second thing I wanted to share was discounted refrigerator filters.  Sleeping in a heated bed makes you wake up feeling like an overcooked turkey if you're not properly hydrated.  Don't ask me how I know!  But drinking more water has also been a goal of mine for a while, and I don't really like buying bottled water.  I tried drinking tap water, but...not so great either.  I considered a tap filter, and a refillable fridge pitcher, but ultimately settled on using my refrigerator filter.  It promises 300gals of filtered water per cartridge.  But the manufacturer ones cost nearly $50 each.  So my search led me to Clear Choice brand water filters. I could get three for roughly the cost of ONE of the brand name ones.  And I am coming up on six months of using the Clear Choice brand and it has been great. (I'm linking to the brand on Amazon, but of course you have to look for the model compatible to your actual fridge. Another source to purchase them is DiscountFilters.comThis is the exact one I needed for my fridge.)

Finally to help with efficiency, we've also installed this Honeywell programmable thermostats, because while I don't mind dropping the temperature in the house overnight, remembering to actually DO it every night can be cumbersome. Now with the programmable one, I set it to drop to 62 degrees overnight, and then to heat up the house about thirty minutes before we start getting up, because no one wants to wake up to a cold house!  And I realize I'm probably a little behind the latest technology, because there's also smart thermostats like the Nest or Ecobee, and even Honeywell too.  They cost a bit more, but they're great options too because they can learn your patterns or be voice/phone controlled.  As we've updated our heating and cooling systems, we changed out our original thermostats, and having them be programmable has been nice.


So those are just a few money saving home hacks that I use. What items have you found to save money or make things a little easier?
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One Room Challenge-Week 6 | The Home Office Reveal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Reveal day is finally here!  After eight-ish weeks of work, the Home Office is finished and I'm so happy!  Participating in this year's One Room Challenge hosted by Linda and Better Homes and Gardens has been amazing, challenging, and educational.  It's also been truly appreciated with the current state of life right now.  In a practical sense, it was needed with my husband working from home during the pandemic, but it's also been good for me to have this creative outlet.  

If you're new here, I have to show you where it all started.  We moved here a little over four years ago, and turned this space into a guest room for several years, but recently decided to make it over into a home office.  

This was my design plan. The room was already painted SW Alabaster and the doors were painted SW Iron Ore.  So I had a nice backdrop to begin work.  

But enough of the backstory, you're probably here for the tour so, come on....step into my office!

The idea of adding an office sign came to me midway thru the project. I thought it was sort of cheeky and fun to have for a home office!

I knew going in that I wanted shiplap on this back wall behind the bookcases.  This was my first time installing shiplap, and I love the character it adds to the space.  After installing shiplap, I worked on making these Target bookcases I had on hand into built-ins by building an additional unit to go on top and tons of trimwork.

And here they are ready to work.

I had some accessories I found on clearance over the past year, so I had a few options for clocks for the space and the gold knobs were added to the closet doors.

I think I mentioned last week that this chalkboard came down on whim.  I wasn't expecting to keep it here, but it feels charming, so it's managed to stay.

This old armoire is a piece I found at an antique store probably nearly 10 years ago.  I call it 'the beast' because it's massive and it requires movers to change it to a different room in the house.  I love it, but the hubs could live with out it.  It doesn't quite match some of the other wood in the room and I always had STILL have plans to refinish it, but it's charming to me and I like it in here.  And it's so big, we really haven't got a choice!

This is where one of my art prints ended up.  I purchased from two different Etsy shops...North Prints and Heirloom Print ShopHeirloom had really great instructions about paper choice and sizing for having them printed.

I think I went thru four orders of sconces before finally settling on these that had the perfect 'arm' length for the bookcases.  I converted them into plug-ins and ran the cord down the back side of the face of the bookcases.  I also added a cool remote to turn them on and off.  (See if you can spot the cords for two of the sconces in the picture below, and the remote on the shelf!)  It really is one of my favorite little features of the space.  With the remote, I don't have to go inside the cabinet to turn the lights on and off. 

The ceiling light also went thru a couple of iterations, but I'm glad I finally found this one!

When things go back to normal, this room will serve as a command center for business of the house, but right now it's also meant to serve as a comfortable space for hubby to work.  A place where he can close the door for quiet during Zoom calls and meetings, and I don't have to tiptoe around if I'm in the kitchen while he works, haha!  I sort of don't want to hand it over, but honestly the best seat in the room is the one opposite the desk, so I'll have a good spot for coffee breaks!  

Thanks for stopping by for the Home Office reveal!  It will probably be tweaked and changed over time as it's put into use.  But I have so many other projects up my sleeve for updates here at home, so pop over to the sidebar to subscribe to the blog if you'd like updates.  I also plan on sharing the trim details on how I created the built-ins in a future post, but if you have any other questions about this project please let me know!

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