Rebuilding

by Doc Coleman on March 27, 2014 · 1 comment

in Asides

Life has moved on a bit in the last week. It does that. As a result, this post is a bit later than planned. It has been a few weeks since I talked about what has happened in my life, so I thought I’d share some this week. In the past few months, we’ve had a number of things around the house fall apart for various reasons: age, over use, and the odd ruptured pipe. Now, we’re finally getting to the rebuilding phase. Not just rebuilding the house, but rebuilding the way we’re living.

I believe that I had mentioned earlier that we were having our baths redone. That task is now, thankfully over, although it did lead to some frantic re-shuffling of stuff to make sure that the installers would have unrestricted access to the bathrooms. While we’re still getting used to the new setup, it is a major improvement over the old tubs. Those were the original enameled steel baths that were put in by the builder some 30 years ago. You don’t think of a steel bath wearing out, but they do. For some reason, neither of the tubs would drain properly, and the standing water has somehow lead to rust sticking up through the enamel. So far it has been more of a cosmetic annoyance than a structural problem, but it was time to deal with it anyway.

The tile has been much more of a problem. Something about how the tile in the bathrooms was laid has meant that when the tub flexed under weight, the bottom row of tile moved with the tub, thus cracking the grout above that row. We’ve tried re-grouting, sealing over the grout, and even caulking over it. Nothing has worked for long and we’ve ended up with moisture seeping into the wall behind the tile. It was past time to deal with it once and for all.

What a difference it has made. Here is the before and after for the second floor bath.

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And this is the after:

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Big difference.

But the biggest change was in the master bath. Now, using my phone, I couldn’t get back far enough to get a picture of the whole bath, but I did get a couple of before pics:

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Yes, that is a shower curtain against the wall, and a trash bag taped to the back tile. Bleah! It was bad, and we needed to do something about it.

This is what it looked like after the work was done:

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Yes, that is a fold-down seat at the back of the shower. That was the other new change. Instead of getting a new tub, we installed a shower. Honestly, we take showers most of the time, so why not?

I figured out that I could take a picture of the whole enclosure by using the panorama feature on the phone. Here is how that experiment went:

IMG_1209It is a little shaky, but you get the idea.

Now, normally, that would have been plenty of change at once. But last Sunday, we also got the new carpet installed. The old carpet was damaged when the neighbor’s water main burst and the water leaked into our unit. We upgraded the carpet and the padding, and had to go through hoops to get the padding we wanted.

Anywho, before:

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With just about everything crammed up against the front window. These guys did a good job of stacking furniture.

And the reverse angle:

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That’s a lot of empty.

I was surprised when they said they wanted to come in and lay the carpet on Sunday, but it worked for us, and they did a really good job of it. Here are the after shots:

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Ok, it is a little tougher to see the carpet because we moved some of the furniture into place.

Here is the reverse angle.

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Probably the biggest surprise for me is that not only did the new carpet look good, it made our furniture look better than it did before.

Now that we have all the contracted work done, we can finally begin the work of rebuilding. Yes, I said begin. Now we are at the point where we can finally begin unpacking boxes and putting things back into their places. We can start moving our world back to a place of normalcy. Where we can live in the space instead of crawling through the spaces between the boxes. And that means it will be easier for me to write and record.

That last is a big one for me, since my recording studio has always been the living room. It is a big space with lots of soft, irregular surfaces. And now, it is so very much quieter! It is shocking the difference that good carpet makes. Of course, now that the carpet is muffling the other sounds, I can hear the refrigerator that much more…

Sigh. It never ends, does it?

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