Saturday, January 21, 2012

When a DIY plan works ...

Man, it's great to see the fruits of hard work actually come to fruition.

On the right is one of the faces of our bathroom vanity, sanded down by me (about half with my palm sander and half sanded by hand). On the left is the other face (or, what they both looked like before I sanded the one down).

I'm thrilled that this worked, I really thought it was going to be much, much harder to sand in all the crevices and such. It sure wasn't "simple" but taking my time and tinkering around got the job done.

I've also sanded down about half the face of the actual cabinet, and that's coming off nicely as well. I'm happy that this is going well thus far. Again, it's a lot of manual labor, but that's OK. That's the whole point of DIY -- it makes the finished product that much more satisfying!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The benefits of half-assed previous work...

Well, for once, I benefit from the previous owners' half-assed work.

This photo is the old sidesplash for the vanity/sink top that we're getting rid of in the upstairs bathroom. Note how well this sidesplash was attached to the wall. That bead of silicone seal or whatever it is? Yeah, that's the only thing that was holding it to the wall. It was just resting on the top.

Furthermore, I was pleased to find out that these geniuses didn't bother attaching the entire top to the vanity in any way. It was attached to the plumbing, which was the only thing holding it in place. Nice.

That means that removing this will be much easier, which further means that we can keep the vanity and refinish it, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a new one. Also, because I'll be able to lift this top out undamaged, I can donate it and get a tax writeoff, potentially, as it won't be a broken or damaged item. Score!

So, today I disconnected the plumbing for both sinks and prepared to remove the sink/counter top when I can get some help. I also played around with the sander, seeing how easily the finish would come off the vanity, and it looks as though this will be pretty much a no-brainer of a project.

More this weekend, I'm sure...lots to do. Also, will try to post some pics as I go along.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It begins ...

As mentioned in my previous post, we've finally replaced the bathroom skylight with roof. Finally, there will be no more leaks.

Anyway, to save money on the final bill from the carpenter, I decided I would finish the interior of the project myself (insulate and drywall), mostly because we've decide to us this as an excuse to partially remodel the bathroom.

What's staying: The floor, the toilet, the shower and the shower surround. Also staying: the linen cabinet behind the door.

What's going: The sink faucets, the counter top.

What's changing:
-- Because we're afraid that a 60-inch vanity won't make it up the stairs of our fine Chicago bungalow (we've had trouble with getting the furniture we wanted for upstairs because of the narrow, steep staircase), and there's really nothing wrong with the vanity at the end of the day, we've decided to sand it down and stain it to our liking, along with the matching linen cabinet. We were going to get two separate, smaller vanities, but I checked and found that the floor tile was not run all the way under the current vanity. So if we had gone that route, we'd have had to redo the floor entirely.
--Currently, there are four recessed can lights in the bathroom. They provide plenty of light, but not the kind conducive to shaving or showering or things like that. I hate them and want them out. I'd like to have a more traditional, center-of-the-room light that illuminates the entire room, and then sconce-type lights by the new mirror/medicine cabinets.
--We're definitely getting a new vanity top and new faucets, so we're psyched about that. We might even be able to use both sinks!

What we're "afraid" of:
--Well, I'm nervous about the water pressure. When we changed out the shower head and toilet up in this bathroom, it solved the water pressure issues in those two areas. I'm hoping the same thing will happen here. If not, we will have to have a plumber come out and figure out how to fix the situation.
--We're not sure how the refinishing of the cabinets will go. Hopefully, it will be no problem at all, and that will save us some real money when all is said and done.
--Hopefully we can get the vanity top off the current vanity without any damage. Otherwise, it's square one for the vanity.

So, here's hoping I can keep up and give you all some great updates, with construction now getting back on track here at the bungalow!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Where the time goes ...

Wow, it has been since September since I posted.

Yikes...well, I guess, though, that makes some see, we've been dragged away from normality by a few things, so it happens. Here are some updates...

First, at the end of September, we got into a serious wreck on the interstate in N.W. Indiana, heading off to the apple orchard. Fortunately, none of us were hurt, but our Altima sure got hurt pretty badly. After wrestling with the other driver's insurance and her own inability to get a statement in, we were found completely fault-free (which we'd figured), and all was paid for. But this took until the week of freakin' Thanksgiving to get sorted out. With that potential budget drain over our heads, we had to hold back on our spending, just in case.

Next, we bid adieu to my roommate and friend of the last 11 years, my dog, Kazak. His hips had started to really go bad on him, and his appetite was also slipping. On Dec. 7 (the day that will live in infamy, which is the only reason I'll remember that was the day that this happened too), he fell down the back stairs and couldn't get up. His liver, it turns out, had also begun to give out on him. The vet believed he had liver cancer as well, and that it was just a matter of time. That day, at the vet, after carrying him to the car and into the vet, I decided to have him put down. R.I.P., my friend. I know you will.

Then, of course, the holidays always get in the way of things. But, we've moved on since the holidays -- not only have we rescued a young pup from Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation (Pillsbury, or Pils, as I call him), but we also had a carpenter come out and finally take care of that stupid, leaky skylight in the bathroom ceiling. It was a dumb idea by some previous owner -- actually, a great idea, just piss-poor execution...or maybe not. So, here are a bunch of before pictures, to give you an idea of what it was... 

And here is an "after" shot of the roof patched up.
What does this mean? Well, more or less, "We're back in business, baby!"
Stay tuned for my next post...which follows up on these developments, of course!