Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This Post is Ugly and I'll Be MIA

Some people thrive on demolitions, renovations, and new construction.  Not me.  I'm about to take on a little project in having some plumbing upgrades contracted - some main house water shutoff valves replaced and a few things changed in my guest bathroom - MY bathroom.  It sounds simple enough.  It's not.  I'll be MIA (missing in action) from most other activities for the next week or so for all the work leading up to the plumbers arriving later in the week, and cleaning up afterward.

My Labor Day was all that - I started in the basement, where one of the shutoff valves is located - moving 'stuff'.  In the photo below (remember, I said this post is ugly), see that tiny white arrow toward the top?  That's where the shutoff valve is.  See those HUGE black arrows on the floor?  That's where all my stuff was that I moved (the angle of the photo made it a little hard for me to actually draw an accurate line. That arrow on the right should be straighter, rather than angling leftward.
I put this off like one would put off doing taxes, but I think I was ultimately more efficient in my procrastination, as I was able to accomplish three things simultaneously:  1) organize some personal things into plastic tubs vs. boxes; 2) reorganize and condense some of my antiquing inventory; and 3) purge and segregate items for an upcoming yard sale.  The photo below shows a mish-mash of SOME of our personal stuff and SOME of my antiquing inventory.
From the left side to about the poster size photo (of Mr. P. as a little boy, saying, "I don't like STUFF!") is our personal section; from the galvanized trunk & suitcase over to the picnic basket and stack of boxes is inventory.  And then there's the yard sale stuff to the right of that:
Here's another view of the side of my basement I shuffled (I will be moving all this again, once the job is complete.  Mr. P & I practice ballroom dancing down here when the floor is a little clearer).
See all those boxes along that back wall (that I did not shuffle)?? Approximately the bottom half (the plastic tubs) is MY stuff that I moved into this house when my husband & I combined households ten years ago!  All the boxes on top of those bins is inventory.  I do have a system, in which everything is labeled, and I have Word documents that I can do a search on to locate things.  But the system breaks down when I want to gain access to anything on the bottom layer - or the ceiling.  Thank goodness I don't have to move stuff on the opposite side of the basement where the other shutoff valves are.  Yes, it is pretty full on its perimeters also - with mostly Christmas decor in huge, Rubbermaid containers, but the corner where the shutoff valves are is clear.

Next is the bathroom.  I'm having fixtures upgraded and caulking replaced.  In order to gain access to the fixtures, I had two choices:  remove the shower tile or have an access panel cut from the other side of the shower wall.  This is where I always comment, "Must've been a man who engineered that design".  I chose the latter (create access panel, so this design flaw could be corrected at its root cause), which involved moving this wall of furniture (see below).
See that chunk of a cabinet with glass display case on the far left?  And that display case on the right? They're all really heavy.  And so is the dresser, which is LOADED with vintage linens (no Martha Stewart empty drawer for guests in this guest bedroom).  The distribution of wall-to-wall furniture has begun.  So far, I've moved the two items on the left to my reading room:
These two items are totally in the way, but it's my room, and I use this room more in the winter vs. summer. I still have room to access the balcony door (follow the light) to be able to jump if I need to.
The small curio display on the right of the wall has been temporarily moved to my office / spare bedroom:
The wall-to-wall furniture is driving me crazy, and I'd really like to lighten the heavy load of its appearance after the project.  This display case is designed to be on a table, so I'm trying to find the silver lining to this dark cloud over my head figure out how I can rearrange things after the project.  It' a lot like the antique mall displays - you just know when it's wrong and when it's right.  This is wrong, and I need to find a better way to display my collection of antique purses.
Still more to do in this room, but I already like seeing the wall space much better.  I'll be storing EVERYTHING remaining away, covering the big items, and maybe even the chandelier in the mirror.  After all, when have you EVER seen cutting through plaster NOT make a mess?  This is sort of like deja poo - I've seen this crap before, as in when my floors were refinished two years ago.

If moving everything isn't draining enough (no pun intended), selecting hardware was only made less difficult by the fact that I wasn't replacing basins or tile, so my choices were narrowed to existing hole sizes - sort of.  We're going from these lavatory faucets :
To Delta's Lahara in brushed stainless steel, a transitional choice, with clean, classic lines:

The shower hardware was made difficult by a little known fact I soon learned:  two-handled faucets are becoming extinct unless you want builder-grade chrome fixtures (like I already have, complete with gross, moldy buildup behind the plastic handles.  Sorry, no closeups here - that's just too gross).  Replacement fixtures are the central, single handled types which are code-specific for safety in preventing scalding.  So, we're going from this:
To this:
 But, to make the conversion, we had to get one of these (in the brushed stainless) to adapt our old, two-handled fixtures:

And end up having to do this:
So, not only am I having to have the wall behind the shower torn out in the guest bedroom, I'm having to have the shower tile torn out as well.  Earlier, I stated I had two choices.  Little did I know I would get both. THIS is only one of the reasons I hate renovations and new construction - change orders on the fly.  Scope creep is the other thing I hate, worse than getting a crown on a tooth.  Mr. P. is all about scope creep.  He would've had not only my bathroom completely gutted and rebuilt, but he was ready (and is STILL) wanting to redo the master bath. I feel compelled to manage both the project and the scope creep.  

If you don't hear from me for awhile, I'll either be moving stuff, covering up stuff, selling stuff, or moving toward that light in the photo above that leads to the balcony.  I'll be MIA.  I hope to see you on the other side of all this.

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