The bathroom project: planned 9 years ago, completed (almost) during the quarantine…

It’s a bit ironic; the online articles and posts suggesting that perhaps you should do a home project while you’re quarantined at home. Or the other articles that snidely suggest you’re an overachiever if you even attempt a DIY project now. (The good thing about a quarantine DIY is that no-one is going to show up at your house, when there is junk, tools, and sawdust covering Every. Single. Surface.)

Dueling ladders…

Our bathroom has looked like a third world bathroom for 9 years. When we inherited this little cottage, it was the room we planned to redo first. The smallest, the most-in need, the most bang for our buck… Plus, the kitchen was daunting because, well, it was the kitchen. Truth is, the bathroom has the access into the attic, and it took us a long time to figure out how to get an attic ladder in such a small space. Before, one had to bring in a ladder, and push a piece of plywood away to get up there. Here is how the access door finally turned out:

The attic access door that stopped all progress…

Nine years later, after Covid-19 has relegated us all to our houses, we tackled it. No excuses, nothing else to do. So we’ve actually utilized our time well. Of course, there were times of distress, and interruptions, and arguments, but that’s just routine in DIY projects, and anyone who has ever done a home project knows that to be truth.

It was a great day when this old sink went out for garbage pick up. We put it out a couple of days early, but no one was in the market for a sink and cheap faucets.

When we uncovered the bathroom vanity that we had purchased at a Restore in Pittsburgh, we found a sticky note that had the date of purchase: Sept. 9, 2011. We had gathered supplies in fits and starts since that date.

  • We bought floor tiles for the shower early on right after the vanity and the mirror;
  • a round copper sink that we found in Deep Creek Maryland one summer on vacation before this little cottage was even ours;
  • Mr. H.C. got a pricey toilet for free, and we had it for such a long time, we gave it away to someone else who needed one;
  • we had tile for the top of the vanity for so long that when we got it out, we couldn’t figure out how we had thought we were going to put it on, gave up, and bought a new wooden countertop instead. We went to Burton, Ohio to pick it up, two days before the PA lockdown started;
  • that same weekend we went to a small independent plumbing place to get some pipe and ended up buying a commode from him. He was so grateful, and it made us aware of how much we just shop at the big box stores because it’s easier. Nothing is the same now, and we all need to think carefully about what stores we want to support.
  • Faucet, sink drain, and shower fixtures were purchased a couple of years ago when we thought we were getting ready to do the bathroom. We did the ceiling and some electrical work, and then we ended up doing the back porch instead.
  • the replacement window came in just after the PA lockdown started. We have been grateful that plumbing supply and hardware stores are considered essential…

We still don’t have the shower in, but here are some before, during, and after shots:

THE FLOOR: (tongue and groove yellow pine, still available at fine lumber yards everywhere…)

THE HEATER VENT:

THE TOILET ALCOVE:

SAME SHOT, DIFFERENT YEARS….

THE VANITY TOP, SINK, AND FAUCETS:

Here are some close ups:

We still have the shower to do…But we’re taking a short break to recover, and try to remember: how was it we were going to put the shower in, anyway?

13 thoughts on “The bathroom project: planned 9 years ago, completed (almost) during the quarantine…

  1. It’s lovely! And I do understand the delay. We’ve been in the house for three winters, but the upstairs bath is just roughed in. Everything needed is in there, just in boxes, or neatly stacked. Only recently have we looked in to think, hmmm. This summer may be the time.

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  2. Only nine years! I’m impressed. These old house projects take on a life of their own. The results look really good. I know that it feels really good when the last details are finally complete. Have Mr. AHC check out DEA Bathroom Machineries. It is a plumbing supply of vintage and new high quality parts. I just purchased a S-Trap for my back porch bathroom and the quality was excellent.

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  3. It is beautiful! It is such a pleasure to walk into a room that you have redone, or almost, redone. I still enjoy walking into our family bathroom that was redone about 4 years ago. I can’t wait to visit you someday!!

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  4. The pics are wonderful. You two have done an outstanding job of which I had no doubt. I imagine the shower will be a beast to tackle but will be well worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. Bet it feels wonderful to enjoy the almost finished room. Looks spa-like.

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