It’s amazing how quickly you get used to something new and forget how things used to be. So I decided to take pictures of our before situation and the progress as we moved to completion.
We elected to work with Tommy Turner of Turner General Contracting. Tommy and Larry work together and we’ve been very pleased with their work so far.
This project began as a “Let’s update the master bathroom.” deal and quickly grew from there. As with all such projects, as you touch one thing, it becomes obvious that there are three other items that should be dealt with if this one is to be done properly. We did put on our “reasonableness” caps and had to make some tough decisions regarding what to leave out. Besides the fact that we simply cannot afford to do everything at once, there is only so much change you really want to implement at once anyway. So the floors will remain carpeted, most of the windows will remain intact and the ceiling insulation may remain sub-par for a while yet.
To begin with, we wanted a bigger bathtub and new shower doors. Since that would mean ripping up the tile work we decided to go ahead and gut the water closet entirely. Also, the toilet had never really been a stellar performer (if you know what I mean) so we wanted something that would do the job a little bit better.
Additionally, the fan in the water closet is old and sluggish so that will be replaced along with adding a dimmable light in the shower area and a heat lamp
The hot water tank had been relocated by the previous owner to the far end of the house (laundry room) which sounds OK until you realize that we are situated on a slab which meant that nearly all the plumbing is under cement. That means that the hot water intake is being fed from the old location through a pipe running up into the attic and all the way across the house to the heater. Then the hot water is fed back up through the attic to link back up with the original hot water starting point. The long and short is that it takes a very long time for the water to warm up no matter what faucet in the house you are using. We are replacing this scheme with a new tankless gas powered water heater that will be situated in the originally plumbed hot water heater location. This should result in faster water warmup times, an unlimited supply of hot water and hot water energy savings (conservatively) of probably about 15 – 20% per year.
Because the hot water heater will no longer need to occupy its niche in the laundry room, we’ll be removing the little wall that separated it from the washer/dryer units. Then we’ll relocate the dryer to that space to put it closer to the outside vent and put in a real laundry tub (rather than just using the sink in the nearby half bathroom). Since the floor under the washer and dryer is a little chewed up and will have a gap in it from the removed wall, that will be replaced as well. We may just go with linoleum for that. A semi-disposable working floor.
The master bathroom sinks and faucets had been replaced about 6 or 7 years ago but we didn’t use really great pieces for either and Mich wanted to bring in some new ones as part of an overall rejuvenation of the vanity area. Then we decided that the vanity was a little low so we are having it raised to about 36 inches so we can stand more comfortably as we use the sinks. The counter will also be replaced with Corian or similar and the drop ceiling will be raised.
The window on the side of the vanity area was never a favorite, we’ve been thinking of replacing the house’s windows for a while now but that project just never rises high enough for us to actually engage it. So little time, so little money… But we decided to replace this window and the window at the head of our bed in the master bedroom with this project. The sliding vanity window will be replaced with a frosted casement window. The old bedroom window is about 3 feet wide by 2 feet high about 6 feet off the ground. It will be replaced by one that’s still 2 feet high but 12 feet wide (actually three 4 foot awning windows placed side by side). They will both be Andersen windows with “TruScene” screens for the bedroom window.
The guest bathroom will get some of the perks of the master bath area. It will receive a new fan and can lights to replace to fluorescents, including one in the shower/bath area. It also will be the recipient of the better of the master bathroom’s sinks and faucets. Again, the drop ceiling will be removed to make the room more spacious.
In the kitchen, quite a while ago actually, we installed several can lights to replace the fluorescent fixture and had subsequently decided to install a couple more to light some dim areas left by our initial install. So, while getting that addressed, we will get rid of our tired old inadequate fixture in the living room and also replace it with some can lights too. Plus we’ll add some accent lighting for the mantel and the East wall.
The cooktop in the kitchen is quite old now and will be replaced along with our disappointing kitchen counter. The counter had already been replaced with an inexpensive Formica one during our last renovation and is very prone to staining.
Finally, we had a hanging fixture installed over the dining/kitchen table to provide a bit more ambiance and focused lighting there.