Archive | September, 2009

a girl & her shower

18 Sep

so heres the list of things that need/needed to be done to the bathroom*:

  • remove carpet
  • remove faux tile
  • remove vanity
  • remove medicine cabinet
  • replace light
  • install fan
  • take down wallpaper
  • spackle walls
  • repair ceiling
  • replace toilet
  • install shower
  • tile walls
  • grout walls
  • seal walls
  • tile floors
  • grout floors
  • seal floors
  • refinish/mount sink
  • refinish/mount medicine cabinet
  • frost window
  • caulk bathroom
  • prime & paint walls and ceiling
  • strip door
  • strip hardware
  • refinish original hardware
  • prime & paint door
  • find & install accessories

lots done but still quite a bit to do before i share photos – completely finished in the next two days though as our guest arrived on sunday!!!

*  i’m really only sharing this list so i can feel as if things have been accomplished.  they have honestly.  we splurged on materials & a bit of labor because honestly…we could do the work and probably just as well as our unlicensed handyman, however we couldn’t have done it as quickly.


tanks & tiles

4 Sep

so here’s the deal with our bathroom.  it’s our only bathroom.  we don’t even have the typical “pittsburgh bathroom” aka – a toilet randomly placed in the basement.  it’s also small – roughly 4.5’ x 5.5’ not including the tub.  when we purchased the house it had some fantastic features:

  • green carpet – CARPET…in the bathroom…ick.
  • pink and purple floral wallpaper
  • paperboard faux-tile
  • toilet that averages roughly 9-11 gallons/flush
  • faux-marble sculpted sink
  • generic medicine cabinet
  • white laminate vanity thats peeling
  • no shower – tub only

so there’s a long list of things that need to be addressed.  jim had promised i would have a shower by the end of the first month.  lets just say i get my showers in at trips to my moms and the gym.  and now that we have a visitor coming i don’t think it would be fair to ask my manhattan friend to take a soak every morning.  so we have dove into the bathroom remodel full force.  so with a trip to our favorite place construction junction we started the hunt for vintage fixtures that will match our amazing cast iron tub that is not leaving for a variety of reasons.  we found a fantastic double faucet sink (that ill post photos of soon) for only $14!!!  since then weve been tracking down tile and shower kits and diy videos to teach us how to do it all.

on monday i spent my afternoon off pulling out the carpet and the linoleum i found underneath that, and the newspapers that were under that.  so we have some excellent newspapers from 1941 with badass nazi headlines that im sure will wind up framed somewhere in the house.

the quest will continue while we pick out a few key things for the room and attempt to manage everything on a budget – despite finding an amazing guy willing to gut and redo the bathroom for us for $1000 plus materials its really just not something we can afford.  so it looks like well be learning how to use a tile cutter and loosing more evenings to the shack.

3 Sep

This is our bathroom – in all it’s hideous, floor wallpapered, faux tile, seafoam carpeted, showerless glory.


1 Sep

It’s September and we here on Pig Hill could not be happier.  This means it’s not 90+ degrees in our little house while we’re trying to spackle, paint and sweet jesus, pull nails…so many nails.  It means nice cool weather so I can walk to work and not arrive dripping buckets.  We can go pick apples!  It means there will be nostalgic care packages being carefully crafted and sent to the most awesome people I know in New York, Boston, London & beyond.  It means we’ll switch from grilled everything to roasted everything and I wont have to weep at the thought of turning on my oven for all day baking sessions.

September 1st also means we have a mere twenty days (!!!!!!) until our first house guest.  One of my best friends and future bridesmaid will finally be coming to Pittsburgh to see the house, talk minimal wedding nonsense, and most importantly – meet the boy!  She is one of my dearest friends and it’s been over a year since we’ve seen each other (and a crazy year at that).

We started the whole rehab with lofty goals that the bulk of the messy work could be pounded out over the summer, the painting and carpet removal, kitchen rehab & garden gutting (essentially).  However, here in the little brick shack, we are well…dumb.  Overambitious is probably a more appropriate word.

Regardless, I come to you today, two months after closing with not a single room in the house done.  And I don’t just mean done as in show room ready, styled to perfection, with knick nacks acquired during quaint thrifting trips on the weekends and the perfect combination of vintage and modern furniture chosen and placed.  I mean not done.  At all.  I mean our original plaster walls crumbled when we tore down forty year old wallpaper and they needed infinitely more time and care than we had imagined. Days upon days (more like weeks honestly) of spackling, and sanding and then oh yeah…repeat.  There was other wallpaper that refuses to budge.  Thousands of staples held down the carpet padding.  One room had mysterious plywood nailed down under the carpet with a massive nail literally every inch around the edge of the board with two lines of nails running every inch down the center.  Whoever installed our carpet decided that the standard nail every four inches on tack strips was not sufficient and so a large nail was placed between EVERY SINGLE NAIL along EVERY SINGLE FOOT of tack strip.  Lets just leave it at, “it was way more work than it should have been” (and I’ve ripped up a lot of carpet in my short time).  Lord help him if I ever find the man who installed the carpet.

But, here we are, back on track (I think).  Decisions have been made, paint purchased, supplies acquired and loads of prep work done.  Plumbers have finally been found, electricians tracked down, and flooring quotes given (I’ll try not to think about that right now).  So we’re going to barrel through September with posts often, if not daily, I promise to show you just how much two schmucks with 50+ hour work weeks can accomplish in their “free” time.