Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Those little surprises

Major Projects, Master Bathroom

With old houses, you come to expect it…. even the easist of projects are never easy, because you’ll inevitably uncover some mindblowing new problem while trying to fix the original one. And when you gut a room? OHHHHH, the things you’ll uncover. It’s the reason our kitchen remodel took 6 months, and our master bathroom remodel will probably take 2 years.
Today, we found two surprises in the master bathroom. One, we saw coming – the floor isn’t level. That much was obvious to the naked eye, especially once we removed the half-wall that broke the room up. I wasn’t too worried; I’m ok with floors that aren’t perfect. NOTHING in the house is level, so having level floors just might give me vertigo. But when we ran a plumb line from one side of the house to the other (the bathroom & closet will span the back side of the house) we found that the outside edges are fine, but the middle dips down nearly 2 3/4″! That’s a major difference, and will require some time, effort, and expense to make right. Here I was, all ready to soak in a nice hot bubble bath. Pfffft.

bathroom floor, major dip

The second surprise came when Teague took the remains of the craft room ceiling down and found majorly rotted wood hiding underneath. It’ll need some reinforcement, but it’s not as sigh-worthy as the Grand Canyon running down the middle of the floor. We should have known something was up; that ceiling had been redone fairly recently. The previous owners didn’t upgrade just to upgrade, as far as I can tell. Just about every repair job in the whole house was done to hide some sinister problem behind it. We’ve gotten better at reading the signs, which is why Teague bothered to pull down the ceiling in the first place. We’re developing a spidey-sense, fixer-upper style.

bathroom ceiling rot

The good news is, these things don’t phase me anymore. Teague is always mellow, rolling with whatever comes our way. I, on the other hand, have been known to burst into tears over the slightest change in plans. I used to get flustered and stressed when our project doubled in size overnight, but now I’m an old pro. I nod, and sigh, and start getting creative with the budget so we can stretch it to meet the new demands.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 11.30.06:

Yes, I’m the burster-into-tears around here, too. I think I’m getting better, too. Creativity is a must for old house ownership!

Alex had this to say on 11.30.06:

Mindy… WTF is that pvc doing up there? Is that some sort of roof drainage that then goes out of the side of the house? Looks like water just sort of flowed into the house and rotted that joist away.

I know what you mean on finding off things. We are STILL working on our bathroom and found the structural disaster left by a plumber in 1909 when they put in the first toilet. Lots of notched joists that needed sistering before they would ever be able to carry the load of a marble floor. We had 2×10 joists notched over 12″, all that remained was 1″ of the original wood on the bottom of the joist.

Wendy is a crier, I just keep on moving.

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