Tiny Rehab Firsts: Bathroom Demo

tinyrehabbathroombefore1.jpg

Here is the state of the main bathroom in our fixer-upper. We often like to debate which decision came first -- the brown tile, the lime green walls, or the pee yellow ceiling. There is just something particularly unsettling about that combo that I find deeply triggering. 

To be completely honest, I've been struggling to make solid decisions regarding the bathroom. Part of me wants to go bright and white, which, i'm guessing, is a direct result of my allergic reaction to the dinge and gloom of the current space. The other part of me feels morally obligated to give in to my deep dedication to pattern and color. 

This internal debate is probably the reason the thought of doing a bathroom inspiration post has given me anxiety. If I were to show you my current collection of pictures, it would reveal just how mixed up I truly am.

Anyway, I digress. Here is the list of what we will be changing in the bathroom:

  • New shower tile
  • New shower fixtures
  • New tub
  • New floor tile and possibly subfloor (it is buckled and uneven)
  • New toilet seat
  • drywall repair
  • Wall and ceiling paint
  • New light fixture over mirror
  • New mirror
  • New faucet
  • New door & hardware
tinyrehabbathroomdemo2.jpg

As of right now we plan to keep the current cabinetry. It is unfinished wood that we can easily paint white (or a bold color --who knows!? not me!). The countertop is an issue of greater debate. It is in good shape and we could definitely save money by keeping it, but I'm struggling to design around it. 

We're diving into bathroom demo this weekend and as usual, our research will begin and end with youtube diy videos. Stay tuned to our instagram stories for updates. Wish us luck! 

-Em O

Hot Mess Trash Disaster Foundation (Part I)

Professional foundation inspector reporting for duty! 

Professional foundation inspector reporting for duty! 

Our lil’ bungalow is currently sporting a pier and beam foundation system. We’ve been told by several reputable parties that in Austin, a pier and beam system can be more advantageous than a slab foundation.  This is due to the nature of the soil and it’s tendency to shift between seasons. A slab may just crack while a pier and beam system can go with the flow. That said, most foundations, regardless of type, need a tune up every few decades or so. Ours is in dire need of some TLC. 

After the initial inspection we knew that the foundation would be one of the biggest repairs we would be making on the house. The inspector pointed out some sloppily and cheaply done repair work (you will see this is a continuing theme as we work our way through the house). Many of the 4X6 beams had been replaced with 2X4s resulting in the beams sagging and rolling. He also informed us that the house was a few piers short of a full load. We would need to install additional piers and replace most of the beams. Those factors combined with shifting due to natural ground movement left our house feeling off-kilter. 

You can really see the rolling beam from this angle.

You can really see the rolling beam from this angle.

Before we moved forward with getting quotes from contractors, we brought in a structural engineer who specializes in pier and beam to take a look at the house and write up a scope of work for the repairs. He confirmed most of what we had been told to date and gave us a little physics lesson. I won’t bore you with that here (but also I don’t remember much of it, he was attractive and I was distracted).

The biggest advantage of having an engineer review your project is that you know exactly what to ask for from your contractors. Two contractors might quote you similar prices for repairs but could include completely different scopes. The engineer generally isn't there to "win the business" so they will shoot you straight on what is necessary vs. nice to have and what needs to be done tomorrow vs. what can wait. Especially for first timers, we highly recommend this step (not just for the views, heh heh). 

No crawl space here! 

No crawl space here! 

A good portion of the foundation repair cost is coming from the fact that the addition the previous owners added to the house, which includes the efficiency apartment and the 4th bedroom in the main house (more on this later), is just sitting on piles of cinder blocks. The addition also doesn’t have proper clearance to allow a crew to get underneath it and do the necessary pier installations. Our engineer told us that less accessibility means more $$$.

That brings us to our first tiny rehabber task. This weekend (weather permitting) we’ll be tearing up the floors in the efficiency apartment to allow the foundation crew to access the area and install the piers from above.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Em V.