A Bathroom Update as We Try to Start a Farm: Getting There!!!

We knew there was some rot in the bathroom floor. What we didn't know was there was so much rot that the entire floor and subfloor had to be replaced, as well as the wall!

We knew there was some rot in the bathroom floor. What we didn’t know was there was so much rot that the entire floor and subfloor had to be replaced, as well as the wall!

You know how you get so behind on something, you dread starting on it again? Like laundry, or bill paying, or scrapbooking, or exercising…it’s harder to get going again than it is to just keep up with whatever it is in the first place.

What we started with...the rot meant we got to move that wall in, however, and that made the mudroom bigger, so that was good!

What we started with…the rot meant we got to move that wall in, however, and that made the mudroom bigger, so that was good!

That’s what has happened here with our blog, tracking our progress as we rebuild the farmhouse so we can finally get to what we really want to do: start a farm. I didn’t write about anything for a while because progress stopped with Bob’s new work schedule and my increased workload. Plus I sometimes feel like, you poor people, you keep wanting progress, progress, progress and we are letting you down with how slow this is going!

Surprise: Siding!! That used to be the back of the house way back before the house had a bathroom!

Surprise: Siding!! That used to be the back of the house way back before the house had a bathroom!

But it has now been a year (and nine days) since we were handed the skeleton key to the front door of the 1890 farmhouse, and it seems a good time for an update. Hold onto your hats, however, because it’s going to be quite an update, since it has been so long since I updated about anything! Actually, as I type that, I realize it won’t be one update…it will be a series of, and I will try really hard to get a few posts done to bring everyone up to speed.

First, we’ll tackle the bathroom update…

Just some of the rotted boards pulled from the bathroom. Turns out the addition was done wrong and the south side was rotted out.

Just some of the rotted boards pulled from the bathroom. Turns out the addition was done wrong and the south side was rotted out.

The bathroom some of you have seen, if you see me on Facebook. I posted photos there as we installed the beadboard and laid the tile floor. All of that was so we could finally pick up our antique clawfoot tub from the tub dealer, who had been patiently waiting on us for many months to do so. (Thank you, Steve, for not charging us storage fees!!) There was no way I wanted us moving that four-hundred pound tub twice, so I wanted to make sure when we picked it up, we were ready to put it exactly where it would go. Forever. We had helping hands lined up Thanksgiving weekend with our helper Andrew home for the break and my son Evan down to make some cash. So they loaded in the truck for town, got the tub, got it up the steps that now lead to our front door, and into the bathroom it went! Aaaahhhh….

We did manage to salvage the toilet, here installed for GOOD, I hope!!!

We did manage to salvage the toilet, here installed for GOOD, I hope!!!

The bathroom had so many issues, it was ridiculous how long it took us to even get to the point where we could do the tile! And of course, not having done tile before, I learned a lot of things by doing it wrong. Does that mean I want to tackle a renovation like this again in the future to put my newfound knowledge to work? Not on your life!! But we really wanted the old style tile on the floor. Vinyl just won’t cut it in a house as old as ours!

All that work so we could get the tub in finally! Yay!

All that work so we could get the tub in finally! Yay!

The beadboard installation was, well, H-E-double toothpicks and the first time we bickered while working on the house. But I have to remind myself: This bathroom was so rotted out, it has to be gutted to the point where it didn’t even have a floor! You could see clear down to the ground under the house! So we have come a long ways, and crooked walls and slanted floors are just one small part of the battles we’ve fought.

We have lots in the bathroom which is wonderful but getting the heater in finally will be even more so! Brrrr....

We have lights in the bathroom which is wonderful but getting the heater in finally will be even more so! Brrrr….

This past weekend we installed the toilet for good! We have put the toilet in five times now. Don’t ask. We also got the water heater and put it in place. We are now at the mercy of the electrician to come back and get it hooked up and give us some more light. How many times are you allowed to call, text and email a subcontractor before it’s considered harassment??

Then there’s plumbing…or lack of. We had decided to use an old dresser we already had as the vanity, to save money, you know. I took it to a friend’s and he cut out the hole for the sink with his jigsaw. Months ago. In preparation for progress that didn’t happen. The dresser than sat in the “garage” and…warped. Turned out it was all veneer and it all peeled up. Thank goodness that happened in the garage and not in the bathroom once installed, warping from the moisture of the baths!

Water heater!! Just need electrician to come out and hook it up so Bob can plumb it.

Water heater!! Just need electrician to come out and hook it up so Bob can plumb it.

So I found another old dresser and finally picked it up this weekend. Now it waits for a hole for the sink and then there will be the plumbing.

But the bathroom is key! Absolutely key, right now, and here is why: We have rented a friend’s trailer and it is parked at the farmhouse and our goal is to be living in it, not the house in town that’s a half hour away. Living in the trailer means saving hundreds of dollars on gas because right now we drive to the farmhouse and back twice a day in order to tend to the animals. It also means being able to get in an hour here and an hour there, where right now, we have to have at least half a day to make a trip out there worthwhile.

So still no hot water, still no sink or bathtub that works, but the toilet is in for good. I hope. And it’s painted and the new window is in and the lights and fan work and it’s going to be a beautiful bathroom!! Someday!!

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