173 Days Later, The Remodeling Wild Ride Ends

Surprised?

Yep, that’s how long it took from our first meeting in early March with the remodeling company planner guy to the last day in late August with the finisher guys making it all look perfect.

Kind of makes you think that HGTV shows might not be telling you the truth about how remodeling projects in the real world get done, doesn’t it?

But I digress…

Here are some photos* of how everything [finally] looks now that we have a new master bathroom, laundry room, and updated TV room fireplace.  We love the results, and couldn’t be happier that we took this wild ride– despite all the difficulties and absurdities along the way.

[Click HERE for the whole story.]

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Fancy decorative tile, lost then found in route from California, here at last.

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Double vanity with lots of drawers, meaning no more storing towels in buckets in the tub for us.

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New tub, very sleek, and no longer in my parking place in the garage where it’s spent the last two months.

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Shower doors installed on second custom frame, because why do things right the first time?

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In the laundry room, pretty decorative tiles + a small granite counter created from a slab found on the remnant pile.

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Stackable washer and dryer, effective, but seem large after years of using small side-by-side ones.

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Shiny natural granite with a simple white mantle against a wall painted the correct neutral color. 

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* I warned you, my gentle readers, in my first post about this remodeling wild ride that I’ve never learned how to take good interior design photos. These pics don’t do our projects justice, but they’re the best I can do.

A Remodeling Update: My Kingdom For Some Tile

Decorative tile, laying on the floor, that’ll be the accent in the shower and by the sinks.

Well, kids, not everything runs smoothly during a remodel.  You see, there’s been a kerfuffle here about the wall tile that goes in the shower stall.  Not the little decorative stuff*, but the large tiles that cover the walls.

The problem, quite simply, has been that the tile company sent the correct decorative and floor tiles over to the house– but filled our wall tile order incorrectly.  They sent packages of tile with the same name + code number, but these packages of tile weren’t from the same “dye lots” so they weren’t the exact same color.

Which they are supposed to be.

Example of the tile in question.

Thus began what turned out to be 3 weeks of discussions among unhappy me, lawyerly Zen-Den, our patient project manager, the perturbed remodeling company design staff, the conscientious tile installer– and the confused [sneaky?] tile company.

Much was said, politely— but with a great deal of emphasis on MAKE THIS RIGHT.

No pithy conclusion to this post.  I’m just happy to report that the correct wall tile finally arrived on Tuesday and that each package has the same batch number.

Even more exciting than getting the tile is knowing that the tile guy is now in the process of installing the tile on the walls in the shower– and that the walls coordinate beautifully with the shower floor.

As planned.

Tile on the floor of the shower stall, installed and looking lovely.

* I wrote this post yesterday mid-afternoon. As the tile guy left late yesterday afternoon he told me that the tile company had shorted us on the decorative tile that is to go on the wall behind the sinks.  This is not as big of a problem as the wall tile kerfuffle, but it’s a problem that will have to be solved nonetheless.  *le sigh*

Share Your World | Summertime, With A Hint Of Autumn

• How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Oddly enough off the top of my head I don’t have a specific answer for this question.  I just get on with things regardless of the rain, I guess.  Could I take a rain check and get back with you? 😁

• List at least five favorite treats. (They do not have to be sugary).

  1. Zagnut Candy Bar, when I can find one
  2. Fritos Corn Chips, the original ones, please
  3. Lemon Meringue Pie, from a local speciality grocery store
  4. Little Powdered Sugar Donuts, any brand
  5. Fried Green Bean Appetizer, with spicy dipping sauce

• Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

If they aren’t insanely uptight people, I like to take out-of-town guests to eat at a unique Tex-Mex restaurant that’s in a haunted former speakeasy, and is known for its pork chops.

[If the out-of-town guests are insanely uptight people then I don’t have to worry about where to take them because they’ll tell me where they want to go.]

• You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

Michelle Obama

Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to Pottery Barn’s entertaining + informative online quiz, FIND YOUR STYLE.  According to Potter Barn I “have a cool, spirited sensibility” with an “eclectic, bold, and well-worn” decorating style.  Sounds about right to me– especially that well-worn part. 😧

This week’s looking forward to something goes to nothing in particular.  This is a slow time of year around here, too hot and humid to do much of anything.  I’m not complaining, but for me it’s best to stay inside out of the sun, waiting for autumn– when there’s something fun to do all the time.

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Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

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A Remodeling Update: 7 Holes In The Ceiling + A Few Details About Each Room

We’re in the middle of the remodel now.  It has been four weeks since we began.  

In that time 7 holes have been cut in ceilings to either accommodate new lights and fans that will be placed overhead– or to double-check second floor water pipes from below in the kitchen.  

What I’ve learned about myself during these past weeks is that I find holes in the ceiling a bit unnerving.  Walls torn out don’t concern me so much, but those… holes… up… there… bother… me.

Go figure.

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 The LAUNDRY ROOM has new cabinets in it and the water pipes + dryer duct have been re-routed to accommodate the new washer and dryer– which are to be delivered here later this week.

Last Friday I picked the tile for the backsplash and the wall color with the interior designer, so all that’s left for me to do is to go to the granite store on the day that they cut the counter to decide what part of the slab will be our counter.

 The MASTER BATHROOM wiring and plumbing have been reconfigured, the dry wall crew has been here and gone– meaning that we’re all about tile now.  We decided on the tile weeks ago and are currently sitting back, watching some of the tile come together, while the rest of it seems to be lost somewhere. Somehow.

 The FAMILY ROOM is changing from tile around the fireplace to granite– and there’s to be a new mantle.  None of this is anywhere to be seen yet, but the crew has prepped the wall and floor for what is to come. Hence, we wait.

I have no idea what color the walls will be in there, other than to say “good-bye purple.”  The granite, once installed, will show us how it looks with our furniture so that we’ll have a better idea about wall color, but ultimately I’m leaving that decision up to the interior designer.

 The KITCHEN tweaks are seemingly a forgotten part of this remodel.  I have delegated the whole microwave kerfuffle to Zen-Den because I don’t care what the solution to the problem is… as long as I get a microwave.

As for the other little details in the kitchen they are: 1) a new door and handle on the trash bin cabinet;  and 2) re-doing the juncture where the counter meets the tile.  I’m on top of these details because I want them done before all of this remodeling is over.  Which is to say sometime this month, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.” 

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Share Your World | Buzzing Along Like A Bee

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.

What goal are you working on now? Your goal can be something fun or extremely serious.  Have fun with this question.

When have I not been working on a goal? However, here’s the thing: I have plenty of goals, but rarely share them because I’ve found that the minute I say that I’m going to do something the Universe laughs in my face. *bwha-ha-ha* So, if it’s all the same to you, my gentle readers, I think I’ll not answer this question with specifics.

What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?

I will never sponge paint a wall again. I tried to do it, made a complete mess of the pattern, smudged the colors together– and ended up with an ugly muddle that needed to be painted over with a proper paint roller using one sensible color. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But really, what was I thinking?

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

I’ll let you know when my profession and I are formally introduced.

• Have you ever gotten lost?

Yes, I have– in just about every possible way: physical, emotional, spiritual. Often, in fact, without any idea of how to get un-lost. But I guess that I must have found my way, because here I am now writing a blog post.

Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to cold brew coffee. I finally determined the proper proportion of coffee grounds to water to brew time to filtering system so that we both like what I made. And considering how hot it’s been around here, having some coffee concentrate in the refrigerator has led to some delicious iced coffee in the afternoon.

This week’s looking forward to something goes to the upcoming four-day 4th of July weekend. Pretty 🌻, pretty 🇺🇸, pretty 🎆. My kind of holiday. Not much to do but sit back and enjoy.

This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

Let The Remodeling Wild Ride Begin, Part 2 Of 2

[Continuing from Part 1 yesterday.]

AS FRIENDS AND FAMILY already know, Zen-Den and I have been dithering around for years about:

What to do about our master bathroom?

It’s never been a good use of space, and I’ve never felt safe in it because the builder grade floor tiles get slippery when the room is humid, which is often because the builder grade exhaust system is pathetic.

Considering we like where we live in this large subdivision, one that caters to people of all ages– some neighbors retiring here to build their dream houses, other neighbors buying their starter house here, and everyone else in-between.

Like us.

And considering we like living in this small town that’s known for outdoor activities and casual dining, we’ve decided to stay where we are, remodeling what displeases us about this house, making it retirement-ready.

For later.

So, we talked with three remodeling companies about doing work around here, and decided to go with the company that remodeled our kitchen years ago.  Their workmanship and our style seem to be in sync.

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Thus here’s what’s going on around Chez Bean this summer:

  • we’re having our master bathroom partially gutted, reconfigured, and modernized so that it’s safe [& pretty] for us as we age;  and
  • we’re having our laundry room reconfigured so that we’ll have a newer-style [larger] washer and dryer + usable storage space;  and
  • we’re redoing our family room fireplace tile and mantel + having the walls painted a neutral, timeless color;  plus while they’re here
  • we’re having our kitchen tweaked just a little bit to tidy up a few things.

And now, for a few “before” photos…

Small cabinet with sink over in corner where only Zen-Den could manage to use it.

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Jetted garden tub that I hate, used as linen closet because there is no linen closet in this bathroom.

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Larger cabinet with sink, and almost no storage, in another corner of bathroom. Technically not the builder’s fault that I’m messy by nature, but I think I’ll blame him anyhow for not giving me enough drawers.

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Boring shower with absolutely no character that lacks an exhaust fan above it.

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Small laundry room that doesn’t accommodate the larger side-by-side appliances that are now available.  Also dryer does not work, because it’s a poopy head.

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Family room in which we pulled down the mantel last summer, then painted test colors on the wall intending to redo this mess ourselves. Obviously, we never did.

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Let The Remodeling Wild Ride Begin, Part 1 Of 2

WHEN I STARTED THIS blog years ago my intention was to write 80% about how we were updating our house + garden, then 20% about topics I was researching.  I thought this would be more of a design + information blog, rather than a lifestyle journal-ish blog.

Well, that idea fell apart, didn’t it?

Early on I discovered that:

  1. Even though I’m passionate about design, I don’t like writing about the involved decision-making process that goes on within all decorating +  remodeling projects.  I feel clunky and stressed when I try to write about design.
  2. Even though I enjoy photographing nature and signs and building exteriors, I end up swearing at my camera when I attempt to take pics of inside rooms.  I don’t have an eye for design photography, and my poor camera takes the brunt of my frustration.
  3. Even though I had some fun blog followers who were interested in our ongoing home improvement stories, they, to a one, stopped keeping blogs and drifted away from  the blogosphere.  I now have more wordy followers who groove on topics other than design.

So I had a little sit down chit-chat with myself to reassess what I was doing here, realizing that my most popular fun-to-write blog posts were personal, often about my observations regarding the wack-o-ness of people OR about small glimpses into the ordinariness of my daily life.

And then, I pretty much stopped writing about or photographing what we’re doing around the house.  No one cared, and I didn’t mind not writing about the angsty-ness and minutiae of design projects.

However…

[Part 2 will be tomorrow.]

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