Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Trachelas Tranquillus

Nothing that looks like this --

-- should ever be in my kitchen sink*.

I managed to overcome my terror to catch her in a (very large) glass and put her outside. Normally I can't do this with hunting spiders, but she was rather sluggish from having gotten her feet wet in the sink and was unable to climb the sides of the sink herself.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Demolition Begins...

I started on the interior of the foyer. Until we can move the piano the POs left behind, and unwire the fire hazard electrics, it has to maintain a semblance of water resistance. Remarkably, some of it was reasonably well constructed. All that meant is that it was easier to take apart and some of the materials were salvageable.

Starting with the front wall, the plastic covered paperboard came off easily enough. The chipboard behind it was starting to compost however...

The door frame is glued to the brick (well, I did say some of it was well constructed, not all...)

*gasp* there was insulation in the wall.

The planks on the ceiling came off relatively easily, once the first one was out. Getting the first one out however, required some work. All the wall panels around the upper edge had to come off, as did some of their supporting struts. That wasn't difficult, everything was held together with a couple of nails and some glue.

There's even more insulation in the roof space. This space is actually better insulated than the attic... you know the bit above the interior of the house, where the heat is...

Is that roofing tile I see before me?

Indeed it is:

Behind the upper paneling you can see the original roof. The roof for the addition just rests on it:

And there you see the cause of part of the leak. If water gets under the roof of the addition, it comes down the valley... and in through the hole drilled to put the wiring through! Just out of picture to the left is one of several wiring junctions, complete with bare wires. That hasn't been taken out yet as I need to shut off the electrics for the entire house, because who knows what circuit(s) that's actually wired into!

Salvage: The main planks from the ceiling came off cleanly, as did the roof insulation, the pieces against the wall to the left are trash however - wood covered in glue, plastic coated paperboard, etc.

Whilst doing some gardening as a break from demolition, I uncovered a toad. It seems smaller than the one we had earlier in the year, so there's two of them around at least.

And the monster plant lurking behind the house, fighting it out with the rosebush to see how much of the garden they can take over, is flowering. Only one flower for half a dozen seven foot stalks, but it's pretty:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

License to Smash

In case you can't be bothered to click on the picture, here's what the most important part reads:

"Owner is hereby granted permission to perform the following work: DEMOLITION OF ADDITION".


(Actually, the deed change has yet to be registered with the township, so it's really the previous owner's name on the permit. Does that mean we get free labor?)

Me Is Woe Begon

The sink arrived. It is too big. If the toilet were situated only a couple more inches towards the tub, the sink would fit. Alas. (It would fit in the other bathroom (which, by the way, is SMALLER), but I am not - not, I say! - converting that bathroom back to its original pinkness.)

I'm still proud of my bargain sink, given the prices I see some restoration/salvage places charging for them (and especially given it was unused and still in its original box). But. But. But.

Now I'm left with 50 pounds of pink vitreous china I have no use for, and 5 pounds of white, rotting cardboard that still needs to be replaced with something.

Assuming my pink toilet fits (the sink was shipped first), I'll then be left with no other option* but to continue searching for a pink sink that fits. They exist. They must. I've seen small, white wall-mounts on those aforementioned salvage places; I've even seen a seafoam green one (why can't my bathroom be that color?); surely, somewhere out there, is a pink one, just waiting to find a home in my bathroom. (And, surely, it will be too freaking expensive, just like that seafoam green sink. After you've paid $5.25 for a sink, there's no way you'll pay $325!) There is a 20" wide one on eBay at the moment, but the style is abhorrent. Well. More abhorrent. My Holy Grail of pink sinks would be the twin sister of the seafoam green sink above.

*Yes, I realize that I also have the option of just forgoing the whole idea of restoring a bathroom that should never have been made in the first place. But, see, I get obsessive once I decide to do something. The stupider that something is, the less capable I am of letting it go.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I'm not entirely sure about how the glass is frosted, but this looks very close to what I want for the bathroom. I do wish they provided a side view - I'm concerned about the '10.5" Ext.' measurement, which I presume is how far it sticks out from the wall. Seems a bit much...

(Light is the Astoria by Quoizel. Yes, I removed the link to a particular retailer that I originally posted, as I found the same exact light elsewhere - several elsewheres - for half the price. The extreme nature of the mark-up at the first site is unfathomable to me.)

I told my grandmother about the pink fixtures last night, and I believe she is the only person who is actually thrilled about the idea in a non-perverse way. I shall have to do her proud.

Now to find a vanity/mirror...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I Aten't Dead

But if one could be tried and executed for Crimes Against Good Taste, I might be.

Earlier this week, I bid for and won a vintage toilet and sink set on Ebay for my bathroom retrovation project. If you remember what my bathroom looks like, there might be little warning bells going off in your head. If I tell you that the fixtures match - oh, how they match! - the bathroom, those bells might be turning into full-blown emergency sirens.

(If you've erased the horror of the bathroom from your memory, let me fix that for you with a picture of the floor:)

...That's right. The toilet and sink I bought are pink. To match the pink floor, the pink tub, and the pink wall tiles.

Lest you think I'm doing this merely to shock and terrify unsuspecting visitors, let me list my reasons:

  1. I have read, and I firmly agree, that white fixtures only make the pink stand out even more.

  2. As I have written before, the tile is mostly in good shape, so I don't find it practical to destroy it. Even though that is probably our eventual plan, it certainly isn't going to be happening any time within the next 5 years. Making what's already there look better is less expensive than any other option.

  3. The toilet and sink in there now are not in good shape. They are icky. The sink, in particular, is a piece of utter crap made of cardboard and plastic. Before I found this set, I was planning on just buying a cheap (though not as cheap as the current one) new white sink solely so that I would not have to look at that rotting, stinking hulk any longer. (It's a vanity sink, the bottom of which has almost completely rotted away, so I sincerely mean the 'rotting, stinking' part.)

These are my aesthetic plans for the bathroom (not in order):

  • Install pink sink and toilet.

  • Paint walls above the tile grey. There are six Sherwin-Williams shades of grey that I'm considering.

  • Get this bathroom shelf. I think it has a bit of a retro (wherein 'retro' = ugly, but suitable) look to it.

  • Get grey and/or black towels.

  • Find and install new mirror/vanity and new bathroom light. This is the part that will really be challenging. I prefer to have sconces on either side of a vanity, and I've seen some nice, vaguely retro ones around, but our sink is too close to the wall for that option. So I need to find another type of light that a) I like and b) doesn't look out of place.

    Quite frankly, I think most 50s-era vanities and lights are hideous, so I'm not going to be aiming for authenticity here, just for something that won't look too out of place. The other challenging bit here will be the installation, which for some reason really intimidates me. Possibly because of the mess the POs made of the previous light installation, which I will sum up with two words - 'particle board'.

  • Get some sort of framed vintage poster or advertisement for the wall. Preferably with a smidge of pink in it somewhere. I'm considering going meta and using an ad for a pink 50s bathroom.

  • Replace bathtub hardware to match whatever hardware I end up getting for the sink.

Now, to be practical, I don't know if this toilet and sink will work out. Assuming they get here unbroken, the sink in and of itself presents the problem of being a wall-mount. None of the directions I've encountered for installing wall-mounts give you advice on what to do if there's tile in the way. I assume I'll have to cut some of the tile out in order to access the wall. I'm a bit worried about tile carnage, but we do have another bathroom full of the same pink tile, conveniently hidden behind wainscoting. (Okay, actually, I'm worried about it being done wrong and having the whole wall collapse, crushing and/or maiming us in the process, and it will be all my fault for having purchased the Sink Of Death. But I'm paranoid like that.)

I also noticed, as I poked at rotting-hulk!sink the other day, that the metal thingies on the wall where the water thingies (Yes, I will endeavor to learn the official terms for these items before embarking on this project!) come though are very, very rusty. Combined with the lump of play-dough (I swear!) holding the pipes together and the state of rotting-hulk!sink, I fear there is a leak. I don't know what, if any, damage has been done to the floor and wall by this. Needless to say, we'll be finding out sooner or later.