Spring 2018 ORC: Week 2

This post was originally shared on my former website, OurFiftiesFixerUpper.com, in April 2018.

In case you haven’t “met” us yet…

For those of you are new to my blog, welcome! My husband Josh and I have been renovating our home since we bought it back in April 2016. We do 90% of the work ourselves, from design to construction to decorating! So far we’ve finished our kitchen, master suite, guest bedroom, mudroom, and living room. This bathroom project is the last major project of our upstairs. This summer we’ll move on to our exterior (new siding, patio, landscaping, fixing up the sidewalk, replacing exterior doors, and adding an egress window), and then next winter we plan to tackle the basement (completely gutting and remodeling!). Needless to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us, so I hope you’ll stay tuned!

If you’re new to the One Room Challenge: this is an interior design event for bloggers/designers/renovators put on by Linda of Calling It Home and House Beautiful, during which participants complete a full renovation of a space in their homes in a short time period. The Spring 2018 reveal will take place on May 10. There are hundreds of talented participants and 20 featured designers which means plenty of inspiration to tackle a project in your own home! 

Week One Progress

We had a productive weekend and completed demo of our bathroom. In two days, we removed the wall and floor tile, knocked out the walls and ceiling, removed the framing of the archway and former linen closet, and cleaned everything up. I love getting my hands dirty and doing as much as I can to help with demo. There’s something so gratifying about ripping down and entire wall of tiles, or putting holes in walls and ripping off large chunks at a time! Overall, demo took about 12 hours- we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to finish the whole room in two days! Check out the “before” photos in my post from Week 1.

We tackled removal of all fixtures first- shower door, toilet, vanity, linen closet door, mirror and lights- and then got after the tile. Using a hammer and pry bar, we were able to get the square wall tiles off relatively quickly.

The tile was over a heavy layer of plaster and was a dusty mess to rip out. Metal lathe was hiding under the thick plaster in the corners of the room. We alternated between a hammer and pry bar, a metal mallet, and a reciprocating saw. We had bought one “portable” dumpster (a very large mesh bag that holds about 3000 lbs and gets picked up by a local trash company) but after finishing ripping out the walls, we realized that we’d need another one! Two bags were completely filled to the brim- lesson learned for next time, just get a real dumpster!

A funny surprise we found was that apparently this room HAS been “remodeled” since it was built- someone wanted to take the “easy way” and just decided to plaster over the wallpaper! Behind the wallpaper was a recessed medicine cabinet niche, so the wallpaper must have been the second update to the bathroom.

The area below is where our linen closet was- Josh used the reciprocating saw to cut the boards out of the ceiling and walls. Ripping out the ceiling was the second to last piece of demo- it instantly looked better once we got rid of the blue! We also discovered that our chimney is significantly out of level and likely has been since the house was built, based on the way they framed around it. It’s not something we need to address, but it was just one of those finds that make you go “hmmm…”

During week 1, I also purchased quite a few things- our vanity, wall tile, shower fixtures, sink faucet, vanity light, mirror, and cabinet knobs. I changed one or two things from the original source list- I’ll make sure to provide a final list of sources at the end of the project!

Because we both work full time, we don’t have much time during the week to work on the projects. Josh was hoping to have time to start on electrical work, but it’s been a busy week for him. We’ll have to push that off to this weekend, which brings me to…

Week Two Goals

This week and weekend, we hope to accomplish:

  • moving plumbing for the new vanity (the new vanity will be larger than the old one, so the drain and supply lines need to be moved a bit)
  • plumbing in the shower fixtures
  • adding a can light to the entrance area in the bathroom
  • moving the electrical box for the vanity light
  • framing in the new linen closet
  • laying cement board on the floor for tile and shower walls
  • buying the rest of the necessities- toilet, bath ventilation fan, hand towel holders, toilet paper holder, etc. (I’m holding back on buying decor for now!)

As a nurse, I get 8 days off every 3 weeks- and today starts one of those stretches off! Unfortunately there’s not a lot that I can do to work on the project at this point, but I’m hoping that this weekend, Josh can get it to a point where I am able to help a little more! At least I get to do a little more shopping!

In case you missed it, check out the Week 1 post here! Also be sure to check out the other participants’ project updates from Week 1 and Week 2.

Update 7/18: the bathroom is DONE! Check out the finished project here!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

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