Happy Tuesday everyone! There is literally so much happening and my life is in a constant state of disarray but somehow things are getting done!
Yesterday was August 1 and our move-in deadline is fast approaching. We still cannot legally live in our house. So come Septemebr 1, we may be squatters in our own backyard. In an effort to prevent that from becoming our reality, we’re kicking it up a notch. Last night we pulled our first late night at the house as a family. Addie spent her first night in what will someday be her bedroom while I tiled like a madwoman and Aaron worked on rewiring the second floor. To obtain our Use & Occupancy, the house does not have to be “done" so much as “safe”. And we've been working closely with our borough inspector to pinpoint just what areas we have to tackle before move-in. No matter what, we will be living in some level of reno well into the winter.
The last two weeks or so, we managed to check a few more boxes off the list. Our sidewalk & curb were repaired brought up to code. We're on our way to no longer being the neighborhood eyesore! Aaron also finished rewiring the entire third floor. We ran the water supply lines up to the main bath on the second level. The most noteworthy development is that drywall has gone up in both the upstairs bath as well as the powder/laundry room. ITS SO FRESH AND CLEAN! And its not covered in florals. Our visions of “home” are starting to take shape and it is unbelievably exciting.
One of the biggest requirements for the U&O is a working full bath. We have to have a toilet, shower, and sink that all function properly. During our initial demo, we gutted both full bathrooms on the first and second floor. Like most old homes, our house did not have a downstairs bath in the original construction. The house had one full bath at the top of the stairs meant to be used by residents and visitors alike. At some point, a decent sized addition was added to the back of our house. I wish we could figure out exactly what year the add-on was built; its not original but it’s certainly old since it’s walls are plaster and lath. The addition houses our current kitchen and what was a second full bath (the one that featured the brown and yellow florals). Shortly after our first walk through, I knew that somehow, someway that space would become our laundry room. It just made sense- and I certainly wasn't going to do our laundry in our dungeon basement. We didn't want to lose a bathroom on the first floor altogether, so we configured the room to house a small powder bath in the back, past the washer and dryer. Bonus: its an extremely private spot in the house. Nothing is worse than using a toilet and feeling like you’re still sitting at the dining table with everyone.
As for the main full bath upstairs… I won’t say it was gutted on accident but it certainly wasn't in our original plan to redo the whole thing. The original layout had a large walk-in closet behind the tub. Initially, I thought that keeping the quirky closet was a fun way to retain the character of the house. But looking back now, the new layout more effectively uses the space and offers more privacy for the toilet/shower area. The new closet is smaller but it’s just inside the bathroom door; easier access from the hallway. While it will be our only full bath when we move-in, the hall bath will eventually be a space for the kids and our guests.
As self-proclaimed DIYers we’ve taken many a YouTube crash course over the past few months. Mistakes have been made but Aaron and I have both enjoyed learning new home maintenance skills. Partially out of desire to DIY and partially to keep the budget on track, I spent a good part of the last two weeks learning the art of tiling. I have grout permanently embedded on my finger nails but I feel supremely accomplished to have laid the bathroom floors, cement board and all, myself. Tiling is a tedious task and I, of course, picked itty bitty penny tiles that have numerous areas for thin set tile adhesive to seep up from the back. Despite my newfound hatred, I was motived by the tiny feet that will someday run over those tiles towards the sink or the tub. Yes, it took literal blood, sweat, and (almost) tears. This whole house has. But we're building our home, not just a house. And sometimes its the mushy stuff that makes it all worth it.
Alright ladies and gents, I'm pumped to share these pics of our progress with you! #transformationtuesday #hessfixerupper
downstairs bath (laundry room)
This room has undergone the biggest transformation. Once housing a yellow toilet and plush brown seat, it's been re-imagined into our laundry room and powder room. We tore our fixtures, walls, and lights- it was down to the studs for this bad boy. A new dividing wall and a space saving pocket door went in, plumbing for the new configuration (plus washer and dryer hookups) were done, hexagonal tile flooring went down, new electrical was run... there wasn't a corner in this room that wasn't touched.
I was originally so insistent that we were not going to reconfigure this space. I liked the quirkiness of the hidden closet and it didn't seem like a high priority. Let me tell you- changing the layout in this bathroom was an excellent move. The whole space feels bigger, brighter, and more user friendly.
The goal is to have both spaces to a functioning status within a week or so. We're optimistic about our work schedule for the next week. I'll pause here to say that we are eternally indebted to our parents and friends who put in serious man hours and babysitting hours for us. We seriously would still be in the demo stage without their time & sacrifice.
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper