Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bathroom Renovations

The home improvement bug has struck us again! We spent all last week working on door moldings after work. Seriously, we'd both get home from work and start measuring, cutting, sanding, nailing, spackling, sanding some more, and painting. We did manage to get all new moldings up on the doors and get a good start on finishing them. It takes a lot of work to get them perfect, at least for inexperienced handy-men and Chris and myself. But we'll get there, some day. At least it looks pretty decent now.

On Saturday we went shopping at Home Depot for bathroom items. We found a pre-assembled vanity we really liked, and a countertop with inset sink to fit on top. Now my Jetta can haul a lot of stuff, and we've had many fun adventures trying to fit stuff in there and get it home without it falling out the back, most recently being a six-foot cat tree we brought home from Costco. But there was no hope this time, so I went to the Customer Service desk to ask about renting one of their pick-up trucks - stike one. Apparently, if you want one, you have to get there right when the store opens because they get rented out quickly. So we went home to shop online and see what delivery would be. However the is an awful, non-user-friendly site; one of the worst I've used (and as a professional purchaser, I use many!) - strike two.

We stopped by the local Budget rental car office and picked up a ten-foot moving van (no pick-ups available). Have I mentioned how much I like driving moving vans? It must run in the blood, since my uncle is a truck driver. We head back over to the local Home Depot and Chris goes in to buy the items, only to find the vanity we'd liked was gone! Well, we wouldn't be deterred, so we went to the Home Depot in Pleasanton. They ended up having one we liked even better. Score! We made our purchases, loaded the heavy items into the truck, drove home and somehow unloaded and got everything inside. I still don't know how, because that stuff was heavy!

The next day we had a wonderful visit from Duncan, Sara, and little Collin. We were a little apprehensive with how Ayla would do. Children's voices tend to set her off barking, and while she's not much of a jumper, she hasn't been around little kids much. Add on top of that the strained paw/leg that led to a week of forced inactivity, hence a wound-up dog, and we thought things would be... interesting. But she did wonderfully! She greeted Duncan and Sara outside like she's always known them and inside she had a blast chasing Collin as he ran up and down the hallway, never touching him at all. She was such a good girl, and when she could see him the little kid sounds didn't bother her at all. That's my girl!

After the family headed for home, we got down to business in the bathroom. Chris tore out the existing couter, sink, and cabinet. After a lot of finesse, learning about plumbing (our new sink is about 6" to the left and 3" higher than the old one, so we had to learn about piping to connect it), and a lot of work, we got the new vanity installed. Its awesome: we each have three drawers, space under the sink, and the coolest feature, a huge bottom drawer the width and length of the vanity. I put out old hardware from the first remodel back on since we like it so much. And the new counter and sink are one continuous unit made from cultured marble. We really like it.

Monday we removed the old toilet (shudder) and put in the new one. It was surprisingly easy. Although at one point scraping off the old wax that the unit seats on, I realized my fingernail had torn my glove and I had old gross toilet wax on my hand. I promptly screamed like a little girl, tore off my glove, cleaned up, and then got back to work; Chris was amused. After that the installation went quite well. The new unit is taller than standard toilets, by 3", which is neat. The coolest part is the new seat. Its a quiet-close seat, so you just flip the lid down a little and closes slowly and quietly on its own. No more accidently dropping the lid and it crashing down, threatening to shatter the porcelin and send rivers of water everywhere that should really be staying in the bowl. Yippee!

We have also made a neat frame for the mirror out of more molding and rosettes. Its been hard getting it in the proper spot and staying up, but I think we've got it now. And it really makes a world of difference in the look of the whole room; its much more refined.

Still to do: glass shower doors, new medicine cabinet, some tile accents above the shower unit, and maybe a new faucet fixture. Then we're headed to the kitchen... And if you made it this far, I'm sure you're just riveted by my account of our home improvement escapades and can't wait for the next installment.

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