3/23/2008

Remodel Week 3 & 4

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 2:35 pm

**very deep inhale**

In an orgasmic release of obsessive compulsive passion I pulled all the wallpaper (except what’s behind the mirror) in the upstairs bathroom off the walls thus improving the look of the bathroom by VOLUMES. It’s also a ton brighter in there (go figure 🙄 Happily the paper came off the walls easily and the glue with what is left of the paper backing really doesn’t look that bad….which isn’t to say that I’m not now engaged in scrubbing and scraping the residue off the walls.Bathroom Wall Without Paper
I also started picking at the paper on the walls in my study, but that project is going to have to wait.

Shawn got completely moved out, Bill the Insulation Guy sent us our estimate and then we started The Saga Of The Shower
Seems if you want to rip out your bathtub, peel the tile off the walls, and then replace the whole mess with a walk in shower stall there are A MILLION BILLION JILLION options, but unless you’re an experienced contractor finding the right bits to go in the right places without going over your space requirements are A BITCH!
There have been so many curlicues to this whole saga that I can’t even remember them all.

We started with a pamphlet from a local bath store in Burien. American Reinforced Plastics had a display of a *really sweet* 60 X 36 inch walk in shower stall that was in a color we liked, and made of what appears to be a remarkably sturdy material. Fantastic. How do we order one?
Or, the more pertinent question, how does one get a 36 inch deep one piece shower stall into a bathroom whose door is only 27 inches wide?
Answer: You don’t. If you’re building a brand new bathroom you can put in a single piece shower stall. If, however, you’re not taking out walls, you put in a modular unit composed of a pan and separate walls.
Okay. American Reinforced Plastics….we like your materials, we like your colors. Sell me a modular walk in shower stall that will fit into a space that is 60 by 34 1/2 inches. 60 by 34 would be fine.
No go. The standard depth is 36 inches. Since our bathroom is constructed in a somewhat unique fashion, we simply can NOT go over 34 1/2 inches deep.

Many *special remodeling words* are said as Andrew and I both spend several hours searching for shower stalls online. Take my advice. Never try Googling “shower stalls, Seattle, Wa.”
I finally found a place in Lake City that custom fits shower surrounds. WON-derful. So I wandered out to Lake City, had a look at their product, which looks suspiciously like Formica, and scheduled a man to come out, look at our bathrooms (we had, at this point, decided to rip out and replace the shower stall in the downstairs bathroom as well), and give us an estimate on the project. I brought home a bunch of samples to choose colors and Andrew, who was spending that weekend commuting to Shelton to cook for one of FP’s mushroom seminars, came home, looked at them, and noted that they looked a lot like Formica.
Hm.

At the same time we got one of those stacks of advertising circulars in the mail including a coupon for a place called Bath Fitters. Maybe we should have a look there too….
Went down to the Bath Fitters office in Kent, had a look at their product, which is also customizable to weird shaped bath enclosures, and arranged to have Kristen come and give us an estimate.

Okay, so Dan the Shower Man and Bath Fitters Kristen are both engaged to come on the same day to measure and estimate. Dan shows up with a measuring tape, takes a few measurements, makes some remarkable mistakes with his addition and multiplication and then hands us an obscene estimate covered in scribbles and math mistakes. For a shower surround that was, in fact, made out of Formica.
Bath Fitters Kristen shows up with a suitcase, a laser level, and a whole hoard of measuring devices and spends half an hour measuring the bathtub enclosure. She then sat down and spent at least another half an hour talking colors, materials, bells and whistles, reeling, writhing, and fainting in coils. She really impressed us and we handed over a deposit so she could put our order in.
And 24 hours later we had to call to have her cancel the order because we’d looked up Bath Fitters online and had read volumes of bad stuff about them which put us back at square one in trying to find another company that had a tub to shower conversion product that would fit our somewhat obscure space requirements.

Lots and lots of *very special remodeling words*.
And hours upon sweating hours (Really. Andrew took two days off from work to search, and I spent the vast majority of my two off week days this week alternating sitting in front of my computer and wandering in and out of the bathroom with a measuring tape, waving my arms, and muttering.) looking for some other alternative. Oh, and at the same time trying to figure out how, in the name of God, the people from whom we purchased the house had fit a 36 X 36 inch shower stall into the downstairs bathroom when the enclosure is 34 1/2 inches by 37 1/2 inches.
We also spent a lot of time talking to Bath Fitters Kristen about our concerns, looking over their Big Book O’Feedback forms, and convincing ourselves that this was going to be our best option. Whatever our experience with Bath Fitters ends up being, we have nothing but good things to say about Kristen who works in their Kent office. She has, at all times, been professional, low key, laid back, and extremely knowledgeable about their product.

In between times we finalized our decision for the colors for the upstairs bathrooms and decided we were ready to make our order for a sink and toilet for same. So off we trotted to Ferguson Bath & Kitchen to talk to Melissa. We took one last look at the pieces we wanted, took one last look at the color chips and then sat down only to find out that the colors and pieces that we wanted would take upwards of THREE MONTHS 😯 to arrive.
Over the space of two and a half hours we debated colors, toilets, sinks, paint, flooring, reeling, writhing, and fainting in coils. Melissa, too, was superb and went above and beyond in finding us exactly what we wanted as a second choice and managing to push it through so that we will be able to put our bathroom in in a little over a month. We both really, really, REALLY wanted the navy blue toilet and sink (actually I wanted the cobalt blue but that color is only available for cast iron fixtures), but we also didn’t want this project to stretch into FREAKIN’ JUNE so we are content with what we’re going to be getting.

Just this last Monday David the Contractor showed up and settled in. While he, along with both of us and, at times, my father, have been utterly foozled by the downstairs shower debacle (is it 34 1/2″ X 37″ or is it 36″ X 36″ and if it is, HOW?) he has been progressing in a most satisfactory manner.
Here are the early pictures of Andrew’s new office
Andrew’s New Office #1
Andrew’s New Office #2

He’s even managed to get the new lights installed in the upstairs hallway well in advance of Randy the Insulation Man’s arrival next Tuesday. There’s more light now in that hallway than we’ve ever had and the first thing that happened when I turned the lights on is that I noticed the great honkin’ cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. Sometimes improved visibility is a mixed blessing.

Garden Sheri, as Susan has named her, came by with all the other nutjobs that showed up last Sunday for the Gygax memorial. In between a serious game geek session, she and Susan and I spent a lot of time discussing what to do with the mud pit that used to be the front yard
Front Yard and Rockery

Sheri will be back late next week with the final plan, the plant list, and the approximate start time. Next week will also see the arrival of Randy the Insulation Man, the return of David the Contractor to finish off Andrew’s office and start on the laundry room and, ideally, the delivery of the new washer and dryer as well as the first bits for the new downstairs shower stall. One of these days we’ll get around to running the vacuum cleaner, but since the insulation guys will be in and out of the attic for most of next week it ain’t gonna be today.
We’re both very excited to be getting this done, but we’ll be more excited to have it done with.


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