TOH Reader Remodel Contest

January 15, 2013
The finished bath room - view from hall way door opening

The finished bath room – view from hall way door opening

Good News!!!, the downstairs bathroom made it into This Old House 2013 Reader Remodel Contest. You can view the entry here:

TOH Reader Remodel Contest 2013

If you really want to review all the nitty gritty dirty work that went into this project, click here.

A shout out to everyone who made this room possible,

  • the husband the demolition man, tile man, painter man, wood-working man
  • my Dad the BEST PLUMBER EVER who saved us about $7K
  • Pammy the wallpapering maven
  • James Smith Contracting who built the built-ins.
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The blasted door lock

October 18, 2012

I am still on my hunt for an appropriate privacy doorknob (aka way to keep out the lockers see Knockers and Lockers for full details) for the new bathroom.

We purchased one of these and thought we had a workable $7 solution…

Gatehouse 4" Oil-Rubbed Bronze Surface Bolt Set

Alas, the door is flush on the outside not inside.  I am sure there is some appropriate door lingo for this involving door jams and pre-hung doors, but I prefer to broadcast my ignorance of such things.  All I know is we would have to install this type of latch on the outside of the door which would be great for locking folks in the bathroom, but not so good at locking people out of the bathroom while it is in use…

Inside of bathroom door- no way to have a flush latch.

So we are back to the hook and eye solution  which we both decided was not ideal.

I have been scouring the Internet for some affordable, appropriate looking door knobs with privacy locks.  The issue I am running into currently is that I have a 1 1/4″ width door.  New doors apparently are 1 3/8″ and most of the knobs I am finding fit a 1 3/8″ – 1 1/4″ door.  My husband tells me that doors are like 2x4s which are no longer 2 inches by 4 inches.  He says a 1 3/8″ door knob will fit fine.  I am skeptical about that other 1/8″, but cannot get Google to confirm this.  So, I am ordering the door knob and hoping for the best…

I did find some nice door knobs made by Weslock at handlesets.com.  Of course they were all back-ordered.  So now let’s just hope it arrives before party time (2 weeks, three days) and that it FITS!!!

Weslock 2710I


The bathroom is 98.88888% done!

May 30, 2012

I admit I have been remiss in my posting and you have missed a lot!!!

Most of the bathroom trim has been installed:

Trimming out the built-in shelf

The fixtures have been hooked up!!!!

My favorite plumber in action…

The long-awaited second toilet!

The wallpaper is done! My good friend Pam came over to lend her expertise. Everyone needs friend like Pam. She can do anything. She is famous for changing her own oil while pregnant and for refinishing her attic mostly by herself. She can wield a tape measure and razor knife like nobody’s business. She actually volunteered to help me (phew!) and was so into it came back the next day to get me around the final corner. Don’t kid yourself, the bathroom is small, but just about every piece we had to custom cut around the door, window, built-in, slanted ceiling, etc.

Pammy in action. She makes it look so easy!

It looks beautiful though, doesn’t it?! I love the wallpaper and think it really makes the room.

Isn’t it gorgeous!

We just have to finish painting the rest of the trim and then sand and paint the door. Oh and then get the electrician back to turn on the power. Sooo close to having one of the most important rooms done!


Bathroom is primed…

May 16, 2012

T has been working hard on finishing up the wood trim in the bathroom. He is concentrating on the lower walls so that we can install the fixtures, toilet and sink (dare I put this in writing) on Friday. Yes, we are possibly two short (okay maybe long) days away from a functioning second bathroom!

I went to the hardware store and had the fun task of picking out trim paint. There are way too many shades of white. I thought I was buying Benjamin Moore Antique White, but ended up with Linen White instead. I had to take the chips outside into natural light to get a better sense of the colors.

I was quite shocked to find that price of paint had almost doubled since the last time I had purchased some. I paid $48 for one gallon of interior semi-gloss. I remember when not so long ago, you could paint an entire room for that.

The bathroom woodwork was primed last night and the first coat of paint will be going on tonight. My four-year old has taken over the heckling for me, he recently told my husband that “every morning I look in there [new bathroom] and nothing is different”. It’s funny to think that he is inspecting the work going on in there, but he was excited to come down this morning and find it all painted white.

Keep your fingers crossed!

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New Old Door

May 3, 2012

Starting to look like a real room…

For the past two nights T has been leveling and fussing with installing the bathroom door and door frame.

This is the same door that we removed from the office room when it was a closet.  We basically moved it around the corner into the hallway for the bathroom.

There is something to be said for pre-hung new doors.  They are straight for one…  T has been using the level and shims to try to get it to align and close properly.

He has it seated in there pretty well, but realized that the top corner is warped and also  critter chewed.  He asked me if I was SURE I DIDN’T WANT A NEW DOOR.  No way Jose, the thing about an old house is that it is old.  You take it with all the quirks, dings, warps, etc.  When we are done I want it to look like it belongs in an old house.  So the top corner will stick out a bit, but we will call that character.

Now I have been tasked with trying to find a door knob.  He wants to be able to lock it from the inside.  This sounds easy in theory, but of course all the ones I like are too expensive and then I have to worry about it matching the other door that is near it…   At least we now have a door on the bathroom and you can close it!

Link to Pinterest Board on Door Knobs


Selecting Door and Window Casings

May 2, 2012

One of the big decisions we have to make before moving forward on the bathroom is what are we going to use for trim.  We need to put casings around the door and windows and create a sill and put up baseboard moulding before wainscoting.  Whatever we decide to use in the new bathroom we plan to replicate throughout the house.

We spent about two hours at Lowe’s exploring options and pricing out materials.  We came home with plinths and bulls eyes and then changed our mind and brought it all back…

You can click on the image below to read about all the great trim terminology and see some nice photographs of antique home woodwork:

What we are NOT using… photo compliments of Le Beau Paon Victorien Blog

The doors and windows in our entire farmhouse have very simple casings, just straight boards really.

Plain straight door trim painted an unfortunate navy blue

We decided to replicate something similar and plan to add a decorative top cap which will dress them up a little bit.  Everything will be painted antique white when we are done.  Here are some photos from a friend’s house that was built during a similar era that we plan to replicate:

This is what the trim in our house looks like around each door. Some have been stripped and stained, some are painted green and others navy blue.

See what a difference that top moulding makes!


Bathroom Update…

April 15, 2012

Here are some more bathroom progress photos to keep you up-to-date.  We have been distracted by burn season (we only have until May 1st and there have been a lot of days that they didn’t let us burn things)…  Next we go on vacation… but, sometime after that there might be some more news.

The walls are now primed and ready for wainscoting and trim.  We spent two hours at Lowe’s discussing trim options and pricing (great fun)…  Whatever we choose we need to repeat throughout the house.  I am still not sure we made the right choice and may go back again for more fun…

Someone promised me the bathroom would be ready by June.  Nope, didn’t get that in writing…

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