Bathroom Anniversary

Some of you already know this story, but for the sake of clarification I’ll reiterate a little. It’s a really great house, but it’s 115 years old. So, we knew we’d need to do some upgrades eventually. We figured we’d have all the time in the world to do them though. After all, the previous owners had just painted some of the more crucial rooms like the main bathroom and kitchen. So, we figured we were set for a while. What we didn’t know was that they had only temporarily ‘fixed’ the problems noted on the home inspection report ~ things like the electrical box holding water and broken drain pipes ~ that they were supposed to “permanently” fix to complete the sale ~ I guess they truly believe that duct tape and electrical tape are the fixalls they claim to be. The “fresh” paint was actually “camouflage” for a mold problem they’d been having and failed to disclose to us ~ no wonder they were in such a hurry! Ten days after we moved in we were forced to begin the laborious process of tearing out all the walls in the main bathroom and kitchen as well as the plumbing fixtures and cabinets since it was ALL infested with mold. We hadn’t even finished unpacking before we were forced to pack back up and dig in to the work at hand. Before it was all over we had 3-60 yard dumpsters and MANY more truckloads that we took to the dump.

Now we still need a couple of things in the bathroom; a new toilet and a new floor, but the rest of it is finally done. We tried a 3 tone color scheme to enhance the character, but I hated it. So after I finished yesterday with painting the entire room “INNOCENCE WHITE”, my husband said it looked SOOOO “BOBBIE” (my sister-in-law loves white)! I just thanked him and continued on.
We had to replace everything with any kind of wallboard, but we were able to salvage some of the old wood pieces for the lower cabinets. The challenge came with trying to distress the new wainscotting to match with what we could salvage.

The room was originally a butler’s pantry when the house was built. It was changed into a downstairs bathroom in the late 40’s. It’s kind of long and narrow (6×12), but it has this really interesting ‘room’ at the end. It was originally used for cold storage when it was a pantry, but someone added a window. The window never made sense to me because there was a door on the room and the window added no value to the bathroom. We turned the door into a ‘dutch’ door so the light could shine through. In the spring, summer and fall I’ll have curtains up there and in the winter we’ll use top and bottom doors to aid against the cold. We also added a ‘cat’ door and now use the little cold storage room for the cat’s food and litter boxes as well as storage.

The pictures are in chronological order for the past year. As you can see, the mold was horrific! We added an exhaust fan and replaced the molded light fixture and added an additional light towards the rear ~ now you can see what you’re doing in this room! We also added 36 inches of upper oak cabinets for storage and a glass shower door. We had to replace the sink due to the mold and will add a pedestal after we get the floor done.


Wow … what a nightmare of an investment discovery once you moved there! Thanks for sending me this link to put things in perspective. You two have done a wonderful job.

Actually the house I live in was new when we moved (almost 30 years ago) in but had numerous problems right away … all of which we repaired ourselves. The story would take too long to share, but perhaps I’ll post about it sometime as you’ve done. Suffice it to say we had serious roof leaks around most of the 10 skylights upstairs and from the exterior decks upstairs and down (into the garage and living room)
that took YEARS to resolve mainly because we get so little rain here so there wasn’t a way to KNOW they weren’t fixed until the NEXT rain.

I know that when I hire someone to redo the bathrooms we’ll encounter significant mold issues, and that’s probably one reason why I keep postponing the work until I have the money to pay for it.

Hugs and blessings,