Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Snowball Effect

When we bought this older home we knew there were things that would need to be updated or fixed as well as redecorated.  We began with this from even before we moved in when Kevin and Cameron flew out to Florida last Summer to check out the house and remove some of the hideous wall paper and to neutralize with white paint.  In the kids bathroom the old wall paper was down and I had repainted the walls and put a few decorative items up.  Kevin had previously put in a new shower door enclosure, but we had planned to wait a bit to completely redo this bathroom.

Start the snowball rolling:  Last Tuesday before we left for our first 4 H group the toilet in the kids bathroom backed up.  This had happened before with the old toilet and it's design that sat low to the floor with all kinds of twists in the design.  It usually meant using the plunger and things would be functional for awhile.  This time however, after Kevin spent hours using the plunger, a whole bottle of Liquid-Plumr and a new 25 foot plumbing snake with no clogs found and water still remaining we decided it must be the old toilet.  So we went out to buy a new one as well as some flooring, since we had to pull out the toilet we should probably pull up the old linoleum that was musty smelling, stained and had pulled up in areas and put in some new flooring.

Old toilet and flooring
Once we had the new toilet we realized the odd bump in the wall that extended past the shower area was out too far to install that toilet, so back to Lowe's to find a smaller profile one.  With the new water saving Jacuzzi model and it's very small tank we were dismayed to find that not only did this still not fit, but today's designs sit further back and there was no way with the strange wall issue that any models available would fit there.  SOOOOO, the wall had to be cut into and notched, then taped, textured and repainted.

The wall "bump" can be seen here in this older photo of Kevin installing the shower enclosure. It is about 8" wide and sticks out almost 3 inches from the rest of the wall.  We thought it was for pipes, but really there was no reason other than an original mistake as to the width of the bathtub size that was never fixed. At that time apparently there were toilets available that could fit in this weird space.  Not the case today.

Kevin cutting out wall space for the back of the toilet to fit. Then beginning the fix.

Wall taped, textured and on right repainted and done.

Paint combos for walls finish that I sponged on.

Since we were going to be doing all this we figured we may as well replace the really ugly old light fixture that would require the wall also to be fixed and painted once that unit was down.  So this was added to the current project list.

Old light bar


Old light out and wall needs repair

Ready for new light

Kevin installing new light fixture

Ta Da

With the walls fixed, the new floor laid, and the baseboard moulding installed, the new toilet now went in and then the new light fixture was put up, all finished and functional right?  Not quite.  As Kevin was ready to install the toilet he noticed that water still remained in the trap area.  Now all the other drains in the house were functioning perfectly so it couldn't be the septic system right?  Though that was still working the pump that pulled water from the house had it's circuit breaker tripped and without power to it, it wasn't operating. All the other drains were working because there was enough gravity feed to pull liquids out to the septic tank.  Once, he turned the breaker back on the drain worked fine.  This means we did a lot of work when the only problem was a tripped circuit breaker - OOPS!!!  Still, we now have a nice new floor that doesn't smell, a fancy new toilet, a nicer looking light fixture and that weird bump in the wall has been dealt with so if we ever have to replace a toilet again that's done.

There it is with the new floor and baseboards. Looks so much better!

Now the only project that needs to be done to complete the bathrooms new look, is to refinish the counter and install a new mirror.

So what started out as a small clog, snowballed into a bathroom redo that technically didn't need to be done at this time!! Still, now that it's almost finished it has been worth the effort for the much improved appearance and function in this bathroom.

Will show the after pictures once I complete the last couple projects around the counter area.


  1. Well this reminds me we had clay tiled roof. It was leaking and the contractor said we need to replace the roofing as the clay tiles are old and cracked. Did a very expensive roof replacement and yet it was leaking after that. Well to find out it was nothing to do with the clay tiles but the gutters!!!! Anyway now we have new gutters and a new roof.

    1. OH NOOOO!! We got off easy by comparison. Guess you have to just laugh and say, as you did now you have new gutters and roof. That's life and all it's crazy events sometimes : )