July 21, 2012

No Money? No Problem. Let's Just Demolish the Bathroom!

Dan's unexpected, unpaid "vacation" gave him two weeks of at-home project time. Since this is summer, we would ordinarily be working on outdoor projects, of which we have many. Nearly 5 inches of rain so far this month however, (with more on the way) made it too wet and muddy to do much outside, at least on projects that wouldn't cost us anything. The unfinished indoor project is still the kitchen, but even the last few projects require materials. Since we're of necessity on no-spend, Dan decided to turn to the next house project on the list, getting started on the hall bathroom.

our hall bathroom as it was originally
Our hall bathroom in May 2009,
when we first moved in to the place.

For more photos of this bathroom, click here. You can see the bookshelves in the hallway on the left. On the right is a door exiting to the back porch.

This bathroom developed more plumbing leaks while we were still working on the kitchen, so we decided it would have to be tackled next.
This is more than just a bathroom project actually, it is the creation of a master suite. Dan really likes a master bathroom, so we figured out how we could turn this existing bathroom into part of a master suite. Here is a sketch of our home's floor plan now....

Click to enlarge

Here is how we plan to create a master suite....

proposed floor plan including master suite
Click to enlarge

It involves walling off the 5 foot wide hallway to create a study for Dan, and making a doorway in the spare bedroom to access both bath and study.

The first step was to pull everything out of the bathroom.

We knew there was floor damage from a previous leak in the toilet. We didn't realize how extensive the damage was until Dan pulled up two layers of vinyl flooring.

In addition to rotted floorboards, the floor is sagging terribly from the water damage, and from the weight of the cast iron claw foot bathtub. The floor will have to be rebuilt with additional structural support added.

The other thing Dan was able to do, was to tear down the shelves and tongue and groove wall to the right of the bathroom.

On the other side of this wall is the room we plan to use as the master bedroom. The next step here will be to frame out an opening for a doorway.

I mentioned there is a door to the right of the bathroom which exits to the back porch.

This will enable us to have a private entrance to the proposed suite. Not that we need one since there's mostly only the two of us. Still, it will be very handy for dumping muddy clothes in the laundry and going in to shower off.

This will likely be a slow project because we'd rather be outside in nice weather. When weather doesn't permit, we'll make more progress and will definitely get a lot done this upcoming winter. It's really nice to have both indoor and outdoor projects in the works. We can't ever complain about there being nothing to do. :)


  1. There's always something to do? I think that's an understatement for you! I remember two houses ago when we had a leaking toilet and when we ripped up the vinyl flooring we made the same discovery - way more damage than we'd originally thought. Oh my...you know, it doesn't take any money to demolish. It's the FIXING that takes money. ;) Good luck!

  2. urghs, I think this is the worst part of every larger project:( you never know what you'll discover - and most of the time it's worse than expected... we had some other plans for our cottage as well, but after several difficult (and costly) surprises we stopped trying to change the outlay or put in new doors etc... with those walls made from natural stone etc. this can turn into a major nightmare in minutes and if you don't have the funding to cover, you might end up living in a ruin for years:) I don't know how people do it if they cannot do the work themselves - but that's probably one of the reasons, why few people rebuild existing cottages here, it's easier and cheaper to put up one of those anonymous looking bungalows...
    I hope you don't have too many nasty surprises in this job:)

  3. oh this is a tough post to comment on when we know you can't answer. :( I'm glad that you are able to do some work. Hubby is wanting to tackle more of our painting projects this weekend and I don't want to. But he has promised to do all the taping off and trim work...so I guess I can do the painting.

    Will you change the layout of the bathroom?

  4. I think it just goes to show you can't keep a couple of good people down. You two are back at it with or without money!!

    You have such a wonderful knack of being able to see what "can be" and having the talent to make it be!

    Did you have any trouble getting that old cast iron tub out of the bathroom? Our place here was a dump (literally) when we bought it. When we pulled out the ugly surround tub/shower, we found the remains of a dead partridge under it. Never did figure that one out.

  5. Oh Leigh,
    Y'all amaze me. I was literally in tears after reading what you had been through with Dan's job. I was hurt for your sakes that he was treated so badly. I wanted to know what trucking line it was so I could DO something!
    In true form, instead of being depressed and balling up, here y'all are tearing into more home improvement projects! You're fantastic! Your new master suite is going to be wonderful. I wish I had the vision to take an old floor plan and revamp it like y'all have. Your nest is going to be fully feathered before you know it! Have fun!

  6. I love it!!! Just don't over think things.... that's how I roll! I love your leaps.... it's perfect for the kind of lifestyles we live!!!

    I lovelovelove your bloggy! Been such a fan forever!!

    many blessings mama!


  7. Just checking in! I knew a lot of you would be able to relate to this, LOL.

    Samantha welcome and thank you for commenting. As soon as I'm back online at home, I'll come for a return blog visit. :)

  8. Good for you guys! Can't wait to see what you do with it. We are redoing our bath also. Have been since February. You can see it on my blog at http://welcometothehenhouse.blogspot.com/2012/02/silky-mothers-geese-and-wrecking-ball.html

    We had a couple months where we weren't doing anything and have been living with bare floors and studs but we are back to it now. Keep that tub if you can. It took me a year to find a good claw foot tub and I paid $375 for it and thought that was a deal. (It was)I will be blogging about that remodel again soon now that we are back on track. Did you know that a lot of people would also love that tongue and groove? I know you hate it though.

  9. You're so good at "getting back on the horse" and finding something useful to do with no money involved at all. Your house is going to be beautiful when all those plans come together. Way to go!

  10. You and Dan have great ideas and I love what you're doing in the house. The new plans look great! Im amazed at how industrious you both are. Ahhhh... I remember the days when my husband and I were just like that! hahahaa.. But you know, seeing your photos inspires me to tackle a project or two. Let me go grab my list....

  11. I love it that Dan just gets in there and starts a project instead of talking about it..hooray for him! Glad he has the time to get this done and even find the leaky problem. Your plans are exciting!

  12. Drats on the damage level under the floor. You could definitely have done without that. Praying it goes smoothly

  13. You and Dan are amazing! Instead just sitting around you both tackle the work that's needed to fix up your house and go for it. Never know what you'll find when you fix up an older home.

  14. O mercy...I do NOT miss those days! You go, girl! All my best to you in your renovation projects.

  15. Good luck with this new project! You will have a show home when all is done, it will be lovely and well worth all the work.

  16. Sista, sounds like we're in good company. :) We're definitely keeping the tub; Dan plans to refinish it. I would love to keep the T&G. Dan's the one not too keen on it. It's unfortunate in a way that they painted it. I think it would look better in natural wood, especially since paint shows the cracking between the boards over the years. I told him it's up to him. At this point, repairs as necessary and otherwise paint, sound good to him. :O

    Thank you to everyone else for your kind words and encouragements!

  17. It's all coming along nicely, Leigh :) And it seems like you might have caught the bathroom floor in the nick of time! I'm just imagining having a relaxing bath in that lovely tub of yours when all of a sudden it pops through the floor. Gah!

  18. I hope that you saved that orig Tub which is a classic, so will that be in your new update bathroom? Richard

  19. are my comments being deleted? I don't see them. :(

  20. Just got cuaght up on your posts...5 inches of rain already this month, wow!!!
    How is your hubby's leg, better i hope. Thankful he got his old job back too. Good thing there is always something to do for us busy peeps. I love your attitude and love seeing you guys bust a move. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished bathroom when done, i have a feeling it will be perfect.

  21. I can't believe what happened with your hubby's job. Glad to hear that you are landing on your feet and staying busy. You can save so much money by doing it yourself.

    I wanted to let you know that I've nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog and the Very Inspiring Blogger Awards! You can see my post about it over at http://crankypuppy.blogspot.com/2012/07/blog-awards.html. I hope you'll accept!

  22. I wish you all the luck in the world with your projects....we also have been remodeling a hall bath...since last December....almost done! I still have not finished with the Kitchen cabinets but will get back to them when the bath is done.

  23. Tanya, very true! Either that or the toilet, LOL

    Richard yes, we kept the tub. Dan will refinish it and we'll add a shower enclosure as well.

    Renee, so sorry, they ended up in spam! I don't know why because that's never happened to your comments before. So glad you said something.

    A View from a Brown Dog, thanks! Dan, finances, and everything else is getting back to normal, thnkafully!

    CrankyPuppy, thank you! I'm still only able to access the internet at the library, but am grateful for the award.

    Linda, those house projects always seem to take longer than we first think! Hopefully we'll have the kitchen done soon. We actually also need to finish the back porch. The bathroom will likely be next winter's project.

  24. You guys don;t do things small scale, do you? :)

    I think having easy access to the laundry is a great idea. Less tracking through the house that way.

    I just remodeled one of our bathrooms (the second is on hold indefinitely, as it will need to be almost completely torn out) and found water damage around the toilet. Luckily, it was almost all on the second sheet of plywood the previous owner had installed to raise the floor level. I busted that one out and found the original in much better shape (and I think I am in love with a nail puller). Anyway, I put some new tile in and it is now at just the right height. Whew!

    I know this is a big project, but judging by the other projects you guys have done, this will turn out great. Good luck!


Welcome to 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog! Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation.