Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Messy Progress

We had a grueling weekend of two 13 hour days.

Day 1: Drywall. Our friend and construction volunteer Chris May stuck around for all of Saturday, taking one break to redeem a Groupon at Lombardi's on Polk, then pressing onward until the wee hours of the night. Shimming drywall, cutting drywall, hanging drywall. It was brutal.   The guys look happy here because they are done with the job.

Dean and Chris in front of the impeccably hung drywall.
Day two: Floor Tile. Chris was the smart one for declining day two. Dean and I are not so lucky. We patched floors. We screwed down Hardy Board until my thumb needed a massage. We mixed mortar. We fiddled around with a rented wet saw and realized it was broken. We took it back to the rental place. We started tiling around 3 PM.

I laid the tile while Dean operated the wet saw. Around 11 PM our work really started to decline in quality and the neighbors politely asked us to stop cutting tile in the garage. Dean had to finish up in the morning and we both felt like we had been hit by a truck.

We are happy with the result though. We picked a modern Italian porcelain tile and laid it in a traditional pattern--herringbone. It is a stylistic microcosm of our bathroom, which will be a mix of traditional and modern. Dean is grouting the floor as I write this and we patched the drywall with joint compound last night.

We are steeling ourselves for the final weekend--tiling the walls and painting.  Then we get our shower back--the ultimate reward.

Our modern herringbone floor.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beginnings of a Bathroom

We have not quite finished our big summer project (house painting), but one should never rest on his laurels. Last weekend Dean and I demolished our bathroom. Our good friend Carter lent a hand. We cannot repay him with enough In and Out Burger—he was such a great help. Here is what happened in this order:

The bathroom before the demolition. The vinyl floor was curling and moldy, and the single sink was tucked
behind the bathtub, barely visible and too small for 2 people.

The bathroom on Friday evening, after the plumbers and electrician did their job.
  • Our fantastic plumbers came over and moved the cast iron tub out of the bathroom, so I can restore it in the guest room. It took three strong men to move it.
  • We tore out all the 100-year-old bead board that was globbed with paint and moldy in spots. It was two inches thick and made of Redwood. Much different than the bead board you buy at Home Depot today.
  • Dean and Carter framed a new ceiling, which will allow us to have a bathroom fan and vent the new fixtures.
  • We ripped out the linoleum floor and the vinyl floor underneath by chipping away at it with paint scrapers.
All of this happened in one day. It "freed up" Sunday for a big day at the San Francisco dump and Home Depot.
I made a childish calendar entitled “Dean and Andi’s 16 Days of Construction.” It helps us visualize how short but intense this bathroom renovation will be. It has been a good tool for retaining mental sanity already.
We do not have a shower and our friends have all been so kind to let us use their showers, and even feed us and give us a beer and some conversation after long days of construction. Thank you Jason & Colleen, Kyra, Andy, and Denis (and Chris & Susan this weekend)!
We are really excited about the finished product. It is something we have dreamed about since last July, when we wrote this blog. It is a good sign that 13 months later we choose the same bathtub, sink and cabinet that we dreamed about last July--maybe we will never grow tired of them.
We started on August 6 and are set to finish on August 22. More to come soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Painted Lady

Painters have been working on our building since May, giving it a much-needed new coat of paint. We changed the color scheme too--now the building is a blue gray "October Sky" and the accents are white, navy blue, burgundy, and a bunch of other blues. We have nine colors on the building in total, including a lot of real gold leaf on the woodwork.

Here’s what she looked like before:

On Monday the scaffolding came down. Here she is!  It was a long road to completion, but we are immensely happy with the finished product.