A Fully Operational Bathroom

Well, dear Readers, I hope I am not boring you with my minute by minute accounts of our work around here, but the progress that we have made on the house the last few days is so exciting. On Wednesday morning, in our third bathroom, none of the bathroom “appliances” worked. The toilet had died, the sink was out of commission due to a leak which was damaging the vanity cabinet, and the shower was as it was when we purchased the house, that is to say, minus knobs for turning on the water (but the previous owners did leave some handy dandy vice grips affixed to the stems),

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and potentially installed incorrectly – we were awaiting the plumber’s test to see if there was a leak below the house, which was a devastating possibility. Despite our knowledge when we purchased it that the house had some need of TLC, the original inspection had not revealed that the shower might actually be unusable; if after testing, the plumbers discovered that it leaked under the house, all the tile would have to be torn out and redone, either a really major project, or a really major expense. So we awaited the verdict on the shower with some nervousness.

While we could certainly live with a nonworking bath for some time (after all, when we first moved in, we only had one working bathing place, and one working toilet), the combination of the mess in front of us along with the anticipation of actual overnight houseguests who were soon to arrive, spurred us on to want to fix the room up as best we could. As we told you on Wednesday, Jay tackled the toilet first.

After our plumbers gave us the glorious news late Thursday that actually the little shower was just fine, no leak, no problem, Jay set about to figure out how to attach knobs to the 1965 piping. Our plumber would have done it for $450, including parts, by replacing all the piping and valves in the wall (and leaving a nice hole in the wall to boot) but we were already paying them so much money for things we certainly had no business doing ourselves, that Jay wanted to try to do this job himself. He succeeded, with some unconventional methods, in getting everything working properly, so instead of the vice grips which had been left, we now have shiny chrome knobs. How fancy – well, compared to the vice grips.

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Jay also installed a nifty extender to allow the shower head to be moved appropriately into various positions for people of differing heights. On Saturday, we all visited Lowes and found a pretty faucet to install in place of the nonworking and very corroded original one.

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For about an hour, Jay sawed and fought with stubborn piping underneath the cabinet, and complained about rust particles in his eyes from time to time, but finally emerged triumphant: he had replaced the shut-off valves and hookups to the faucet underneath, and as the finishing touch to the sink, put in this lovely fixture.

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I love the porcelain “hot” and “cold” knobs!

So on Saturday evening, for the first time since we moved in last September, Abigail was able to shower in her own little bathroom. She was so excited, especially because it felt “cozy” (read “it is very, very tiny, perhaps the tiniest shower ever built”), and because she could bring the showerhead down to a ridiculously low level, exactly even with her 8-year old height.

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Now, because I am who I am, I feel the need to insert the disclaimor here that I don’t feel children need to enjoy a bathroom of their own, even if they are the only female sibling among three brothers. I have had conversations with many a person who insisted their children of different genders should not have to share a bathroom, and been admittedly horrified about such statements. It would appear that along with our general affluence that we seem to enjoy as a nation, we have somehow come to expect a number of things related to our and our children’s quality of living which are totally unnecessary. But that is really a topic for another blog, now isn’t it? And, perhaps you may think it’s all well and good for me to comment on not needing extra bathrooms for our children: after all, I am the mom whose daughter has that third bathroom!! But, I digress…..

When we set about looking for homes closer to school, a third bathroom, let alone one for Abigail per se, was not on our list of wishes – the idea never even crossed my mind. But this house ended up being the right price in the neighborhood we really liked…..and as you are learning, no one else wanted to deal with its host of “little” issues!! The split fourth bedroom and third bath it offered were appealing both for our daughter as she grows older and perhaps desirous of some more privacy than her three younger brothers are often wont to give her, and because we knew Abigail’s room would double as a guest room for any visitors, whom, we surmised, might enjoy the little bath off to themselves too. All in all, it has worked out beautifully, and we feel it is a huge and unexpected blessing.

Saturday night we were able to share that blessing with our very first real overnight house guests (not including some sweet little friends of Abigail’s who have been here for sleepovers). Here they are…come to stay at House of Horne: the famous Bloggys!!!

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What fun we had visiting with them. They were of course perfect houseguests, and left the bathroom cleaner than they found it. Jamison is just that way, you know!! We were so delighted they could stay with us, and thankful for their visit which helped to prompt such a major fix-up of the little bathroom’s functioning parts. While we have aspirations of texturing over old wallpaper, and painting the room a much more appealing shade of something than what is currently on the walls (this brown glaze with beige trim was used in several places throughout the house – same as was in the entry originally), we are so glad to have a functional and usable bathroom. Hooray!!

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3 Comments

  1. Mom/Ruth
    May 22, 2007

    I love the labeled hot & cold knobs – maybe now I can get them right!

  2. Uncle Andrew
    May 23, 2007

    Jamison says that I’m making my sleepy face in that picture.

    We were so glad to get to stay at the House of Horne! It was an honor to see all the hard work that you and Jay had done to prepare the place for us, and beyond the aesthetics of the house we absolutely loved getting to spend time with you all.

    Special thanks to Abigail who gave up her room and private bath for the night! We were so thankful to get that time with you guys and enjoyed eating lunch with all the Hornes after church on Sunday too.

  3. Aunt Jamison
    May 24, 2007

    I like how you caught that perfect “bling” of light on your new shower fixture–pretty funny, and very shiny looking. Now all you need is the “Mr. Clean” sound effect and you will have a commercial worthy bathroom blog post. =)