Sunday, January 24, 2010

before and after

The old homestead here at Camp Cactus turns 100 this year, and to honor the occasion, we're making an effort to get the old gal looking a little less like a rundown boarding house and a little more like a well preserved gem. Looking back over old photos, I realized we've actually tackled some pretty big jobs over the years.

The little bathroom off the kitchen is one project I'm really glad we did.

the bathroom before

It was funky. A little 4 foot by 4 foot space on an open back porch. You had to go out the back door from the kitchen to get to it. There was no sink, the walls were open to the studs, and the floor was covered with cheap, stick on vinyl tiles that were peeling up at the edges. The tiny room was heated by a giant 220 volt electric heater next to the toilet that would have heated a space four times the size. Despite its obvious shortcomings, we were grateful for the extra toilet in a one-bathroom house. A year or two after we moved in, however, we discovered the floor had a severe case of dry rot, and we had to pull out the floor and the toilet before someone sat down and went through the rotten floor with their pants down.

We kind of lost our momentum after that, and went about two years with a gaping hole where the floor had been before we acknowledged that the job was now more than we could handle ourselves, and were able to afford to hire someone to finish the job. He closed in the back porch, eliminating the back door and stairs, leveled the sloping floor, and lovingly stripped all the paint off the funky old narrow fir door and frame. Then we ran out of money, and decided to finish it ourselves. We insulated and drywalled it, textured the walls, repaired the original old double hung window, installed a new toilet and tiny corner sink we found after an exhaustive search for one small enough to fit in the space.

the bathroom after

I papered the ceiling with pages from an old atlas. But the best part? We replaced the humongous old heater with a smaller, more efficient one.

Now it's the toastiest seat in the house.

3 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

In the old bathroom are those wires EVERYWHERE? That would freak me out a bit. You wore rubber-soled shoes at all times right?

cactus petunia said...

Mostly, we just made sure not to pee on the walls...

g said...

Ah, I can imagine spending time sitting...er...and reading and looking up at those maps. How nice!