It's been a busy six months of remodeling. After 18 years here, the "builder's grade" (that is, one step above junk) fixtures in the kitchen and first floor bathroom are gone. No more paper-thin vinyl flooring, plastic towel bars, particleboard cabinets, rusty light fixtures or ghostly flourescent tubes. All but one of the old kitchen cabinets were recycled here to make a pantry area in the garage and a new laundry room in the basement (which had been, inconveniently, in the space now occupied by the Big Black Tub).
The bifold doors marking off the old laundry area were quickly gone via Craigslist. The old cast-iron laundry sink previously recycled from a hotel is on the front lawn now awaiting pickup and re-use by someone else.
The ironing board can now remain set up in the basement and there's a new countertop for folding (I used the sofa back for 18 years). All this is right below where it used to be, so the new plumbing and electrical arrangements were as simple as possible. BB Bunny has places to hide behind the appliances, and seems to enjoy having something new to investigate. Gilligan, on the other hand, did not like all these changes one bit and hid under the bed whenever the various contractors were here.
I must give a shout-out to the township, for their no hassle issuance of a permit and on-time and professional inspections. At the codes office, they even found a catalog to show me exactly what metal reinforcement devices I needed in order to relocate the main vent pipe without comprimising structural integrity. I had only applied for a permit for the new window (what a difference that makes -- there was no natural light in the bathroom before), but they didn't have a problem with all the other work; just wanted to see if it was done right. I guess that would make the no-government libertarians real mad -- interfering with their right to make a mess of things and all.
The new throne is a super water-saver: 1 1/4 gallons per flush, and seems to work very well; the instructions were even clear and accurate. Wonders never cease.
I ordered the wood tub side panel in unfinished oak and then sanded down the existing vanity to bare wood in order to finish both the same, and that turned out well too. Every single thing worked right the first time, with the tiny exception of buying too much tile, but that was easily returnable to Lowe's. Still can't believe you can get real Italian porcelain tile so cheap.
I think we have one happy customer floating in her roomy tub now. And when Mama's happy...