Bathroom Demo

RIP - Teal Jacuzzi Tub

RIP - Teal Jacuzzi Tub

This week we lost something very special. It was a safe haven for a family; a place of solitude. It mended sore muscles, soothed the skin and provided respite in a time that was stressful. I'm talking about the Teal Jacuzzi Tub.

Now if we lose followers over this decision, just know that we donated it to Habitat over on Fortune drive. Feel free to go rescue it.

This week was full of smashing and breaking, and we loved every minute of it! In order to keep costs low, we wanted to demo the master bathroom and the closet where our second bathroom will be created. There were two main reasons for doing it ourselves. 1) we wanted to keep costs low and this was something we could do without causing lot of mistakes. And, 2) it was a way to learn. Since this is new to us, we want to learn each step in the process. From the best way to tear out dry wall to learning how the previous owners ran electrical wiring and coax cable.... lots of coax cable. 

We started in the master closet. It originally had 2 sliding mirror doors, lighting and this decorative wood paneling. I'm sure it served it's purpose at one point but it will be utilized for a second bathroom making this space much more practical. We started by tearing up the carpet, then wood paneling. We were both pleasantly surprised to see that the sub flooring was intact without rot. The wood paneling came off easily as well but the dry wall behind it had slight moister damage. No issues since that was coming out anyways. We then turned attention to the framing of the doors. They had built it pretty solid making it fairly difficult to get out of there. A few cuts with the sawzall and smack of the sledge and they came down. This is when we were able to see the true footprint of the room. Much larger than we anticipated, we may have to make some adjustments on our vanity to fit the space more (we may have purchased one smaller than the space could allow). 

Then we moved over to the master suite. We started by swinging a hammer and seeing what came out the easiest. Unfortunately, nothing came out easy. The header with two canned lights was built to withstand Category 5 tornados, the carpeted stairs leading up the the jacuzzi (yes, carpeted stairs) were constructed with 4-2x6's on each stair, and the mesh-backed teal tile came out with the entire concrete board attached to it. Still, with just Kenna and myself doing all the demo, we were able to get everything out of the bathroom and on the trash heap. My lady may be tiny, but she sure is mighty!

It took a full day to get the whole bathroom torn out and a blank canvas. Once again, we could start to visualize what the final product will be. 

Scratching our heads

As you walk into this home you're greeted by a family room with a gas burning fireplace, small sconce lighting and just a peak through to the living room and kitchen. In a world where "open concept" is used as regularly as "I" and "want" we realized the large 4' curved archway passthrough was going to need to go. We started scratching our heads wondering what was behind those walls, why was it there and for what purpose would we need to keep it.

All we knew is that to get this space where we wanted it, flowing nicely between the living room and the dinning room, we needed to make major adjustments to this area. The chimney is running 3 feet inside the wall through the middle of the house and it's only being used to vent the water heater which could easily be direct vented out the side of the house. Eliminating the chimney would surely give us enough room to tear out this wall and expand our downstairs. It would expand the living area by about 16 sq. ft. but would completely change the flow as you walked into the house.

Before you say anything about the "built in cabinet", it isn't original to the house and was added when they put the HVAC in for heating on the second floor. Although it was pretty, it was also in our way and needed to go. 

We then ran into the HVAC you'll see in the picture on the right. With experienced professionals coming over to tell us what our options are, we feel that the best way to reach our goal will be to rerun the HVAC against the wall, build a small frame around the HVAC, drywall and blend into the two rooms. At least this is what we are going for at the moment. 

We begin demo this next week on this area and will be sure to post updated pictures.

A special thanks

Before getting too involved in the details of this project, my wife and I want to thank a lot of people for assisting us through this journey. See, we have a tremendous network of friends and family in Lafayette that has made setting up roots here much easier. Kenna and I have been doing something called CrossFit for a long time now and were blessed with an awesome CrossFit Box (yeah thats what we call "gyms") - CrossFit Uncommon. It has over 125 members all of which we are proud to call family. This is where we've gained valuable relationships, grown relationships, and consider all to be our family. I tell you this because it's amazing to sit back and see that through what started out to be a hobby and to get healthier has turned into people strategically placed in our lives to further our mission of rehabbing homes throughout Lafayette.

For instance;

  • Our realtors through The Russell Team, Adam and Stephanie Kurtz - CrossFit friends.
  • Rob Roseboom, lending specialist at PEFCU - CrossFit friend.
  • Ted Thonn, electrician - CrossFit friend.
  • Pete & Crystal Deiwert, Insurance guru - CrossFit friend
  • Ben Knodell, roofing expert - CrossFrit friend
  • Steve Hruska and John Nagy, contractor assistance - CrossFit friends

The list could go on and on but the truth is, through this cult like athletic following called CrossFit, we've been able to lean on the most upstanding individuals to guide us and encourage us along the way. For that, we thank you all!

CrossFit Uncommon

CrossFit Uncommon

Aside from our network through CrossFit we want to also thank others who have offered assistance, advice and support throughout this journey. We are people of faith and as the old Proverb suggests, "seek higher council". We've done just that and are blessed to have knowledgable people we look up to guiding us through this next chapter.

Of course, we have to thank our family. For without their encouragement and entertaining our crazy ideas, we wouldn't be pushed to pursue our dreams. 

The Details

My wife and I have always been interested in the real estate market. Not for the money but for the fact that each time we took a walk down the street we continued to see homes fall further into a depression. Families that fell on hard times and couldn't keep up with home repairs, homes inherited from relatives who passed away, or simply foreclosures or abandoned homes. All these situations have a common denominator; a home in disrepair needing rejuvenation. 

So, around a year ago we were walking our pooch down the street and noticed a home for sale. Although out dated, the house seemed to be in good condition. We looked at the price and realized it was way outside our budget. Fast forward 298 days, the home is still on the market with a price closer to what it was actually worth. We called up some real estate friends of ours, looked at the house and submitted an offer based on what we thought it was worth. After negotiating a price, then a blatant "NO" from the seller, we received a call a few hours later saying that the seller has accepted the offer. Although excited, we were also scared. We had committed to this gem below and had no idea what to expect next.

This home has a build date from 1868. Which if you're not aware, is over 148 years old. Thats pretty old, even in Lafayette. It's part of the Wallace Triangle neighborhood which is up historic 9th Street Hill and a block off of Highland Park. Both of which are beautiful and established neighborhoods. Our plan is to open up the living area, remodel one bathroom, add another bathroom, replace the roof, take out a chimney, reroute plumbing, electrical and HVAC, replace windows and restore the original hardwood flooring; all before April.

We gained possession on Dec. 6th and began demolition that night. Although we have a long way to go, we are very excited to get our hands dirty and begin this project.