Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bathtub Find!

Jason and I are seriously frugal and we have learned a lot over the years about how to save money on renovation projects without sacrificing quality.  Since we purchased our first home in 2005, we've completely remodeled two homes and now this major renovation and addition makes our third.  We have three rental properties and one empty lot and when we did the previous remodels, we did so keeping in mind that tenants would ultimately live in the space and knowing that it would need to be versatile to a variety of tastes and easy to maintain.  This time, it's a little different because everything is being selected just for us.  We have a little more room to be creative and build and finish the home to our own tastes. 

One item that became important to me was finding a tub that would be big enough for either of us to enjoy using without feeling like a sardine stuffed in a can.  We're not little!  It became clear pretty quick that a five-foot tub wouldn't work, nor would a 36" wide tub.  We ended up modifying our master bath floor plan slightly - changing the pocket door to the toilet closet to a swinging door - to make room for a 42 x 72" whirlpool tub.  Tubs aren't cheap!  We searched high and low online, in big box stores and at one particular liquidation store that I refer to as "the place where dreams go to die."  

A friend recommended a plumbing supply company in Nashville, and we checked it out even though we were skeptical about getting a good value.  We were surprised to find out that a builder/contractor had ordered four very nice whirlpool tubs for a project and never picked them up, so we saved more than 66% on the tub we purchased.  This Jason tub (Jason is "son of Jacuzzi" - a brand started by a former Jacuzzi employee) is the one we selected.  

We keep learning new things throughout the process and this was one of my favorite bargains.  Now I know it doesn't hurt to ask about items on hand like this that can be purchased for a steal. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

House Update

We've hit a point with the house where we're frustrated and ready to see things move along quicker, easier, and with fewer change orders! Overall, it's still an awesome process, but it is not without challenges.  We knew renovating and adding on to an older home would bring a fair number of unforeseen situations, but the number of them has been a little overwhelming at times. 

First, we had the fireplace, the floor joists, the sub flooring and the popcorn ceilings.  We removed the fireplace, replaced the sub flooring, added joists and we will be sheet rocking the ceilings in the existing house to cover the popcorn ceiling because it could not be removed by sanding.  

While the pipes were winterized, we ran into some serious leak issues when the temperatures thawed.  Twenty-two leaks to be exact.  We decided to replace all of the plumbing rather than repair the existing plumbing so going forward, we should be in good shape.

The latest challenge is too technical to get into too much detail here, but it involves the pitch of the roof.  We hired an architect to draw up the plans for our addition and renovation for many reasons; one of the foremost reasons was the importance to us of not having a roof line that jutted above the existing structure that would be visible from the street.  We had a near-miss with the construction of the roof over the last week but were able to work it out so that the pitch is as it should be.

Here are some of the latest pictures:
Part of the roof pitch problem-solving - we had to decide between 45" or 24" overhangs.  The 45" would have required additional support, so we're going with 24".
View of the kitchen from the living room.

Pantry - located within the kitchen on the end of the right side of the horseshoe layout

Hallway from the existing house to the master suite and laundry room - to the right of the new kitchen

Laundry Room

Linen closet in the new hallway to the master/laundry
Closet in the master bedroom

New master bath and toilet closet. It will have a separate whirpool tub, shower and water closet.
Master bedroom. The hardest to capture because I had limited camera sight lines.

More to come soon!