History of a Home

Work continues on the bathrooms upstairs, and it’s getting easier to imagine what it will all look like when it’s finally done.

20140120-205638.jpg The wall of the new bathroom is up, and the shower even works, but we aren’t using it yet as the majority of the work has been focused in there.

20140129-195546.jpg Yeah, it looked better before. I had the first coat of paint done when Dad noticed that the walls didn’t get sanded to his liking. He went back and mudded over the whole thing again and this time he’s doing the sanding. I know his perfectionism will be worth it, and I’m hoping to repaint and install trim this weekend after all the dust has settled!

In the meantime, we’ve been using the sink/toilet in the new bathroom, despite all the dust, but the shower in the old bathroom! After talking with my friend Amy in Nepal about her freezing showers, I realize we are so blessed just to have hot water, but it’s clearly not the most ideal of situations, especially when you see the path to the shower! That’s it on the left. We step over the exposed plumbing onto the the walkway that’s about 18 inches across, so there’s no stumbling to the shower in the morning – we’ve got to be alert!

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In the picture you may or may not be able to tell that there’s a significant difference in the height of the old floor and the current floor…. like 6 inches difference. That’s because our bathroom, which originally went to where that pink insulation is coming out of the wall, was built up on a platform of 2x4s; we’re assuming because of a gas line that Tony and Dad were able to reroute. When they pulled up the 2 layers of linoleum and ripped out the 2×4 platform they found what must be the house’s original plumbing. You can see it at the bottom of this picture.

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How did they know it was original? Because stuffed underneath the pipe, which had been under the platform and multiple layers of linoleum, they found this crumpled newpaper.

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It’s really brittle, but I was able to spread it out a tiny bit, enough to see that the picture you can see IS in fact a Model T. The advertisement is for a Ford electric starter. You know, so the purchaser didn’t have to crank their engine to start it! Tony found a date on one of the papers and it’s 1919. SO cool! Also, really gross. Dad cut a chunk of the shower drain pipe out and showed it to me – 90 years of nasty! I don’t know how our shower ever drained at all. I love history and all, but some things, like plumbing, are better when updated!

So, that’s what we’ll be doing. Tony and Dad have already run the plumbing for the new toilet location in the master bath and have the water pipes run for the new vanity. Once that tub/shower is out of there they can finish modernizing the rest of the plumbing and get to work on putting things back together! We’re still a long ways away, but we’re getting closer every day!

It’s pretty cool though to have some evidence in the mystery that is our house! Now we have an idea when “modern” plumbing was put in.

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2 Responses to History of a Home

  1. Cynthia says:

    Lindy, if you can flatten the old newspaper a bit, you could probably figure out a creative way to frame it and hang it in your house as art! If you include some other bits from your renovation, I can imagine a Dada-inspired collage being a perfect souvenir of your renovation experience.

    • That’s what I was thinking too, Cindy! Tony just found several more crumpled papers when he took out the tub. I’ll have to get my little spray mister out this weekend to soften up those brittle pages.

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