07 April 2010

Turning the corner

Though we layabouts didn't break a sweat, yesterday felt like a marathon day. Demo is done, construction is underway. The framing is essentially finished and the rough plumbing is in.

The new layout is already shaping up. The room feels so spacious; too bad we have to fill it up with sinks and toilets and stuff.

China Rose is inspecting (above) where the new pedestal sink will go (below). Don't the fittings look pensive, waiting?

As you can see from the photo below, the sink itself is on edge. Must be the anticipation. (Okay, time to stop anthropomorphizing bathroom fixtures.) Good thing we're down to one car so there's room to store things in the garage. Behind the ceramics, to the left of the file cabinet, you can glimpse the shower-floor tile, laid out more or less as we planned it. We modified the pattern slightly so the drain would fit within the solid area in the center. We'll see how that works out.

The cabinet guy was here yesterday, too, measuring for what certainly will be one of the skinniest storage closets in Portland. The blue masking tape marks the placement of an open shelf for reading materials. There'll be a patterned glass-front cabinet above that, and a wood-paneled cabinet below. We're hoping the cupboard will hold the contents of the old vanity cabinet plus the backup toilet paper supply that we now keep in the garage. It'll be two feet deep and almost as tall as the ceiling so, with careful planning, it should work. China Rose remains skeptical.

Here's another view of the same area from a different angle. You can see the framed-in box that will become a recessed shampoo-and-soap holder in the shower.

Speaking of showers, Stella Luna is wondering what happened to her personal water fountain.

China really wanted to get up on the window sill (below). She could easily jump to it from the toilet, when one existed. I think she wanted reassurance that the outside view, at least, was unchanged.

Whew, yes. Okay; it's still there.

Steve decided to go ahead and install the insulation right around the time that mere mortals would be quitting for the day. Had the sheetrocker been available today, we'd be a day ahead of schedule. (“Sheetrocker” sounds like a derogatory term: "You sheetrocker, you." Should I be saying "drywall specialist"?) As it is, we have a break until tomorrow. The cats are pussyfooting around, wondering why it's so quiet.

I like this archeological phase of remodeling, when the old layers are uncovered and artifacts of past settlers exposed. Terry commented along the same lines on my last post, adding "Don't you feel a little like family, with unknown people who lived in your house before you? I think living in a brand new house would be so boring."

I hadn't thought about it in those terms but, as I told her in email, the only brand-new house I ever lived in was our Sea Ranch one, and somehow I never bonded with it. It was a spec house, designed to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. We hadn't designed it, and we had no emotional investment, going in. It was comfortable, and a pretty place to live -- lots of wood, big windows, a huge windowseat where I loved to hang out -- but the house itself felt characterless and generic. In the decade that we lived there, we put in a hot tub and replaced the cream-colored wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood. There was not much more to do, no other family's design decisions to reverse, no real quirks or shortcomings to overcome. The house was complete, immune to alterations. Maybe the fact that it had no history contributed to that sense of sterility. I wonder what its current owners think of it. Have they made any major changes? Did our family leave a mark?

This house, though, has a past. The first time I saw the do-it-yourself cupboards under the basement stairs, I thought "my dad could have built these." Months later I discovered a pint of homemade jam at the back of one of those cupboards. The container was the old-fashioned kind; they haven't made canning jars like that for ages. The jam was dark brown and tasted -- yes, Jerry opened it -- sweet. I had no idea what kind of fruit it was til last fall, when I overcooked a batch of plum compote I'd made from our backyard tree. That’s history.


Gerrie said...

I love seeing the furbies hanging out in the deconstructed bathroom.

Terry said...

In my experience the proper term is "sheetrock guy" as in "when the framing guy is finished we'll call the sheetrock guy in. Did you want me to call my electrical guy or does your plumbing guy do electrical too?"

Revalani said...

Now that I think about it, you’re absolutely right.

Mary and Gary said...

We are just loving watching your project and the furry-helper-guys!