The construction potty appeared mysteriously around noon today, like the monolith in 2001. So, the neighbors who don't already know we've got a project scheduled will figure it out pretty soon.
In 1991, when Jerry and I undertook our first major home improvement -- a second-storey master bedroom and bath addition to our house in Berkeley -- we chronicled it on The WELL, the pioneering online conferencing system we've belonged to for 20+ years. We started a discussion topic called It'll Be So Nice When It's Finished. From building permit application to addition-warming party, we posted an update virtually every day. Other WELL members followed the construction process, asking questions and offering useful suggestions. The conversation served as a reality check, a support group and, occasionally, an outlet for venting the day's frustrations.
In late 2005, when we converted a portion of our Portland basement into a guest room and bath, I put up a web site with weekly updates. This time, the images (along with my terse and occasionally amusing captions) told the tale. I realized partway into the process that I might have chosen the wrong medium; static web pages are okay for photo albums, but I missed the interactivity we had on The WELL. If I'd had a blog at the time, I would've blogged the guest suite remodel as I subsequently did, kinda-sorta, with the front garden makeover and the backyard deck.
Now that the economy seems to be recovering, however weakly, we've laid the groundwork for a cosmetic makeover of our main floor, so-called master, bathroom. We're working with Steve Amick, the same contractor who did the aforementioned downstairs guest quarters. Our efforts over the last several weeks have centered around visiting showrooms and spec'ing out what we want -- sink, shower, toilet, tile, flooring and all the necessary fixtures. The biggest and most obvious change involves replacing the old cast iron tub with a glass-front stall shower, thus carving out space for a tall built-in storage cabinet.
The project starts Monday morning. Jerry and I will move downstairs for the duration, after spending much of this holiday weekend stripping down the construction zone and surrounding areas. We're counting on the cats to follow us to the guest room futon. We'll need that comfort. Hopefully Sophie, the pooch, will get to keep her own bedroom adjacent to ground zero. I use that term in the pre-9/11 sense.