Thursday, September 5, 2013

One thing always leads to another..

Building a house or renovating a house can often be a domino effect of problems!  One problem almost guaranteed will lead to not one but several other problems.  But, that is what makes it fun right?!?!

One thing I did not realize about building a house is even though it takes several weeks to months from the beginning stages of construction (foundation, plumbing, electric etc.) till you get to final construction (drywall, painting, etc.) you have to have your cabinets, final pluming fixtures and lighting all figured out and purchased in the very beginning stages.  Once construction starts you have very little time to make decisions.  All the groundwork, foundation, electric and plumbing, has to be placed perfectly so that what ever you are putting in will all fit in place like it should.

I love the look of a piece of furniture, a dresser or a credenza as a vanity.

Way back in January I purchased a cute credenza on Craigs list with the idea that it would be our new bathroom vanity.  It measured exactly 6 feet.  The vanity wall is only 6 1/2 feet so once I put the door jam in, that takes 3 inches and at least a 2 inch space between the wall and vanity a 6 foot vanity was tight but would work.  The idea seemed so simple.  We would just replace the top with marble, mount some sinks in it and give it a fresh coat of paint.  This is what it looked like when I bought it.  Look how cute it was!

Since it is not as deep as a traditional vanity there was not much room for a faucet to be mounted on the vanity.  No biggie though, wall mount faucets are so cute and how hard could it really be right. First of all not easy and second of all not cheap!  But the credenza was purchased and I was committed.  I spent and entire afternoon calculating exactly where the faucets should be in the wall when the wall and vanity looked like this. They needed to be in the exact perfect spot so that EACH faucet would be centered over each sink.  Not much room for error.  And, it was so hard to imagine exactly where the vanity would be; two inches this way or that way.  Not only that trying to decide exactly how how high in the wall that the faucets should be was a whole other problem.  I am happy to report the faucets ended up being in the exact perfect place.. almost!  We just had to tweak them a little. 

A perfect fit!  I seriously feel like we built the bathroom around this piece of furniture!
  The Saturday before we moved in Ben and I spent the whole day sanding, filling and painting the our bathroom vanity and as well as the hall bathroom vanity.  Because it is a bathroom we sprayed them with a semigloss finish.  The finish turned out really nice.

The hall bathroom vanity is just the old oak vanity that was in the bathroom when we bought the house.  We filled the oak grains with wood putty.  It worked really good!  Honestly that vanity is nothing to get excited about.  We actually put a ton of work into it.  For all the work we put into it we probably should have just bought a new vanity for the hall bathroom.  We put a new piece of melamine particle board on the bottom because the old one was rotten and took the kick plate off and put four screw on legs instead of a kick plate.  Honestly, someday I am going to make inlay doors and drawer fronts for it and then it will look Awesome.

Paint vanities - Check!

The finished product!

We used the old oak floors that were in the house as paneling.  I know, they do not look oak somewhere down the road someone painted the floors black!?!?  Unfortunately we had to replace all the flooring in the whole house minus one of the bedrooms and a small bathroom off the laundry but I am glad we were able to at least recycle some of the floors and use them as wall planking.

Planking up and primed.

Vanities are painted, the marble is on top with the sinks installed (not plumbed) and the faucets are perfectly centered over the sinks.  It is a miracle!..

The wall mount faucets were just a hair to deep in the wall so we cut a hole on the back side of the wall and pushed the valves forward.  No biggie ..

 As if I had not had enough demo I started cutting two holes in my newly drywalled freshly painted bedroom wall.  I was really careful to cut a clean hole with my utility knife and save the inside piece.  I also tried to cut the hole between two studs so I could easily screw the drywall back in.  (I did not get the first hole perfect.  I have learned some tricks about patching drywall along the way.  My dad came down for a visit got it to patch up perfectly)

Once the valves were exposed we pushed them closer to the vanity wall, secured them with screws and shims, put up the dry wall pieces back in taped, mudded, sanded and painted.  Just a small detour.

Next was the drains and p traps

The drains took a little finagling to get just perfect..   The top drawer of the vanity was very shallow so that one was definitely going to be taken up by the sink bowl.  Luckily the pipes behind the wall were in just in the right place so only half of the middle drawer was taken up by the p trap. Yay!!!   

 Still so much more to come. The vanity mirrors, claw foot tub, more drywall repair, priming and painting..  Oh boy I feel like I am reliving my summer! 


  1. Hi Melanie. It is really fun to read about your building adventures! You have done a great job!