Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ahh the joys of living in an old house...

Our house was built in 1929.  By my standards, that makes it pretty old!  In some ways, it's pretty cool.  For example, in the basement you can see where the old coal room used to be by the indentations on the cement.  The old coal door and chute were still there, as well, until we removed them last summer and used the space to vent our hot water heater.

But unfortunately, the disadvantages of living in an old house outweigh the advantages, in our house at least.  One of the major problems is the lack of closet space!  In our house, each bedroom has a small closet and there is a very small linen closet outside the bathroom... that's it.  There are not closets by the entries for coats or shoes, nor anywhere else in the house, for that matter.

Also, the stairs are so narrow and steep!  Not only am I afraid of myself or a family member falling down them, but they also make it impossible to put anything large in the basement or upstairs.  We recently had decided to move our oak entertainment center upstairs and bring the small tv stand down for our new tv.  It sounded like a great idea... that was until we tried to move it up there.  It wouldn't fit between the stairs and the top of the door frame.  It isn't one that can be disassembled without damaging it, so its current home is in our garage until we can decide what to do with it.

Our latest problem also has to deal with spaces that are too small for today's standard size items.  Our bathtub and shower surround are in dire need of replacement.  The surround is leaking and we've noticed water dripping through the floor into the basement!  Yikes!  (Luckily this is the last big project that really needs working on.)  So, like good homeowners would, we headed to our local hardware/building supply store to pick out a new bathtub and surround.  We had measured our opening beforehand, but being novice DIY-ers, we assumed we'd have a little wiggle room after tearing out the old tub and surround  (WRONG).  We got it home and my Dad came down to take a look at everything and help us get organized for the project.  He measured our opening and knew immediately: TOO SMALL!

So now we're in a pickle.  We debated trying a tub refinishing kit on the tub to improve the looks of the tub, but after reading reviews for the kits, we've decided against it.  We could have it professionally redone, but the cost is too high, in my opinion.  Plus, if we did either of these things, we would need to tile the walls since the standard surrounds won't fit either.  So, that basically leaves us one option- making the opening bigger.  This requires us to tear out the tiny storage cupboards next to the tub, which is the only storage in the whole bathroom aside from a medicine cabinet.  Our bathroom is very small, so we don't have a lot of room to build anything else.  We may be able to purchase a small linen cabinet to put against the wall. 

Grrr... what a hassle!  It seems like this is how our projects always go!  Oh well.  At least we learn a lot this way!  Wish us luck!  I'll post some before and after pictures when it is finally finished!

P.S.  Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated!!!

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