I love planning. OK, it could be easily argued that I love the planning far more than the execution since the planning generally doesn't require blood, sweat, tears and emptying your savings account. But I am having a blast planning this bathroom renovation. It looks like my acquisition of the initial $2000 that will be the seed money for this project is coming along nicely, and that we can do a nice little renovation once that seed money is supplemented with what we hope will be a tidy tax refund (since I did a few tax-savings things this year), perhaps a bit extra in "economic stimulus" from Pres. Bush*t (see note below), and the rest from savings (though not TOO much from there, since I get a little freaked if that number goes too low...).
Tonight we opened up the access panel that's in Elder Granddaughter's bedroom to verify that no, the new tub isn't one of those things plunked on top of an old original tub. Of COURSE not. The POs did a full rip-to-the-studs on every single room in this house, ripping out the studs in some. There is a big full-height space behind the tub that is WAY more than is needed to hold the various pipes, simply because it was what room was left once they put in the standard sized tub. It's as wide as the tub, and about 18" deep; the side of that space creates a blank wall to the left of the toilet, so one part of the renovation project will be to put a nice deep (maybe 10", to not interfere with any plumbing) recessed shelf there. That still leaves enough room to hide a body or two, though. Or at least enough room to stash stuff like rarely used suitcases or presents we're hiding from the kids.
One interesting thing we *think* we found back there is the framing to what used to be a window. We won't be able to tell for sure until we get that tub out of there, but it sure looks like it. Ironically, I had already made one significant change to the reno plan, and that is to NOT put a window in that wall over the tub, for two reasons. One, I've been reading too much about how no matter how good of a window you get, the cold from that window can simply be not what you want on a brisk winter day while you're taking a shower. But also, if we put a window in, that has to be done pretty much first on the checklist when in fact it's a really low priority for me. But I can't exactly tile the shower area and THEN put a window in later, you know? So I decided on an alternative: Since above the tub is simply the kneewall area of the third floor, I'm going to eventually put in (well, having someone else put in) a skylight, the type that has a tunnel leading down to the actual bathroom. That way I get my natural light, but it can go in later, just in case I need to build up my savings a bit after spending more on other things than I'd originally budgeted.
This is the "Note below": I generally try to not venture into politics in my house blog but I'm on political overload (just got my first candidate call today; I pressed 3 for "the other guy"), and so much that is happening with our economy in particular -- and my perception of just WHO exactly is to blame for it -- is just sending me over the edge. I tend to be very grouchy when faced with too much political bullshit, which of course is unavoidable in a presidential campaign year or when facing a possible recession or while our country is enmeshed in a hideously expensive war that we should have never gotten into, so right now is just the worst of it all for me. But on this whole "economic stimulus" package thing... I'm just someone who thinks that maybe that money should be focused on (among other possible options) doing things like giving some seriously hardworking poorfolk some genuinely affordable and decent housing instead of being divvied out to folks like me who honestly don't NEEEEED it like they do, when a good part of why we're in this economic hellhole is that too many people got into a helluva lot more debt than they ever should have -- so the answer is to give us more money to spend and put our country into even more debt?!? Not in my way of thinking. So don't be surprised if you see some campaigning on my part to get folks to donate at least half of any "economic stimulus" money to Habitat or a local food bank or domestic violence shelter or something. It doesn't take being a "bleeding heart liberal" to look around and feel that there's just something WRONG when you live in an area like I do (like so many do) when the average salary is maybe $10/hour and yet the average home costs $200-$300k. Let's find a way to create a way for people to genuinely afford a place to live and raise their families that doesn't include mortgages that make it affordable for a coupe of years then make folks lose absolutely everything once reality sets in. Should folks who took out those mortgages have known better? Probably. But just because someone should have known better than to get themselves into a no-win situation doesn't mean that they should have been given that opportunity when everyone who DID know better could clearly see the writing on the wall.
OK, end economic/political rant. For now.