Unexpected Bathroom Renovations

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Today was not a usual Saturday for us. I woke to the sound of a loud crack and I thought something had fallen off a wall. A few minutes later the smoke alarm went off. It was in that moment, despite being woken from a deep sleep, I instinctively jumped out of bed. I ran down the stairs toward the smoke alarm and instantly smelt burning. My first thought was that the stove or oven had been left on and so I opened the “secret door” we have mid stairwell. We never open this door for safety reasons as it goes directly towards the oven in the kitchen. While opening the kitchen door, I could see sparks flying from our entry foyer ceiling light. The house was dark and the light was spitting and sparking like a fire cracker. I screamed to Cam “Quick, get up, we need to turn off the fuse box“, followed by “The house is going to catch on fire!” I did not want to run downstairs to the basement to turn it off and leave my family sleeping upstairs, better they be out of bed and safely down the stairs. So I raced back up stairs, hollering, in an emergency panic. Cam responded quickly to my shrieks, “Turn off the fuse box, turn off the fuse box“. He ran down three flights of stairs turned off the fuse box….and the light fixture stopped sparking.

Simultaneous of the sparks flying, dark rusty water was pooling on the floor beneath the light. The light fixture was the only outlet from inside our ceiling and so when the pipe burst (or whatever happened?) the water ran out the light fixture hole, coming in contact with the old wiring. There we all stood in our pajamas in the dark, staring at the mess. Thankful that our home did not catch on fire.

When we bought our house, we discussed re-doing the bathroom, but since it was the original bathroom and it had lasted almost 90 years (other than a new toilet at some point), I felt like it should stay. Nothing that we would replace it with was likely to last another 90 years, and so I felt we should respect the craftsman work and the materials and let the bathroom be. Sadly yesterday the 87 year old pipes deiced they had had enough. Now that the time has come, I won’t be sad to see the stained tiles and outdated flooring go. Yesterday there was a flurry of pins on my “Bathroom” pinterest board.

We are still very much at the beginning of this process and do not know exactly what is going to happen when, but after the builder, the plumber and the electrician were here for hours yesterday it is clear, the time has come for the old bathroom to go. The bathtub is cast iron and with a wet rotting support bowing beneath it, at some point it will fall through the floor/ceiling. So the tub needs to go. If the tub needs to go then the tiles need to go…and so it goes. We are starting over. Now the big question for us which we will find out some time this week, is just how much insurance is going to cover?

We still have a constant drip coming from a pipe. The plumber could not access the blockage that he thinks caused the rupture without taking down more ceiling. At this point we have to wait for the insurance assessor to come. Not sure when that will be, but to stop us getting irritated from the constant sound of drip, drip, drip, through the night, Cam attached some string to the pipe so that the water runs down the string into the bucket. Handy trick to know if you ever have bathroom waste water coming through your ceiling!

Wish us luck, this week will be a busy one. We will be negotiating with the insurance company,  I will be filling out town permits for a builder, plumber and electrician and I will be deciding on tiles and fixtures. Work people will be here tearing out our bathroom and foyer ceiling….then after all of that is over, they will build our new bathroom. Then we will once again have the pleasure of taking a shower in our home.

2 thoughts on “Unexpected Bathroom Renovations

  1. Funny you should ask Zoe, yes we did get a new bathroom, and this weekend we finally got the painting done! So it is officially finished! Yay!

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