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Renovating Our Beach House, Volume 2

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In volume two of what is sure to be a 4,000 volume set, we thought we should mention that another step in making our beach house more livable has been completed. You may remember way back in May, when we started by adding on to the kitchen and bashing giant holes into the living room. That was a good first step, but as soon as we moved in, we realized there were a lot of things we were missing. You have heard me complain, in these pages, about our lack of hot water, showers, and, really, our lack of functioning bathrooms. Well, we have corrected this, finally. Unfortunately, my broken camera won’t allow me to give you a proper “after” view, but you’ll get the idea…and I’ll post more pictures after we get our camera fixed.

First, here’s how our house was laid out before:

As you can see, there was one large bathroom which opened out onto the front deck, with a shower, toilet, and sink. The tiny bathroom off the bedroom managed to also cram in a shower, sink, and toilet, in a space not big enough to turn around in. These will help give you some idea:

This is the old main bathroom. As you can see, it is very oddly laid out. We also had extensive repair work done to the ceiling and walls in this room, so must of this tile was gone by the time we moved in, leaving only darkness, cobwebs, and sloppily-done concrete oozing down the walls.

Also, I’m sorry, a pink toilet? It probably seemed like a good idea on paper.

And here’s the one picture we have of the bathroom off the bedroom, as described previously. This picture doesn’t really give you a good sense of just how tiny this room was, nor does it illustrate the thousands of gnats present that we could never seem to get rid of. Oh yeah, and it also doesn’t show how, when you took a shower in here, the entire room flooded with water:

See, to the right of the sink? That was a wall. And to the left of the toilet tank? A tiny shower stall, then another wall. The wall that you see behind everything was appoximately one meter from the doorway. And of course, everything was tastefully done in that “baby must’ve gotten sick” brown that seems to have been used extensively in our house.

So it was time to start over. After consulting with our architect, we decided on the following new plan:

As you can see, we essentially flipped the two bathrooms, so that the larger one is off the bedroom, and the smaller one leads into the living room and off to the deck, for guests. This required tearing down and rebuilding an entire wall, adding hot water lines, adding a few new windows for light and, of course, new tile and accessories throughout. The only real surprise throughout the construction process was when they tried to hook the new toilets and sinks to the old sewage line…and realized there wasn’t one. Instead of a pipe leading to the septic tank, there was more of a sculpted concrete half-pipe running open under our floors, that wasn’t even graded to flow toward the septic. In case my description isn’t illustrating this properly, there was an open river of shit under our bedroom. There, I said it. Needless to say, this has all been dug up and replaced with good ol’ PVC.

The entire project took only an astonishingly quick three weeks, and was $300 USD over budget, which is the difference between working with an architect and a professional crew, and a ragtag bunch of misfit fishermen from Progreso. Here are the finished shots:

The new sink in the guest bathroom, complete with new counter, tile countertop and faucet.

Shot from the door leading into the living room, with new floor. What you can’t see, is the cool new window, toilet, and concrete bench on the left wall. Since this is a guest bathroom, we decided to leave out a shower. Now, for the new bathroom off the bedroom:

This is the new bowl sink and faucet. The polished concrete counter (which my last crew of guys inexplicably thought was “not possible at the beach”) was poured in place, and that splash of mosaic you see is a peice of the old wall, which now makes up the back of the shower stall.

Shot from just outside the door leading into the bedroom, you can see the new polished concrete sunken shower stall behind that crazy green mosaic. The toilet is tucked in to the right, and there are two new windows in this room. Also check out our rough gray slate flooring. We were concerend that this bathroom would end up looking too much like two kids who went crazy in a tile store, but the green on the walls brings everything together, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

I will post more pictures and maybe even shoot a little video later so that you can really see what these new rooms look like, but for now, just know that the addition of these two rooms has completely changed the way we live and feel in our house, turning it from a camping/construction site, into a home. And best of all, the gnats are finally gone…we just had to demolish a whole wing of the house to do it.

There Are 7 Responses So Far. »

  1. Well are you really that surprised that there was shit hanging out under your bedroom? Just think how great the dirt must be under there for planting things.

  2. That sewer thing must have been gross.

  3. Wow, you guys did a great job! I love the fixtures and tile. Bathrooms are important to a comfortable living experience, there’s no doubt about that. Though not terribly surprised about the plumbing situation, I just wonder what it was like stench-wise in the hottest days of summer…

  4. Very nice. Love the mosaic wall.

    Yeah- the underground river-of-shit is probably just the sort of thing that makes you happy you decided not to just “live with it the way it is for now…”

  5. […] become a floor-to-ceiling window, giving the bedroom an ocean view. The small white door opens to our bathroom, with the house’s only […]

  6. […] wall when we bricked in that window, after turning that from an exterior to an interior wall. The new bathroom is visible in the right of the […]

  7. […] Renovating Our Beach House Volume 2 Dropped In Posted by root 10 minutes ago ( I love the fixtures and tile bathrooms are important to a the small white door opens to our bathroom with the house only the time we comment by elizabeth on 30 november 2007 powered by wordpress wordpress Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Renovating Our Beach House Volume 2 Dropped In […]

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