Thursday, March 18, 2010

Like A Hole In My Head

I might've really and truly lost my mind this time.  No, really.  See, I have this idea that I should've immediately discounted as crazy thinking and thought no more about it.  But then I thought about it some more.  A lot.  And then I shared it with Mare, who is as crazy as I am, so of course instead of talking me out of it he formed a plan to actually do it.  Now, I know I need something else to do like I need a hole in my head, but still...

I just have to share this craziness with y'all. 

First off, remember this?

And this?

It's the back wall of my house that got me so frustrated and mad last fall that I chucked the whole shingle-ripping project for the rest of the year.  About in the middle of the first photo you can see a long vertical line.  That's where the back door used to be.  The back walkway leads right up to it.  But now the back door is about four feet to the right.  It bugs me, I mean really bugs me, that the walkway doesn't line up with the back door anymore. 

But I can't move the back door over to where it used to be because of this:
That is the oft-mentioned ugly and terrible (freezing in winter, boiling in summer) back bathroom.  It's not quite so ugly anymore, but still I hate it.  Just so you know, this bathroom is 39 inches wide and 11 feet long.  God help him if a tall man ever moves into this house—he'll not be able to use this bathroom.  (I'll pause for you to fully consider that.  Yeah.  Okay.)  If I moved the back door it would be directly in front of the shower, which is on the other side of that wall where the toilet paper holder is.  The wall where the toilet paper holder is was originally the exterior wall of the house and that first doorway there would have opened onto the back porch. The Dutch door was a later and unfortunate addition. (This bathroom, incidentally, was once part of the back bedroom and is now basically a hallway between the back bedroom and the back porch.  An ugly hallway.  With a sink and toilet and shower in it.)

Now here's where it starts to get interesting...

At some point that open back porch was closed in and the "new" back door was put in where the old porch steps were.  (And the walkway still lined up with the back door.  Did I mention that it really bugs me that the door doesn't match up with the walkway any more?)  The closed-in back porch had three windows:  two side-by-side on the west side of the house and one about four feet to the right of the back door. 

Then along came someone who had the idea to build a second bathroom in the house.  So the back window became the back door, which made the walkway outside look whopper-jawed, and a shower stall was tacked onto the end of the hallway-like bathroom, which made the bathroom walls jut out awkwardly into the back porch space. This creates a bit of a problem with getting into the basement, as the basement access is a trap door in the middle of the floor and the jutting-out bathroom walls come perilously close to the edge of the trap-door.  When I say "perilously close" I mean that when the trap-door's open there's only about 8 inches between the bathroom wall and the open maw of the basement.  You try carrying a big box of something with your back pressed against a wall while side-stepping to avoid falling into the basement.  Not fun.

Let's review:  Hate the back wall of the house.  Hate the non-matching walkway and back door.  Hate the bathroom.  Hate the tiny shower stall.  Hate almost falling into the basement. Ron White would say, "I told you that to tell you this":  My hare-brained idea will fix everything.

I want to put a shower in the other bathroom (the one next to my bedroom), get rid of the tiny crappy shower stall in the back bathroom, rip out the bathroom walls around the shower stall back to the original wall of the house, move the back door to where it used to be, and put in a window where the back door is now.  More or less in that order.  After we finish the interior door project, of course.  Probably before I finish tearing the shingles off the back wall of the house.  Most certainly before I paint the back wall of the house.  But maybe not before I finish wallpapering the dining room or painting the second parlor.  And I really ought to put a new roof on the carport sometime soon, too.

Craziness?  Or not?


  1. Yep, crazy. But I would do the same, so I support you 100% in your new hair-brained idea. Because, hey, it's you doing the work not me. And I like doors to line up with sidewalks. Completely drives me bonkers if they don't. So yeah, go for it.

  2. Craziness? Well, ummm, definitely! But then again, that's why I love you lady DIY bloggers.

  3. No you are not crazy, you are a purist, you have a real heart for restoration. Who else would biscuit all those doors back together? Only someone who cared enough to do the job right. Your house is going to take time, but it will be worth it in the end. Paying attention to all those details will make you happy and make the Kelly's proud.

  4. I think it makes sense.

    You know what they have to destruct to construct.

    I have multiple projects going all the time. Their progress is dependent on weather, money, or ambition.

    I think in the long run that your project will increase the overall look and the way the back room area is used.

  5. I love it. Like Nike used to say... Just Do It!

  6. That bathroom sounds dangerous. I think your whole plan makes sense.

    Spend the time to chart out what has to be done before something else can be done and what doesn't depend on anything else - it will seem like it takes forever to work out all the dependencies and make a reasonable timeline but it will make life so much easier in the long run. Then you can break it up into small chunks that won't make it seem like Mission Impossible.

    Although from what I've seen you are perfectly capable of Mission Impossible!


  7. Because of my lame visualization and spatial relationship skills, I got lost somewhere. But I get it. It's going to be a big pain in the neck (and places south.) But . . . you gotta do it. Now that the seed is planted, I know you won't be able to let go until it gets done.

    And what the heck? You got Mare to help you, right? And he has an actual plan. Sounds good.

  8. Why S, My friend Walt said, "I think I need a diagram". I'm working on a floor plan and some other photos for the next post, so it'll make more sense then.

  9. I think we could be related. :-) It's either genetics -- or a disease -- this ability to pile on yet another project! But I'm with ya.