Now Is The Time For You To Know The Truth About This Old House Bathroom Ideas
July 07, 1996|By Adventure by Karen E. Klages.
Not everybody who needs account for rehabbing a allowance gets a abode alarm from Steve Thomas, the affable host of “This Old House.” Lisa and Jeff Boulden of Chicago’s Hyde Park adjacency did. Thomas was in Chicago afresh giving a address on one of his admired topics–how to get the best blast from your renovating buck–and he agreed to do a activity with us.
A altered array of project.
On his show, which affectedness three times account in Chicago on WTTW-Ch. 11, Thomas forth with adept carpenter Norm Abram and a casting of added tool-toting characters, leads admirers through the advance of an entire, august old home. The busy advance spans a accomplished TV season.
We asked Thomas for a quicker fix–to advance us through the rehabbing of a distinct room, and do it in one day.
That room: an aged ablution in the Bouldens’ contrarily airy, spacious, best condo.
No absolute activity was to booty place. We artlessly asked Thomas to allocution the Bouldens through the action of rehabbing–from evaluating the amplitude to brainstorming options. It is a action that can be activated to anyone cerebration of disturbing up a allowance and redoing it.
And again we asked Thomas to go arcade with us for accessories and finishes that would be adapted for the new space. (See accompanying story.)
How did the Bouldens get to be so lucky?
They were one of added than 6,500 readers who responded aftermost year to a Home breadth affairs survey. Among added affairs on the home front, we asked bodies to allotment their decorating or renovating nightmare.
We were taken with the Bouldens’ abhorrence story, because it was archetypal of abounding readers’: They bought an earlier home or condo. They got abundant space, abundant woodwork, abundant balk floors–but a ablution from hell.
The Bouldens fabricated a plea: Accord us account for “affordable ablution renovations.”
It’s 10 a.m. on a brilliant Chicago morning, and Thomas is accessible for work. We’re in the car, en avenue to the Bouldens’ home, and we tossed those three words–“affordable,” “bathroom,” “renovations”–at the expert.
“Bathrooms are big-ticket spaces,” says Thomas, airing the all-important reality.
“You’ve got a lot of accouterments and custom surfaces that go in there,” he continues. “When you add to that the bulk of demolition, any array of alleviative carpentry assignment or structural assignment that has to be done to accompany the ablution up to code, it can get cher absolute fast.”
The boilerplate ablution acclimate in the Chicago breadth costs $9,195, according to a 1995-96 cost/value address able by Remodeling magazine, a barter advertisement based in Washington, D.C.
The acceptable account is that 88 percent of those costs can be recouped back the buyer decides to advertise the house, according to the aforementioned survey.
The ambush is to bulk out “how to get the greatest assets for the atomic bulk of money,” says Thomas.
The ablution is an odd avoid in a address that boasts 2,400 aboveboard feet, two bedrooms, a den, a sun room, 12 closets and two added bathrooms (one full, one half-bath).
The adversity ablution (“We accept accompany who accept never apparent this room,” says Lisa Boulden, who works as an abettor to Mayor Richard Daley) is the fallout from bad renovations by antecedent owners. Walls were broken down, apartment were reconfigured, this ablution was cobbled together.
It lurks central the kitchen–and that’s the aboriginal problem.
But there’s more.
The sliver of a allowance (11 1/2 anxiety continued by 5 anxiety 4 inches across) holds added than its allotment of misfortune: a aberrant cast-iron bathtub; a bore that doesn’t about-face off and refuses to accord hot water; a vanity that looks like a 1970s blue-light special; a asphalt attic that is crumbling, acknowledgment to a arid tortoise and cat that already lived here, after a clutter box; asperous walls.
And the kicker: Some antecedent buyer shoehorned into the amplitude a full-size washer and dryer, but did not bother to erect or aperture them properly. The aperture for the dryer goes up an asperous wall, beyond a case beam and out through a window that is captivated accessible with a allotment of plywood.
Even added odd than the amplitude itself: The Bouldens can anticipate a fix.
Their plan involves the half-bath that is on the added ancillary of the far wall. It is absorbed to a bedfellow bedchamber and is teeny-tiny–just 3 anxiety 5 inches advanced by 5 1/2 anxiety long, aloof a bore and toilet.
“We would like to accord that (half bath) at atomic a shower,” says Jeff Boulden, a lawyer. “We would like to be able to action our guests at atomic a shower.”
To do that, they anticipate disturbing bottomward the walls amid the two bathrooms and re-divvying up the space. They would accord the half-bath in the bedfellow allowance a few added anxiety and about-face it into a abounding ablution or at atomic one with a shower. The kitchen ablution would compress to a spruced-up crumb allowance with laundry facilities. Out goes the footed tub.
Thomas rubs his chin.