Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fixing up a fixer upper using sustainable, recycled, and re-purposed parts

Moving in to a new home has proven to be quite the adventure. As suspected, there are a million little things that pop up needing to be fixed that we were never expecting to deal with. We are going in to all this attempting to do all our fixes using as much recycled, re-purposed, and sustainable materials as possible. Here is just the beginning of our journey:

The kitchen sink was nice and clogged draining about an inch an hour. We went to the Berkeley Tool Lending Library (an amazing free resource) and rented a snake but unfortunately we couldn't get it in far enough due to some strange bends in the plumbing. Days of living with a water collection bucket (and giving the existing lawn a few nice waterings) has finally ended after resorting to calling in a plumber.

Luckily we have two bathrooms so we are able to demo one and still use the other. However, the one we are using had a pretty nice leaky faucet in the shower so we once again rented the correct tools and books from the Tool Lending Library and got to work. This time, no additional help was needed.

Living in a construction zone.
Changing the heater filter. Judging by the filter we pulled out of there, it is probably the only time it has ever been changed.
Pulling the mirror and sink out of the bathroom offers a gross glimpse into the past paint colors of the house. Apparently the previous owners LOVED gloss paint. The last 3 colors were glistening in the window light.

Demoing the front bathroom. We have attempted to carefully remove the tile so it can be freecycled and reused, not an easy task. Yes, that is a sunken tub you see on the right and NO its not staying in the ground. That beauty is a really nice claw foot tub the past owners decided to sink down in to the crawl space. Why oh why would anyone ever do such a thing?
Moving too fast.

After a long day of finding oh so many things wrong with the house, realizing we can't fix them all ourselves, and feeling a little defeated, I headed to the kitchen to make some dinner only to see this nice little smiley reminder that everything will be ok.


  1. Fixing up a house can be alot of fun. I love reading about it. Remember, I'm in that business and if you need any advise, just call.
    Love ya, Aunt Debbie

  2. I LOVE your box grater! I needed that smile too...