I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’d been extremely busy with our old house, remodeling the bathroom. I wanted to tell you all a little about how that went. We got the news that my sister was moving out of the house near the end of October. We already knew that the bathroom floor was spongy near the tub and needed some work done. But we had no idea what we were in for….
Unfortunately, we still hold a mortgage on this house and so we could not afford for it to sit empty for very long. On the other hand, we had no extra cash to pay a professional to remodel it for us. So basically we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. We were very blessed in that a good friend of my mom’s knew some plumbers who were willing to help us out.
They ended up saving us literally thousands of dollars and I will be forever grateful to these men. We did not know them at all, but they just came in and gave us advice, told us step by step what to do so that we could do all the labor intensive work ourselves. Then did the plumbing work for very little pay and told us what to do to get everything back in order.
In my mind, these two men will forever be angels that God sent to help us during a time when we didn’t know what we were going to do. I cling to scriptures like Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” and Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” and Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” These verses and more have gotten me through some really hard times and I just keep going and trusting that God is going to keep his promises!
We were also blessed in the fact that Jason is able to do a lot of “handyman” things around the house and that he has a lot of tools and is willing to try almost anything. Our plumber friends came over and looked at the bathroom and told us that the floor was completely rotted and covered in mold and the entire floor would need replaced. That would mean taking everything out down to the floor joists. We were very overwhelmed, but they told us step by step what to do and we got started. We just worked on one step at a time and tried our best to stay focused.
Here is what the bathroom looked like before we started:
The first thing we did was to bust out the ceramic tile around the bathtub. Hulk and I spent a day doing that, it took us about 3 hours. I tried really hard to take pictures as we went along, but I failed to get any of this part. I really wish I had because it was actually pretty fun! We basically hammered the tile and the inch of concrete behind it. I pushed myself a little that day, but it was worth it. It felt like a great accomplishment and also the hammering was a great way to release a lot of tension…it was a little therapeutic.
This is what it looked like behind the tile after we had the tile all down:
Once the tile and that wire mesh on the wall was out, the next big thing was to get that very heavy bathtub out. It was made of cast iron and extremely heavy. Jason and I were there that night with just our two younger kids. We basically got it out with a crowbar and a hammer! It sure wasn’t easy, though. We just kept going and finally got it out. A lot of people tell you to cut the tub apart to get it out, but we were trying to save the tub so that we could reuse it. That made it harder to get out, but we did it! We were so proud of ourselves that night.
After getting the tub out, we had to pull out the sink and toilet and remove a bunch of old dry wall that would have to be replaced.
After that, we had to cut out the old floor which was rotted in parts, but not as bad as we thought it would be. Then we had to let it dry out for about a week.
Once we let the floor boards dry out, the plumbers came in and fixed the pipes. We found out the leak was at the washer/dryer pipes right beside the bathroom as well as the water splashing out of the tub onto the floor for so many years just took a toll on the floor. After the plumbers were done, we were able to start putting it all back together. We started with new flooring.
After we got the floor down, we brought the bathtub back in. We could never have gotten that thing in without the help of my mom and brother! My mom has recently retired from working full-time and she was able and willing to help us a lot. I’m sure it would’ve taken much longer and been a lot harder without her help. She was another angel to us through this process, she literally put her life on hold to help us get it done.
We got the tub back in and hooked up. Then we started on the walls. We had to cut and put up dry wall and mud it.
After the drywall was up, we started on the linoleum for the floor and putting up the shower wallboard as well as painting the walls.
Once we got the shower wall up, we installed the new toilet, sink/vanity and mirror and about a million other little things and it was done!
It wasn’t perfect, but it was our best and we felt very proud of all the hard work we had done. This whole process really made us realize that we’re a lot stronger and more capable than we ever thought we were. It was definitely a life-changing experience for us. We both grew a lot through this whole process and working together on it was great. We have always felt like we make a great team and being able to accomplish this in only 6 weeks proved that.
We had a lot of other little things to get done to the house along with this, like taking up carpet and cleaning up hardwoods under the carpet as well as painting and general cleaning and fixing up. We got it all done and the new tenants moved in on December 1st, which was less than 6 weeks after my sister moved out. This may not seem like much to some people, but it was pretty phenomenal to us that we were able to get all of this done in that short of a time!
The moral of the story is, don’t doubt yourself and keep remembering those verses in God’s word, of his promises to be our strength through these hard times and to work things out for our good. Remember that YOU can do all things through Christ and that you may just be a little bit stronger than you realize, if you just try!