Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Not-So-Sexy Stuff: Electrical and Plumbing!!

So, even as I write this post, I know a lot of people won't want to read it.  Because tearing out walls is exciting, while wiring and PVC pipe is a little less interesting.  But if you're remodelling a house, this is the really important stuff.

Case in point, not surprisingly, as soon as demo started, we found a mess of knob and tube wiring in this house.  They had replaced it in the easy to reach places (like the basement), but behind the walls and ceilings, it was still there (if you look closely, you can see the two cloth covered lines coming through the tubes and then tying into the light switch).  We want to make the electrical safe and up to code, so it had to go.

In addition, we also had every other generation of electrical wiring in the house.  Yep - BX, Romex, fuse boxes, you name it, we had it.  And it had to be changed out.  Lots of things were done wrong and we wanted to get it cleaned up.  So, the guys got going and before I knew it, the basement was full of old wires with lots of new stuff installed.

Look at all that shiny new wiring going into the electrical box!

I was a bit sad that we had to take out the old pearl button electrical switches.  But they were made for the knob and tube wiring and can't be reused.  The good news - I found reproductions at House of Antique Hardware!

After lots of hard work, we have all new wiring in place.  The drywall guys will patch it all up and it will look great.

And while all that electrical was getting done, we did a pretty major overhaul of the plumbing as well.  The kitchen plumbing was updated, to meet new building codes.  We installed new bathtubs in both first floor bathrooms.  And of course we put a whole new bathroom in the Tenant's Master Suite.  
New First Floor Bathtubs & Insulation
New Tenant's Master Bath

The Owner's Master Bath also got a major update.  The original space had lots of walls, where they really weren't necessary.  It made the space feel very cramped.  We tore them out and suddenly it felt much larger.  But we still had a challenge.  If you are a tall person, you can't see your face in the bathroom mirror.  Tough for shaving or makeup, unless you bend over the whole time!

So when we installed the new skylight, we used a larger unit and were able to extend the wall up.  Jason is 6' 7", so he checked it out for us!!!  And there will be lots of natural light when you're getting ready.  Very cool! 

Now we just need the City to come out and inspect - and we're ready to move forward!

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  1. I think "behind-the-walls" stuff is just as appealing as the flair - it means a safe, warm, dry, and cozy home. Sort of like picking a spouse! What's most fascinating to us, your Devoted Readers, is how honest and thorough and dedicated you are to each house and its future owners. You and your crew are sterling.

  2. Thanks so much Mitzi - both for the kind words and reading the blog! We try to make sure these houses are done as nicely as we would do our own homes. Glad to know it shows!

  3. Ditto Mitzi :) If only everyone flipping houses did such a great and thorough job! I love push button switches- glad you were able to find reproductions!

    1. Thanks!!! And I can't wait to get those switches installed!!

  4. Ditto to the above two readers! You say "I know a lot of people won't want to read it" and if so I may belong to the minority, because I find it far more exciting... you know, I have neighbors who seem to believe house maintenance is to decorate, just to decorate. They just keep decorating while leaving their dysfunctional gutters, crumbling concrete path, loose exterior service line, thriving weeds etc etc as they are. And you know what? The result doesn't look sexy at all :). Decorations won't shine without solid fundamentals, and I love your blog and your work because you talk a lot about sound fundamentals -- no gimmicks, no shortcuts -- before start talking about staging decorations. Wish I were a SoPo buyer, I'd be excited to be at your open house events!

    1. Thanks for reading! If you don't get the fundamentals right - the rest doesn't make any difference. By removing substandard wiring and plumbing, we've made this home much safer for the future owners.

  5. Those old switches would have worked fine on the new wiring. Hope you didn't throw them in the garbage. They are better quality than the repros and salvaged ones get some decent $$ on ebay.


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