Thursday, July 22, 2010
Week Four, Day Four
I will get to my cliff hanger, but first: this is my bathroom one month ago and today. The drywall was ripped up from someone tearing out all the fixtures before I bought the house. There was a sickening bluish green wallpaper of the walls, which blended well with the vomit I spewed every time I had to climb over the piles of rubble to get to the duct taped toilet. Clearly, this bathroom needed some work.
The repairs to this bathroom were to lay a new floor (vinyl), replace and repair the drywall, paint, purchase three light fixtures, buy a new special-order square toilet seat, and add install the vanity. The floor was around $50 including glue, the drywall was free because we already had it, although we did spend about $30 on various goops and powders needed to fix the walls, paint was $30, the light fixtures were about $50 all together from Walmart, the toilet seat $40, and the vanity free because my dad had it extra, with the plumbing and faucet about $50 all together. So adding this together, the bathroom roughly cost about $250. Add in the little things I'm not remembering right now, and it probably was less than $300 tops.
Although this is a very reasonable price, I would like to set the bar ever-higher and refurbish the upstairs bathroom for a fraction of the cost of the downstairs. This will be quite a feat, as the upstairs bathroom is in shambles even more than the downstairs was. To make the upstairs acceptable, I would need to replace some subflooring where someone left a candle to burn (THROUGH the carpet, THROUGH the padding, and INTO the subfloor...how did the house not burn down?), get a new sink and toilet, do something about the hole-filled paneling on the walls, fence in the outside balcony that opens off the bathroom, and lay a new floor. This is besides the inordinate amount of cleaning that I will need to do to make it passable. Anyway, here is my big idea: I would like to conduct a little experiment to see if I can fix the upstairs bathroom for less than $50. I realize that this might be crazy. But I have the time to give it a try, and magnanimous as Obama is, he did not in fact give me a bottomless pit of money from which to make home repairs. So I plan on scouring the "free" ads over the next few weeks and months to see how this goes...I am anticipating success. Here's some pics of the upstairs: