We get excited about bathroom fixtures. Go know.
This past weekend, we picked up the bathtub and the sink for the Cheney Cottage. The sink for the downstairs bathroom has been in the house for quite a while, but the bathtub and corner sink for the upstairs bathroom have just arrived.
The bathtub is particularly cool: because the bathroom is so narrow, the tub needed to be narrow as well. Most clawfoot bathtubs are 30" wide, but the tub for the Cheney Cottage is only 24" wide. It isn't really much thinner than a normal tub - it's just that the sides are vertical (most tubs have sides that slope outwards) and the rolled edge at the top is significantly thinner than on most tubs.
We picked up both fixtures and moved them in. The sink is heavy, but I could carry it myself, and carted it up the stairs with no problem. But the tub was more problematic: Tom and I moved the tub from the truck to the foot of the front stairs, then muscled it up the stairs and into the house. We managed to do this without exacerbating Tom's back problems nor giving ourselves hernias.
The sink in the upstairs bathroom of the Cheney Cottage (at dusk)
But the thought of carrying the tub up 16 stairs to the second floor was beyond us, so we put the tub in the living room. We figured we'd work around it for a while (and it could be a handy receptacle for all the stripped paint).
But then on Monday, two of our neighbors Ron and Dave, were outside their house, and they offered to help us carry it up the stairs. With a heavy cast iron tub, having more than two people made a huge difference: Tom didn't join in, due to his back issues, but the three of us carried the tub up the stairs pretty easily, and set it in the front bedroom (half way up the stairs, Ron asked, "It had to be cast iron? A fiberglass tub wouldn't work??"). Then I attached the feet, and the tub is ready to be moved into the bathroom, as soon as the plumbing is done. The sink is already hanging from its clips on the wall, so soon the bathroom will be looking finished.
The Cheney Cottage bathtub, sitting by the windows in the front bedroom
The stripping of paint is pretty much done: the dining room and living room have been stripped, the stairwell is done, and there are just a couple more pieces of trim to strip in the upstairs hallway. The scraping is underway, but it is labor intensive and tedious. Tom spent some time scraping the window ledge and window frames of the 5 windows in the living room. They look great, but there is so much more to scrape.
The wiring is done, and soon we'll put a box on the outside of the house and make all the electrical hook ups. Then we should be able to get the service moved to the house and get rid of the temporary power pole in the front yard.
We met with Bill Rayno, who installed the boiler system that heats the radiators (and provides domestic hot water) in our house on Parker Street. In both the Cheney Cottage and the Delaney House, we're going to use radiators in the bedrooms upstairs, but use underfloor radiant heat on the first floors. We sure could use it: the Cheney Cottage has been freezing cold, and with rain coming to town tomorrow, it's going to get even colder. So Bill may be starting work soon. Bill also is giving us the name of a plumber he works with, who will give us a bid on installing the DWV system as well as assisting in running the supply lines. The plumbing system is actually not that complicated: two bathrooms, the kitchen and the laundry.
We plan to use PEX for not only the hot water for the heating system, but also for the supply water for the kitchen and bathrooms. PEX is significantly easier to run through walls and snake into tight spaces than copper, and has the advantage that people don't want to steal it to sell it for scrap.
Eric and his crew are starting to work on the retaining wall at the front of the property, and Phil Joy will be returning soon to lift the Delaney House another 6 feet in the air. Then Eric's crew can put in the foundation and build the first floor walls, and the house will be lowered down onto its new first floor.
Another project that got finished was replacing the back window in the laundry room. At some point, the original window had been removed, and a greenhouse window installed. The greenhouse window was long since gone, replaced with a large piece of plywood. So this weekend, we found a fixed window that would fit, and reinstalled it in the opening. The trim had been removed, so I made new trim, which will soon be painted to match the rest of the house.
The restored back window of the Cheney Cottage
The project list seems endless, but we're making progress. We're going to finish these houses in 2012. Keep watching.