Pity the poor designer…

At long last, after excavating the back yard, taking down a bunch of trees, replacing the furnace, and taking on innumerable other small tasks here at Fortress Jeff, I’m finally ready to start the wheels in motion to renovate the master bathroom.

It feels strange saying that. Six years ago, I almost took a pass on this place because the bathroom was so underwhelming. If I remember correctly, I had the place written into my house-hunting notes as “revenge of the tub” because it was the second house I looked at that was otherwise very nice, but had only a giant damned bathtub in the master bathroom.

I don’t have anything against enormous bathtubs in theory. In practice, though, they’re not my thing. I had a massive jetted tub in my house in Memphis and I filled it a grand total of one time in the three years I lived there. The only thing I’ve used the one in this bathroom for is for bathing dogs – and it wasn’t particularly useful for that. As far as the way I live is concerned, a giant tub is the quintessential waste of space – and represents money better spent on heated floors and, perhaps, a monstrous shower.

“But,” some will say, “A freakishly large bathtub will improve your resale value.” Maybe that’s true, but I’m the poor dumb bastard that will be living here for the next 15 years. Putting the room together to suit my reality makes far more sense than trying to project what some notional person a decade and a half from now might want to see. 

For now, I’m gathering up the list of contractors I’ll ask for proposals and putting together a list of what I’d like to get out of this project. I feel like I have a solid grip on the big bits, but as I troll around online it seems inevitable that the fit and finish will give me no end to trouble. I almost feel bad for whatever poor designer I ends up working with me to sort out the details.

That trouble notwithstanding, I’ll be extraordinarily pleased to finally be able to take a shower every morning without schlepping down the hall. 

Trip Report – House Hunting Day #2

Following hot on the heels of this weekend’s formal kickoff of House Hunt 2015, this afternoon saw another dash around the county to look at three more houses. I shall call them The House Next Door, The Revenge of the Tub, and the House Not Appearing in this Post.

The House Next Door isn’t actually next door. It’s at least 500 yards away on the other side of the street. Weighing in at 4 beds and 2 baths, this very well put together Cape Cod style home offered a touch over an acre, a two car garage, a large screened porch, and more storage than three of me could use. Aside from questioning whether one of the bedrooms really counted, it was a nice enough place. The house was solid. The kind of thing you’d imagine seeing if you told someone to draw a picture of a house. Even at an acre, the lot felt a bit crowded to the left and right. It’ll be a nice place for someone, but I don’t think it’s my huckleberry.

Sigh. The Revenge of the Tub. It’s beautiful. The kitchen is twice as big as my first apartment and is spot on in fit and finish. The whole house was simply beautiful, ticking off everything on my want list except for a back yard fence. It was perfection, right down to being structurally overbuilt by any reasonable standard. I’m pretty sure the current owner had visions of a basement bunker when he shored up the basement. With a good solid door you could hold off the zombie apocalypse in that place. The problem is, that like one of Day 1’s contestants, the master bath just has a giant tub situated beneath a bank of windows. If a guy wants a morning shower he’s got to schlep down the hall to the guest bath. It just seems ridiculous given the amount of money you’re spending and the fact that there’s a bathroom right there off the master. Then the issue of the Home Owner’s Association – who exercise supreme executive authority over everything right down to the location of exterior lights to the height of the fence you’re allowed to install. My innate western Maryland hillbilly resentment of anyone who wants to tell me what to do on my own property is maybe a bigger factor here than the inconvenience of going down the hall as part of the morning routine. Even with those reservations, the place is a serious contender.

The House Not Appearing in this Post is aptly named because the lock didn’t work so we weren’t able to do much more than eyeball the outside and peep through the windows. It’s probably for the best. No matter how well put together it was going to have a hard time standing up to the place we just left.

I’m sure there will be more to follow later in the week.