This summer, our family started playing a new sport: synchronised weeing. I think it was the extra water/ice-blocks/iced teas we were consuming to keep cool because whenever the bathroom was occupied, there was usually someone waiting outside with their legs crossed in comical semi-agony. We decided it was a good time to add a second toilet to the house. But where to put it? Hmmm. What about that room no-one ventures into except for Mum? You know, the room where dirty clothes enter and, hours later, miraculously emerge clean? Yes, the laundry. The forgotten room in the house. The room with the perpetually closed door because… shudder… it used to look like this:
We saw no point in adding a toilet to a laundry in such bad shape, so we decided to renovate the room from the retro tiles all the way up to the asbestos ceiling. Our logic was: it’s a small room, how hard can it be? Ha!
The first step was stripping the room back to the bare walls, which involved removing the shelving, the non-working power points, the laundry sink and the tiles.
Then we had to remove the asbestos ceiling – a job James took very seriously. So, don’t laugh.
Okay, you can laugh a little.
When we got to installing the new ceiling, we realised we might have bitten off more than we could chew. Gyprock is heavy and I didn’t have the muscles to hold it up while James drilled it into place. We ended up dialing a friend (thanks, Justin) to help out. Next James added beading to the manhole, a dual light/fan, and patched the gyprock up.
Once the new ceiling was in place, James routed a path for not one, not two, but three new power points. Gee, I’m a lucky gal! The laundry renovation then became an exercise in project management. First, we organised for the plumber to come in and route the plumbing into place and then, on the plumber’s recommendation, James waterproofed the floor (even though it’s not specified in The Building Code of Australia, it’s a good idea). Next the tiler leveled the floor with concrete whilst we went tile shopping. Intentional shopping, I nailed it (for once!).
The concrete was left to set for 24 hours, after which time the tiler returned to tile the room. The next day, he came back to grout the tiles and the kids started treating him like a long-lost uncle – he’d been around so much. Once the tiling was complete, James cut the cornices for the ceiling and I helped him to install them. I will never look at another cornice in my life and not appreciate the pure genius that went into getting the corners to fit together. Honestly, you need a degree in mathematics to work it out.
We worked late into the night to set up the IKEA cabinetry, ahead of the plumber returning the next day to fit the toilet and sink into place.
Here’s a work-in-progress ‘during’ shot of the laundry renovation:
Stay tuned for the finished ‘after’ picture, coming soon to a computer near you.