With the exception of a few small details and one last built in cabinet i’m calling the bathroom unofficially complete! Let’s have a look at some final major progress shots.


The wainscoting waiting to be primed and painted




I’ll show you a few better close ups and give you the low down on the vanity in a follow up post.




The tub is in and working! Now to pick out a cool shower curtain from the local five and dime.



I was asked by a friend to rebuild their fireplace mantel and surround based on a piece that they found at an architectural salvage yard. I thought I’d share.

Existing mantel

Existing mantel

Piece from salvage yard to  base design off of

Piece from salvage yard to base design off of

New oak mantel

New oak mantel



Bathroom Update!

AHHH the forgotten blog. I had such high hopes for constant posts. I’ll try to do better from now on, I promise. Much has changed since the last time you stopped by. I’ll try to keep it brief and just rely on the pictures to do most of the explaining. We ended up completely gutting the entire bathroom which was more work than what i planned on doing but the fact of the matter is dealing with plaster walls is a nightmare. They crack and crumble and it’s possible but difficult to make seamless transitions to drywall. Thinking that i would really regret the end look if i tried to salvage the plaster… i decided to remove all of it, re-square the whole room with new furring strips and sistered studs and install all new drywall. The results are much more to my liking.

The room has been retrofitted with new recessed lights over the tub and near the future built in cabinet. We’ve reinstalled the heating duct in a new location against the exterior wall and ran all new plumbing lines for the new bathroom sink. The exterior wall has been insulated with rigid foam and the interior walls have been filled with sound dampening/fire proofing insulation. I highly recommend using the soundproofing insulation if you have the opportunity… it made the room so quiet. It’s like a recording studio.

Here’s a few pics. More to come.




Total gut. New wood furring over block


Insulation and drywall going up

Location of built in cabinet

Location of built in cabinet

The tub has arrived thanks to an amazing craigslist seller and a few burly friends. If you’re ever in need of any antique bathroom fixtures or other building materials… let me know, i can forward you some info. If you’re ever in need of burly movers call Devon, Chris and Luke. We’re undecided whether to actually refinish the inside. It seems to be in really good condition now. I suppose if we wanted it to shine bright white we might have to. The outside will def be painted white but I’m thinking the feet should remain black. Speaking of which, i forgot to photograph the feet! Dang, they have really neat ball and claw detailing. Show ya later.

Lets leave it in the living room and build the bathroom around it.

Manufactured on my birthday back in 1925. Weird.

Devon decides to try it out since this will be his only chance. Chris attempts to read Devon’s mind.

In other news, I have an old cast iron tub in my shed that is in need of a new home. It’s 54″ long x 30″ wide (i think). It’s in great condition and weighs about 375lbs. Let me know if your interested.

Bathroom Redux

It didn’t take long before we decided the bathroom needed to be revamped. A few moist rainy days ignited an intense old man smell in there and that was it. Bust out the tools, it’s go time. Aside from a few “upgrades” that have been done to the house over the last 90 or so years, the previous owners managed to maintain quite a few arts and crafts style details which we intend to further highlight and restore as much as possible while still adding our own twist and modern touch.

Mortise Lock

Doors and original woodwork

The bathroom will be restored with a claw foot tub (very fitting for the style of house and coincidently something Jess always wanted) new tile, upgraded fixtures, and a built in closet. Here’s a few photos of the progress thus far.

Shot taken from the front bedroom. The bathroom wall has been removed and will be relocated to accommodate an area for the tub. Also the partition between the tub and toilet has to go. It has to.

That’s better

Here’s another shot of the wall removal. You can see where the wall and tiny closet used to be. New tub will be put in here. 

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We had to cut out a good bit of sub floor in order to repair 90 years worth of drilling holes for old plumbing lines.


Couldn’t stand there 20 minutes ago. I admire our efforts while Luke admires his shoelaces. 

I’ll blame my lack of posts on the fact that I just REALLY figured out how to use wordpress. I’ll try to stay more on track. The funny thing is that I haven’t even made this blog public yet so i suppose im making excuses for no one. In any case, im going to pretend as though it’s 6 weeks ago and post a few “before” pictures of the house.

The write up said cape cod from 1940. More like a bungalow from 1920.

A shot from the living room to dining room.

Jess pointing out the carpet stains.

It wasn’t long before we started peeling wall paper… like 3 hours.

The bathroom is a little crammed but not for long.

Spoiler alert… that tiny closet goes away and the door is reused for something else.

Wallpaper down, rugs ripped up and a first coat of spackle on the walls.

Progress!! Thanks to everyone that helped.

Reality check! Has it been almost a month already? Weird but i’ve got the first month’s gas and electric bill to prove it. Total amount owed: $10.32. If you’re wondering “how did you manage such a low bill?” my secret is this: Don’t actually live in the house you own, you’ll save a lot of energy that way.

Jess and I would like to welcome you to our home renovation blog. It’s the result of wanting to track our progress while showcasing our hard work to close friends and family. I’m looking forward to a few months / years from now when i can scroll through previous posts and watch our house transform into a home. We’ll post updates on everything from initial renovation projects to move in and tons of other things that total strangers could care less about. Stop back soon, i’ve already got a few before and after photos to share. In the meantime, check out http://passyunkpalace.com/… another inspiration for this blog. My best friend’s brother and his wife documented an amazing set of renovation projects on their south philly home.