My Latest Adventure in Home Ownership

By on 6 July, 2015 in Sandra Nickel with 1 Comment

080A couple of years ago my very talented Texas brother came to Montgomery and crafted gorgeous bookcases for my dining room. They have allowed me to get far more use of the otherwise-empty formal space; and they make me smile every time I see them!

While here, the poor thing said — probably just as an offhand remark — he’d love to remodel our front bath for us. It was in its original 1925 condition except that a prior owner had layered sheetrock right over cracked plaster. And my husband and I had installed vinyl over the floor that cracked as a result of some foundation issues.

Two years passed and I decided to test the waters. “Would you really be willing to come and redo that bath?” I asked when we were together last Christmas. “It would be quite a project,” he answered, but he did not say no. I pursued it later and, to my delight, he agreed to take on the job.

Doing a bathroom down-to-the-studs remodel requires not only immense talent, but a huge number of tools as well. My brother does not own a truck, so we ended up renting a 10-foot Budget moving truck, which he drove over from Dallas mid-June. Then there was the issue of where to put everything when he arrived, seeing as how we live in a modest bungalow and don’t have a lot of extra space. Keeping the rental truck for weeks on end made no economic sense. Mobile Attic to the rescue!

Funny things happen when you put a portable storage unit in your front yard. My phone began to ring and my email lit up. “You’re not MOVING?” a neighbor/friend intoned. After all, we’ve been a part of our Garden District neighborhood and a resident of that bungalow since 1980. “Is everything OK at your house?” another inquired. I don’t know when I’ve felt so wanted!

It’s been underway two weeks now, and he has managed to tear out the entire tub enclosure and break up and haul out the old cast iron tub. And he’s bought enough tile and other materials, it seems, to do a ladies lounge at a huge ballroom. Results aside, I am not looking forward to my American Express bill.

Stay tuned for further episodes in this adventure in home ownership!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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  1. Renea Dijab says:

    We re-did our two, pepto-pink and mint green, 1950’s bathrooms, down to the studs, over the last several months and I could not be happier! It was amazing how long it took to gut such small spaces. I’ll be in the lookout for your final result. (Felder)

    And when I say “we”, I mean the man we hired to do it.

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