I was surprised when we looked at our place the first time. When we stepped out of the car, I was captivated by the total peace surrounding the place. It was palpable. When we stepped inside of the house, however, we were slammed- first, by the smell, and then, by how dirty it was and THEN…how much work it would need just to get it ‘liveable’.
The price was within our budget, and we had intended to get a ‘cheap place we could fix up ourselves’, but it seemed overwhelming to me. Neither of us has any experience with home repair, and our repair budget would be limited.
I was very surprised at how intently Bud was looking everything over, and especially that he wanted to walk the land, even after seeing how much work the house would require. I couldn’t deny that it felt ‘right’. Somehow, amidst the shambles and massive amount of work it would need, we were already in love with the place.
I sometimes forget how far we’ve come since buying the place last summer.
To recap, Bud had to rip out the old bathroom and rotten floor (plus joists), and rebuild the whole bathroom area. As little time as we’ve had to be up there to work on the house, the main focus has been getting the bathroom useable, as that has been the most uncomfortable part of not having the house ‘liveable’.
Bud has done most of the work on that. I have mostly ‘assisted’-holding things up, helping him move things out, or handing him things. The rest of my job this time around (besides cooking) has been to pull nails out of the boards in the living room, and to sand the walls with the belt sander to get the wallpaper off.
Bud set up his workshop on the porch. It is where he did all of the cutting of the tiles and boards.
We worked on putting in the tile this time. I actually got to help grout! I was afraid I would mess it up, but I did okay. Bud did all of the figuring and cutting of tile.
Before I continue, I need to tell you that we have decided to keep the place ‘intentionally rustic’. I have lived in ‘fine houses’ with the sheet rock, paint, carpet, etc., for our entire marriage. I have decided I want to live comfortably, and I don’t want to have to worry about painting every few years, or keeping up with constant cleaning to keep it looking ‘polished’. We are looking to lead a very simple life in the future.
Bud found some really cool tile for the bathroom enclosure that looks like weathered wood. He cut the tile and laid it out on the floor. I handed the pieces and the spacers to him as he put in the tile.
This was his first time doing tile, and I was so impressed! He had some obstacles to deal with, in that much of the house is not square and flush, which presented some major problems and obstacles that would be daunting for even seasoned repairmen. He did a fantastic job!
After the tile was up, he mixed the grout, and we took turns doing the grout.
We were able to get the tub enclosure done. Bud finished building the walls to the bathroom (using reclaimed wood), and built the door out of wood from the old hen house. It is not yet finished, but here is what we have so far. We still need to tile the floor (which will be of the same tile we used for the enclosure), and there will be a shelf built in where the window to the outside use to be before they built the addition.
Here is a close-up of the tile. It looks almost exactly like the wood Bud used to build the door.
There will be an enclosed vanity area outside of this bathroom door with a sink, and another door to the outside.
Several of the neighbors came by and saw the work. A couple of them seemed impressed. One seemed to hardly be able to contain their horror, LOL. I’m sure that people who have lived out in the Ozarks all their life are looking to ‘move up’ and have a normal looking house. We, however, are looking forward to getting back to basics and living as simply as we can, without all of the trappings and trimmings.