218 Donna Lea Master Suite Project

218 Donna Lea Master Suite Project
218 Donna Lea Breezeway / Office Remodel
218 Donna Lea "Front of House" renovation
2016 Bathroom remodel
by Melissa Weiksnar

Day 31: 05/10/2018
Brian the blinds installer came and installed blinds throughout the house. I'd temporarily used shades from the sunroom in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. We decided on blinds (2-1/2" slats) because they can be fully retracted, and allow varying degrees of opening for privacy and sunlight. We have wood blinds across the front and side of the house. Brian commented how the wood is so good a match with the trim that it's as if it were custom. Also, it matches really well with the house exterior. Big lesson learned: find out how long an estimate is valid before ordering to avoid surprises!
Guest room before
Guest room after. The white really brightens up the room. We have white blinds across the back of the house.
Master closet after (see Day 8 for before)

Day 30: 02/19/2018
All that remains is the stain / polyurethane to the guest bedroom shoe molding, which will happen when we have a string of 60 degree days.
Loren installed the doors at the bottom of the bookshelf, an homage to the old kitchen. He also did me the favor of moving the mirror from perpendicular to the master bedroom door to parallel. I will put the family Christmas photos on the perpendicular wall once I paint it. I can't wait to see how the re-placed mirror will further enhance my rainbow parties! Mittens is the featured cat.
Shower grab bars. The entry bar had to be placed outside due to a combination of the handle on the shower door and the location of the pipies. One combination toiletries holder / grab bar is installed under the shower controls, and another on the wall opposite. Still not sure if the 24" grab bar will go up or be returned to Home Depot. Even putting up the Buffalo metal sculpture posted a challenge given the pocket door. Unfortunately some ceiling paint is not sticking so I need to call the painter.
Loren adjusted the stops in the closet pocket door. The view from the bathroom shows a picture from Lee now above the bed, with Webster on the pillow to the left.

Day 29: 02/10/2018
HVAC contractor installed a return in the main living area (decided that at the end of the island would be better than to the right of the stove along the outside wall). Also attached the heating ductwork to the master bath vent. Despite being insulated, the shower -- which sits in the corner of two exterior walls -- can be cold, even with the bathroom heat lamp just outside.
HVAC return
Master bath vent

Day 28: 02/01/2018
2-1/2" faux wood blinds installed in bathroom (faux to withstand bathroom humidity) and wood blinds installed in master bedroom (wood are not as heavy as faux).
Bedroom blinds
Bathroom blinds

Day 27: 01/25/2018
Loren installed pocket door hardware and changed out the electrical in the guest bedroom. He tacked the shoe molding but will return in the spring to finish it as the weather needs to be warmer outside since the staining / polyurethaning is NOT an indoor job. Remaining work for him: install grab bars in shower, bookcase cabinet doors, and a tiny baseboard patch.
Pocket door
Guest bedroom

Day 26: 12/11/2017
Frameless shower door installed. Header atop is needed for structural stability, but otherwise thrilled not to have other metal around the door except for the hardware. And no, we did not install another window: that's the reflection of the existing window, making the bath room look even bigger!
many thanks!
Shower door

Day 25: 12/07/2017
Loren working through a variety of completion list items today, but nothing worth a photo:
Kitchen: adjust cabinet doors under sink that weren't fully closing
Laundry: grouted the 2 additional rows of subway tile -- he agreed it looks a lot better!
guest bath: secured grab bar escutcheon plate with more silicone, as it disconnected from the base this morning
master bedroom: put back smoke alarm
master bath: determined that painter was responsible for some glitches (tape not removed properly); I'll patch it. He also filled holes in the white trim that the painter should have filled.
master closet: did me the favor of putting the shelves back in
vestibule: replaced the 3 wooden bookcase shelves that I couldn't insert
guest bedroom: nailed loose trim in doorway. We determined that we cannot replace the closet bare-bulb-with-string fixture with the former vestibule fixture because it would require a wall switch
basement: took fluorescent fixture home to prepare to re-hang
He also had the HVAC contractor in. They will put a 1st floor return in the dining room at the end of the kitchen cabinets, and attach the vent in the master bath so it will have a heat source.
He should be back the week of the 17th to complete the list. Meanwhile I hope to do some touch-ups and move more items back into place.

Day 24: 12/05/2017
The electrician had an emergency yesterday, so he came this morning and connected the two bedroom outlets. Outstanding are the correct labeling of the breaker boxes, reinstalling a fluorescent fixture in the basement, and the electrical inspection. Denise came and we selected blinds, so I'll await her pricing. Yesterday I bought some sandpaper so I can prep the sides of some of the repurposed trim for touch-up.

Day 23: 11/30/2017
Loren was by this afternoon and installed the pocket door hardware for the master bedroom door. He will now procure for the double-pocket-doors between the bedroom and bath, and the closet and bath. He did me the favor of figuring out how to get the window in the bedroom to fully close -- yay! He installed a replacement handheld in the guest bath (a piece had cracked off) and troubleshot the new electrical outlets in the master bedroom; electrician will be back Monday. The blinds guy came to measure the windows tonight so Denise and I can order window treatments.
Webster did wake me in the middle of the night as he thought he could get into the new bathroom from the bedroom and was rattling the pocket doors, which I have closed at night because there's no window treatment. But during the day the view out the window is spectacular!
pocket door hardware. Bookshelves from repurposed doors in background
love the LED nightlight in the bathroom switches!

Day 22: 11/29/2017
Just the painter today, and he was finished ~10:30. Loren will advise tomorrow when he'll be able to finish the electrical and shoe in the guest bedroom and some other minor tasks. A few electrical outlets are not live so that's delaying me moving back more items. Puppy, River, and Webster especially seem really happy that the house layout is returning to what they've been used to!
view of master bedroom from guest bedroom
view of master bedroom from bathroom

Day 21: 11/28/2017
Just the painter again today, and he should be done tomorrow. Will start moving furniture back into the Master Bedroom with visiting Philip's help!
Master Bedroom in Beacon Gray, the color I loved in the Carlisle lav / laundry. Bathroom is Passive.
Guest bedroom will also be Beacon Gray.

Day 20: 11/27/2017
The painter arrived at 7 for a day of prepping and priming, and was gone by the time I returned home at 12:45. He said things were taking longer to dry. Ideally the master bedroom would be done tomorrow, so I can move furniture in there from the guest bedroom (while Phil is here to help), so when Loren comes to do the electrical and shoe molding work in the guest room it will only have a bed and nightstand and dresser in it. I moved Mittens' and Scooby's litter box to the breezeway tonight (where it used to be) so hopefully they will use it there!
master bedroom doubling as supply storage area
looks like he'll paint the pocket doors in-situ instead of taking them to his shop
guest bedroom; removed draperies but will put them back up

Day 19: 11/21/2017
Electricians arrived in the morning. Front-of-house switch and outlet conversions to white and decora are complete, so front of house is complete electrically, including having the landing chandelier on a dimmer. Loren came by in the afternoon to tile under the shower sill and add two more rows of subway tile to the laundry room (the tiles were leftover anyway). He had a great idea on how to improve Denise's and my idea for door at the bottom of the bookcase (stay tuned!).
Decisions, decisions: sconces opening up or down? We thought it would be down, but upon actually seeing how they looked:
Decision was opening up!
Overhead light in shower.
Hall light converted to recess. And dimmer now controls recessed light next to laundry.
2 more rows of tile in, and switch to laundry room now decora
Electrical subpanel installed

Day 18: 11/20/2017
No workers on Friday as I was in MA. Today, the plumber inspector signed off -- he spent more time talking to me about dogs than it took to inspect the work! A third firm came to measure for the shower doors, referred by Denise and much less expensive. The HVAC company came to do annual furnace maintenance and noted a lot of dust in the blower (surprise surprise) and instructed me to buy better quality filters. Denise came by and we decided on grab bar placement and window treatments. No electrician today -- hopefully he comes before the painter on Monday!

Day 17: 11/16/2017
Donna Lea once again has two working toilets, and is officially a 1.75 bath house!
The plumber and his son were here for 1.5 hours this afternoon; he was wowed at how the bathroom looks. All fixtures are connected and the plumbing inspection is Monday. He also helped me troubleshoot and solve an electrical problem. My fridge stopped working this morning (I think the 40 lb case of frozen chicken for the dogs confused it). I tried resetting the breaker to no avail. He suggested seeing if the outlet was live. He pulled out the fridge, and we tested the outlet with a nightlight: nogo. So he had his son go downstairs, and ends up there's ANOTHER breaker labeled "fridge outlet" further down the panel; he reset that, the light came on, we plugged in the fridge, and it came on. Thank goodness given my travel to Boston the next 2-1/2 days!
Loren came by around 3 and installed the handheld bar. He starts a kitchen job on Monday but he has very little left to do here. The electrician did not come -- he's on call for a local town and they were having problems today. Hopefully next week!
see faucets and toilet (from old lav) installed. Plenty of room on either side of the vanity for cat boxes!
plumber installed the Groehe showerhead and handheld, and Loren installed the bar. Need to finalize placement of grab bars.

Day 16: 11/14/2017
Returned from NYC to see lots of detail work finished. No work on Wednesday, but plumber and electrician coming on Thursday so I should have a working bathroom! Once shower fixtures are in we'll finalize grab bar placement. Also arranged for a third estimate on a shower door.
New bookcase. Shelves re-purposed from old close bypass doors. Exceeds my expectations!
Shoe molding on with "orange shellac"
floor grate in; new diffusers also being installed
rainbows on the bookshelves from the dining room beveled mirror reflections!

Day 15: 11/13/2017
"Hollywood Sills" are in between bathroom and bedroom, and bathroom and closet
heated towel bar hung. Need to take it down for the painter?
bifold doors to closet hung. They are pre-primed and will be painted

Day 14: 11/10/2017
Only Loren today -- and the first snow and cold! He stopped at Quaker Millwork to pick up the closet doors; they said they weren't in, only to have them call later to say they really were, so he'll bring them Monday. I picked up the "Hollywood" and Corian sills at NYK&B. Loren verified sufficient clearance between the bottom of the medicine cabinets and the top of the faucets, as the cabinets are about 1-5/8" "thicker" than standard -- I could have bought just mirrors instead, but figured the extra storage was worth it. Plumber and Electrician next week to finish up, and painter on Nov 27th. Note: thrilled the learn that Loren will re-purpose some of the hardwood that was pulled up for other jobs. It's great quality wood and I would have hated to see it trashed!
Hollywood sill between bathroom and bedroom. (Another will go between bathroom and closet). Loren needs to shim by 1/8". Also Corian sill between shower sill and tile. Note that vanity handles now turned outward; drawers and doors are self-closing. Love the design!
White trim, base, and shoe molding in. It's pre-primed, ready for the painter. Afternoon sun coming through.
Repurposed trim around bedroom pocket door. Shoe molding for bedroom awaits Monday installation.
View from the shower captures closet window in the left mirror and bedroom windows in the right.

Day 13: 11/09/2017
Twin City glass came to today to measure so I can have a second quote. I wasn't home to see Loren and his buddy move the vanity into the bathroom. The marble top is a little more mottled than the sample indicated, but it reminds me of a sheepdog! Denise and I tossed around window treatment ideas -- weighing repurposing v. new. Plumber tomorrow; also Loren will pick up trim and I'll pick up the Corian strip for between the tile and shower sill (we decided with Denise today that it would less look less busy than tile). The project is winding down...
Vanity boxes opened -- no damage (exhale!)
Vanity set; needs leveling and to have the handles reversed (they were screwed inside the cabinets for shipping. 10 handles total x 2 screws each.
Shower tile is grouted
Living room clear of the vanity base and counter boxes, which arrived June 23rd. Not sure how much staging will continue here during painting.

Day 12: 11/07/2017
Only Loren today. Much work on trim and pocket doors. No workers tomorrow, but hopefully vanity install will happen on Thursday.
baseboard and shoe, repurposed from old closets, installed in vestibule
closet with rod and shelf repurposed from old closet.Full width possible having narrowed the shower to widen the closet.
bedroom side of closet. Loren's accommodation given the window trim. It would NOT have made sense to move this wall.
trim where Brian patched the floor.

Day 11: 11/06/2017
Loren arrived at 9:30, and we reviewed placement of the medicine cabinets. I had NOT anticipated how they would reflect the trees through the window! He also grouted the floor. Tomorrow he plans to set the vanity and possibly grout the shower. I went to Advance Glass and think I will go with a semi-frameless door. I also realized that a recessed light in the back vestibule might look good; Denise and Loren absolutely agree and it's still do-able.

Day 10: 11/03/2017
Loren finished tiling the bathroom floor, and will grout on Monday. Electrical inspection was fine; need to check outlet placement for electric towel bar. One of Loren's buddies with a trailer came to remove the construction debris from my garage. On Monday Loren plans to grout and hang the medicine cabinets. Tuesday the vanity should go in. Advance Glass came to measure for the shower door, but I will get a second opinion from Twin City.
"X" to keep people out. Gate put at entrance to bedroom to keep dogs out, and hopefully deter cats!

Day 9: 11/02/2017
Loren at another job today.
Brian stitched in the floor; took 4 hours. Had to take up all the flooring the area because the boards weren't aligned.
Randy finished wiring, including for heat lamp and fan. Inspection on Friday.
The former light switch to the back bedroom is now an outlet in the new bookcase, which will come in handy

Day 8: 11/01/2017
Loren and Randy were here pretty much all day. Denise stopped by to verify lighting placement decisions.Loren mostly tiled. Randy noticed that we received a separate unit for the heat lamp and the fan, unlike in the guest bathroom. Ends up the combined unit was no longer available so NYK&B substituted, but there really isn't room in the ceiling, so Randy found an alternate combined unit through one of his suppliers.
floor is mostly tiled, sill is on
determined positions for sconces and outlets. Due to size of medicine cabinets, we'll only be able to use 3 sconces, not 4
recess lighting in closet, and track for pocket door

Day 7: 10/31/2017
Only Loren working today, but the shower is mostly tiled. Daltile delivered in the morning, and Denise scored the schluter from Best Tile. Am in awe how Loren can set the tile in such a beautiful pattern without a template or Excel spreadsheet!

Day 6: 10/30/2017
Day 2 of skimcoating -- had to turn on the heat so it cures correctly. Loren discovered some paint anomalies in the master bath and the back bedroom ceilings, so will go in the attic tomorrow to see if he can determine root cause. Plumber overlooked the handheld last week so came back today to install the valve. Loren had to order the sill for the shower curb. We also forgot to order schluter for the shower tile.
hall wall and bookcase. Patching of wall next to guest bath.
backer board on floor in anticipation of laying tile
shower sill is in and valve for handheld. Insulation behind the drywall.

Day 5: 10/27/2017
Drywall is up and 1st of 3 skimcoats applied. Drywaller returns Monday and Tuesday, and we told the painter he could come in to prime as early as Wednesday. Plumbing inspector came. Loren will pick up shower kit and possibly trim and closet doors this weekend. So far so good!
View from guest bedroom of vestibule. Left is opening for bedroom pocket door. Middle is former hall closet now drywalled over. Right is former door to corner bedroom, now future bookcase.
View into bathroom from bedroom. Can see old master closet footprint on left, old corner bedroom closet footprint in middle, and old vestibule closet footprint on right.
View from bathroom into bedroom. Shower valve to right. Closet pocket door in middle. Opening for pocket door to bedroom to the left with River.

Day 4: 10/25/2017
Just Loren today -- plus a visit from my dad, who deemed the work "excellent" and "very high quality." Framing ready for the drywaller on Friday!
Webster investigating the pocket door opening to the master bedroom
View of bathroom from bedroom.
View of bedroom from bathroom.

Day 3: 10/25/2017
More progress framing, including the pocket door frames (from Home Depot; only larger sizes were in stock so Loren cut them to size). Plumber continued roughing in anticipation of Friday inspection. Basement stack replaced, taking care of the slow leak found in the home inspection -- glad I didn't sink money into that repair last year!
Looking into Master Bedroom from bathroom through pocket door opening. Framed closet on right.
Looking into bathroom from Master Bedroom through pocket door opening. Framed closet on left.
Puppy inspecting plumbing rough.
River guarding vestibule before little hall closet goes away

Day 2: 10/24/2017
Another day of good progress -- more demo and now framing. Plumber came this afternoon.
Shower is framed; drain is roughed in.
Toilet and vanity openings roughed in.
Back of master bedroom old closet has been removed (looking at interior of doors on the left). Closet side is framed (right).

Day 1: 10/23/2017
The master suite project began this morning and is expected to take 3-4 weeks, then painting, so hoping for early-December completion. We decided today to make the shower 8" shorter since we gained 12" by eliminating the fixed bench; those 8" will be added to the width of the closet.
View in current and future master bedroom. Wall to left will be knocked out to extend bedroom and will abut walk-in closet. Wall to right will contain double pocket door to master bath.
View from where the shower will be in back corner of the house. Door opening to left will become an outward facing bookcase.
Toilet and vanity will go against the wall with the outlet. Heated towel bar will go under the window.
Door to left (master bedroom) will become a pocket door. Closet in middle goes away. Door to corner bedroom (new master bath and walk-in closet) becomes a vestibule bookcase.
Looking into current and future master bedroom. Not sure yet re: window treatments.
Temporary sleeping quarters (Mittens and Scooby are with Denise during demolition)
Living room currently furnished by the new vanity, marble sinktop, and my bed. Once construction is complete a piano will move in!
Trim and flooring pulled up for re-use, staged in master bedroom
Back corner for shower to be insulated. Flooring pulled up. Floor taped with location of shower and closet.
Walking into the new closet (with 2 pocket doors) you will face the window, and rods will be to either side perpedicular to window and doors