The high vaulted ceilings in our small fixer upper and plumbing the toilet were both quite the surprise. Ceilings were great, toilet not my cup of tea!
CLAWFOOT TUB HUNT
I wanted to make sure our clawfoot tub would fit into the bathroom and asked Nate if he measured the space to confirm. He assured me that it should be fine.
As we started to scope out the bathroom for placement of our plumbing, my mind wonders off to clawfoot tub land. It’s something we talked about for a long time and now we would be really starting to look for one!
We were on the hunt for an old antique clawfoot tub around the era that our house was built in 1934. Nate looked mostly on Facebook Marketplace to find the right one for us after he did a lot of research on the different types and sizes there were. We ended up finding a local business that acquired old antiques and refinished them for sale and so we stopped by to take a look.
Although they mostly carried clawfoot tubs and refinished them, they also had old antique sinks and fixtures as well.
When you start getting into these old gems, it’s like being a kid in a candy store! You just can’t get enough. You want everything in that store!
GETTING READY FOR THE PLUMBING
Now we are finally working with the plumbing contractor! Nate found some contractors to also help dig more dirt around the perimeter of the house so that we could begin to install pipes for the plumbing.
They dug down real deep to almost like their height! Incredible how many hands actually do make light work.
The framing of our high vaulted ceilings and plumbing the toilet were coming together.
HOUSE FRAMING STATUS
Now back to the framers! They continued to make several trips to Home Depot for wood to finish up the framing in the house. What a huge task and a lot of wood! Again, it’s like we are really rebuilding this house from almost scratch. We were definitely not sure what we got ourselves into, but at this point, we had to just finish.
Our entire house looked like one huge open concept studio or something now as the framing contractors were basically rebuilding all the frames from scratch. We tore down practically everything except for the shell of the house to only rebuild it back with a few tweaks from the original design.
The contractors blasted their music super loud while their machinery and tools added to the sounds in the air. At the same time you could hear them shouting out measurements to either themselves or each other. It was quite the site to see and hear!
FRAMING HIGH VAULTED CEILINGS
The framing of our high vaulted ceilings and plumbing the toilet were shocking and exciting at the same time!
Nate brings me to the house for yet another tour as I haven’t seen it in a while. I’m hesitant to go in and a bit scared of the progress so far. I suppose because we’ve somehow developed a theme of making the place look worse (and more worse) before we make it better!
Nate warned me that I should be a bit scared as the house was a total mess. I knew it! So I enter the house slowly and with a bit of caution, hoping for the best, but really wondering if I would fall through any walls or something random like that!
My first reaction was, “Wow!” And second, “This is weird!”
I hadn’t been to the house for a while so when I came to look at the framing work that was done, it was crazy.
Nate wonders if I think the house feels smaller because of the frames, except for the ceiling. I thought it actually felt bigger and more open because the wall between the living room and kitchen was removed.
The house actually looked a lot larger, of course, with all the walls removed and everything open. Nate also pointed out that it feels a lot bigger because of the high vaulted ceilings, which we never had before that the framers worked on.
VAULTED CEILINGS? YES, PLEASE!
“So the question is, do we want to leave the ceiling vaulted?” Nate asked me as we were looking at the exposed frames. Right away I’m like, yea, this makes it look bigger and it was so pretty!
Nate wonders if we should keep the vaulted ceiling instead of the normal ceiling we had before, which was more like a box and made the house feel a lot smaller. I was totally down for that. How exciting! And another thing I didn’t think could be possible – high vaulted ceilings to open up our space!
Nate explained how the vaulted ceiling above the living room and kitchen area would be finalized. The original wood we were looking at would no longer be visible and actually have frames and drywall beneath it, yet would still maintain a vaulted look. But man, I really wanted the original wood to be exposed.
That was not possible because the framers needed to put braces on the ceiling and it needed to be more secured. Plus, it would get really hot or cold without the insulation and drywall beneath it. Darn.
So the vaulted ceiling would start below the vent at the peak of the house.
TWO CLOSETS IN ONE
It was fun to walk through all the framing work that was completed like our new closets. We decided to place one large closet unit in between the office and bedroom and split it in half as two closets. So from each room you can access one closet only.
I walked in both of the closets to check them out and process the type of stuff we could store in them. It was so cool to finally figure out our closet situation since we tore down the one in the bedroom to make the bathroom larger and also tore down the one in the office.
I did note though, that the placement of the two closets in the middle of the two rooms made them a bit more smaller.
CHECKING OUT THE PLUMBING
Now I get to see what has been done with the plumbing so far. Nate points out all the pipes in the foundation and what they connect to. This was incredible for me as I’ve never seen the inter workings of a house like this before!
He showed me where the plumbing pipe for our kitchen sink was placed and how it would be the sink drain. The actual sink would be placed under the kitchen window. We were super excited to get our antique cast iron farmhouse sink back from the local business that was refinishing it.
PLUMBING THE TOILET
Then we run into a little snag about the window in the bathroom and where the toilet should be placed! Nate worked with the plumber to install the pipes for the toilet and with the framers to move the window to the right so that it would be lined up with the bedroom door entrance and placed right above the toilet. Umm.. yea.. no thank you! Plus, wouldn’t that be cold in the winter?
I know that there are many bathroom designs just like this and maybe to maximize space, but since we have a much larger bathroom now, I really wanted to make a special space for the window. Instead of having a toilet in the way of the window, I thought we could just have an open area for it or place a shelf or cabinets underneath it and add plants to it. Maybe also add a basket with towels, candles and essential oils on the shelf or cabinets, and just do something really special with that window. And not have a toilet in front of it!
I’m not sure if my idea was better or not, but it just made more sense to me. And that’s where Nate and I had to really figure it out before we finalized our plans with the contractors. One challenge after another, just learning as we go!
The framing of our high vaulted ceilings and plumbing the toilet would propel us into the next fixer upper adventure!
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS
Thanks for joining us on this journey! We hope that you will find inspiration watching us learn as we go while we’re attempting to renovate and rebuild this old small historic home mostly on our own. Stay tuned for more progress updates ahead!
You can also watch a video about this here.
To see more adventures of our tiny fixer upper journey, click on the links below.