After work yesterday, Bradley and I ran upstairs to check out the plasterer’s progress in the hallway. She’s almost done, and the hallway is looking fantastic. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be priming tomorrow night!
After checking out this end of the hallways, we went to the other side of the brick wall. And this is what we saw:
Ignore the awesome job our plasterer did on those trimless windows. Look at the brick wall. To the left, brick. To the right, same brick, without paint. One continuous brick wall. Just like the other side. …and that’s the moment we realized we’d made a terrible mistake:
That section of wall is an exterior wall. As in, the only thing separating us from the outside world is a double layer of brick. As in, we’ll be able to feel a draft on a windy day if we stand in front of that brick wall. It was a total “Doh!” moment. How did we not realize this sooner?!
We felt like suuuuuch idiots. We just stood there in the hall, both of us, gaping at our beloved brick wall. Our beautiful brick wall that offers us no protection from the outside world. If we had realized this in the nearly-four months we’ve been living here, we would have insulated and put up some dry wall on that section. Sure it would mean covering up half of the brick wall, but being warm in the winter is pretty high on our priority list. We would have made it work.
After what felt like an hour of headsmacking and “We’re so stupid!” and “How did we not realize this sooner?!” we came up with a solution:
A built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinet with insulation hidden in the back. We can do a couple of inches of foam insulation and build the cabinet right around it. That way we won’t need to mess with drywall & plaster, and nobody will be able to see the insulation. It’ll be hidden neatly behind the back panel of the cabinet.
This solution kills two birds with one stone (sorry, birds, it had to be done). The bathroom at the end of the hall is the only full bath in the house. It’s also incredibly tiny and has no storage. It didn’t even have a single shelf (we broke down and installed a temporary one because we couldn’t take it anymore).
So all this time, we’ve been struggling with ways to work storage into a room that has no space to work with (low ceilings, radiator, no free room around the sink or toilet). Putting a ginormous cabinet in the hallway — just a few steps outside the bathroom — will give us a bunch of space to stash some of our bathroom stuff. We’re thinking it’ll have 3 sections: Costco-sized packages of TP up top, towels and extra toiletries in the middle, and cleaning supplies in the bottom.
We plan on building the cabinet ourselves after the walls and floors are painted. So there we go. Crisis averted. We make dumb mistakes from time to time, and we’re not afraid to share ‘em. Remember when we thought we had an empty space behind our master bedroom wall? And we punched a hole in it, only to discover there was no empty space? Gahaha! …good times.
Anyone else have any oh-my-gawwww-we-totally-screwed-up renovation stories? Come on, ‘fess up.