the domestic tales of four sisters

Summer Projects on a Budget

Hello to you fabulous readers!!  It has been quite some time, and it is official that I have failed at one of my New Year’s Resolutions….to blog more.  But, here I am, committing to making sure that we, as The Domestic Four, are doing our part to bring each of you tips, tricks, and stories that are good for the soul throughout the summer and beyond.


Today I am going to share with you some of our family’s hopeful home projects for this summer.  You see, being teachers we cannot find the time, or the energy for that matter, to work on bigger projects for our house during the school year.  I’m talking repainting entire rooms, refinishing hardwood floors, and repairing the front door – just to name a few.  So, over the course of each year, we begin a list.

The 2015-2016 list. Missing are: Replace bathroom (upstairs) window *that's at the top* and Front Door Repair.
The 2015-2016 list. Missing are: Replace bathroom (upstairs) window *that’s at the top* and Front Door Repair.


This year, the list looks to be never ending.  Together, husband and I, have tweaked and only put things on there that we *think* we can reasonably do in the time we are given.  There are a ton of other commitments (visits with friends and family, football, vacation, wedding festivities, yard sales… you name it) this summer.  So – these are the “top of the list(ers)”.


Over the course of the next few weeks, we have planned to tackle these projects.  During this crazy adventure, I’ll be posting updates for the projects and even be hitting up live video feed on social media to show you progress. 🙂  I will also be sure to share with you tips and tricks that we might have found along the way (which might include how to not lose your mind on your significant other).  I kid.  Or do I…


One of the items that we have been able to cross off the list was replacing the downstairs shower.  Now, this was not on my most up-t0-date list, but that is because it is finished.  The shower part that is.  Explanation to follow.


You see, the drain is in a strange location, so to install a shower, the previous owner did some rigging.  They built up the floor so that they were able to put in additional plumbing to allow for a run of the mill stand up shower surround. The caulking was awful – 1 and 1/2 inches wide in some spots.  No, I am not kidding.  Not to mention, because the floor of the shower was built up, anyone over 5 ft 10 inches had to duck under the shower head to rinse out the shampoo.  Long story short – it was not fun.  It was even worse when we discovered that some water had been seeping behind that horrible caulking job and was beginning to create mold.  So – the entire thing came out, and we were left with studs and some drywall that was not damaged.


It was such a mess.  But, we were still in school, wrapping up some crazy years for the two of us – so the shower was not of priority.  That is until we calculated that there would be 6 adults and 5 children here the weekend of Memorial Day and we needed it.  So, we called on Doug (my step dad) and we began the process of replacing the shower.  We could not buy a tub/shower surround – since it had a funky placement for the drain – so tile it was.  Rather than using our big box store coupon for replacing the front door (its intended purpose), we replaced the shower in our basement.


Husband and Doug worked their bottoms off to hang the tile and level the floor.  Leveling the floor was easy, except when some of the self-leveling concrete got down the drain.  NO, I am not kidding.  Yes, we panicked, but with some serious elbow grease, under the breath mumblings, and prayer – we were able to break it up enough that the shower drains.  Phew!!  After that fiasco, it was my turn to grout.  Curing for 4 days following that, some hardware, along with finishing the exposed wall, and the shower would be ready to be used.


Funny thing – it wasn’t used.  We all used the upstairs shower for the weekend anyway.  Why? – because getting the hardware on during the midst of a Holiday weekend with a wedding proved to be something so far down on the “to-do” list- that it was just easier to split the shower schedule up between morning and evening times. Oy!


But, the shower is finished.  Plus something is crossed off our home project lists for the summer, even before summer “officially” began.


Here are some after pictures for you.  There are still some finishing touches, and as you can imagine – changing that color is one of the priorities on our “summer bucket list for home projects”.


The exposed wall. *Excuse the gap to the right. Our home was built in 1950, better plumbing and level walls are something that I long for.*


The completed shower
The completed shower


Much larger area than before
Much larger area than before


And a picture for you of the green that must go. Soon enough!
And a picture for you of the green that must go. Soon enough!


As you can see, there are still some things that need to be worked on (the color, vanity, and those lights…oy!!).


Join us for the ride this summer. During this craziness I will also be working on tweaking things for my classroom.  We have a school wide theme for the year (first time ever!) that I think will help bring some unity and buy-in; but I also am preparing for only 16 kids.  YES – you read that correctly – 16 students.  I am so looking forward to it.  I can’t even imagine it.  There will be so much room for activities.  Ha!!  I am anxious to see how everything is juggled this summer…but I am up for the challenge.


Looking forward to sharing this ride with you…and on a budget too! Be sure to stop back to see progress and things being crossed off the summer bucket list.  Who would have thought that a home could have a bucket list?…


Happy Tuesday!

~ Sami

Related Post

1 thought on “Summer Projects on a Budget”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge