One of the joys of home ownership is the projects that come with it. I’m sure these are the same projects that drive some people to rent or move from new house to new house their whole lives, but I enjoy them. They’re fun to plan, can be challenging to execute, and the results are usually very rewarding.
In our old house, Ethan and I tackled everything from tiling and painting to replacing fixtures, installing shelves, hanging doors and repairing lots and lots of plaster. This house is quite a bit older, but was also much better taken care of. We haven’t even finished unpacking but we’ve already got some projects in progress. They are so far on a smaller scale, but generate the same satisfaction.
The only feature of this house that I couldn’t stand to live with more than a few weeks was one of the bathroom faucets. Or maybe I should say two of the bathroom faucets. They are a set of antique brass faucets with separate hot and cold taps.
The separate hot and cold taps are awful for washing your hands. If you’ve never tried, the experience goes something like this: turn on both taps, soap your hands, and begin washing them under the hot tap; when the hot water gets so hot you’re risking burns, move your hands to the cold water, which is too cold for cleaning, then move them back to the hot; repeat until your hands are clean.
In addition to being a pain to use, the cold tap dripped, and the ancient hardware holding them together was rusting iron. In the photo you can see some staining in the basin from the dripping rusty water.
Like all Old House projects, the process of removing the old hardware was about 10 times harder than installing the new stuff. Changing out a recently installed faucet and drain assembly takes about 2 hours provided you have the right tools. This took closer to 5. Lots of things were rusted in place, or otherwise attached to the sink with years of corrosion. Once we triumphantly got the old stuff removed (and then cleaned the sink, oh my god), we quickly installed some fancy new hardware.
I mostly picked the new faucet because I’ve always been curious how that style works. Ethan initially protested the style, then admitted that he doesn’t really care what the bathroom sink faucet looks like.
As you can probably see, the sink in question is in a wooden cabinet (which is actually a dresser, and deserves its own post) with a rather water-damaged top. I’ve already begun the process of refinishing the top of it so that it is more water resistant.
As a homeowner, if you want to make improvements, there is never a shortage of things that can and should be fixed!