This Is Not The Grand Entry It Should Be
The entry into the house is through the Breezeway. This is essentially a mud-room. A place where guests would take off their muddy shoes before entering the main house. There are exterior doors at the front, the back (which leads to an alley), and the car port.
Note: Look at this room. Would you want to take off your shoes and walk through this room into the house. If the mud-room is this bad what hideous bacteria infestation might be waiting for your feet inside.
The first observation here was the water damage. It was clear from the paint on, and the warpage of, the ceiling "acoustic" tile that there had been several leaks before.
The house had 'supposedly' been vacant for at least a year (repossessed). The water damage looked at least as old as the roof which looked new. The realtor did not admit to any leaks. It was winter. There were no visible signs of recent water breech so I thought we were alright here.
Except for the very pungent musky smell. This carpet has lived through many wet seasons. And it shows it.
At the heart of this room (one on either side) are these lovely cedar cabinets. Each one has two partitions. One for coat and shoe storage. The other with shelves. The one at the front has a padlock on it. I'll assume it was for booze storage with child lockup.
We started where we always start. With the floor. We removed a 'single' layer of carpet (unusual for this house) as well as two paired layers of linoleum and 1/4-in. plywood. Right down to the sub-floor.
Wow! The majority of the smell is gone and the floor is in reusable condition Hey! Bonus. There is already (covered up) access to the crawl space. This part of the house is very difficult to navigate from underneath so we were ecstatic to find this portal.
Now this is an ideal room (relative location and size) for laundry, deep freeze, storage and whatever. And that was what it was used for. Unfortunately... Everything in this room was an after-thought. The plumbing and electrical had been added and the work was cheap and dirty.
While the floor was open we took the opportunity to move the electrical and plumbing into the walls. This looks so much better. Don't you think.
The wall and ceiling have been stripped. Including the water-soaked and rotted insulation, The floor had been prepped with a 1/2-in. mesh reinforced concrete tile substrate. The concrete-board has been mortared and screwed to the sub-floor. This should be strong, and rigid, enough to support a tile floor. The beauty of the tile floor, especially for a mud room, is it's durability. Necessary for rental survival or sale value.
Oh My... We're leaking.; Darn!
I was hoping that since the water damage, particularly the delicate ceiling, had already been repaired. This was easy to believe given the fantastic condition of the roof. Obviously freshly installed. However, as we found out, the roof, new as it was, was totally flawed. And is wasn't in our budget to replace so had to do our best to repair the roof.
We replaced the spent insulation with fresh and since we still had most of a roll of heavy roofing felt (tar-paper left over from the shower wrapping) we lined the ceiling before putting up the new T&G cedar.
The T&G cedar went really well. We covered the ceiling and the inside wall. We were fortunate that the cedar was locally supplied however it was still poorly machined. Mostly planer snipe damage. We literally hand-selected a hundred or so pieces from several hundred. And even then several of the planks have deep snipe. What a waste of good wood. Many of the rejects will never sell. Warping, cupping, bowing, snipe. We hand selected our peices from a pile of about a thousand planks.
Geez Mr. Wilson... The roof is still leaking. Back to repairing the roof.
Finally... We found an acceptable tile for the Breezeway. Kind of a peach color with an irregular color and surface. Lovely. Our friends Randy and Ellen (owners of the local flooring store) found a closeout from one of their suppliers and made us a fantastic deal. Thanks Ellen.
We had a tile once that was similar in color and we used a grout which was close in color and were always disappointed with the contrast so we decided to do a test with the grout we selected. We were hoping for a good contrast from a darker grout as opposed to a wash-out from a grout similar in color. In other words... We wanted to see the individual tiles. If we wanted a solid floor we would have surfaced it in hardwood.
What we came up with is a kind-of 'brick' color to contrast the peach tile. What do you think?
We also decided that the exterior wall with the single glazed window in it (making the wall real-estate minimal) and all the electrical and plumbing looked horrible with all the added newness. Besides that the insulation was damaged and there were numerous holes in the plate letting cold drafts up from the crawl-space.
So we decided to replace it in character with the rest of the room. We repaired the insulation and wrapped it with the remainder of the roofing felt.
What a difference that made for about an additional $90.00. And.. With that done... It was time to grout.