Molded for Greatness: Part Deux

Attic in Beach Cottage Renovation

Mold can happen to anyone- including VB Basics Editor Tessa Duquette. Here’s an update on how she continues to be molded for greatness and how she handles this delicate situation.

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Still Being Molded For Greatness. . .

Remember me? With the moldy house? Well, I’m still being molded for greatness over here in case you were wondering!

Everywhere I go – birthday parties, playdates, my mechanic – I get the “how’s the house?”

So, it’s going well. Thanks for asking!

But we’re still in the trenches, trust me. Just look at our backyard. It’s a swampy muddy mess. But we’re making progress! It’s almost like working on a puzzle that didn’t fit right. We had to pull it apart, and start putting it back together.

Molded For Greatness – A Brief History

Our house was built in the 1950s, with two separate additions built sometime afterward. I’m tempted to search down all of the previous owners. So I could get the scoop on the nitty-gritty of when they added or replaced things. It would be even better if there was a blue book for houses. So you can know ALL of the house’s history. If these walls could talk! Oh, you have no idea how much I wish the walls of my house could talk…

In the past month, we’ve made some serious waves. The surface mold inside the house is completely gone. We gutted those spaces right away. Plus, no mold underneath (hooray!).

We hired Bay Crawl Space to deal with the “environmental disaster” of our crawl space. They did a great job – worked hard, touched base throughout the entire process, and were very thorough. After we cleaned out the crawl space completely and treated the mold, Bay Crawl Space set to work. As of this week, it’s fully encapsulated with French drains, a sump pump underneath the house, 2 dehumidifiers, a moisture sensor (which we can read from the inside of our house). Overkill? I think not.

An Early Christmas Present?

I almost wish they had put a big bow on the encapsulation, Merry Christmas! We wrapped you the biggest present you’re going to get this year – a fully encapsulated crawl space!

In all seriousness, let’s talk again in 6 months if you want to fully convince me that everything will be all well and good down there. I’ll have to update you then.

After deep deliberation (like deep in the swampy mud), we decided to move all the HVAC coils up to the attic. The nastiness under the crawl space completely undoes me (goodbye rats, snakes, standing water). Kenny Jacques of Country Air Heating & Cooling was ready for the challenge. He even let me tag along with him in the crawl space when he was pulling out all of the old coils. I wanted to see for myself exactly what the crawl space looked like – and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I also think I even impressed Contractor Mike with my fierce determination of getting to know my house inside and out.

While we’re dealing with fixing the bones of the house – we’re starting to put back together the rooms that we had to totally gut because of the mold.

Bathroom Renovations

We have designed bathroom number one, and are installing all the pieces as I type this. Both of the bathrooms in our beach cottage are small. There isn’t any wiggle room for us to move things around in there, which did help make decisions a bit easier.

I hit up The Tile Shop first and wandered through the aisles completely overwhelmed. There are SO many choices, textures, colors –and to be completely honest – as this was the first room we were redesigning, I didn’t know what color schemes to start with! I took a bunch of photos of things I thought I liked and called it quits.

Choosing The Right Tiles

The husband and I went on a day date to Floor & Décor afterward. How romantic! I came prepared this time and did a bunch of Pinterest research. I printed out and assembled a “mood board” of bathroom ideas. All of what I liked was a little too extreme for our sweet little beach cottage, but it helped get us on the right track. It gave us ideas for color schemes, etc. Small tiles, I learned, can be more complicated and take more time. So we had to quickly remove my mermaid tiles (sob). The staff at Floor & Décor was super helpful.  We walked back and forth through the store changing our minds a billion times, admiring basically everything.

And in the end – I shooed Contractor Mike and my husband to The Tile Shop to make the final decisions and purchase what we needed. Liz was a huge help and made things fun and simple. Finding the perfect vanity proved to be another hurdle. I spent a good amount of time wandering the aisles of Home Depot and Lowes. There I was opening and closing vanities, and staring into mirrors contemplating my mold life. Just kidding – in reality, all the vanities started looking the same! Thankfully, our fearless leader – Contractor Mike had given us a few parameters that helped make the decision easier. For example, what size it should be, where, what side the drawers would go on, etc.

As this is the kid’s bathroom it will have the bathtub. So I sent my husband off to check out what Ferguson’s had in their showroom. Olivia was super helpful, too. She helped us pick out a tub in no time and was very knowledgeable.

Checking Things Off the List

Boy does it feel great checking stuff off of the looming list of getting our house into tip top shape! Up next, we’re replacing windows and doors. We’re also starting to attack the backyard swamp problem. Hence, we are fixing the grade and drainage. So our crawl space stays nice and dry.

I will say, this #moldedforgreatness journey hasn’t been all bad. After opening that Pandora’s Box of moldy true confessions, I’ve started hearing from more friends who have similar problems. My door is always open, and I’m a phone call away. So please reach out and know that you are not alone!

Do you have any molded for greatness experiences? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to stay up to date with more of Tessa’s molded for greatness experiences on FamilyApp!

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