Molded for Greatness: Part Deux

Attic in Beach Cottage Renovation

Mold can happen to anyone- including VB Basics Editor Tessa Duquette. Here an update on how she continues to be molded for greatness.

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! 

Tessa walking in Home Depot
Home Depot, my second home.

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.

Contractor Mike in the crawl space
Contractor Mike, minutes before he found a dead snake

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 to 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 with throughout the entire process, and were very thorough. After we cleaned out the crawl space completely out 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.

Bay Crawl Space
Thinking of wrapping this up with a big red bow

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 convinced 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. And I 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 renovation
The bones of our beach cottage bathrooms – side by side

Bathroom renovations

We have designed bathroom #1, and are installing all the pieces as I type this. Both of our bathrooms in our beach cottage are small –and 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.

Floor & Decor
Overwhelmed but happy at Floor & Decor, Virginia Beach

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 mind a billion times, admiring basically everything.

Bathroom Redesign Mood Board
Color schemes of a bathroom “mood board”

 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, 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 gave us a few parameters that helped make the decision easier, what size it should be where, what side the drawers would goon, etc.

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

True Confessions: Home renovations are no joke! Especially when you’re the one who’s calling the shots.

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 & doors. We’re also starting to attack the backyard swamp problem – fixing the grade and drainage so that our crawl space stays nice and dry. 

Floor & Decor Virginia Beach

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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