House Update #26: Half Bathroom Before & After During Fire Demo

Welcome back friends to my Half Bath Makeover Before & After series! I’m so glad you’re here. This series includes:

*Half Bath Shelving
*Before and After During Fire Demo
*Half Bath Decor
*Half Bath Fixtures

If you’re just joining in on the fun, our 1886 Victorian home was struck by lightning and caught fire in June 2019. Through a lot of love and dedication, we are putting this ol’ lady back together! You can find all of the updates about demo and rebuilding.

After the fire, and after the house had been cleared out, this sweet little half bathroom was left with just the basic necessities; toilet, sink and light figure – although all of it was unusable. They power and water had been cut off.

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Half Bath Before & After

In October, as the demo process began and went through January (hidden surprises) (demo downstairs) (roof demo) (roof rebuild), a barrier was built to protect the sink and toilet.

Half Bath Before & After

The ceiling was taken out but the walls were left …

Half Bath Before & After

In January 2020, you may recall a post about roof leakage that resulted in my husband climbing on top of the roof in the middle of a snowy winter to try and properly close up our house that had melting snow coming inside.

Roof leak during construction

The water came through the attic, the 2nd floor and down into the 1st floor. I had set up buckets and bins all throughout our house to capture the water on multiple occasions. This poor little bathroom got showered on.

Half Bath Before & After

In June, a year since the lightning strike, new walls were put back up and plastered. During this time, the sink and toilet were removed.

In July, our project was “gifted” back to us and we were left to complete our home.

Soooo…we got busy!

We painted all of the ceilings and walls…my marshmallow man and I ? haha

painting ceilings and walls

We then hauled out all of the plywood that was covering our original hardwood floors as well as other construction debris. It was SUCH a messy job and those sheets of plywood were super heavy {for me}. We then pulled up all of the paper underneath the plywood, crossing our fingers and praying that the wood floors were in decent enough shape to save.

Half Bath Before & After

Huge prayers were answered and most of our floors were in good enough shape to be saved! Woo hoo!

In August, my amazing dad, came and gave us electricity!!!! There were no lights {or power} in the house so this was ah-mazing, especially because I had been painting a lot of the walls using flashlights!!!! ….we had fun with our situation with our kiddos!

painting ceilings and walls

I ended up taking the light fixture from a different bathroom in our house and swapped out the globes and lightbulbs and used it in this bathroom, for now. We still need to hang the crown molding in the bathroom, hence those gaps. Apparently you don’t have to have the ceilings and walls meet if there’s crown…??? We plan to fill those gaps before hanging the crown molding because….because, yeah.

Half Bath Before & After

In August, we were finally ready to start putting the fixtures back in!

Half Bath Before & After

I painted the vent covers black and we worked on finding the trim pieces that topped the baseboards. We reused the pedestal sink, but chose to buy a new toilet from Kohler that had a very antique feeling to it…and the flusher on the top! eek!

half bath before and after

In order to install the new toilet, the old flange had to be removed. That sucker was stuuuuck in there so it had to be cut out. Good thing I am married to the handiest man i know! For realllllzzzzz!

half bath before and after

Next up was installing the sink.

half bath before and after

September through February was filled with lots of other projects to make our house livable, so I never got around to hanging a mirror, toilet paper holder, etc! HA!

I finally mustered up the motivation to just finish up the bathroom, except the crown molding – that will come eventually, when we wrap up some of the other major projects. I had toyed with the idea of adding board and batten or judges panels to the lower half of the walls and wallpapering the upper portion…and I still may. But there are WAY more important projects that need to be completed first before adding those fun character details!

This sweet little bathroom sure has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs these past 2 years, but I’m pretty sure if it could talk, it would thank us for taking such good care of it and putting it back together! And we thank in in return by using it all of the time! haha

half bath before and after

I shared all about the shelves and how to hang them last week!

How to hang wood shelves
Antique Toilet Paper Roll Holder

Later this week I’ll be sharing about all of the decor and fixtures we used to complete this project. Be sure to check back!

Fire Updates:

Update #1: House Fire, Struck by Lightning

Update #2:  Update

Update #3: Frustration

Update #4: The Beginning of Demo & A Few Hidden Surprises

Update #5: Demo of the Downstairs

Update #6: 

Update #7: Silver Spoon

Update #8: Trick-Or-Treat; Victorian Style

Update #9: New Joists

Update #10: Roof

Update #11: Roof Demo

Update #12: Roof Demo & Rebuild

Update #13: Beginning of Rebuild

Update #14: Secret Bookcase!

Update #15: We Have Roof Shingles!

Update #16: Heart Hunters & Easter

Update #17: Butler’s Door

Update #18Hometalk Segment & Video Walk-Through

Update #19: Beginning of Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC

Update #20: Garden & Bunnies

Update #21: Choosing An Exterior House Color

Update #22: Treasures Hidden In The Ceiling

Update #23: Insulation

Update #24: Plaster Walls

Update #25: Surprise Visitors

Update #26: Half Bathroom Before & After


  1. I love your writing. You gave the “little bathroom” a life of it’s own!

    1. Thank you so much! It definitely was deserving!

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