It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with quick trips to New Orleans, Tulsa, and Houston. Much progress and many visits to Home Depot were made in between, but I’ve been significantly remiss in chronicling any of our brownstone renovation adventures. In an attempt to make up for lost time, I’m offering a two-for-one deal in this post: electricity and plumbing! Now I have you hooked, right? If further enticement is needed to keep reading, let me preface this by explaining how challenging it is to adequately outfit a home more than 120 years old with modern amenities while still respecting the building’s original layout and structural integrity. But trust me, we’re trying! Or rather, Charlie is trying and I am learning. Every day, I learn new terms and techniques and somehow the pieces are all slowly coming together in my head. So, without further ado, I give you a random assortment of photos and descriptive words that I hope will give you a sense of how we are progressing.

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Let’s suffice it to say that I’ve never given much thought to the pipes that carry our “waste” out of the house. To me, such necessary functions were attributed to magic and were dependent upon gravity and deep, deep, underground holes. Now you have a better understanding of my extensive knowledge of plumbing.

Well, there’s a bit more to it than that I’ve quickly learned. But, the very symmetrical nature of this brownstone beauty has offered a very brilliant bathroom solution. Since the building will eventually morph into either two or three separate apartments, it was crucial to have a bathroom on at least three of the four floors. Charlie is the best problem solver I know and has managed to run one waste line (read: giant black pipe. Not magic, as originally assumed) down the length of the building and all the bathrooms will be aligned down the center of the house. How is that for waste management?

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And, in an effort to make as few holes as possible in those ancient plaster walls, most of the electrical wiring has been neatly coiled next to the plumbing. Which, I suppose, is it’s own kind of modern magic, really.

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Although it’s hard to tell, this will eventually be a third floor bathroom someday soon. Currently, though, you can see through to the second floor. (I promise, no original hard wood was destroyed in the making of this bathroom. It started off as ancient, unattractive tile.)

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Just one of many unavoidable holes that I promise will be patched.

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The top floor ceiling also had to be replaced as some of the beams were beginning to collapse and needed a bit of bolstering. And, if you need one more bonus photo for making it this far, here’s one of all the insulation Charlie managed to cram up there. This baby brown is airtight. I’m hoping we make it to January without turning on the heat.

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