Where there was darkness, I brought light

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - Jul• 24•08

See all that natural light?This morning, as I walked down the hallway toward the bathroom, I felt startled when I saw light coming from there and I thought: “Darn it. I left the light on all night.”

But the illumination did not come from a light bulb. It was natural light from a high window that, until yesterday, had been blocked by the top of a fiberglass bath enclosure, and I’d forgotten momentarily that I had removed that.

This bath enclosure that blocked natural light, only to replace it with artificial light, is the epitome of non-green building. When you design a bathroom with an outside wall that does not take advantage of natural light and air flow, and try to recreate those things via artificial means — a fan and two light bulbs — well, that’s just dumb.

However, I can imagine that when this farmhouse was built, sometime in the 1950s, that fiberglass bath enclosure and the top with the light and fan must have seemed civilized. I can imagine the people putting it in feeling quite savvy.

But oh how times have changed. Now what’s really civilized is working with nature to provide our energy needs, instead of destroying nature for that purpose.

The removal of the cover is just one step in a long process of remodeling this bathroom. I do not have the remodeling materials on hand, nor do I have the project planned. I just felt I needed to get that top off and see how much natural light came in before I went any further. And as the fan in the enclosure no longer worked, I really didn’t have much to lose.

Here’s what it looked like before and after:

Before and after

I wanted to see for myself if that window would let in enough natural light. But now I see that I will definitely need to add a window to the end wall, over the claw-foot tub I will put in.

My next step is to take out the bath enclosure itself. It’s fiberglass and will be very light. Before that can happen, I need to get a plumber over here to disconnect the fixtures (and then come back when the tub and new vanity are in place). And that will be costly. But I’ve heard many horror stories about DIY plumbing jobs. I don’t want to add my own story to the collection.

This bathroom remodel is moving along at a snail’s pace. But my husband is working out of town, and other family members are off doing other things, and nobody will be inconvenienced, so why not take it easy and enjoy this process?

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One Comment

  1. Ran Daniels says:

    Hi Kathy
    I don’t think there is anything better than a bit of light in your bathroom.Natural light is really good. It Will save on energy prices as well they have gone up loads. I hope the it doesn’t turn out a nightmare when you get the plumber.

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