Guest House Renovation: Introduction

One of the things that attracted us to our home was the fact that it had a detached two-car garage with a small, 250 square-foot room. From the little we gathered (and from some of the mail we still get) this room was used as a home-based massage business. The small room had its own entrance through the backyard, another into the garage, a kitchenette, and a full bathroom with closet.

The little room hadn’t been used for a while and had become a dark, dirty glorified storage area. While it had functioning water, electricity, gas and sewer lines, only the sewer had been done correctly. The kitchenette cabinets were sturdy but outdated, the tiny gas stove was ancient and no longer needed, and the entire concrete floor had been covered in a thick, uneven, and rough material. It attracted grime like a magnet and was impossible to clean due to its texture and irregularity.

We wanted to convert it into a nice living space for guests, grandparents and perhaps to rent it out during one of Tucson’s biggest events: Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. We didn’t have a big budget and I really wanted to do as much of the work as possible, leaving some of the more complicated work to professionals (electrical and some plumbing).

Over the next few blogs, I’ll go into more detail on all the steps we took, the problems we found and how we wrapped everything up into a fantastic little guest room.

I am Iron Man.

Thanks to a lab screw up and the monthly miracle of menstruation, I avoided a potentially serious medical condition. I’ve been feeling extra fatigued lately and wasn’t sure why. It could be the combination of school, work, and toddlerdom, or maybe it was something more. Either way, I followed-up with my doctor just to be sure.

He ran a series of tests on my blood and during my follow-up visit he found that my iron load was 80% higher than it should be. Odd, since I don’t take any type of iron supplement whatsoever. Thankfully, everything else on the blood panel was normal. He decided to run another blood test just in case it was fluke but he also ran a DNA test for hemochromatosis, a condition where your body can’t remove iron and it builds up in your major organs causing serious medical issues.

Read more