Or: How Parks Canada inspired me to get rid of that brothel
When we bought our house way back when, it came with a purple-ish jacuzzi, the type that hardly produces anything else than lots of noise. Also, the water cooled down really fast. It was built in in a den like room. It was likely the dream of one of the previous home owners. The walls were painted ‘bordeau’ and even the blinds had a touch of the jacuzzi’s colour in them. The room looked somewhere between a road side brothel and a clairvoyant’s room.
When the house went up for sale, the real estate agent had placed a bottle of Champagne and two glasses on the pink carpeted edge of the tub. The room itself is fairly big, about 10 x 25 feet: a considerable space in a 1400 ft2 house. That Champagne didn’t sell us on the house, but one needed quite a bit of imagination to see through this room.
17 years later, I finally found time to dismantle the thing. I figured if it had come into the house, it could go out in one piece. One day, I stripped off the pink carpet, dismantled the edge around the tub, disconnected the hard wired pump and soon the tub was sitting in the middle of the room.
A friend helped carrying it up the stairs and into the back yard. For a moment I thought we could use it as an outdoor pool, but the thought of maintaining more stuff made me reconsider that quickly.
Cut ‘r up
I used our contractor’s reciprocating saw to cut the tub in 5 pieces, but would the garbage pick up take it? I put everything out at the curb on garbage day: an hour later all was gone.
Anouk has plumbing skills and helped cutting and closing the water supply so I could hide it behind the wall. Then we went to Alexanian for a bit of leftover beige carpet. I drywalled parts of the wall and used half a bucket of drywall mud to smooth everything out again.
Meanwhile I had been admiring the Parks Canada benches at Hartwell’s Locks, simple and sturdy and not too difficult to replicate. I had some wood left from the box the Jacuzzi was built into. I always demolish carefully, and try to reuse wood if possible. With a bit of planning I was able to cut all the parts for the bench from the tub’s wood.
Multi use bench
Using leftover paint from the screened in porch, I gave it a few coats of paint and now it serves several purposes: bench, side table, work bench, Ottoman. I made one design error, the legs are set too far in, so if you sit on the edge, unless you are our cat, the bench tips.
Add a horizontal “foot” to each bench leg tapered down at a bit of an angle to reduce stubbing your toes. Like a gym bench. One solution anyway.