Soaking Tub

Oh, Craigslist. You are wonderful. And so are you, people in Skaneateles, for without you both, I would not have found an amazing, pristine claw foot tub for half the price of a new one.

via Restoration Hardware
Not the exact one, but you get the idea.
I’ve always wanted a claw foot tub (I blame Pinterest and Houzz and my love for vintage), but I didn’t want to pay the hefty price for a new one. A new cast iron tub can run you $3K or more, especially once you add in the price of the fixtures, and fiberglass was a no-go because it’s cheap (and not in terms of being inexpensive). So, we searched Craigslist and went to a salvage yard, too, but the problem was, the ones I was finding needed some serious work. That, or they didn’t have feet, which was another search all together, and then finding a faucet, too. Add all of that together, and a $400 tub starts getting more and more expensive. Re-enameling and fixtures are expensive, guys.

Yes, please
via Houzz
via Leivars
So I happened to be browsing Craigslist and came across this lovely thing from Restoration Hardware, apparently never used, and half the price. The listing was brand new, too, so I of course jumped on it. I kept thinking to myself that it must be too good to be true. There must be some sort of catch here. My “scam” alarm was sounding, but I still had hope that maybe, just maybe, this really was an amazing find.

After emailing back and forth with the seller, John and I trekked out to Skaneateles in the snow to take a look at this tub. And as it turns out, it wasn’t too good to be true at all. The tub has literally never been used. Not one dirty butt has sat in it. There is nary a scratch or scuff on the thing (or the fixtures).
As it turns out, the owners were faced with something far too many people doing major renovations are faced with: shoddy contractors*. Apparently, they were planning to put in a big Victorian-style bathroom with this amazing tub, but the contractor they hired royally screwed them over by doing things like gluing tile down with hot glue (excuse me, what?!). In the end, they fired the contractor, but they were forced to rip the entire bathroom out. The tub won’t fit in the new bathroom location, so they had to sell it. We seriously lucked out in this deal, but I really feel for them that it came to this. It's a terrible situation to be in.

We went back Saturday to pick it up, and with the help of some strong friends and the seller, they were able to get it down the tight back staircase fairly easily. I supervised, obviously. Then we drove it home where it is now awaiting it's final destination. I can't wait to soak in it!

tub-1 tub-2
tub-3 tub-4
tub-5 tub-6

* A word to the wise about contractors. You might be lucky and find a good one. We’ve had four great contractors do work for us thus far and we’ve been very, very lucky in that regard, but chances are, if you’re doing major renovation work, you might find one who’s not so great. I strongly suggest asking people you know and trust for first-hand experience before you hire a contractor. Google can sometimes be your best friend, but first-hand experience is really the best, though it can be really hard to find trustworthy people if you are new to an area. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family if they have experience with a contractor, good or bad. If you find a contractor that you’re happy with, ask them for advice about the next contractor you need. They’ve probably been in the business long enough that they know reputable people in the area. But whatever you do, DO NOT pay them anything until they’ve performed at least some work for you, or even better, until they’ve finished the job. If they’re asking for money up front, chances are they’ll have it spent on a trip to Cabo before they finish your project or even before they show up to do the work. Ask questions about what they’re doing. Read up on how things should be done, check their work, voice any concerns you might have, and ask questions. You can never be too careful and at the end of the day, it’s your money and you have to live in the house. And if they turn out to be awful, give them the boot!


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