Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why are there so many bricks under my bathtub?

So I did end up finding a plumber for a reasonable amount of money and he did all the rough plumbing right before Thanksgiving, though not without a huge spraying leak in the basement that turned it into a mud puddle. But I digress.

Plumbing in kitchen. Water pressure before was more like a drool.

Before the plumber came, I decided to take a peak through the access door to the bathtub plumbing, mainly because I didn't remember ever looking too hard.

I was probably blocking this out of my memory, so as to avoid pain and angst:

Marginally better after vacuuming: 
 And the removing of the bricks. 4 of them. There's more, just my midget arms can't reach them. 
Why are there bricks just chillin under my tub? Why?

If you look hard enough, you can see the sill plate has rotted due to 80 years of leaks at the corner of the bathtub.  Good thing I am a ninja with a mini crow bar and was able to pulverize the dry rot and replace it with wood from the pantry.  That pantry is like a treasure trove; it is so much more useful as a pile of stuff than it ever was as a room.

Toilet Before and After!

Before: Original, 80 years old, using 6 gallons per flush, 11 inches away from the bathtub. Awkward.
After: New Toto Aquia II, dual flush, rotated 90 degrees. Fabulous.

Also note the switch from beige/pink tile (gag) to dark stained oak wainscoting. Which used to be a laundry chute in the basement until I deconstructed the big wood box, removed all the nails, sanded each plank down, and stained it with the tung oil left over from the floors. Cost? Zero Dollars.  Unless we count the chiropractor's visit after said deconstruction with sledgehammer. Then it's $37.

Bathroom today: We put the sink in 5 days ago, after a month of no running water.  It was one of the best Christmas gifts ever.  Also the waterproofing system is in, as is the vanity light and fan box. We start tiling tomorrow!

Big milestone today - all the electric is done until I get a new motion light for the front of the house.

Cute schoolhouse lighting in the kitchen. 

Also I finally got the wallpaper down now that I have water, but no picture quite yet.  

Cherry butcherblock with 3 coats of dark tung oil.  
It came in the house with the help of the guys from Keystone; the 12 footer over the veranda railing!

Workout room / guest room finally got a ceiling.  No more insulation drifting down like dirty, squirrelly snow.  I'm currently ignoring the patch job the walls need.

Both apartments got new programmable thermostats to help save energy, as well as insulation blankets around the hot water heaters.

Floors with one coat of oil. 

They got two more coats, which took a while to dry (I believe we put it on too thick? The directions on the website were not the clearest).  They are several shades darker and matt finish in real life.  Well, currently they are covered with construction paper and have been for over a month, so I have no idea what they look like, but I am positive they are dusty and will need a good scrubbing.  But most of the stains did come out or blend in pretty well, which is a small miracle considering what they looked like before.

My main job these past weeks has been janitorial in nature.  I come to the house after work, I pick up trash, break down boxes, sweep, vacuum, scrap paint.  Very light in the skilled labor department, but the guys couldn't work if I didn't.  At least that's what I tell myself.  In that vein, Mom and I took the last construction debris to the dump, mostly plaster and odds and ends.  Everything possible has been recycled, and all the wood is separated for construction use or fire pit burning later.  Usable things like the pantry door (fiberglass) and the old vanity I put out on the curb and people took them within a day.  I love that about living in the city.  There's always another life for things you don't want.

Things are moving along now and should be wrapping up in a couple of weeks, barring any disaster...

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