And Now: The Continuation of TERRIBLE DECISIONS

Compared to the staggering changes yesterday, when the whole bathroom got torn down to the studs, the progression today doesn’t seem too extensive, but they basically got a ton of stuff done that involved precise measuring and cutting. I didn’t get pictures of everything, because junction boxes and power switches and GCFI outlets aren’t really all that interesting, but here’s the shower:

The new back wall, formerly the closet, is properly studded out now and the niche is in place, along with the curb and the shower drain. The little extra bit in the niche is the middle shelf and just isn’t in place yet. This also involved a fair amount of fuckery in our utterly unacceptable crawlspace so it was a hell of a job. The last bits of tile on the floor from the flooring before the linoleum we had are also gone. There’s also a ton of new studding in other places where they wanted to augment the preexisting wood a bit. Here’s the other side of the shower:

The copper pipes at the very bottom are preexisting; the PEX pipe, the fittings, and the shower hardware are all, obviously, new.

Tomorrow, the electrical gets finished up, the rest of the shower hardware goes in place, and they’ll start putting up drywall. We’ve been told that this is the last night that we’ll have a freezing cold bedroom, which honestly is disappointing, because last night might have been the best night of sleep of my entire fucking life. There’s nothing I love more than sleeping in a cold bedroom.

TERRIBLE DECISIONS: The Destructioning

I am in a hurry, as something that I thought was at 6:30 is at 6:00 and I need to buy a card and a gift between now and then, so have some pictures, which I don’t think need a whole lot of context anyway:

What was behind the weird patched part of the wall? An unused junction box!

Broken tile!

Broken all sorts of stuff!

They were not prepared for the amount of insulation we have in the attic. Apparently this was “chest-deep” a few minutes before I went to investigate all the coughing. Sorry about the lung cancer, guys.

You can get an idea of how deep the blown-in was from this picture. We’ll have to reinsulate once the new ceiling goes in, but that’s the biggest problem we’ve encountered so far.

You can see from the dots on the wall (paint, sprayed through the pegboard) where the old closet was. The new shower is going to be nice.

Probably no pictures tomorrow, as they’re just doing electrical and some plumbing, but we’ll see.

And here we go again

I’ve posted a couple of times recently about how we are embarking on a new round of home improvement around here; the new roof is more or less set in stone and is happening in a couple of weeks, the new bathroom is almost certainly happening (more on that in a bit) but doesn’t have a timeline yet, and today we had someone out to talk to us about a new water softener.

Technically this would be a replacement water softener, but the one it would be replacing has never been used once in the entire time we’ve lived in the house and may actually be as old as the house itself. I’m not going to go looking for posts right now, but I know I’ve talked about this house and its plumbing issues before: the original builder was a contractor, and there are clearly things about this house that were done by someone who knew what they were doing and was concerned about doing a good job, and … and then there’s the plumbing, which … was not. We have had people out before to look at the plumbing and they have declined the job, and when the water softener guy went into our basement to look at the existing “system” and the various pipes involved in bringing water into our house and moving it around, it literally rendered him speechless. He was so shocked and horrified that he couldn’t get through a sentence for a good twenty minutes. This is not an exaggeration.

We are being charged for installation. He was very apologetic for this, saying that installation was usually included in the cost of the unit, but there is so much repiping required and so much work necessary to figure out just what the fuck all these pipes are for that he felt he had no choice. We asked how often they felt like they needed to charge, and the answer was that in seventeen years of water softening he never had.

My wife and I spent most of the consult laughing our asses off at how clearly flummoxed this poor guy was. He’s bringing three other guys out with him when they come out for the install. It was hilarious.

I asked him whether he thought it would be okay if I documented their attempts to fix our system for the Internet, and he got a little twinkle in his eye and suggested we video the whole thing. I think I like this dude.

(Re: the bank; further cementing my wife’s theory that banking is bullshit, I had a car drive very slowly past our house today, pausing for about a minute at the foot of our driveway. The car had a magnetic sign on the door, but as I was in my office looking out the window at the time (and teaching a class, for that matter) I was unable to read it. If I find out that that was the appraiser, who did nothing more than basically ascertain that a house did in fact exist at the address we provided, I’m going to laugh my ass off. Then I’m going to hire a couple of black actors to go into that bank with exactly the same information we had and ask for a loan and see if they’re handed thirty grand as easily as we were.)

In which I guess I’m ready to go back to work or something

The last few days have been characterized mostly by pointless ennui and waiting around for things that didn’t happen. We had a Plumbing Incident occur on New Year’s Eve, which is the perfect day for such things to happen, and while the Incident itself hasn’t really affected my life all that much tomorrow will mark the third (and, hopefully, final) day that I’ve spent sitting around waiting for a plumber to come out to my house, charge me an arm and a leg, and hopefully this time actually fix my problem.

Which will involve digging a hole in my back yard. For a while yesterday it looked like the problem was going to require a backhoe to fix. We think we’ve dodged that particular bullet, but I’m at the point where I’m mostly just thoroughly tired of this and just want it all to go away so I can stop thinking about it. My wife went back to work yesterday and I think I might be jealous. I spent all day on Twitter today, leaving the house only to go get the cat from the vet after my wife dropped her off for shots this morning. It was supposed to be Plumber Day 3, but they called at 8 and rescheduled for tomorrow. The boy is perfectly content to spend the entire day fucking around on the iPad, so if I don’t man up and find some non-iPad activities for us to do, that’s what’s going to be happening. There has been precious little energy lately for good parenting, unfortunately.

I dunno. This is a proof-of-life post, I suppose; the music challenge posts are all written and will continue apace but I thought I’d make sure y’all knew I was still out there regardless.


We hadn’t stopped working; I just decided a few days ago that I wasn’t doing any more updates until shit looked good.

Shit looks good.

IMG_2814Another look at the shower tile (finished over winter break) and the new toilet.  The new toilet is wonderful.  If you shit God, God will be flushed.  As a fat man, I appreciate this.  The new toilet is not leaking.  Did I ever show you the new floor tile?  That’s not leaking either, but tile generally doesn’t do that.

IMG_2819The new vanity and countertop.  This… is a bit more of a problem.  Everything you can see is not leaking, is hooked up, and works beautifully.  Note that I also put new floor trim in, although you can’t see it too well.  It’s just trim; trim’s not actually terribly impressive.  But it’s there!


Closeup of the countertop and the new faucet.  I love this countertop a LOT.  I’m also glad that the vanity is taller than the old one, because it means that the boy’s going to have to grow a bit before he’s tall enough to splash water out of the sink, and hopefully by then he’ll be less likely to wantonly splash stuff around.  Yes, the distance from the faucet to the electrical outlet is within code; yes, I’m also putting safety stops into the outlets when they’re not being used.

IMG_2817This shit right here is not my fault.  And it’s leaking.  (And it’s better than it looks, because that one PVC join that is obviously crooked is not crooked any longer.)  The supply lines to the faucet are working beautifully and appear to be watertight; the rest of it, not so much.

Basically it’s leaking at the one spot that is obviously bad, which does not surprise me, as joining those two pipes in that fashion was basically a kludge involving crossed fingers.  The PVC-galvanized join is strong and so is the join where the trap joins with the pipe coming out of the wall.  I need to talk to some folks who know better than me and come up with something better than the kludge.  I also need to fix a new leak that popped up by the drain that wasn’t there originally, because in all the screwing around with the pipes I accidentally loosened the top (blue) pipe too much and now it’s leaking too.

I will wait a few days, do some research and some thinking, and then take another shot at this, and if I can’t get it right the second time I’ll just suck it up and call a plumber.  I’m not actually upset about this; it’s leaking at a spot that I knew was dodgy and it’s not leaking enough that it renders the sink unusable.  If I need to wash my hands or my face in that sink, it’ll be fine; the pot underneath will catch the small amount of water that comes out.  I just want it perfect.

Later this week, we’ll get into what Phase 3 entails.  Phase 3 is the final phase.