Jan 28, 2011


These don't count as part of the 365, because they have essentially zero artistic merit. Not that all my 365 pictures will, but I am making some effort there.

I mentioned recently that I had to replace a valve in the bathroom. Anyone who is a homeowner knows precisely how projects tend to snowball and then avalanche. I'll lay out a rough timeline on this one...

Early December 2010: notice that the toilet supply shut-off valve has a drop of water on it. Wipe it up, think nothing of it. A few days later there is another drip. Put it on the mental to-do list. I was winding down my year of night shift, and doing anything house-related was pretty far down my list of priorities.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Step into the bathroom to do a load of laundry, and my feet get wet. Initial presumption is that the damn cats have pushed their water dish around again. Further checking reveals that no, the water bowl has no more spilled out than normal (Boris loves to dip his paw in the water and then shake it off) and the source of my wet feet is water coming up between the tiles.

Fie and doom.

I figured out what pieces I'd need and went downstairs to shut off the bathroom water. Revelation: no one installed isolation shut-offs for each room. In order to replace the toilet valve I had to shut off water to the whole house, and drain the plumbing. Since things had to get drained down that far, I decided to install a shutoff in the bathroom supply line as well.

Drive to Lowe's. Get all appropriate pieces. Return home. Replace supply valve and line on toilet. Take a deep breath, cut into supply line in cellar. Sweat on one side of the valve. Second side won't sweat properly. After several tries I gave in and called Dad for help. He showed up, figured out where the issue was, and in the process of trying to get the core out - tore the gasket. Back to Lowe's for a new valve.

Successfully sweated that in, turned on the water, and had a functional and non-leaking toilet. Of course, the tiles were now peeling up from the bathroom floor...

MrsZ and I spent some time at Lowe's looking at flooring options, and decided on vinyl tile. With some prompting, she picked a pattern we could both live with. Since we had to tear out everything in there to redo the floor, we decided to buy a gallon of paint and cover over the dark-blue walls at the same time. On top of that, since everything will be out of the way, we decided to replace the washing machine that has been of questionable reliability. (It gets the clothes clean but makes some awfully funny noises in the process.)

We bought tile and paint the other night, along with the glue and grout that we'll need, and ordered our new washing machine from Home Depot. Last night we got home and removed all the fixtures from the walls (sundry cabinet, medicine cabinet, towel bar, TP roll, and all the wall plates), shut off the water, pulled out the sink, vanity, and toilet, and I ripped up two thirds of the underlayment (which was starting to delaminate where it got wet) and pulled those nails.

We went from this (during our structural inspection):

To this, as of last night:

Tonight, I'll be pulling out the washer and dryer, and stripping out the remaining underlayment, prying up the nails, mopping with dilute bleach, and hopefully getting the walls sanded in preparation for priming.

Being a homeowner is FUN.


BobG said...

Been there, done that, didn't even get a t-shirt.
Best of luck, and my sympathies.

Wally said...

Rock on brother Zercool!

I started with a $60 fan to install in the bathroom this fall, and it became an $800 fan in no time :)

ZerCool said...

Wally - ignoring the washing machine cost, this is actually a relatively inexpensive remodel. $60 for tile, $10 for glue, $10 for grout, $30 for paint, $60 for new underlayment, and probably another $40-50 in other miscellany. We *could* salvage the baseboard moldings, but I think we'll spend the money to replace those, so another $50-60 there.

Of course, while working on all this, we found the leak in the kitchen drain as well ... and that set my schedule back two days and cost another hundred bucks to fix. Post on that later this week, I expect.

Wally said...

Oh it's never an $800 valve, but it's the dim-dabblers along the way - each reasonably priced, and sooo convenient to do while things are dismantled...

ZerCool said...

My mother - a very smart lady - says the four most expensive words for a homeowner are, "While we're at it..."

I hate it when she's right.