Not Enough Hole for My Pocket

Pipe – check. Lumber – check. Pocket door framed out – check….

Mike spent an entire laborious Thursday setting up for the pocket door. Turns out, we didn’t leave enough room after all. Mike had to modify the door to make it work and it took ALL day.

So, check your pocket door kit installation instructions before you do anything, everybody. You may need more space then you think.

And now we’re officially ready for Sunday – hoping we’re still on with the plumbers!

Happy Post -Holiday

Happy post-holidays. I’m so glad they’re over. Have I announced on this blog that we’re expecting? Surprise! 10 weeks and absolutely exhausted. I can’t take it anymore. I was dead on the couch for over six hours yesterday, unable to sleep, unable to move. Eating mass quantities of fudge. Yes, fudge. Shut up. I’m a blimp. I know.

Mike spent most of his pre-holiday break at work downstairs. He jack hammered out a space for the evacuator and dug out the dirt around where the pipes will go. He then painstakingly carried the dirt up and outside, two 5 gallon buckets at a time. So now, minus some pvc and lumber, we’re ready for this coming Sunday.

Once all the drains are plumbed, the flooring will need to be installed, then drywall, and then all the fixtures. (Hmmm, probably some additional plumbing between flooring and drywall now that I think about it.)

We had a very lovely Christmas, despite my near complete incapacitation. The house is completely destroyed by toys and I can’t bear to organize or clean yet. Or even think about it for that matter.

My parents got us a much needed new trash shed to replace our racoon & possum (yes possum) ravaged trash hut. On Monday Mike put together the new rubbermaid model in a record setting 15mins… possibly less. And most of that was getting the dang thing out of the box! I highly recommend this shed for ease of putting-together. Then, Mike had the distinct pleasure of destroying the old hut with the skid steere. He first rammed into it, the drove over it, then picked up half of it and dropped it on itself for good measure. I had the pleasure of watching the whole thing. It was highly satisfying. It’s going to be even more satisfying to be able to safely bring out trash in the evening, or put it out Tuesday morning for pickup without having to shovel trash debris from the half the yard first.

Hammered Out

The jack hammering is done. It was actually finished the same day I posted my last post... I was amazed.

Our drop cloth dust shielding

Some of the first lines in the floor cut with the saw

I guess you could call this the "before"

Here's the after - note the tunnels in the floor, now covered with the drop cloths to keep the dust down and the cats out.

At this point we haven't done much more. We had our plumber purchase the Evacuator for us. (Does what the name implies - makes water go UP into the septic.) Let me tell you, that thing is expensive. Even at his discounted pro price, it was still $420. Ouch. But I understand - this thing is IMPORTANT. You can't cheap out when it comes to moving dirty water.

Mike picked it up last night and scheduled our plumber to come out on New Years Day. (We'll see if that actually happens - I don't think either of them realized it was the holiday.) In prep, we have to purchase a bunch of PVC and accessories. Mike's goal is to have all the drains plumbed and the furnace serviced all in one morning.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of the new bathroom every time I'm in the old bathroom. I want to be using it by the end of Jan - finished or no, it will certainly be functional by then.

Floored Again

Way back in the day when our basement was brand new.... (Yes, we lifted our house off it's original stone foundation and dug out and poured a basement. Check it out here.) We hired some random people to pour the cement floor. (Not included in your basement wall purchase.) And when I say random, I mean these guys saw our house lifted, stopped in, and offered to do the job. We took their card and said yes.

Thus far we've been pretty happy with our basement floor. I mean, come on. It's a slab 'o concrete. What more do you want of it?

But now that it's time to dig into it to plumb the basement bathroom, there's a problem. Mike brought home the big impressive saw to cut into the concrete last weekend. Turns out, that floor is 6-7" thick. Now I don't know much about basement floors, but that's freakin wicked thick! (NE accent, folks.) Mike seems to think it's only supposed to be around 2" thick. So he was cutting and cutting and cutting - up until the point I couldn't bare the cloud of dust anymore - and barely made any headway.

However, he was right in his assumption that it would be, "the messiest thing ever." Even with the bathroom area walled off with drop cloths and even with fans in two basement windows and the door to the outside open - the cloud of dust permeated upstairs into the house, lightly dusting everything.

Just yesterday, Mike brought home a jackhammer to begin the laborious task of removing concrete within the cut areas. He didn't have any goal set for today, jackhammer day, but he expected it to be slow and painful. I'm looking forward to checking out the progress later this evening...

Hostile DeepHo Takeover

Two empty carts and orange plastic in our pockets. An empty bathroom department, just ripe for a hostile takeover. Dream Day Sunday at the Home Depot.

Yes, there we were, picking out all our fixtures with all but blatant disregard for their prices. It was incredible.

First, the tub and shower enclosure. We chose the sturdiest tub option with a smooth shower enclosure that included built in shelving. Cost as expected, about $200 for the tub, $200 for the shower enclosure. (Caulk-less installation, cool!) That filled one cart. Mike dropped it off at customer service and returned with another.

Toilets. I wanted a name brand with Water Sense savings and high flush power. We chose a mid-range priced Kohler with those two features. $188.

On to the sink/vanities. Here, we ran into a snag. Mike wanted wood colored. I wanted white. We both wanted something of a decent size with the sink included in the price. There was nothing with a sink included that we could agree on, and the prices were outrageous. $400-$600 and no sink?! That was not what I had planned on. Then, around the corner, in between the aisles, there was a clearance vanity. A beautiful dark walnut colored, good size vanity with a white marble inset sink. "I like that one," I said. Mike liked it too, and it didn't have any major damage. Just some drywall dust a some small dings from a prior attempted installation.

We quickly brought over the sales lady who looked up the price, $199. SOLD. She even told us that we could probably get another 10% off at the register. We hungrily loaded it up next to the toilet.

Next stop, fixtures. Mike and I both immediately gravitated towards the brushed nickle and picked out a low to mid-range priced set for both the shower/tub and sink. (Matching at that!) Just over $100 each.

We didn't even bother with picking out the remaining needed lumber. This was a full truck load.

Amazingly, bringing it all into the basement was as difficult as we'd expected. The toilet was no prob. The vanity was a little awkward, but still no prob. The tub wasn't even a prob! The only challenging bit was the large shower enclosure back. No way was that fitting down the exterior basement door/stairs. But turns out we were able to easily bring it through the house's main entrance and down the interior basement door/stairs.

With everything in the room, it took just 15 minutes to arrange, rearrange, and decide on a layout. (And it definitely wasn't what either of us had originally imagined - yay for early fixture purchase!) The tub will go in the left corner, a closet will go across it on the right. The toilet will sit next to the closet and the vanity will sit between the two doors. In the end, this was the configuration that made the most sense to us.

Yesterday, our plumber friend came out to look at everything and advised Mike on clearances and all other things-good-to-know. The two of them will work together to plumb it out... hopefully soon.

That's a Big 'Ol Bathroom

Progress continues! Here, not even a week into this bathroom project, and three out of four walls are completely framed – vapor barrier up. The two doors, including one pocket door kit, have been purchased. And that 4th wall? Well, it would have been completed had Mike not run out of wood.

Next step - obviously, more wood. And I think it's time for the fixtures... (I'm looking forward to arranging things BEFORE plumbing them in.)