A Tub In Time

Mike is a highly distractable dude. We've talked about this before... you know, the whole, "No New Projects Until Unfinished Projects Have Been Completed" policy that I try to keep in effect? This weekend, his goal was to put in the tub. Unfortunately, he got stuck on Sunday... he wasn't 100% confident on putting in the drain and had a slew of questions. He called our plumber friend who promised he'd try and come out some time this week.

But, with plenty of other tasks to be accomplished, Mike continued on, purchasing more lumber & doors for the closet and additional plumbing parts. And that brought Sunday to a close, since we had a dinner/tax date in the evening.

So, with all this to do downstairs, plus hooking up our new car stereos, plus hooking up our new Wii, plus a whole lot of other projects I shouldn't even mention.... what the hay - the new furnace filter, the Jeep go-cart project, cleaning the carpet/couch with the upholstery machine we brought home like 3 or 4 weeks ago... ok, I'll stop there. So, with all that, I was shocked to hear that he borrowed a metal detector on Monday and was gallivanting around the yard searching for our property markers.

Really? As I said, highly distractable. His reasoning was the putting up for sale of the house next door, who uses a portion of our property for their driveway. We don't mind that they use the land - we're just not giving it up. Still I ask, really? The house just went on the market and I'm guessing it will take some time to sell, just like last time.

And he didn't even find the markers he was looking for. The detector at one point beeped "GOLD" so he got down and dug... beer can. I reminded him again how useless I thought a metal detector was in our yard. For years, previous owners had buried their trash. (That's just what they did in the olden days.) So there's a ton of junk underground. We've found car parts, dishes, bottles, cans, and plenty of other worthless junk in the ground out there - simply by accident, or by digging.

Sometimes, you just can't argue with guys. I'm just hoping our plumber can visit us soon so this weekend doesn't turn into a scavenger hunt to nowhere too.

Is There Bathroom Yet?

Would you believe after our disappointing run to the HD, Mike went to begin plumbing and discovered that we’d purchased the wrong gauge of pipe? A fitting end to a trip fated for disaster.

But it all ended well, since on the same trip to return the pipe, Mike returned a bunch of lattice connectors (leftover from summer farmer’s porch work) that we didn’t need.

*And let me take a time out here because I had to FORCE him to take this stuff back. What is up with guys and returning stuff? Sure it’s been months. Sure we don’t have the receipt. But they’re Home Depot! Unless you’ve cut it, drilled it, or damaged it in some obvious way – they will take it back! But did he want to take it back? Noooooo. Not without me. I said, “Fine, I’ll go.” Then, the reply was, “But I’ll have to put away all the stuff in the garage…[that was littered about the driveway]” So I said, “Ok, then I won’t – but you’re going to take it back! I would do it myself, but it won’t fit in my truck.” He grudgingly loaded it up… And came back with nearly $50 in store credit from the lattice connectors alone! ($40 additional in cash from the pipe, which he’d had the receipt for.)

$50 that would have been otherwise just sitting in the basement until it was damaged and needed to be thrown away. GUYS! And by the way, I have embarrased myself plenty of times trying to bring stuff back that was cut, drilled, and/or damaged in an obvious way. So what? It’s worth the try every time.

Going back to the bathroom – Mike then purchased the pipe at his work for a better price. Boo-yah, meant to be. He’s been plumbing all week after a flair up of eczema on my face got us both back thinking about the ill health effects of that dang old bathroom.

And as for the tile? My sweet sweet sweet tile. I asked Mike to measure and give me the amount of tiles we needed. (12x12 makes it simple – one square foot each.) The grand total: 120 tiles, and of course we’d need extra. No problemo. I hop back onto Lowes.com, find my tile, put the price into my caculator and…. HAD A FREAKIN HEART ATTACK.

A box o tile contains 11 tiles. A box o tile costs about $58. I estimated we’d want to get at least 13 boxes. THAT’S OVER $700!!!!! Plus tax, thanks Massachusetts.

I was so flabbergasted.  I thought about it for over a week, looked at other tile on other websites, and even visited Lowes the store. $58 for 11 was a comparable price. Plus, I didn’t like anything else I saw anywhere else. There’s just not much choice in the Blue color scheme. Much of it was 12x12 squares made up of itty bitty mosaic tiles. No thanks.

I thought about it. Thought about it. Then last night, Mike gave me the news… he was going to be finishing up the plumbing. The closet would need to be built – a fairly easy task. And then the tile. That was just the next step.

I had to make a decision and I bought it. My plastic is still steamy hot from the transaction. Ugh. Who would have thought the flooring would have been nearly as expensive as all the fixtures?

It will be delivered to the store 2/8. Almost makes me wish I had ordered it a week ago, but no matter. Plenty of time to finish up the plumbing, closet, and tie up any other lose ends.

And we may be getting a brand new kitchen… yes. Maybe.

DeepHo Lack of Anything

With the beginning of a new week, Mike and I were all fired up to get back on track and back downstairs a-workin. But, first thing was first. We needed more materials! So Mike made a list on Monday and we packed up the fam and headed off to the Home Depot around 6:30pm.

Upon our arrival, we decided to pick out the tile first. They had NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING besides gross, ugly, mundane, monochromatic, or cheeseball. I couldn't believe it. No brilliant colors whatsoever (besides black - cheeseball) and no aesthetically pleasing textures or designs. It was all these boring earthtones - brown, brown, lighter brown, greenish brown, etc etc. They reminded me of tile you'd find in the bathroom at your local Casual Family Dining Establishment Chain. Ew and gross. No.

What I'm looking for is a brilliantly interestingly textured dark blue (like the deepest depths of the ocean and you get lost at sea just looking into it) tile. Big tiles - 12x12. Here's ones I like from Lowes: Awesome Tile This will be in stark contrast to the walls, which will be a light (but still "deep" if you know what I mean) grey. Think of that same day on the middle of the ocean... the sky covered in clouds - but not storm clouds. Peaceful, quiet grey... no harsh sun beating down on you. You're all with me on my design vision here now, right? The white tub and toilet, brushed nickle fixtures, and dark wood trim and vanity hint at a nautical feel without putting stupid boats and life preservers on the wall. Because I'm not "beachy," despite being a native Cape Codder, and I'm not "boaty" either. In fact, I have an aversion to either theme and all the related items sold at Christmas Tree Shops.

Long story already made long, we left the flooring department empty handed. I'll go to Lowes, where the tile selection is so much better. (This is where I purchased my mudroom tile.)

Next stop - plumbing, for all the copper piping and fittings. Only one problem. Hardly ANY copper pipes. And I mean there were like 5 for each size category. I'm not exaggerating. We picked them dry of the category we needed, (with 5) leaving a warped 6th pipe on the shelf. It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever seen, especially since all the other shelves of PVC were stocked full. As you can imagine, this did not satisfy our list. Mike picked out all the fittings he could, but still couldn't find many of the other things on his list.

Mikey and I left him for a bit to pick out a fan/light fixture in the next aisle. (Didn't quite plan on it, but sometimes I don't get to go on these DeepHo trips. May as well pick out what I want while I'm here. Plus, we wanted to get up to $299 to avoid interest on the DeepHo card... fat chance with the lack of copper, but we would soon see.) So there we two were, in the fan/light fixture section. I picked out one at a median price that moved a lot of air while still being very quite - plus had a light and night light feature. Just what I wanted!

Problem was, they didn't have any in stock. I even got down on the floor and searched through all the boxes. No luck.

Mike and I met up shortly after. He had bad luck, I had bad luck, and the cart wasn't very full at all. It was very frustrating for the two of us, who were already frustrated that we were behind schedule and hadn't been able to get out and purchase these materials. The one night we decided to just do it - we're sh*t outta luck and outta stock.

Needless to say, we did not make the $299. I'll have to buy tile in cash since I don't have a Lowes card. (And don't want one at the moment.) Urg. Not as planned.

Maylay and Delay

It's been a full 10 days since I last said of our progress, "Wow." Today, on the other hand, I say, "Eh." Eh because we've accomplished nothing substantial. Eh because I've been just flat out dead tired and not feeling well. Eh because I had to work last weekend and that sent me into a spiral of exhaustion from which I am just now starting to escape from. Hey, other then that, things are just peachy keen.

I'm hoping we can start turning all that around this weekend. Already this past Tuesday night, Mike brought home a new filter for our furnace and installed it. (Whole house still smells like oil... or maybe I'm just super sensitive to it.) But we're both pretty happy since that seems to have fixed our whiny, noisy furnace issue.

The cement is probably dry downstairs at this point and ready for tile. Too bad we have yet to purchase the tile... It's on the shopping list along with all the copper piping to finish the rough plumbing. If we can purchase all that this weekend, great. If we can start plumbing this weekend, even better. If we can schedule the tiling... well, that would just be ice cream next to a cake that had already been iced.

In with the Water Out

Wow. That's all I have to say. Our plumber came out Sunday morning as planned and he and Mike hooked up all the drains (bathtub, toilet, sink) in under an hour. Mike spent the rest of Sunday morning and early afternoon cleaning out all the rest of the broken cement, rocks, and dirt from the basement. (Throwing large pieces up and out the window, carrying small bits and dirt up in bucket loads.)

By late Sunday afternoon, he was on his way to the DeepHo to pickup cement. 
By late Sunday evening, all the trenches and pipes within the trenches were sealed and re-cemented beautifully. Not to mention that the entire area was clean and free of cement debris.

Pipe Pattern

The Evacuator

Cat prints immortalized

To repeat, Wow.

Too bad the dump was closed today. (Monday)

Next up, all the copper piping to plumb the water "in." (Since we already have the water "out" covered... literally at this point.) Then tile, electrical, insulation, and drywall. As far as I'm concerned, all that is the easy part. Once the copper is bought and installed, the difficult and expensive part will be officially complete.

What a way to ring in the new year!