Friday, October 16, 2009

Ahhhh....The Joys Of Home Ownership.....

Spent part of the afternoon under the bathroom sink installing a new faucet, drain, and supply lines. 3 days ago we had "Bathtub King" come out and resurface the sink and counter top. They were the "Cultured Marble" type (read: "PLASTIC") and over the years the basin had deteriorated to the point it was cracked and pretty fugly. They did a great job, so to go with the "new" look, I decided to put a new faucet on. Actually I have to back up to the day previous, as we told them I'd have the faucets and drain removed for them when they got here.
WELL....the shut-off valves didn't, so I had to shut the water off to the entire house to avoid flooding the bathroom. Thankfully, the guy across the street is a *real* plumber, and showed me how to connect a hose _between_ the outlets of the old valves until I got new ones, so I could turn the water back on to the house. With that out of the way, "Bathtub King" proceeded to grind out and "Bondo" (he actually used something else, but everybody knows what "Bondo" is) the damaged area. Then he sprayed the new finish on, and left for lunch while it cured. 3 hours later he came back and sprayed the clear overcoat on, at which point we had to wait 72 hours for it to fully cure.
Back to the valves.....The plumber and I don't "talk" the same when it comes to tubing (measured by OUTSIDE diameter) and pipe (measured by INSIDE diameter), so I bought the wrong size valves....TWICE! He finally said he'd get the right ones, and when he came back the next day, we had the new valves installed in about 15 minutes. This afternoon the finish was cured, so I put the new faucet, drain, and supply lines on.
It looks beautiful, and now the GF sees why I didn't want to just clean up the old faucet and drain and reinstall it.
Last month we pulled all the appliances out of the kitchen, and tore up the old linoleum. Two of the guys that live in the apartment building I was living at are expert tile guys, so the GF and I went to Home Depot, and bought the tile, baseboard pieces, and the (matching!) grout. She wanted the tiles in a "brick" pattern, rather than just a "square" pattern, so it took him a couple of extra days because he had to custom cut a LOT of the tiles. It also looks beautiful, but between the backer board, mortar, and thickness of the tile, the floor is now about 1/2" thicker, and the dishwasher would NOT fit back under the cabinets! Took me two days with a belt sander and a 40-grit belt to *carefully* remove enough of the wood under the countertop so the dishwasher would slide back in.
The "Tile Guys" also reset a bunch of the brickwork in the front porch that had settled over the years, resulting in a lot of loose bricks and cracked mortar. I was stunned how fast they did it. I figured it would take them at least a day to do it, but having the right tools, and experience, makes a big difference. They just knocked all the loose bricks out, used their tile saw to cut the old mortar off, and had all the bricks reset in about two hours!
Earlier this year we had all the windows replaced, the roof replaced on the house and garage, and painted the exterior. A lot of this was "Deferred Maintenance", and things that she'd just let slide, due to some family issues, but the house is pretty spiffy again.
Our next "project" will be to build an addition off the back of the house for my workshop/radio room, and get the electrical service upgraded.

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