Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rub a dub dub

Michael and I in a tub.

This was our bathroom. Actually, this was our guest bathroom. We'll both admit that this was the nicest room in the house. But, when you're renovating a house, what's one more bathroom? Plus, we wondered what we would find underneath the pretty exterior. We did find layers of tile, but nothing hair-raising. Unless you count the shoddy plumbing work. But really, it takes a lot to surprise Michael and I anymore.

It seems that the former owners decided to update the bathroom floor before selling. Good idea. I thought the floors looked great – and they did. But the person who put the floors in and reinstalled the toilet didn’t do such a great job. Because the floors were now about a half inch above where they were with the vinyl tile, the contractor/owner/moron needed to install an extension from the toilet to the drain. It’s about a 59-cent piece. Certainly not a budget blower, but essential in the process. Needless to say, the installer saved less than a dollar. Luckily, it was not a high-traffic area and we caught the problem rather early.

At first we thought we’d just install a new subfloor and tiling. Then we decided we should just start from scratch. So, out came the goggles, pry bars and hammers. We were mindful of pipes and electricity and took out the bathroom in a weekend.

Now Michael and I have an on-going debate about installing a bath or a shower. Slowly, he's winning that debate and I think we'll end up with a shower stall. Besides, most guests don't take a bath when they are visiting, right? I even asked my mother to weigh in on the debate. She voted with Michael.

I guess I shouldn't have asked.

What lies beneath

I've heard that a good foundation is the basis for every good relationship.

Our relationship with our house started on rocky (if not soggy) beginnings. But now we’re back in the clear after a bit of work underneath the house. Michael did most of the work. I was a happy and able assistant--I held the flashlight, crawled around measuring, worked with him to find the low and high points of the crawl space--until that fateful day when.... I saw not one, but two snakes. I haven’t been under the house since.

Michael installed the electricity and a sump pump. He took these pictures. He’s invited me back, but I’ve declined. We even had a contractor underneath the house, and he noted how nice the crawl space was – plenty of light, easy to get around. Every man should have a space of his own… and the crawl space is all Michael’s.

Before & after.
Really, there is a difference. It's much more dramatic when you're in there. I'm sure the snakes are much happier with their new environment.
I know I am.