Friday, March 12, 2010
Down the Toilet
Where has the week gone?! Down the toilet, of course... literally. Besides the fact that all four of us are still battling the same old head cold we've been passing around for two weeks now, we also had some fun with plumbers in the last couple of days.
We actually noticed the water dripping out of our kitchen cabinet a few weeks ago. We realized that the toilet upstairs was running (we can't hear it downstairs, so it had been going for a while), so we were able to stop the dripping and clean up the dishes and the cabinet right away. Our wonderful plumbers came out the next day and replaced the wax ring which was basically non-existent. We really hoped that fixed the problem. Not so lucky. It dripped again a week or so later and we called the plumbers. They wanted us to re-caulk the bathtub and see if that fixed it, but we felt the location indicated that it had to be the toilet. When it happened a third time, again when the toilet was running, we asked them to come out and look at the toilet. Sure enough, when they came out on Tuesday this week and cut a big hole in the kitchen ceiling, they found the crack in the pipe under the toilet. The good news was that it was fairly cheap to fix the pipe with a section of new PVC, but the bad news was that we had to choose between cutting a hole in the tile floor in the bathroom or pulling down the kitchen cabinet to make the ceiling hole bigger. We went with the bathroom floor since we have no love for the crumbling avocado tile up there.
Guess what's underneath our bathroom tile! Hard wood flooring! Ruined by water damage, of course. And that's all, by the way, no subflooring for the tile job. They just stuck tile straight onto the varnished hardwood - so that's why the tiles keep popping off and look like they've been regrouted about three times in different spots with various colors of grout. Brilliant.
Mike got to be Handy Manny and help the plumbers cut out plywood to fill the holes left by the rotted boards in the floor. He also has high praise for his shop vac and suggests that everyone go out right now and get one if you don't already have one. He also feels he may have missed his calling as a carpenter because he loves the smell of sawdust so much. I'm getting scared that he's about to start filling our garage with thousands of dollars of equipment and wearing an apron and calling himself "Nahm" and talking all day about "mehshud drawrings."
The silver lining in all this - and please god, there must be a silver lining to all this, please - is that our cabinets under the hole are now super clean and bleached, I finally put down the shelf liner, and all our plates, cups, glasses, and bowls have been through the dishwasher. So the kitchen is sterilized. Also, the hole in the ceiling is actually hidden by the soffit above the cabinets, so once we tack that back up it will essentially disappear (until we decide to redo the cabinets - but we'll worry about that then). Also, the hole in the tile needs to be remedied, so we're thinking about pulling up the rest of the tile - should take about ten minutes since they pop off with the slightest encouragement - and laying some inexpensive linoleum in there for the meantime until we can get around to redoing the bathroom (a project that's actually near the top of our list). Even cheap, ugly linoleum would be better than what's in there now, and they actually have some pretty decent looking stuff these days. Could be a huge improvement.
Wanna see some photos?
Oh yeah, and one other thing... last week, the stairs fell off the deck. Mike happened to be standing on them at the time, but thanks to his cat-like reflexes (ask him about them, he'll be glad to tell you all about them any time), he just coasted down the steps as they were falling and didn't get hurt. Not to worry though, he already Handy Manny'ed them last weekend, so we're back in business. It never ends, it really doesn't.