Miss me? You know you did.
In the last week or so, all of my spare time has been devoted to reading up on bathroom repair and remodeling. We’d planned to do some work on “the most expensive room in the house” eventually, but planning a remodeling project is kind of like planning to travel when you retire. It’s a nice to think about, but there’s always something more important popping up, grabbing your last discretionary dollar.
I say that like I have one.
Well, it’s not discretionary anymore. Woo-hoo! A chunk of tile, wall board, and soap dish came off in Adam’s firm grip a week ago, and now the only thing our bath tub holds is post-consumer construction materials. It actually feels liberating, having circumstances dictate priorities.
One side-effect all of this reading has been the unraveling of Cheryl’s nerves. She’s getting this idea I’m considering doing some of the work myself, and there’s a little doubt floating around. She dares to doubt my skills?!? Am I still the guy that did the tile floors in her parent’s condo, the wood floors in our house, or the sagging shelves in our bedroom? Let me tell you, I’ve got skills. My shop teacher in middle school used to tell me all the time my work was interesting. I’m convinced he meant it in a good way. Plus, I’ve got a pretty good selection of tools meant for cutting, pounding, and prying… just itching for a little action. I figure that old rusting tub has finally met it’s match! Pull up a picture of me and you’ll be looking at him.
I think I know what clinched it for Cheryl. I was feeling full of myself and I let something slip. I told her I needed a small sledge hammer (and possibly a chisel) to break up the cement shower pan installed by the prior owners. In case you’re not a long time reader, the prior owners (of the home office in Dunedin) own a dark chapter in Kauffman history. They promoted “short cut” to a way of life. No one dares speak their name in my presence, out of fear for my safety. Remember the DIY A/C job they made to make a sale, the home inspector who didn’t spot it (or didn’t report it), and the consumer who took his word for it? AGH! I was so naive. It never occurred to me to check the attic on our walk-through, prior to closing. It still hurts to talk about it.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Wait just a tub pulling minute! What does a shower pan have to do with a bad tub?” (Hey! I saw that. Don’t you leak any more water mister! Bad tub! BAD!) That or you’re thinking to yourself, “I’d pay money to see you swing a sledge hammer.” (I’ll pretend you didn’t think up that last one.) You see, I may be a little slow, but I’m not (usually) stupid. You just have to connect the dots between our two bathrooms: two places where the prior owners worked their magic. Just make sure you leave enough room on the page to draw a jagged line/detour down the street to the bank, and your friendly neighborhood loan officer.
Here’s Cheryl’s dilemma. Do we pay the big bucks for a licensed contractor, or let my mad skills roam free? What’s the worst that can happen? Heck, we all know how to swim.
I’m not particularly fond of indoor swimming myself, but if you can do something yourself for a quarter the price, finding your inner Bob Villa (assuming you have one) looks pretty tempting (especially when you couldn’t afford it at a tenth the price).
I think I’ve got a brilliant compromise. I do the demolition and most of the re-construction, but we leave the plumbing hook-ups to a plumber. See, I can do reasonable.