Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow football

My niece, Madeleine, is here for the weekend.  She and Dave were lamenting that she wasn't here over Christmas for the good football game then.  So, they wanted to get out there and play this weekend.  Despite the snow on the ground, we headed to the middle school to play a family game.  Luckily, I got to remain on my feet as the game photo and videographer.  Here are some of the highlights.

I'm pretty sure this is pass interference, but we'll allow it because of the size mismatch.

Looks like he got his revenge!

Madeleine went all out.  She ended up on the ground a lot!

 I was also playing with my new camera to try to get some shots of the kids.

Of course, a big snowball fight broke out.  

Zack received a snow earplug.  He was none too happy.

The gang of kids.  Aren't they cute!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Down to the subfloor...

Well, the last two days have been grueling work, but we've accomplished everything we wanted to. Removing the vanities proved more difficult than expected.
I removed the shut-off valves and cut the drain pipe. But, on the left vanity cabinet, they have the water coming in through the floor and the drain pipe out the back. I didn't want to cut either one of them too short and cause a problem for the plumber. But, I did need to pick one to cut (or cut the cabinet) or that cabinet was not coming out. I cut the drain pipe and hopefully, it will not be problem for the plumber.

Rachel and I installed new shut-off valves for each of the sinks. She enjoyed being able to do that. And, at the end of yesterday, everything was off the floor. It's a nice feeling.

Today started with a tougher task - removing the linoleum. That is always a pain, and today was no different. It was back straining work for me to pull up those sheets of wood with linoleum on them. But, after a couple hours, I had it all up. Luckily, I convinced Rachel that pulling up all the staples, like hundreds of them, would be fun. She was enjoying that long after her bedtime. I was reluctant to make her quit. Fewer for me in the morning sounds wonderful!

But, as you can see the bathroom is quite empty. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for our bedroom! (Note: the vanity cabinets have now been moved to the front porch for pickup, but still....)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 3

Church and football put a dent in the time I had available today. But, I needed to make good use of having Dave to help. So, we took down the big mirror. We're hoping to repurpose it by cutting it into two smaller mirrors and building frames around them. Of course, when we pulled the mirror off the wall, we found a chunk of drywall missing with exposed pipes. Not really sure what that was for and not really looking forward to yet another drywall patch to do.

Then, we began to tackle the vanity. I'm pretty sure every plumber that I have ever had here has been on the stereotypically large size. Every time I do plumbing work, though, I wonder how they manage. Fitting inside the small door of the vanity on my back reaching up between pipes and the sink to get to the tiny nuts holding on the faucet is quite a challenge. How a fat person does it is really baffling to me.

We had hoped to donate the vanity cabinets and the top to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, but Dave and I had a very difficult time getting the top off. The glue was holding tight and the double vanity top was pretty heavy. In the end, we decided that we would need to call in reinforcements, so we smashed it. Unfortunately, Dave tackled that when I wasn't up there with camera in hand. It made quite a loud crash from where I was a floor below.

It would be so nice if I could just pull out the cabinets and put them outside to be picked up. But, no, I'm going to need to disconnect the water so I can remove the shut-off valves, move the vanities and them reinstall the shut-off valves. It all seems so simple in theory, but each step takes longer than expected. But, I should be able to get that done tomorrow and probably get the toilet out as well.

So, I'm hoping that tomorrow we will have an empty bathroom. Fingers crossed - don't hold me to it, though, because I've also got to volunteer in class, get the kids from school, help with homework, cook dinner, etc. Hopefully, I can talk one of the kids into helping me with the plumbing tomorrow. I like teaching the skills that I've learned so that one day, my kids will feel comfortable to tackle these projects themselves if they so desire.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 2

So, day 2 gave me a helper, which I desperately needed for today's to-do list. Main objective - remove the bathtub. Easier said then done, for sure!

Removing the framing around the tub would have been much easier with a Sawzall, but we had to make do with a crow bar and hammer. It was definitely a challenge that provided a good workout for our arms.

We worked together and finally got the frame up and began to tackle the tub. Once again, not as easy as expected. The faucet pipe must have been built after installation of the tub. The pipe had a washer that could not be removed to allow the pipe to be removed through the hole. It required us to cut the copper pipe. Not a big deal since it has to be moved anyway, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Then, the big obstacle - the tub drain! We had this problem with the kids' bathtub as well. The metal part of the drain screws into the pipe. But, it is so tight and we just don't have the right tool to unscrew it. In the kids' bath, we were able to get it with WD40 and some elbow grease. But, we just could not get ours. Eventually, we took another approach - cut the drain pipe from underneath. An hour later or so, but we finally got the tub detached and out of there.

Whew! Day 2 done. A lot of work getting all the debris off the floors and walls and out to the trash. But, we have a much emptier bathroom! Good results. Overall I'm very happy. Our goal - get the demo 100% done by Wednesday when the cleaning ladies come to clean up the mess we're tracking all over the house! Maybe they'll need a bonus this week.

And, so it begins....

Renovation of our master bath has truly begun! We've had a lot of setbacks already. Contractors don't come as scheduled or never send us a bid. We've struggled to pick out all the pieces we need to complete the bathroom. But, eventually, I decided to be my own general contractor, but we're hiring out plumbing, electrical and tiling.

So, step one is to demo the whole bath. As we have already received our vanity (and it's crowding our bedroom) and the bathtub should be here shortly, I figured it was time to go.

The Before:

Rachel and Alex were excited to help me. We took off the shower head and shower doors. Then, the fun began - smashing the tiles!

But, that wore off quick. This is where they left me for the day. They were tired and their arms were sore. Wimps!

Dave was at work, so I was on my own. But, I managed to clear all the tiles from the shower area and get up the shower pan. Unfortunately, we found a wonderful nest of ants behind the shower. After grossing out Rachel with them and them sucking them up with the ShopVac, I finished with only minor issues. Overall a successful day!

The end of day 1!