The last two weeks started with the usual two steps forward, one step back, but since then it’s been more like one forward, one back, and a few sideways. Yes, the windows and bathroom floor went in, but the contractor who installed the tile botched the job. He told me he wanted to redo it at no cost to me. Fine. I was just glad I didn’t have to go through any hoops over that. Then it took all of last week to get the tile, so this week I’m hoping that bathroom floor 2.0 goes in. Here’s Bathroom Floor 1.0.
Yes, I brought the toilet into the room. The floor is really thick, and will be thicker still with a second layer of tile. I wanted to make sure that the toilet would fit under the window. There’s just enough space. The second version will be slightly different. I got matte tiles thinking they’d be safer and less slippery than glossy, and went with a lighter shade of gray for the grout. It looks a good bit darker than I thought it would.
So after a full week of barely doing anything with the place, we got back to work this weekend drywalling in the front bedroom. Yes, stopping and starting again, and clearing all the stuff formerly stored in this room and putting it back into the other bedroom. Sometimes it seems like we do more moving junk around than working. But then, are you ready for it? My dad noticed that although it was raining hard, no water was flowing through the waste pipe in the basement. Yes, we have combined sewers, so my rain water goes through my domestic waste pipe. And we found evidence of cement in the drain. We tried to clean it out, shoving a hose and some old wires and whatnot down the drain, and no luck. Instead a small piece of the pipe inside the basement broke off and water started spraying onto the kitchen cabinets I had stored down there. We were fuming.
Then today, we started preparations to (ugh!) replace the whole cast iron drain line. I started chipping out the wall and ended up pulling stones out from around the pipe. Somewhere along the line it occurred to us that this would be a huge project that would involve jackhammering part of the concrete slab out from the back yard, so instead we used the hole in the pipe to snake out the clog. Success! Water is now draining properly through it. We’ll have to patch the hole. Not exactly quality workmanship, but it’ll hold for a couple years until I redo the back yard right. Here’s the offending pipe. Pretty gross looking but it gets the job done. When we unclogged it, we found that there was in fact very little cement in the pipe, too. It was mostly shiny black rocks. Coal! So anyways, I decided I’m not so mad at the tiler after all.
Somewhat funny moment: my dad is obsessed with preventing larger objects from going down the drain and blocking it, so he put a washcloth inside to catch the coal. And then he let it go! You should have heard him scream. The washcloth flowed freely down to the front of the house, where the cleanout we pee into is, and I was able to retrieve it. Yeah, fun day.
Letting it go like that (for now) let us get back to what we came to do: drywall in the front bedroom. The back wall of the closet is done, so this room is now cut off from the bathroom and almost looks like a room again. Coming soon will be the front wall. This is another solid brick wall with no insulation. We’ll be covering over the original plaster with rigid foam and new drywall, which spells the end for the last original woodwork still in the house. Here’s another one for the Hall of Shame.
So what exactly are we looking at here? Lots of holes, obviously, and gorilla glue! Inside that, we have a very cheap window installed so crookedly (in a wall that’s actually square!) that it doesn’t even close. There are scraps of who knows what stacked up to reduce the size of the opening, and there are 1×3’s, that’s framing grade lumber, not what you’d ever have for decorative purposes, attached right to the tops of the window sills. I know this woodwork won’t survive being taken down, but I’ll be able to replicate it. Not just yet though because the front windows are staying until the brick is restored. And until I can afford the windows I want. And when I feel like doing another project. That could be a while.