Day 8: The drywall/painting contractor came with 3 helpers so work could be done in all rooms at the same time. No bathroom, no kitchen for entire day. Otherwise, thank God, there were no unexpected events.
Day 9: Marathon drywalling & painting. Tearing up the rest of the bathroom floor and installing new subflooring and new vinyl sheeting – which meant the toilet had to be pulled and the vanity removed, and which also meant no one could walk on the floor for at least 24 hours — so no access to the bathroom for 24 hours (no peeing, no washing of hands or brushing of teeth, no shower).
We had to take Cody and stay at a local motel overnight. We discovered that Motel 6 will accept a 44-lb dog WITHOUT A PET DEPOSIT. For a dog who’s never slept anywhere other than in her own house, Cody did pretty good.
Day 10: It was discovered that the new vanity we bought was defective and could not be installed. Home Depot opens early, so guess where I was at 9:00 am. We had the plumber scheduled for 3:00 pm, supposedly to install the new toilet and the new vanity (at least that’s what we told the person who took our order over the phone). The plumber arrived and told us he could only do the toilet, not enough time to do the vanity, too. *sigh*
And then, of course, the plumber had problems installing the new toilet (he blamed the manufacturer, but we figured it was him – who’s to know for sure?). And the labor cost was four times what we paid for the toilet to begin with. And we couldn’t use the new toilet for 6 hours! *double sigh* At one point, the cash register lady at Bon-Ton questioned why I was periodically trotting through the store without buying anything (Bon-Ton has really clean bathrooms).
And the drywall/painter guy had to suspend his work in the bathroom to allow the plumber access. The drywall/painter guy would have to come back on Saturday to finish up. *triple sigh* Which was kind of sad because the drywall/painter guy was so excited at how well the renovation had gone and wanted to see it finished nearly as much as we did so he could take the “after” pictures.
But the living room and kitchen walls and trim were FINISHED – and were (are) amazing, like something out of a magazine. As my husband said when we finally saw the completed work – “Damn, too bad we have to put the yard-sale furniture back in place.”
Days 11 & 12: Hubby and I both had to go back to work so no construction was planned.
However, I was at work for all of 5 minutes that first day when my husband called to tell me the newly installed toilet was leaking. Not CM took over, and I got through to the plumber’s supervisor. We couldn’t have anyone come until after work hours, but she sent a different plumber out to meet us when we arrived home. The new plumber took the toilet apart, reseated it, futzed around with it, and told us it was probably defective and would need new parts. He suggested calling the store and the manufacturer and told us what parts to order. On his way out, he commented, “I’ve had so many problems with this particular toilet that I keep the replacement parts right on the truck.”
He was gone maybe 10 minutes when that comment sunk in – what? He has the parts NOW? Call him back!
After completing whatever job he had gone to after us, the plumber returned. By that time, hubby and I had agreed that it would make more sense to just have a different toilet installed than to try to repair the old (2-day-old!) toilet (repair would cost $350 – a new toilet was $299).
We felt it made more sense just to take the defective toilet back and get a refund – if we had it repaired and it then leaked again, the store wouldn’t honor the warranty. The plumber had a basic toilet on his truck and would warranty both the toilet and his work.
The second toilet was installed and has been fine. I think God was on my side – the second toilet fits the bathroom better and has a more powerful flush. Lesson learned: sometimes it doesn’t pay to try for a more eloquent look in home décor.
Day 13 (second Saturday):
The drywall/painter and his assistant arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m. The kitchen ceiling was replaced, and the bathroom painting was completed and the new medicine cabinet installed.
Upon opening the box for the new light fixture, it was discovered that it contained no hardware or instructions – someone at the plant forgot to put that little packet in. (See how my luck goes?) The old light fixture was reinstalled.
CONTRACTOR WORK ALL DONE! NO MORE RUSHING UP TO THE CORNER TO USE THE FACILITIES!
Only a few items left: returning all defective items, picking up new light fixture (and getting an electrician to come out and install it, along with some other work we need done), and installing the bathroom vanity (our contractor told my husband how to do it because one plumber wanted $932 to install it and another wanted $650 – and we already have the vanity and faucet!). And the new window frames need to be stained or painted and reinstalled by the window guy (who insisted that no one else was to touch his casements).
Here are a couple of “after” pictures – I’m dying to share the fully completed bathroom, hopefully in the next few weeks.
Images by Cordelia’s Mom