Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When we bought the house, there was a door in the upstairs room (it's sort of an attic den) that led to a stubbed-in bathroom. It was bare studs and insulation, with plumbing sticking out of the wall for a sink, toilet, and shower stall. But with a little one on the way, we decided we needed to get it finished. With no kid, guests generally stay in the guest room on the main floor, and there's a bathroom right there. With kid, Christie's parents will be here more often (we hope), and having to stay in the upstairs. And having stayed up there myself, let me just say that it is no fun at all going downstairs in the middle of the night to pee.

Here's the timeline of the project so far:

Mid-November: With Christie out of town, I wire the switch and install a light fixture in the evenings. It takes longer than it should, and I don't do as good a job as I might have liked, but it gets done, which means we don't need to drag a lamp in to do stuff.

December, Week One: The plumber having reviewed the situation and a plan of action having been designed, I build a few stud walls in the bathroom to contain the vent stack and plumbing for the toilet. Later that week, I order materials and move the HVAC vent a few feet (after the plumber has come and done his thing).

December, 2nd Weekend: The drywall, bathroom fixtures, and my parents all arrive at roughly the same time. I take Friday off from work while my dad and I drywall the bathroom and get a start on taping an mudding. Sunday night, they go home, but only after my dad expresses his disappointment that we didn't get more done. In our defense, we installed 12 sheets of drywall, and thanks to the peculiarities of the room, not a single sheet was installed uncut.

December, Week Two: Christie and I finish the taping and the mudding, and the sanding. Good God, that's a lot of work. And a lot of dust. Lorie (Michael's wife) also comes and helps with the penultimate sanding. I level the floor with portland cement and cut the sheet flooring to fit. First coat of primer goes up Sunday morning, last coat of paint goes on Sunday night.

Yesterday: First trip to Westlake's for plumbing supplies, then home to do the first round of work. Cut off valves are installed, and there are no leaks. Sink is installed on vanity top, and list made of needed parts. Second trip to Westlake's for plumbing supplies. Second round of work. Much cussing when I realize that one of the cut off valves is the wrong goddamn size. Still, I hold off hope that I'll someday do a plumbing job in under 4 trips to the hardware store. Since I can't do anymore tonight, and tomorrow is trash day, I clean up my mess and take out the detritus of the last few weeks work.

Today: Third trip to Westlake's over lunch. Third round of work, followed shortly by the sinking sensation that I'm going to need to make a fourth trip to Westlake's. Turning on the water confirms this. Damn. There goes the record. Fourth trip to Westlake's. Fourth round of work concludes with us now having a functioning toilet and functioning sink in the upstairs bathroom.

Still to be done: Molding. Trim on the knee wall behind the toilet. Cover hole for shower drain and pipes (we're not even thinking of putting in that shower until a few years from now). Hang mirror. Clean. Oh, and I probably ought to put some toilet paper up there. Maybe even a toilet paper hanger, if I'm feeling generous.

Two and a half weeks ago, we didn't have a bathroom in the attic room, and today we do. We didn't do a perfect job, but I'm not going to catalog the problems, as they're all aesthetic. It's safe, it's functional, and it's up to code. Better than code, really, as we used the best hardware we could, if not the highest end surfaces (the vanity is just particle board, for example).

Not bad for a computer geek and a teacher. Pictures to follow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! The nice part is that you (or Christie) will smile, do a little dance, etc., everytime you are upstairs and you USE that bathroom. I did get a good laugh out of the *needing 4 trips to the hardware store* part.

Happy Holidays!
Rita