Friday, June 6, 2014

Slow Drains, Cracks and Leaks

Houses can be really frustrating, can't they?  Some days I just want to tear my hair out.

We had been contemplating renovations for this season.  There's a long list.  The exterior paint job on the house still isn't finished.  The gutters need replacing.  The driveway could use some gravel.  The front door has a pretty serious draft.  All important fixes and just the tip of the iceberg.

Remember this?
We had pretty much decided our plan of action and ....... not gonna happen.

Houses are like that aren't they? It's true.  Especially houses circa 1890. They have an agenda all their own.

It all started when Jody left town. The upstairs bath started to drain slower .. and slower ...... and slower ......... until it completely stopped. That was frustrating but workable. It’s amazing what a little vinegar and baking soda can accomplish. I got it running again, somewhat. When Jody came home he decided to look at the plumbing.  Just lift up the ceiling tiles in the downstairs bath and take a peek at the pipes .......  No.  That's NOT going to happen.

Our downstairs bath has ceiling tiles we can lift to access the upstairs plumbing
Frustrated yet?  Turns out the bathtub's plumbing isn't conveniently located under the ceiling tiles.  That plumbing is located in the hallway.  Sealed under drywall.  That’s not smart.  Some implements of destruction were required .....

look up... way up..
The good news is the pipes were located and a hairball the size of a large rat was removed. Well maybe it was a rat but we'll never know for sure.  The good news is I can now take a shower again without standing knee deep in water. Small victories.

That should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t. Of course.  Two weeks later I was cleaning the bath and I hear Jody yell STOP WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE DOING!!!!! You see, we hadn’t patched up that hole in the ceiling yet. Turns out that was a blessing and a curse. There is a leak. Had we patched up the hole we would not have known. But we didn’t and now we do. And my frustration level is rising. Little wonder really.  The plastic backing in the surround is full of cracks. Cracks that are leaking into the wall.

Definitely not the most stylish bath you've ever seen.  The oh so lovely plastic walls in the bath are the culprit.
Which means it needs to come out. And if you’re going to fix that, you might as well fix the entire bathroom.... Say goodbye to a new front door. Our budget has been seized by an unexpected bathroom renovation. So if you were wondering why my pinterest account has a sudden influx of tile and bathroom related pins, well, now you know. Let the renovation begin.

26 comments:

  1. Is this the house's way of asking for a claw foot tub? :).

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    1. oh how I wish. Unfortunately the tub that you see in the picture is a cast iron tub. Just not a claw foot. and it's near impossible to move. or get down the stairs. So it will stay. On the plus side we won't have to pay for a new tub? :)

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  2. These are good things for me to learn about for when I have a home someday with my honey!

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    1. That's so exciting Keith! You think you'll be house shopping in the near future?

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  3. We used to live in a house built in 1895 and spent 2 years restoring and renovating it. Once one project was done, another was discovered. We had to totally reno a bathroom, too, do to mold problems. But the fun part was doing as much as possible ourselves in demolition work to reduce costs. I remember giving my son a hammer and telling him it would be the only time I ever encourage him to knock holes in a wall. We had a crumbling plaster wall that had to come down and he was thrilled to help. Good luck and let the fun begin! :)

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    1. LOL, when we first moved in we took out the downstairs bathroom. I had never knocked a wall down before either. A lot of fun to put a hammer into that drywall.

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  4. OMG ... I so understand how frustrated you must be Marguerite ..one thing leads to another so quickly and so profoundly in renos you should start on medication right at the beginning of it all because it seems to never end with problems cropping up !
    We had a leak from the new dishwasher .. bad boy installer, never use a "cowboy" again .. so when the kitchen was being done we had to replace the floor because the leak snaked all underneath it .. took a real plumber to find it and FIX it and then the floor had to be replaced.
    Going through renos this past year/last Autumn .. I really really get how you feel girl !
    Good luck and try not to lose your sanity OK ? LOL
    Joy : )

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    1. Joy, what rotten luck. That must have been seriously frustrating to have a brand new renovation suddenly go wrong. At least with our house these things are somewhat expected. I think the lesson I've learned in our house is that a reno will never be simple. Always expect to have to rip out the walls.

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  5. I know how you feel, I really do. We have a "This Old House" too. Right now our basement wall moved during our cold winter. :-(
    I am wishing you luck and hanging with you. :-)
    Carla

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    1. It moved? good grief that sounds ominous. Didn't know they could do that. That does not sound like an easy fix. Wishing you good luck too.

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  6. Oh no! If it's not one thing it's another! Thank goodness Jody is handy - that certainly helps to defray the costs. I'm sure it will all look marvellous when it is finished but of course it's so frustrating to have to defer the other projects. Good luck - hope it doesn't take too long.

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    1. yup, Jody's going to learn a new trade this year - tiling!! LOL, poor guy. He should try playing dumb one of these days so he doesn't end up with so much work to do.

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  7. Oh, I so get you – I live in a Victorian London terraced house from 1890 and whenever something is finished doing there is another 5 jobs waiting to be done - and should really have been done already. I think in order to live in houses like this you just have to accept a certain standard or lack of standard. It will never be like a new house, no point pretending it is a new house or you will just be very frustrated. After almost 13 years in this house I have made peace with it. I have done the important stuff, but I choose to ignore some of the minor things. My backdoor should have been changed – for the last 13 years, I doubt it will be this year, or next year :-)

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    1. That's what gets to me I think. The long list of jobs waiting. There just never seems to be enough time or money. But the jobs keep piling up and they really do need to be done.

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  8. Hi Marguerite: There are so many ways to look at disasters and renos..in our case, I wish that was "all" we had left to do, fix a bathroom wall :)..I said to Jim tonight instead of calling our house Cranberry Cottage, it should have been "this crooked house"..Jim just thinks it adds to the charm..You know for sure that I understand how you feel and hope it works out well..we have our kitchen in except for counter, sink and tap hook up..won't be long and Jane will be here too..Happy gardening Lannie

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    1. There certainly is charm :) I love this house an awful lot but the charm wears a little thing some days. I just wish the to do list was a bit shorter.

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  9. It's true about old houses...but I think that the blessings outway the curses. It's still got such beautiful bones, and a new bathroom while expensive, will be so nice to have.

    Jen

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    1. Jen, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Such beautiful bones, how can we not spend the money and make her as beautiful as possible?

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  10. I love old houses, but they sure can be frustrating! We lived in a nearly 100-year old house for many years, and it seemed like something always needed fixing. And yes, one thing always led to another. Now we live in a much newer home--only 45 years old:) But there are still projects that always come up. You're lucky that Jody is handy enough to do much of the work himself. Given the choice between a nice bathroom and a new front door, I'd pick the bathroom:)

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    1. I guess that's it. No matter the home there's always work to be done. Would be nice if it didn't appear as sudden emergencies though :)

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  11. AAAAAARGH! I know this experience only too well! We have sixteenth and seventeenth century homes and there is always a new excitement getting in the way of the thing you really want to do - it's the price of living in these wonderful old houses. Plough on - it's the only way. You will soon have a lovely new bathroom to enjoy and you will truly appreciate it at the end of a day working on your beautiful home. Embrace the tile-choosing - it won't be long before you're putting a vase of flowers in your shiny new bathroom as a finishing touch.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I have to admit I've been having a hoot looking at tile. I'm currently really taken with hand painted mexican tile. Soooo beautiful and so pretty.

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  12. All worth it in the end Marguerite ! Old houses are such hard work but such characters that you forgive them every time... who wants to live in a spanking new box !!

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    1. so true Jane! this house has personality in spades, I'll give it that.

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  13. I can so relate! Right now we have problems with our septic bed. We may have to dig up half the backyard to lay a new bed. It is a huge expense...and we have the bathroom to renovate as well.

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    1. oh dear, does that mean digging up garden beds as well? What a disaster trying to move plants, as well as the expense.

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