06:53:41 am on
Sunday 21 Jul 2024

Bathroom Remodelling 2
Matt Seinberg

Our bathroom remodelling started this past Monday. Demolition was supposed to take a day and half. When I got home from work that night, there was a blue tarp in front of the garage, which had to be at least 8' by 10', and piled high with roughly three feet of debris.

Here's the kicker.

Rich, the contractor, went to pick up the new bathtub at the East Meadow Home Depot on Monday; both the tubs, in stock, were damaged. In order to go get another tub at another store, he had to get a refund to my card. When I bought that and other stuff, my father in law was with me, and I got his 10% Veterans Discount. The one Rich bought didn't get the discount.

Off to the Farmingdale Home Depot and the two it had were damaged, too. On to Copiague and the first one they had was damaged. Rich knew a fellow in that store, who checked stock; there was one more bathtub, in an overhead bin, on a pallet. They brought it down, it looked good and they loaded it in his truck. This little adventure cost him three hours of work time.

I was off the next four days. I saw the progress, which almost came to a screeching halt on Tuesday, when they finished pulling up the old floor. Years ago, they put down six inches of concrete over screening, with the tile on top. They also notched the floor beams, which supposedly held everything down better.

Rich took one look at that and let out a big, long sigh.

Always remember your gift cards when going shopping.

We had to go to Lowe's and the cabinet store anyway, so we just had to add plywood, construction adhesive and screening to the shopping list. As we're walking into the store, I suddenly stopped. I told Rich we had to go back to the house, as I forgot my $225 in gift cards.

You know that look that someone gives you when you do something stupid. I got that look from Rich and deservedly so.

Instead of going right back to the house, we stopped and picked up the three cabinets, which were right down the road. It wasn't a totally wasted trip.

We get back to the house, bring the cabinets inside and I get the gift cards. We're also having Rich install a new front storm door and those gift cards almost paid for it.

Back to Lowe's, with gift cards in hand, and we get the storm door, sheets of plywood, construction adhesive and screening. Back we go again to the house.

Rich and his workers unload everything. He explains to Art and Dennis, his workers, exactly what he wants them to do. I go downstairs and start to put down the drop clothes; I know a big mess is coming. Rich, Art and Dennis open up a good portion of the dropped ceiling. They also took down the damaged soffit, which covers up the sewer pipe.

They're also going to rebuild that soffit, so it wasn't a big deal. Once that's up, they have to re-grid the dropped ceiling and replace the tiles. Then they'll put in the new front storm door.

Anyway, they have to reinforce the joists before they put the plywood down and that is noisy. I kept Daphne in the bedroom with me most of the day, just so she wouldn't be bothered by the noise.

They started to sheetrock on Wednesday, after they installed the tub. They also started the rough in plumbing. Back down to the basement.

Remember, I wrote, previously, about the leak in the basement that my neighbor Pete, the plumber, fixed? It turned out that one of the pipes he capped was actually the vent for the bathtub. Now, I know why it was running so slow. Rich had to put in a new vent, and run a brand new drainpipe to the main pipe in the basement. I love when new stuff goes in and works well.

The reliability of neighbours.

Our next-door neighbour let me shower over there for two days, but on Wednesday morning called, before I go over, to say I couldn't come over anymore. She offered no explanation, at all. Well, guess what, no more snow blowing for you, ever again. This is just another reason I'm not a fan of elderly women, they change their minds for no reason, Needless to say, I didn't shower on Wednesday.

I told Rich this and he just shook his head. He was doing the rough in plumbing on Wednesday and they started to tile the shower area on Thursday. He told me later that day we would be able to shower; he was putting up plastic sheeting just to protect the tile and sheetrock. It's nice to have our shower back!

The bathroom is still empty, with much more tiling happening on Monday. Once the walls are finished, they can start the floor and the vanity, with a temporary sink, and we can get the countertop templated and measured.

All I can say is this. Count on the contractor before you count on your neighbours.

Click here to read Part One of this series.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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