Sunday, February 27, 2011

...and Then We Ran Away From Home

Here's the lowdown on the house projects. I don't know that I've summarized all we're having done. So here it is.

Repaint the exterior and reglaze the windows. Done. Finished. Thank goodness.

The bathroom: New flooring to replace rotting hardwood, regrout shower tile, refinish the tub, install shower doors so future flooring doesn't rot like the old wood floor. (What a concept!)

The mudroom: Get a stackable washer and dryer and place beside the water heater and put louvered doors in front of them. Replace the old, horrible, aluminum, horrible, crappy, horrible window with double casement windows so you can actually see the backyard, which we've kind of busted our heinies on over the past 11 years. Put some tile down on the painted plywood so we have an actual floor out there. Replace the back door that has a tiny little cat door that Dinky keeps trying to use with a full glass door.

See the horrible horrible window?

The kitchen: Rip out our horrible made-from-plywood horrible 1940 cabinets and the horrible, horrible tile horrible countertops and replace with new cabinetry with stainless steel countertops on one side, butcher block on the other and get me a halfway decent range with a vent-a-hood that will suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. (I'm originally from Arkansas! Can you tell, y'all?)

We haven't started that yet.

What HAS happened is this:

They came and took away my toilet and sink for four days. Then they got my toilet and sink back and took away my water heater for four more days while they put the tile down in the mudroom, rendering my replaced sink and my shower useless.

The mudroom tile is pretty, though.

Just when they replaced my water heater, the Grout Doctor came and took over my shower for another day. Then the tub refinisher followed right after him. Two more days. Then they installed shower doors - another two days. Then the plumbers reinstalled the drain.

This was not Jeffrey the Beneficent, who restored my toilet. No. He was on vacation. These guys... oh, these guys. Witness the following exchange when they were refurbing the tub drain to keep it from dripping.

Howler Monkey 1: "Ma'am? These fixtures... wow. They're REALLY old. We're going to have to drive around a while looking for parts for this."

Me: "That faucet is four years old. We bought it at Bird."

Howler Monkey 1: "Oh... really? Well, in Plumbing Years, four years is really old."

Me: "Go to Bird. Talk to Mike. Get the parts you need. See ya."

So these guys came back to replace the drain. In case you've lost count (I haven't) this bathroom project at this point was stretched to 16 days. Thank god all but four of those we've had a toilet. But ALL BUT FIVE of those days, I've been without the use of a shower. I've been having to mooch off my neighbors and my in-laws. The drain replacement should have been the last thing on the list and after the putty dried (another 24 hours), we SHOULD have been finished.

But no. Did I mention who my plumbers were?

Naturally, since the tub refinisher told them to be careful putting the drain in and not torque it too much, they torqued it too much and tore the finish. Around the drain. Which meant it would eventually rust. Which was, of course, unacceptable. So back the tub refinisher came to touch up. And boot us out of the shower for another 48 hours. Only he forgot to put something on the faucet to catch the drips. So the fresh paint got wet and buckled again. Back the refinisher came AGAIN to touch up. Another 48 hours of me loading myself in the car and driving over to my in-laws for a shower. We're up to a total of 20 days on the bathroom project, 15 of which I've been without a shower. I told Nick (the contractor) that if I saw these plumbers' truck in my driveway again, I'd set it on fire. Promise honest.

And then we ran away from home.

To the Sunspree on Wrightsville Beach, 15 minutes from our house.

It was glorious.

That's right. The Sunspree is at the end of THIS rainbow, people.

Twenty-four hours of a working shower, just STEPS away! No house projects! No responsibility!

Just me, Pootie, a couple of books, and a 6th floor room with a beach view.

We had gorgeous weather Sunday.

Perfect for relaxing on a lounger and reading.

Or watching people on the beach.

Or messing with Pootie.

We returned a little less cranky, and to a shower that has fully cured and a bathroom that is FULLY FUNCTIONAL! Forecast for Andie: Sunny and warm! I might even be in a tolerable mood until they destroy my kitchen on March 14.

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