Thursday, February 7, 2008



We have water. Ha!

Justin giving the thumbs up

Anthony has promised to come back this morning to finish some of the things he and Justin just weren't able to get to yesterday, like attach the filler and trim pieces around the bathtub and shower fixtures, which means breaking out some more tile since the spacing wasn't measured before the fixtures were installed. There are still some loose pipes in the walls, so they need strapping down. The water heater installation hasn't been completed yet -- though that was the appliance we started this whole adventure with (drains and straps and such are missing), and the kitchen and bathroom sink drains are leaking a bit. Oh, and the tub drain is clogged up with plaster and other debris. And apparently has sprung a major leak. I wonder how that happened? Gee.

Other than that, and a massive amount of wall hole-age and clean up still left to fix, we're doing fine. Even the cat seems to have settled in (he spent all of yesterday in the bedroom closet, buried in folded clothes under the hanging clothes. He was as contented a cat as I've ever seen him be in his hidey hole.)

We've grown to like bottled water, too. We can't really drink what's coming out of the taps yet because of who-knows-what kind of chemical contamination that's in it. It has an... interesting, piquant aroma... something like the burning and smoke generated by the plumbers as they went about their tasks inside and under the house. Apparently the residue is from the solder and flux and whatnot as the sweated the pipes together. It'll go away in a week or so, they say. OK. Fine.

The City got pissed because we turned the water off and on at their valve by the sidewalk. Apparently that's a NoNo, they're the only ones authorized to do that. Oh, really? Who'd a thunk. But their dambed valve was leaking anyway and had to be replaced, along with nearly everything else. At least they were pretty quick to come out when called. Didn't have to get all attitudinal about it, though. Excuse me. Ultimately everyone was mollified and we left as friends. Harrumph.

There's plaster dust all over everything, even though we tried to keep it confined to the areas of work by closing off the rest of the house. Apparently that wasn't enough. So prioritizing what to take care of first is the next task on the list. The holes in the walls can be temporarily covered over while we try to clean up as much of the debris and dust and stuff as possible, and then we can figure out how to keep the debris of repairs to the walls from overwhelming "living areas." Probably won't be entirely successful, but while we're doing it, we can begin to get rid of whatever we don't need anymore. Beacuse...

The floors are going to be another story.

An entirely different and more involved adventure. Repair and refinishing will lead, I'm sure, to redoing all the floors, which, realistically will mean moving out. To do that, after living here for 20 years, is going to be a somewhat more than daunting task.

We'll wait till spring.


  1. Repair and refinishing will lead, I'm sure, to redoing all the floors, which, realistically will mean moving out....

    I repeat. The best advice I ever got was to lie down until the feeling passes. Really. It's amazing what you can simply overlook over time. ;-)

  2. Bystander, wish we'd met online 4 years ago before the Asta family began remodeling. Our mistakes are coming back to haunt us. (But the bubble gum pink linoleum HAD TO GO!!!! Just saying.)

    Che, I am so happy that you have hot water now. And your family has survived the ordeal. Just exactly do you mean by redoing the floors? Did they have to remove/cut some planks or something when putting in the new plumbing?

  3. Glad to hear you're getting the basic plumbing back, at least.

    I can really empathize, although my basement issues are nothing compared to what you're going throuh.

    One thing you don't mention, but is evident, is the feeling of the contents of your bank account being emptied to the winds.

  4. bystander, I absolutely agree with you about letting that feeling pass, and yet... as you know, once the process begins, it's real hard to stop. And when something out of the blue starts things off, what can you do?

    asta, this adventure began when the old water heater blew out at 4am one morning, flooding the laundry room (ground floor) and unfortunately we couldn't prevent the water from seeping into the bedroom hallway, surfaced with oak flooring. We thought we got most of the water before it did damage, but obviously we were wrong. The floorboards in the hall are pretty wavy now, although not as bad as a few days ago. But if we start fixing the floor in the hall we'll want to carry on.

    One thing leading to another.

    And snabby, as for the bank account... ho ho. I'm anticipating another $400, maybe $500, a month indefinitely to pay for it. In this shitty economy.

    I think I'll go lie down now! Cold compresses. Migraine meds...

    The inspector is coming tomorrow to sign off on what's been done so far.

  5. Ché;

    I'm glad to hear that the job was done without too many incidents. You're in the SF Bay Area, as I recall; is this outfit a member of County Consumer Plumbing Group? That's an organization set up by the Pipe Trades locals in the region, of union shops. For that matter, which contractor did you go with?

    Also, if you manage to talk to Justin, he might want to know that CalOSHA rules require that he wear eye protection, and that his employer could plausibly fire him for not doing so. From the sound of things, he didn't go to a hospital to get it looked at. You might inquire as to whether he was aware of these regulations; the more I think about this, the more this sounds like a rat outfit, but one never knows. There's the occasional macho idiot who thinks he's immune to danger, and that the safety rules are for sissies. It sounds, also, like he's an apprentice.

    Anyway, it's good to hear that you've got (hot) water again. I would advise, however, against attempting to drink any water from your pipes for awhile; not that you were necessarily planning on this.

    In the meantime, good luck!

  6. Oh gosh, sorry to hear that the water from the hot water heater damaged your floors. I had hoped you would escape that problem. We have wood floors as well but our problem is totally different -- dry rot. We've found a place that has started in the living room, secretly doing its dastardly destruction under the sofa. Found it when we did some rearranging, than decided to not rearrange until we learn how to stop it from spreading. (That's my next internet search.)

    The domino effect can get really frustrating.

    But just think how beautiful the new floor will look!