Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow

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Plumbing

At Our New Old House the plumbing was one of those things that we knew we’d have to do eventually but that never gave us enough of a problem to fix right away. However, when the faucet on our tub stopped working and we discovered how difficult it was going to be to connect a new faucet to the old pipes, we decided to hire a plumber to re-do our whole plumbing system.

Here are the old pipes to the tub:

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And here are the new flex tubes, which are much easier to attach to fixtures.

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Since we were going to have the plumber here anyway, we asked him to remove some of the scary old fixtures that had been left behind by previous owners. This toilet was a must to go.

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And so it  was gone…

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And they capped the drain hole.

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The pipes were all galvanized before and probably very close to original on the house and had calcified inside quite a bit. Here’s the inside of one of the valves they took off:

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So, with all the galvanized gone they replaced it with Pex.

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Now our water pressure is GREAT, the hot water gets to the tap really hot, and fixtures are all easy to attach!

We used John Carroll of Des Moines (Carroll Plumbing, LLC) and we were really satisfied with his work.

Flooring Day Two: Installation

 These are pictures from the day I wrote the two “S.N.A.F.U.” posts about. Once Brandon got the kinks worked out with the flooring contractor they got to work.

(These pictures aren’t of the same quality as my usual pictures because Brandon took them with his phone’s camera, but I think it gives the whole thing a certain romantic antique look.)

The bathroom, sans toilet and sink pedestal:
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The bathroom, sans bath tub:
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The bath tub plumbing:
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The toilet base:
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Installing the subfloor in the kitchen:
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Installing the subfloor in the bathroom:
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Check back soon for pictures of the finished floors and some adventures with the bath tub!

[tags]ceramic tile, plumbing, contractors, kitchen, clawfoot tub, bathroom, photos, shower, flooring[/tags]

S.N.A.F.U. and how!

We’ve hired a professional flooring company to install tile in our bathroom.  We worked with them for several weeks, stopped in at the store twice, and had several phone discussions in setting all this up.  He told us we’d need to have our clawfoot tub disconnected so they could move it out of the room, which was fine.  The sink is wall mounted, so that’s not a problem.  They didn’t say anything about the toilet.

 This morning the crew arrived for installation and informed us that not only were we supposed to have the tub disconnected, but that the pipes needed to be cut down below the floor.  Also we’re supposed to have a plumber to re-set the toilet because they need to remove it. 

Was this stuff I was supposed to know already?  And even so, shouldn’t they have checked to make sure this was done before showing up for the install?

 Oh, yeah.  And they showed up on site and asked Brandon, “What kind of grout did you want for this?  We don’t have it on the order.”  DON’T HAVE IT ON THE ORDER?!  We discussed this in the store!  Pointed to the one we wanted and the guy wrote it down.  So they showed up with the wrong grout and will have to see if they have the color we wanted before going ahead with the job. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the gutter company that was supposed to stop by at 8am to give me an estimate didn’t come.  I left for work and half an hour after our appointment was supposed to be, the guy called me.  His scheduler (who I confirmed the address with three times, once by my entering it on their website for them) had given him the wrong address, several blocks up the street from my house.  When no one came to the door he spent half an hour working up an estimate on the wrong house before he bothered to call me. 

This is going to be one helluva day.

[tags]flooring, ceramic tile, contractors, bathroom, shower[/tags]

There can’t really be more wallpaper… can there?

Oh yes, my friends, there is more wallpaper. In fact, I probably haven’t gotten through half the wallpaper in this house yet.

(Consider this fair warning: I am cranky at the time of writing this. I worked overtime at my day job yesterday. Then I battled my way in to work this morning through an ice storm so I could work some more overtime. Meanwhile my darling husband’s day job called him this morning and told him not to bother coming in, they were closing on account of the weather. What makes getting out of bed on a cold, crappy, icy day even harder? Leaving behind a warm and snuggly somebody who gets to sleep eight more hours than you do. So, I’m cranky. Try not to hold it against me. Or, you know what? Hold it against me. I kind of feel like picking a fight right now anyway. But I digress…)

This weekend I scraped the last bit of painted wallpaper in the front bedroom, which left me with walls full of brown paper residue. Here’s the progress midway through scraping all that residue off:

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I got bored of that room so I went on to the bathroom, which had sad looking strips of peeling wallpaper everywhere. I pulled it all down and made a pile in the hallway:

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When I was done pulling, the walls looked like this:

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Here’s why having wallpaper in the bathroom (anything more than a border or a trim) is a bad idea. See those water spots over the window and over the woodwork behind the shower? There was mold growing on that paper. The mold was hidden behind a layer of “bathroom ready” wallpaper. Wallpaper in the bathroom? Just don’t do it.

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Now the joyful work of removing at least three more layers of wallpaper can begin! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip… oh f*** it.

While I was in the bathroom with a stepladder I took a picture that tells another cautionary tale. Well, two cautionary tales. I want you to look at the picture, see if you can guess what it is, and then don’t bother to tell me your guesses because frankly, I don’t care. Ok, you ready? Go.

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The previous owners of my house smoked. A lot. Everywhere. Including the bathroom. An interesting fact about the bathroom in my house is that it has never had a shower. Just a clawfoot bathtub. Brandon and I installed a shower and have been happily cleaning ourselves in it ever since. But one day I looked up at the ceiling over our shower and found these puzzling spots. Turns out the tobacco residue on the ceiling paint has been loosened by the steam of the shower and is now congealing in little blobs over the source of the steam: the shower. So, the moral of the story, kids, is DON’T FREAKING SMOKE A PACK OF CIGARETTES WHILE YOU’RE ON THE JOHN!!! Or if you do, then just never install a shower. Either way.

Cranky Kelli, over and out.

Super-fun amazing plumbing, part 2

In addition to the wonderful parts I got from American Plumbing Supply, I also got a piece of pipe that makes the shower stand a towering 7 feet tall!

Admittedly it’s not pretty, but this is a $10 fix for a $1 part I bought at the ReStore for an item I had originally budgeted $200 for. It gets less ugly when I look at it in those terms. Plus, it’s hidden behind the shower curtain, so who cares anyway?

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Now it goes over the shower curtain like it’s supposed to.

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Brandon is very happy not to have to stoop to wash his hair any more! (He’s 6 feet tall. The shower was hitting him in the sternum before.)

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