Saturday, July 9, 2016

What to do?

Before we got too far into today's adventure, I want to play a little game.Do you remember those puzzles in the Highlights magazines when you were a kid where they showed you two pictures and you had to pick out the differences between them?

Well, let's try one.

Take your time.


Did you guess a box of contractor bags?
We pulled down the row of hanging cabinets and it really seems to open things up.

Now, back to our horror show.

When last we left, the back bathroom looked like this...

Yeah, gross, but better than it was.
Having already ripped up some flooring in this place, I knew how this was going to go.  The linoleum was put down first and then the shower surround and cabinets were put in over that.  There is no way the sub floor under that tub isn't rotten, so it had to come out.

First, we had to deal with the water supply lines.

Note the conspicuous lack of shutoff valves.
This obviously wasn't designed to be worked on.  There was no access door and there were no shutoff valves. one way or another we were going to be without water for a while.  Seemed pretty obvious to me that I needed to run to the hardware store.

Since we are wrecking things...

Sawed off the hoses and cleaned them up with the utility knife.  Then it was time for...

That's better.  I'm going to use pex tubing up to the fixtures.
Now we could get to work tearing out that shower surround so we could rip up some floor.

Easy, right?

Yeah, right.

We got to work and pulled off all the trim around the shower. We saved it to put back on if we so choose.  Then we started pulling out the screws holding the shower in place.  It was weird because some of the screws were square drive and some were bolt head and I had to have a ratchet.  And, several of the screws were driven into the drywall alone and wouldn't back out.  I found a neat way to get those out.

The flat pry bar wouldn't just pull them out, but it gave enough pressure to use the screwdriver.

We finally got all the finishing nails and screws out and everything was nice and loose.

All we had to do was yank it out, right?

Take a look and see if you can figure out the problem.

That thing was wedged in there tight.  They must have put that in there before they even finished the walls.  The narrowest angle of the shower is two inches wider than the doorway with the door off. We might be able to get it out, presuming we could turn it sideways and get it past the vanity, if we took the door frame down, but probably not even then. The hallway is only about two feet-wide.

We thought about getting the sawzall and just carving it into small enough chunks to carry out. We thought about that a lot. I must admit, I smiled a little at that idea, but no.  I just hate destroying something that could still be useful to us or someone else if we don't have to.  There had to be a way.

What could it be?

My mom helped with this next bit.

Yeah.  The bottom of the two studs there and the sill are completely rotted through.  I'm going to have to replace them.  You know, if I'm going to have to rip out part of that wall anyway...

Sarah's spirit animal is rage.
Actually, I think Sarah was more disturbed by the mess she was creating than she was relieved by appeasing the urge for destruction.

Not bad really.
One little hitch though.  That black pipe is a sewer drain vent. To keep sewer gases out of the house, it should stay intact. I declined to cut it to pull out the tub until we have some couplings to at least hold it together while we fix everything else up.

I didn't feel like going to the hardware store again, so that was the end of that project for the day. Luckily, there are other projects. Perhaps I'll tell you more about those another day.

Oh yeah, for the record: One more opportunity to flood the house and I didn't. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Today's horror show.

Too rainy and not enough time before work to start working on the siding and rim joist problems outside.  So, we went looking for an inside project. We could keep demolishing the kitchen, but it is kind of the path to the rest of the house. Maybe something a little further back. 

You know, the rot in the wall of the bathroom indicates there was a leak.  Maybe I should pull up the linoleum and see what the floor looks like under there.

I saw this and called Sarah.

Sarah saw this and emitted a sound only understandable by a cocker spaniel on the eastern seaboard

There might have been a leak.

It might have started here by the toilet.

Believe it or not, this is the bolt that holds the toilet to the floor. 

So yeah, that was the project today. Of course it was OSB over old linoleum again.  Of course there were nail holes every six inches throughout. Of course I will have to pull out the shower and toilet and replace all the sub floor. 

A couple hours later and it looked a little better.

Marginally less of a health hazard.
 It is supposed to be rainy tomorrow and I'm off.  I bet I know what I'm doing.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Another awesome Craigslist find and a survey of damage

Sarah finds deals.

She found this great deal on some appliances about two hours away from us, but they said someone was coming by to pick it up. She told them to contact us if the deal fell through and it did. 

We drove all the way through Seattle and picked them up. The long drive caused the kids to miss their first jiu jitsu class, but it couldn't be helped.

Our new appliances. So, Vanna, show them what they won.

A new (to us) deluxe refrigerator!

A new (to us) smooth range top and stove.

This awesome dishwasher.

And this AMAZING microwave that looks like a pain in the butt to mount.
And how much did we have to pay?

$400.  For all of it.  Thank you Craigslist.

You know, with all this crawling under the house and moving appliances, I came to a realization.

I'm old.

Yikes.  Right?  I'm sore from stuff that never would have made me sore before.

Oh well.

I went and tore out some interior stuff to survey where I could find damage.  I found some.


The old dishwasher sprang a leak at some point.

We pulled up the linoleum only to find 1/4 inch OSB laid down over more linoleum.

Cleans up nice.  Except for all the nail holes leading down into the particle board.

Our new appliances could never live in such squalor.  REPLACE IT ALL!
That's just the kitchen.

There is also

The kid's bathroom.

That can't be healthy, for anyone. I have plans for this here.

I punched a hole in the wall to check and see if there was rot in the studs in the back corner.

Yeah!  Good wood, no rot! Now I just have another hole in the wall to fix. 
There is much more damage to find and probably to be inflicted. We haven't even started in on the ceilings yet. Plenty to stay busy.

The family that demolishes their home together, stays together.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The return of water

So yesterday was awesome. 

We got the washer and dryer hooked up in time for me to get fresh, clean, underwear to wear to work. 


The problem was that our water supply line for the RV was hooked up to the cold water supply for the washer. In order to do the eighty-three loads of laundry that needed doing, we had to shut of water to IRV.  The spigots on the outside of the house had an anti-siphon valve on them and the washers and whatnot on those had long ago stopped working. Whenever you turned them on, half the water shot out of the top and the other half went into the hose. This is not a beneficial situation.

But, I had to go to work.  So, we put some water in the tanks while it spewed out of the top of the spigot and I left.

The tanks went dry this morning.

Of course, I could have just unhooked the washer, but no.  No. That would spill water on my nice, unprotected, new floor. And... just no. We worked so hard to get it hooked up.  I needed to fix the outdoor spigots.

So, I had to go under the house.

But it's dark and scary under there. That's where Pennywise will be.
But, I'm an adult. Or, at least I pretend to be when the kids are watching. No kids, I'm not afraid of spiders. Not at all.  Ha ha ha, I'm a big strong grownup.

Unfortunately, a kid was watching.

He thought it would be cool to go under the house. What does he know?

 So, I was brave and went under the house.

And there were spiders.


and lots,

of spiders.

If you are claustrophobic, which I have been known to be, or arachnaphobic, as I have been, the underside of a country home is not a comfortable place.

But oh well. The kids thinks I'm brave, so I will be.


Yeah, that's about a mile of spiders down to the other side of the house.
There are three spigots I had to change.  One was by the open, rotting end of the house. It was easy to reach, just kneel down and reach under the rotting parts.  Yaaayyy for rot! The other is about two feet down this spider hell tunnel pictured above. Gross, but not too bad.

The other one is all the way on the other side of the house. 

All the way.

Yup, under there.

Were there spiders? Was it dark and cramped?

Sir Wolfenstein the Death Spider of Legend came to visit.
The fitting in question. Or, as I like to call it: Stupid Mother*%&^$.

Max and I crawled under there and removed the spigots to take to Lowes. Sarah and I bought replacements and returned to the house where I put on my coveralls and crawled back under, with Max in tow. I replaced them and we crawled back out.  It was on to the well house to turn the water back on. 

I went back to the double wide, we named it Big Stinky, and checked the spigots. The one by the rot was holding water just fine. The one a few feet from the entry to the crawl space was working fine, but when I walked around to the far side of Big Stinky, I could hear the drip, drip, drip, of a leak right next to the home of Sir Wolfenstein. 


I crawled back under, with Max, and it was leaking.  So I crawled back out to get some more tools. 

I repeated this trip enough times that Max even got bored and I was left to my own devices.  Adjust something, crawl out, turn on the water, crawl back under, curse loudly, crawl back out, turn off the water. 

Sarah would have helped, but she was busy.  We had visitors, it is the 4th of July and all. 

Eventually I cut back the pipe and recreated the whole fitting.  This time I turned on the water and it worked.  I look at this as an opportunity to flood the other house that I avoided.

This time.

So, what was Sarah doing this whole time?  She was interviewing our new employees.

Meet Smokey and Baby Girl. Yeah, they are both in that same carrier.

A friend from Michael and Max's Jiu Jitsu class needed a new home for her two outdoor cats. We just happened to need an outdoor cat or two to reduce the local rodent population. They're hired. Warm beds, clean litter, and all the rodents they can eat.

It didn't hurt that the boys had friends over to play on the 4th either. We dug a firepit, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and lit of some minor fireworks. It was a good day.  Now, I must go and wash the spiders out of my hair. 

Yeah, that's just Michael. He named him Albert

Happy 4th everyone.

Wash day.