Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bathroom Redo

Over the years, I have done a few improvements myself in our house, such as redoing our main bathroom, including new tile floor and all solid stained wood trim.  I also replaced every interior door in the house with solid wood stained door and the door frames and every piece of wood trim in the house with matching newly stained trim. Outside, I think I had already mentioned I did a major landscaping project involving 1,100 stacking landscaping blocks.

You know, it’s funny, but I did all that back when I was suffering in a great deal of pain with my migraines 24 hours a day. I was also younger back then. There is one room I have never touched and needed to be done, our master bathroom. I dreaded that project more than a colonoscopy.

Our master bath includes our shower, the commode, the vanity with sink, and my closet. My closet and vanity area is carpeted. That carpeting needed to go and be replaced with floor tile, going into the rest of the bathroom area. We had plans to rip out an old surround ugly shower and replace it with tile, including a tile floor with an updated glass door and yes, another new toilet that uses at least 100 gallons of water for each flushing. Anyone standing within three feet of the toilet would go with it, including small dogs, like The Rat with Fur. (Back off, I don’t mean it.)

A project like that would take me forever and a lot of that stuff I have never done, like hang tile on a wall. Lana, without saying so, was nervous about me taking it on. I really didn’t want to take it on. I’m older now and even though I’m more religious than I used to be when I used to be, and therefore I wouldn’t cuss now as much, I am still capable of throwing things. The answer? Lana hired a contractor.

She did the research and found a man very reliable and had quite the reputation for great work.  He came over a few months back, gave us a job quote, made us a list of materials needed, and we waited for a start date. Please note I said he gave us a JOB quote and not an hour quote. BIG difference.

The start date kept changing, but we were in no big hurry. Finally, he began two weeks ago, on a Saturday. He informed us he is so busy that he works seven days a week. We told him he could come by as much as he wanted. No big deal to us. Well, he started ripping stuff out and in the shower area and preparing the surface for tile with backerboard. We thought it was going slow, but hey, we were paying by the job. I went to work on Monday as he prepared to start laying tile. He said he would be there at 8:30. I left at 6:30.

Lana said he got there at 10 a.m. The day usually goes like this. He gets there around 10. He works very hard until 1 or so and leaves for lunch. He comes back around 2:30 or 3. I get home around 5 or maybe 4:30, and then ask how it goes and Lana shakes her head or laughs. He hangs around and works until 6 or so and leaves. The process repeats each day. When he leaves, I go in with Lana and look.

I am not exaggerating when I say, there have been days when he hung maybe 6 or 7 tiles in the shower area and that is all. These tiles are maybe 6 by 10. I’m serious. I came home the first day and Lana was smiling when I asked how it was going. “Well, we are in no hurry.”

“What does that mean?”

I waited until he left. I went to one of the spare bedrooms where my clothes are now and changed. When he left, we went back to check out the progress. I was stunned. Six tiles hung in the shower.

“What is he doing back here?”

Lana laughed.

“Did he smuggle magazines back here? Does he have porn? A TV? The Internet? Did he bring in a friend through our bedroom window? Is he having sex in my closet?”

More laughter.

“I mean really, he can’t go this slowly. I don’t know what I’m doing and I could go faster than this. Did he leave and you not know it?”

“No way. He was here during the times I told you. I even came back here a couple times to check on him.”

“That was gutsy. You could have caught him doing something.”

“Oh cut it out. You should watch him. He is very good. He just takes his time and is very careful.”

“Ya think? He must be like one of those road construction crews on the highway. You know, where they send four guys and one shovel?”

“Well, look at his work. It’s going to be great.”

“When will that be exactly? Summer? Which season of clothes will I be wearing?”

And so it goes. The project that we were afraid of me doing because of time and honestly of my lack of skill, well, I could have gone to a class to learn the skills and done the project in the evenings and weekends and still beat this guy. I’ll let you know what happens first, if he finishes the project or The Rat with Fur get pottie trained.

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