Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Around the House

Lots of changes around here!  Some planned and some unplanned.  That's the way home ownership goes, right?  Things break, sometimes MANY things break at a time.  The first thing to go was a pipe that connected to the city's main line.  It had shifted and so had a more narrow hole which caused a sewage back up.  This has been an ongoing issue for awhile since the plumber would say, "It's the city's problem."  As you can imagine the city would say, "It is centimeters away from our responsibility."  We had new plumbers come and say it would be $6000 and they'd have to rip out our giant Japanese Maple tree, and add again that it should be the city's problem.  And so on until we found a company in Baltimore that would fix it for half the price and spare our tree.  Deal.  We wiped our brow.  Phew, we paid the price of home ownership for the year and now we can rest easy for a while.

Wrong!  Bathtub leak begins by dripping on Hannah's head while she was on the potty downstairs under the tub.  Turns out to be a much bigger leak.  First plumber told us to replace the drain and seal.  Did it with no improvement.  Next plumber looks at it and cuts a big hole in our ceiling (in down stairs bathroom) to see if they could fix it.  No luck.  Another plumber comes and says it is a gasket that will cost us $300 to replace.  We are still waiting on a friend of Brian's' to come take a look and see if they can replace that gasket.  So showers all around for a long time now.  Judah is either in the shower too with someone or in the kitchen sink after dinner.

Somewhere in there, we had the power go out in the garage and all bathrooms, and it wouldn't come back on.  An electrician came and put in a new outlet so our fridge and freezer could stop tripping the breaker.  Plus, he put in a thing in the bathroom so if it trips we can just push the reset button.

The weekend of Genevieve's First Communion, I notice the floor is wet in the back corner of the unfinished part of the basement.  Every time it rained after that, water leaked in.  After meeting with several water-proofing companies we finally decided to take one of the company's advice and reroute our gutters first before shelling out a ton of money to water-proof that part of the basement.  Brian did all the work himself.  No leaks so far.  Everything is dry.  Please God, let it stay that way!

Next leak, kitchen sink!  After a new valve, a new kitchen faucet (installed by my increasingly handy husband), and a tightening of another valve, we have a dry cabinet under the sink once more!

And finally, not a home ownership related break, our computer totally died.  I am trying really hard not to add up the cost of all of these things that have happened recently.  I had to try especially hard not to think about it as we started our long planned basement laundry/craft room finishing project.  What happened to things breaking in threes?  I'll take three breaks over that string of bad luck any day.  Actually, now that I count it up, it was six things, so I guess that was just a double whammy.

On to the planned changes around the house...

The basement project which is not completed yet is coming along nicely.  (You can see a "before" picture of the basement here.)  First Brian and I (but mostly Brian) emptied out the whole room.  Then Brian tore out the built in wooden table and shelves.  They were sturdy, but bent up and unfinished wood.  He put in a new laundry sink.  Then Brian tiled the floor, and I painted the cinder block with a waterproof paint.

Brian's friend came over to help him get started on building the frames for the drywall and putting up a little bit of the sheet rock.

First two walls up

Last wall up

We still have to mud and sand it, paint the walls, find used kitchen cabinets, paint the cabinets white, and install the cabinets.  Then more frames have to be built for the two parts that we want partitioned off and then more drywall. And mudding.  And sanding.  And painting.  We are hoping to have it mostly completed by the start of the school year, but as long as we get to the cabinet installation part so we can empty out the finished basement of all the stuff to be stored in those cabinets I will be pleased.

On a less drastic note, I also changed up our fireplace mantel a little after reading The Nesting Place.

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