Monday, September 24, 2007

Week 6

So. Needless to say, we are nowhere near being done with the bathroom. Go ahead and laugh! My 6 week goal was arbitrary. I work best with an end goal, and have been known to perform better under pressure. Chuck, not so much - he poo-poo'ed my 6 weeks from the get go. I do think if we had been focusing on just the bathroom, had we run into no problems (right), and had all of our subcontractors on our schedule, we would probably at least be in the final stages of construction right now. But we were also focusing on the closet and yard, of course we ran into problems, and a few of our subs aren't available for a while. What are ya gonna do?

Beyond the fact that we missed our mark, it was kind of a deflating weekend. Bathroom progress has officially halted, due to some issues with the floor. Backstory (which I may have already mentioned): The bathroom is being created out of an addition that was made to the house sometime ago. We always thought that the addition had settled a little, because the floor sloped about 2 inches from front to back.

Since we've lived here, we have received probably 4 or 5 different opinions about it with no definitive answer. But all have ultimately thought the settling had stopped. Once we tore up the tile floor and got a good look at what was going on underneath, we discovered that the concrete slab was most likely originally an outside patio, and had been poured to slope, so the rain would run off. That seemed like better news than settling. So we went with that, and planned on doing the leveling ourselves. My dad flew in to help us. This job was going to consist of mixing and laying our own Quikrete to get the floor close to level, then finishing with a top layer of self-leveling cement - all products available from the fine folks at Home Depot. The one thing we kind of ignored in all of this is that there are a couple of holes in the floor, where the slab meets the house.

The problem with these holes is that because of where they're located and how they're situated, there's no good way to brace anything that would catch the cement. Chuck worked on something the night before my dad got here, but didn't feel great about it. We were hoping my dad would have a good solution. He didn't. There are also some holes where the plumbing comes up from the basement.

The guys went under the addition to check out what was going on, and the news got worse. There was some weird rock wall around all of the plumbing, and no way to access it from the basement. Which meant it didn't seem like a good idea to cement that part of the floor up above, if that was the only way to access the plumbing. We talked about knocking down part of the wall, but realized it could serve a structural purpose. And that adding more weight to the floor might cause some problems we hadn't bargained for. That's when we reluctantly admitted we were in over our heads. Which really bummed me out. I had how we were going to do it all worked out in my head, and this put a big wrench in the plan. So our next step is to call some contractors out. ugh. We can't really do anything else to the bathroom until that floor is done, which meant we had to switch gears.

Not to be discouraged, the guys turned their attentions to the yard, and I went to work on the closet.


With the floor leveling project on the back burner, we revamped our shopping list, and started the morning at ..... HOME DEPOT! We're big fans of the 'spend $299 on your Home Depot card and get 6 month financing' purchases, so we've been stocking up on pickets to get us to our total each trip. Today we purchased our 3rd set of 100. We also got the posts, 2x4's & quikcrete. And we rented a big ole 2 man auger.

Of course upon getting it back to the house, the auger immediately stalled and wouldn't start again, which required a trip back to Home D. This always makes Chuck really happy! They made it back with a functioning auger, and finally got started around 1pm, only to find that once they got about 5" down in the earth, the clay was so hard that the auger was useless. This was likely due to the fact that our back yard used to be level with the back of the house, and it was dug out (by the guy before us) to expose the basement. So today we found out that an auger does not work on subterranean earth. Would have been nice to have known that 3 hours (and $75) before. They did what the could with the auger, which unfortunately wasn't much.

While all of this was happening, I was inside mudding and taping the closet, and occasionally coming out to refill their water glasses and offer words of support and sympathy.

When we ran out of time with the auger, we made trip #3 to Home D, and on the way, brainstormed our options for tools to dig the holes that we needed. Chuck called his brother for suggestions, who said the only tool for this job was a 4' tall, 40lb piece of iron called a San Angelo tool. We call it "The Ram".


While I sanded the closet...

...the guys christened the ram. They got all of the posts in on one side!

And check out the little fuzzy grass that is coming in already!! I think I might need to ditch renovation and focus on gardening. It is a much more rewarding task for those like me who need instant gratification.

We had tickets to a Falcons game in the afternoon, so we only worked until noon. And that was fine with me. We're really trying to focus on what we can do and not get discouraged by the roadblocks. Needless to say, it has been a challenge. I'm at the point where I need a little bit of success, because my enthusiasm for this project is starting to wane, and we're smack in the middle of everything, so it's hard to measure progress.


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