Tuesday, March 25, 2014

He Plumbs, He Bakes

I snapped this photo of Brandon while he was laying out the pieces of drain he needs for the bathroom on the floor of Lowe's.  As if a shopping list of drain parts and suspenders wasn't nerdy enough, I caught him pushing his glasses up with the classic technique of finger to the nose piece.  Too funny!  

Brandon has been wrestling with shower installation.  And I mean he has been actually wrestling with the shower, because it was extremely heavy and he didn't even have my wimpy muscles with him to maneuver it in place.  And because the first shower he bought, loaded into a truck, unloaded, and tried to cram into the house all on his own, wouldn't fit through any of our doors, even after he took the doors off the hinges, he had to wrestle it back to the store and go through the whole process again with a two piece shower.  He said he felt like he had been wrestling with a pro, and lost.  In the photo above you can see the uninstalled shower on the left, and the wall that Brandon had to remove between the bathroom and the kitchen where he is sitting.  Nothing is ever as easy as we think, and we never think anything will be easy.  

The reason the back of the shower is pushed into the kitchen is because the room we are making the bathroom is on a concrete slab, and we needed the drain for the shower to go behind the slab.  We couldn't build up the shower base, and put the drain on top of the slab because the room is so short that the we wouldn't have been able to stand up in the shower if it was raised more that an inch or two. There are somethings that would be easier to do if we were building from scratch.  Trying to fit a bathroom into this old house is liking working a giant (and heavy!) puzzle.   

Once Brandon plumbed the drain, and built a base for the shower, we ran the garden hose into the shower so we could check for leaks in the drain lines.  It was very cold on this day, and Brandon casually directed me to take my shoes off and stomp around in the shower while the water was running so he could see of there was any pressure on the pipes that would make it leak.  Haha...What?!  He wasn't joking either.  Luckily I found some rubber boots to wear.  I doubt real plumbers assistants give themselves frost bite to check for leaks!

I may give Brandon a hard time when it comes to his plumbing, but I have to give him credit for his recent mastery of the bread machine.  He can bake bread!  Be still my beating heart.  Of course, he's been more motivated to learn to bake bread since I stopped making it or buying it.  I didn't intentionally stop buying bread, but for a long time I got in the habit of making it, and it tastes so much better and costs so much less, that when I stopped making it because I wanted to stop eating it, I got out of the habit of buying bread.  Once Brandon figured out how easy it is to use the bread machine he's been perfecting his technique and is now bread independent.   

Once we were pretty sure the shower drain was going to work, the next step was to build up the floor on the kitchen side and then frame in the walls.  

After seeing the final framing of the shower, I've been teasing Brandon by saying that if there's ever a tornado we won't need to go to the creepy root cellar, we can just stand in the shower!  He really enjoys his carpentry, and is not stingy with wood, so this shower is going nowhere.  A work friend recently made a comment about being afraid to visit our house since we were doing the work ourselves and have what he thinks to be a cavalier attitude about building inspectors.  After thanking him for the vote of confidence, I tried to tell him that with Brandon behind the hammer, everything is going to be extra sturdy.  Besides, this house has been sheltering people for over eighty years, and I've seen how rotten and unstable the boards were that we've taken out.  I'm not worried, the shower will protect us.      

Installing the shower turned into a much harder job than I anticipated, and it doesn't even have water or fixtures yet!  Thank goodness we only have one bathroom.  

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