wodke-hawkinson.com Blog Musings from deviant minds (Or how writers think)

28Oct/10

So you’re going to remodel!

My husband and I recently remodeled our house. We painted walls, hung new blinds and drapes, and applied paneling. We spent hours picking out counter tops, floor tiling, and carpet; which we had a contractor install. Then we bought a new shower/tub combo, and in our ignorance we decided we could install it ourselves. I mean; how hard can it be? Famous last words.

First came the fun (haha) of buying the tub. We wanted deep water and a comfortable backrest. We had a preference on soap and shampoo tray locations. I finally resorted to sneaking ladders over to displays and climbing into the tubs and laying in them (this was after we determined they met the deep water and tray criteria’s). In this way, we chose a tub and I have been satisfied with the choice. Then came the installation.

Day one: First, we had to get the old tub/shower out. It had been installed new when the house was built and was a single piece. The first thing we discovered is that the units have a lip around them and the sheetrock is applied over this lip, thus enclosing the tub/shower in the wall. Hmmm! A friend suggested cutting the sheetrock just enough to get the unit out and enough to get the new one in. Then we could use molding to surround the tub/shower, enabling easier changing if needed in the future. That’s what we did.

But then, we realized the old tub/shower would not fit through the doorway. We finally brought in a saber saw and cut the whole thing down the middle. There, we were ready to stick in the new unit. Not!

The floor had been wet below the tub and although it wasn’t in horrible shape we decided to replace the flooring. That went fine. Then we set the tub in place and found the old plumbing didn’t line up with the hole in the new tub. Next step, my husband accomplished installing new plumbing and getting it in the correct spot.

The day was done. Thank goodness we have a second shower. The job we thought would take a day was not done.

Day two: My husband decided we needed braces under the tub to keep it from sagging in the middle and to keep the side from pushing in. I thought he was crazy but we proceeded to move the tub in and out until we had the boards in the proper spot. As it turned out, he was brilliant. Without the braces the outside bottom of the tub would have pushed in with the slightest pressure; a knee while cleaning, a foot by accident, or when the tile was laid. He gets kudos.

Next came the side panels. Oh my! They didn’t want to line up right and more braces were designed to keep them from bending and to get them in the right place. Then, the faucets didn’t stick out far enough and the next battle began.

Showers were taken in the second bathroom again.

Day three: Finally the tub and hardware were installed. The caulking was finished but we still had a gap around the outside of the complete unit. This didn’t cause any problems; we installed molding and painted it. Job completed!

The moral of this story is: Never install your own tub/shower combo. Use your brain and hire the job out.

-pj