Sunday, May 25, 2014

DIY Addict

I've always been somewhat crafty, needing to be doing something with my hands when I'm not writing. I've even dabbled with painting and putting up shelves. Heck, I own power tools, and can figure out how to use them without losing limbs. (Or more importantly, ruining my manicure!) So, when the cheap plastic tub in my bathroom cracked, I looked at my budget and decided to DIY.


But you can't replace a tub without improving the look of the rest of the bathroom...and then there's that toilet that needs to be flushed a catrillion times to do its job. I had set a toilet before (and it didn't leak), so that was part of the easy tasks. And their weren't many of those.

I guilted my daughter and son-in-law to give me a hand with demo and installing the heavier pieces. When I saw the space after my son-in-law took out the tub, I almost panicked and called a plumber. I'm sure my son-in-law wished I'd called a plumber! This is how it looked after removing the tub and vanity.

Those white stripes on the left were where I tested colors for the new paint.

I live in a mobile home, and it never occurred to me that, while standard fixtures might fit where the old stuff went, the plumbing might not line up. And when you take into consideration repairs by prior owners, it might have been a good idea to hire someone. The budget didn't allow it, so after lots of trips to to various hardware stores and even more searches online, we got the tub and new sink attached, working, and most importantly, not leaking. Woohoo!

It took nine or ten days from demolition to first shower, and I still need to paint the new door so I can hang it, but I couldn't be happier with the new bathroom. The vanity needed to have a few cutouts made to go around the existing plumbing (as opposed to tearing up the floor and moving pipes), but it was a clearance deal so I didn't mind doing so. The tile was construction surplus that I got a great bargain on, but if I were to do it again I'd probably save a little longer and do a surround. That would have cut two days work! But my tile is so much prettier, and adds to the old world feel, don't you think?


So now I am back to writing, and the funny thing is my heroine is DIYing the renovations needed to salvage her bar & grill into something that will pass code. I have a deeper connection with her now, and came up with some great complications for her story. I also realized how strong the sense of pride is when you tackle something outside your safety net and it turns out well. I think The Cowgirl and the Geek will be a much better story for it.


Tina Donahue said...

Good for you, Aileen - you did a great job.

I once rewired an old house we lived in. Read the 'rewiring for dummies 101' book. It came out great. Cheap too. :)

Aileen Fish said...

Electricity scares me! I screwed it up on the light fixture here and had to have a friend of my daughter's come fix it. My hat is off to you!

Carly Carson said...

Uh, no. I don't do home renovations. Yours looks great and I think the tile is better than the other thing. My husband is extremely handy, so I leave it up to him. lol I know a level from a hammer and that's about it.

Aileen Fish said...

Carly, you're lucky to have a handy husband!

Fiona McGier said...

My husband does all of the remodeling around here...electric and plumbing included. He's an engineer and likes to have something to work on. My late father was a carpenter from Scotland, and he brought his old tools "across the pond" with him. My husband has most of them, and they're still as good as when Dad was using them. Plus husband feels my Dad is watching over his shoulder when he works. Keeps him on his toes!