Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Wallet

The minion speaks...

When we left off in the last blog Ted the drywall guy finished his work on a Thursday and I had to get things painted to keep the project on track. If you have ever painted fresh drywall or areas that have been slip coated you know they suck down paint like a fraternity sucks down beer on a Saturday night. I started with one fresh gallon of primer and a leftover half-gallon that apparently had a small hole in the can making most of it useless. I two-coat primed the bathroom but did not have enough primer for the little bedroom wall. I was able to get one coat of finish paint behind the toilet before it was temporarily reinstalled. It truly is a wonderful thing not having to, as our daughter Ashley stated so eloquently, “poop on the driveway.”

That weekend I two coated the ceilings and walls (their final colors), primed and painted the little bedroom wall and recut the berry accent wall. Early the next week the lights, exhaust fans, outlets and master bathroom medicine cabinets were installed. The HVAC guy was a no show as it was around 100 degrees F in Portland and they were making much more money installing and repairing air conditioners. So Gordon, from NWHC “plumbed” the new exhaust vent lines and repositioned the ductwork for the HVAC vent in the master bathroom.

Lights, camera, medicine cabinets!

Hall bath fan and shower light

As you may recall from earlier posts, Beth tracked down the original vintage switch plate and outlet covers and we have used them throughout the house. Due to code, the new exhaust fans must have timers and, as you might guess, there are no vintage 3 gang switch plate covers that fit a timer that wasn’t designed until 40 years later. Dilemma and solution – I took the vintage three-gang switch plates, a timer and a picture of the 3 gang set up into the tool and die shop at Blount. These guys work with tolerances so tight I don’t even know how many digits to the right of the decimal point they can go. Two days later, Chad and Dennis returned the reworked switch plates and they look like a factory press fit - Wow. So now it was time for the final electrical inspection – which failed as one of the outlets didn't function and a wire in the attic was positioned wrong and not to code. Within a day the electricians had it right and another box checked off. (By the way, even our general contractor was impressed with the new-old switch plate cover hack!)

Totally cool vintage switchplate hack!

So close and yet so far…

We knew one of the longer efforts was tile work. We also knew several weeks before that Beth’s accent tiles had a long lead time. We didn't know when they were ordered that the tile was hand made and built to order. So, it's time to introduce you to Kyle the Tile guy (or as we have dubbed him Tile the Kyle guy). First Kyle had to pour the shower pan and let it cure (then fill it with water and wait for...) the City of Portland plumbing inspection. Beth and NWHC determined that we needed different tiles for the shower floor as the wall tiles would have been too big and we didn't order enough accent tile to cover the floor. The seams in the water proof wonder board were cemented and then both bathrooms were waterproofed. If you ever wondered what the ideal career is for glue sniffers it's waterproofing bathrooms. OMG was that stuff pungent and a godawful reddish pink color to boot!

Poured shower pan

Smelly but necessary

Once the waterproofing had cured the tile was slowly but surely set. Instead of having bullnose edge tiles, Beth chose a metal trim referred to as Schlueter. Of course, the dimensionally wrong size Schuelter was delivered so a mad scramble to find the correct dimension ensued. Last Friday the accent tiles were installed, the formerly pink medicine cabinet was reinstalled in the hall bathroom and Troy and Gordon took away much of the equipment and leftover materials they were staging in the garage. Most of the protective materials throughout the house were removed and the large trailer full of scrap (and a week old dented bathtub) that has been parked on the driveway left and was replaced by a smaller trailer. On Monday, Tile the Kyle guy came and grouted the job and we had been told by Gordon we would have a working shower today. Tile the Kyle guy changed that as the grout has a 72 hour curing time.

Hall bath field tile

Master bath shower tile (and Schlueter trim)

Hall bath accent tile

Vintage medicine cabinet in the hall bath

September 1st and completion are tantalizingly close and yet agonizingly far away. We will likely lose the temporary toilet for a few days as the flooring gets prepped and goes in. Oh and the flooring was delayed as the roll of marmoleum for the master bathroom had a slice in the center of the roll. Lastly, the room I thought was complete, the little bedroom, has a boo-boo. Seems that when they installed the medicine cabinet in the hall bath they caught a nail just wrong and pushed it out. No I don’t want to hang a picture from it.


The next 10 days can’t come soon enough.

Just a quick note from Beth...we did enjoy viewing the eclipse from our front yard at the top of the hill. For your enjoyment (?) here are a few photos!

Beth and Son-Scott on the front lawn

Eerie shadows on the porta-john

Eerie shadows on the driveway