The Day of Unintended Projects: Basement bathroom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The day started out like any other.

I ate a bowl of cereal, had chocolate milk in my Menards mug, and planned what I was going to do today.  Well, I should really vacuum.  Clean the stove top.  Ah, first mow the weeds down in the backyard.  Then, eh, maybe I'll pull more staples out of the pantry floor.  

So I mow, after Mike kindly fixed the mower before he left for work.  I guess the handle bars were down too low blocking the blade so the string couldn't be pulled.  (Why.  Why.  Why don't mower people make mowers that are easier to start?)

With that done, I then think to myself, well, I should do a quick vacuum in the basement and maybe steam mop a bit down there.  I go and do a quick vacuum and before you know it, for some crazy asinine unexplainable reason, I've opened the door to the basement bathroom.  *insert horror movie music here*  I watched my hand go for the knob too, like an out of body experience.  My brain was screaming no! no! no! no! no! don't do that! but my hand, it just went.

Why is that a big deal, you ask?

Several reasons (ready?  I'm not....)

1.)  The MeterSave people made the train wreck of a wall worse.  As is always the case when someone needs to get into your wall, they make it infinitely worse.
2.)  We sold the vanity from out of there and the flipper had inserted it in the wall, just like upstairs.
3.)  The flipper destroyed the wall and hid the evidence with a mirror, only to be discovered when we took the mirror down.
4.)  Taking the vanity out revealed a poor floor tile job and that the quarter round trim at the baseboard doesn't go all the way around.
6.)  Opening the wall more by the MeterSave folks revealed an old unsealed sewer pipe the flipper didn't cap.  Stinky.  We had smelled it but couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  Nice, right?  Found.  Luckily.  Thank you MeterSave people.
7.)  We had to leave the bathroom door shut all winter because the hole in the wall was sucking the air out of the first floor into it.
8.)  I'm sure there's more but that's quite enough for now.  It's amazing how one little room could be such a major headache.....

photo of ugly glass vanity
Pardon my bad Craigslist photo.  Amazing I sold the vanity using this crappy shot.
Above is the peaceful, if you will, before photo with the awful cheapy vanity we sold.  Seriously, every flippin' bathroom sink in this house is/was glass.  Sooooo practical, lemme tell you.  Only one more glass sink to go.

Below is the.....let chaos-rain-upon-you-Becky after photo.

mess of holes in bathroom wall

Omg.  Yeah.  Hands to face.  So just below the light fixture, see #3 in my list above.  That was such a nice surprise.  Number 1 is represented at the bottom corner.  And #2 is that strip on the wall that has the oh-so-attractive towel thingie.  "Eh, the vanity don't line up? Cut a freakin' hole in the wall, I don't freakin' care.  Make it fit."  I'm sure that's how that one sided conversation went.  Quality people, I'm tellin' ya.

capped sewer pipe in wall

Oh, and number 6 represented here.  All it took to fix it last fall was a mere $4 expanding pipe cap from Home Depot.  That's it.  $4.  I guess a $4 purchase would have cut into profits too much.

Aaaannyyway, upon opening the bathroom door, a huge sigh rushed through me.  Ugh, this sucks, I thought.  All right, just work on patching up that damn hole.  Our water shut off is in there somewhere which is why there was a smaller hole to begin with and part of the reason for selling the vanity.  We couldn't open the little access door to get to the shut off with the vanity there.  It blocked the door.   So smart.

I picked up little scraps of 1x and drywall at Menards last week so before my brain could stop me, I was suddenly in the thick of it.  Wtf am I doing, I thought....(pardon my almost-French.)  Shut up, this has to get done, said my hands in response.

trying to patch wall holes

After a lot of trimming and shaving and cutting and fitting, I finally got most of the hole covered up.  Yes, I did a crappy job, but the hole was crappy to begin with.  I put some of that mesh fiberglass tape on the "seams" which I don't like.  I can't ever get it to disappear under whatever goo I put over it, but it's all I had so something is better than nothing.

I picked up some of this DAP Fast and Final lightweight spackle stuff last week too.  It's fine for small holes and such but for bigger stuff, forget it.  I only picked it up because last time I opened my tub of joint compound, it was moldy so I had to throw it out.  But again, as with the tape, the DAP stuff is what I had on hand.

patching with joint compound

Yeah, I know, it's a mess.  Hopefully one day it'll get better.

more patching of wall

I also patched the disaster area below the light fixture.  I opened it up first to see if there was something important back there since the drywall was only loosely attached by two screws.  Nope, nothing important.

At this point I thought, ok, maybe I should try getting the wall mount sink up and in since I'm down here.  I'll save that escapade for next time.

But wait....I bet you're wondering, hey wait a second, didn't she say her water shut off is behind that big hole?  Why yes, my friend, I did.  And it is.  At this point in time, what matters to me more is to have the hole covered and patched, and to be able to leave the door open.  I can cut a small hole back in and install a little access door, in a size of my choosing, later.  I figured it would be much easier to do that then buy a door and work around it.

Why I did this to myself today, I don't know.  I should have left the bathroom door shut, let ignorance be bliss and hope the whole room vanished, got sucked into that hole.

Jump to part two here!

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