Some Things are Finished

This works well for both us and the dog

This works well for both us and the dog

The kitchen is awaiting counters before I can finish installing little things like the sink and dishwasher. For a while we used a trick that originated in San Diego when we lived in a garage with no counters. Dog crates are surprisingly stable with a piece of plywood on top and the dogs love to be under all the food that may slip to the floor.

In an effort to look at the positive here are a few things that are completely done.

When that bulb burns out it will be replaced with a LED fancy pants bulb

When that bulb burns out it will be replaced with a LED fancy pants bulb

When we replaced the sliding door with the French doors I had to remove the retractable sun shade because it was in the way of the door swinging open. I never really liked the shade, but thought Katherine did. She felt the same as me so this was actually a blessing, but it did leave a now useless switch in the wall and a few holes going outside full of wire. I decided that an outside porch light would be nice so I could grill at night without the use of a flashlight. Installing the light was fairly easy since there was an old wire I could use to snake the new wire through the walls and ceiling and I was able to combine the multiple switch boxes into one cleaning up a wall a bit. Of course that did mean another hole in the wall that needed to be patched.

That sink was a nightmare

That sink was a nightmare

The bathroom and laundry room are also finished. Each had its difficulties.

The laundry room  had a leak that damaged the floor, which required cutting out a section of dry wall and part of the floor. Of course this allowed me to replace the old valves and put in fancy half twist ones. I also sealed the roof vent pipe really well. The leak turned out to be coming from the drain pipe at the connection in the supply box, which I was able to fix with a ton of silicon meaning I never had to open the wall in the first place. Although the valves did really need to be replaced anyway and this was the time to do it.

The bathroom was a different animal. I have done quite a few bathroom remodels and replaced/repaired more sinks than I want to recall so this was supposed to take a day at most to install everything. The new toilet went in with ease. It is a dual flush to save water and confuse guests when they try to figure out which button to push. The sink started off easy until we got it out of the box. Then the feet needed to be leveled but there was no way to adjust the height in the legs. Who builds a bathroom cabinet and expects any floor to be totally level?


So we went to the hardware store and bought the hardware to create adjustable feet. Then the cabinet had to fit against the wall but since it has legs the baseboard could be seen underneath so I had to cut sections out that the legs could slide into. Then the trouble started.

We started with an American Standard faucet that came with a plastic drain assembly. I like American Standard faucets for their quality and lifelong expectancy. The plastic drain is another story. Granted the reason it failed was the crappy design of the cabinet but I didn’t know that until much later. Anyway after installing everything and then attaching the sink to the wall it looked good with no leaks so we put the drawers back in. See this cabinet has sliding drawers that hide the plumbing and create storage as well. Never again. Two hours later there was a leak and so we pulled out the drawers and the pipe was dripping at the top plastic connection. I had reused the old PVC P trap so we decided to replace the whole drain with brass. So we went to the hardware store again, installed the new trap and drain and since there were no leaks the drawers went back in. Except the new metal trap was a different dimension than the plastic and stuck out too far so the drawer hit it. It turned out the drawer had also hit the earlier plastic drain slightly and had broken it at the top seal. Who designs a bathroom cabinet that has to be so exact when everyone has a slightly different drain set up?


So now I had to cut the back drain in the wall to reduce it and we had to reinstall a plastic p trap. Of course the pvc glue I had in the garage was old and had dried up so we went to the hardware store again. Now at this point I should have bought a new plastic P trap as well but I felt my old one was still good.


Anyway we got back, I cut the back pipe, glued a new coupling on the pipe and installed the old plastic P trap to the new metal drain pipe. Everything looked good, no leaks and the drawers clear fine. Two hours later there was another leak at the drain connection. Turns out that the trap had had enough, so another trip to the hardware store for a new plastic P trap. Since the last time I replaced a sink the quality of plastic interior traps has gone to crap. I am going to have to search for a real plumbing supply store when I do the kitchen sink because these thin walled brittle things will not be going under the most abused drain in the house. I figured they should be fine for the bathroom though.


Let’s just say I overtightened the connection a hair due to my slightly angry mental state and cracked the joint. Now if this was a heavier gauge pipe or it came with a rubber seal at the connection instead of a molded plastic one this probably would have been fine. Anyway it was back to metal pipe for the drain and I planned to just cut the cabinet to fit it. Then I remembered there was  small family-owned hardware store in the next town instead of the two giant big box stores I had been constantly frequenting who carry pretty much the exact same stuff. Low and behold the small guy had metal drain pipe that was in the same dimension as the plastic. One more install and the drain was solid. Two hours later there was a leak again. Luckily my dad kept me from taking the axe to the whole thing and reinstalling the old cabinet. Turns out we had cross threaded the pullout valve after reattaching it for the fifth time. So the sink is done. A two-hour max job turned into two days but that is plumbing. It is also really bad cabinet design. I am looking at you Allen+Roth. I hope the guy who came up with this idea has to go through the same headache installing his sinks.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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9 Responses to Some Things are Finished

  1. BrainRants says:

    I live for shit like this. DIY is .. this. Sorry, but I will tell you that you’re doing great and you’ll cherish everything once you two are done. I know this doesn’t help. For now.

  2. That’s a great trick with the dog cage.

  3. Well…it LOOKS good…
    I’d love to gift you with 5 minutes alone with that designer….

  4. ahhh…blogging is good therapy, Greg. Let it out, Greg, let it all out. Looks wonderful! You can be very proud of it.

  5. Wow. I just learned a lot about bathroom renovation. And I’m one of those confused by which button to push on the water saving toilets, I’ll confess. Looks like it’s all going to be magnificent when finished, and does the dog have a permanent cage/food delivery spot there?

  6. cecilia says:

    I think it was really sweet that you both hated the outside thingy but thought the other one liked.. I hate this kind of thing, you are very brave.. love the dog crate counter!.. c

  7. Ruth says:

    Cool table on dog crate. Looks like it is all coming along nicely. Gathering some stories to rehash over cocktails when it is all finished

  8. I feel your pain but it’s looking so good. Think you will get a lot of use out of the dog crate/worktop combo!

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