Leaky Shower

For a long while the two showers upstairs had been leaking onto the ceiling below. After having a plumber come out a few times he finally managed to stop the leaks from one bathtub by cutting through the ceiling under it and working in tight spaces. But he said that my shower would have to be replaced. Another plumber confirmed this. (And neither plumber said that they new someone that could help with the replacement with one even telling me that his company forbade such recommendations, so was pretty sure that I wasn’t being given the run-around.)

The good news was that the holes now adorning my ceiling made a nice escape for the water so it wasn’t pooling on drywall. So, for what I now realize must have been over a year, I just left a bucket under the holes. Hey, the crisis averted was averted satisfactorily except for occasional questions about why there was a bucket on the dining room floor.

I finally decided that I should really do something about the shower and the holes in the ceiling as things were getting worse with the amount of water being captured along with someone telling me a story about a toilet repair where they had no idea how the plywood stood up that long. I started to imagine myself or my son falling through the floor one day because the water was rotting things away. I just think that the whole idea of trying to find a good place to do the work, (I’m not that handy), getting quotes, etc. seemed like a chore not worth the effort when I had a perfectly good bucket solution. But I finally caved in and did the leg work.

(Thankfully after stripping the shower down the plywood and studs, there was no structural damage to be concerned about.)

While I’m not that picky when it comes to a shower it turns out that even budget options were more expensive than I thought and in my view if I was spending the money I might as well go the custom route to get some perks like storage, a tiled floor, (the most expensive upgrade for some reason), and a built-in shaving mirror. Even though the consultant for the company I decided to hire tried to convince me that I could save some money by doing the demolition myself, (and that it was not too hard to do), I splurged on paying them to do that as well.

Work started on a Monday with demolition. They began by putting plastic and cardboard over all the floors and stairs leading to the bathroom as well as the bathroom itself. Later a plumber stopped by and when I started to tell him where the bathroom was he just said, “I just follow the plastic”. Tuesday through Friday my bathroom became more and more crowded with supplies, tools and dust. I had thought that things would be fairly contained to the shower area, but soon moved most of my bathroom items downstairs into the powder room. Meanwhile Liam, who shares my bathroom, moved his things into Ann’s bathroom and we all three had to coordinate showers in there as even my bathtub—which is separate from the shower—was covered in dust and had occasional supplies stored in it.

I guess I thought that things would take a couple days and it would be like nothing happened except that I would have a new shower that didn’t leak. But as I observe things there is a lot of work that goes into doing a job like this properly. (Even the “simple” demolition I think would have driven me to call uncle.) There was also the time when I was called into the bathroom and asked to confirm the height of the shaving mirror. The person drawing up the plans must have been over six feet tall as the base of the mirror was supposed to start at six feet. But someone somehow noticed that I was not close to six feet tall, (I can’t imagine how), and that the mirror placement as stated would probably be useful to me only if I were shaving my head. So we were able to move the mirror down to exactly where I wanted it. However, as it was pointed out, that would cut into the nook being made for shelving. They couldn’t lower the shelving because of plumbing, (even though water lines were rerouted), to Ann’s bathroom’s controls. I asked them to wait a minute, grabbed my son’s shampoo bottle now residing in Ann’s bathroom, (as that was the tallest thing stored in the shower), and we were able to adjust the shelf to make sure it would fit.

I’d apologize to the next owner of this house if they are over six feet tall and wondering why the mirror is so low, but you know what? I had this shower built for me! (Well, built for me except for that “foot rest” in the corner. I thought it was for storage of things that were too tall for the shelving, but was told it was for shaving. A blank look from me prompted the response, “your wife will like it for shaving her legs; it’s on the order”. OK, well, I’m not married, don’t shave my legs, and my daughter has her own bathroom, but it looks like a good storage space. Although I might have made it higher to be a seat…)

It looks like 10 days total before me or my son can get into the bathroom again, but things are really looking good.

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