Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wet 'n Wild

Hello Virtual Friends! 

Hands down the number one question we get about our renovation: "When is it going to be done?" DUHHHH - trust me you'll know, it'll be right around the time we aren't walking around like dust covered zombies, and actually return your phone calls

Number two question: "How did you learn how to do this?"

This question hasn't gotten any easier to answer, but after a little foot shuffling and nervous chuckling the answer usually incorporates the following:
  • Experiences in our first projects. Our "lessons learned" list from the bathroom projects is mighty long and in many ways a kitchen is like a bathroom on steroids
  • Transferable skills. Bernie's summer jobs as an auto mechanic don't directly relate to home repair, but the fearless approach to hands on problem solving really helps
  • Engineering school. BAH! In theory, technically this should help us, but mostly it just gives people a warm fuzzy that we know what we're talking about. Trust me, I still wish I was a plumber or electrician. Though I do try to remind B of my great project management skills (some might interpret this as "nagging" or "supervising" but I consider it more of a "direct, involved management practice")
  • Good Genes. The beloved patriarch of the Purpura family (B's mom's dad), Sal, passed down the basic skills, the get-it-done attitude, and the overall aptitude. Though I sadly never got to meet "Pupa" I am constantly assured that B is just like him!
All that being said, we are always quick to admit that mistakes often get made. And that is really what I wanted to write about today (sorry for all the lead in). As I mentioned, last week we ventured into plumbing land. For permitted projects a plumber is required, and thankfully we have a great friend who does great work (thanks, Billy!). B was able to set-up a lot of the stuff prior to his arrival, and as a result they were able to knock out 90% of the work in one (long) day. Work included installation of laundry hook-ups and drain, addition of water hook-up for fridge, new flex tubing for hot/cold sink, gas line for the stove, and movement of the baseboard heat. Nothing like shiny new copper pipe!

Saturday the boys set out to level the floor so the sub floor could be laid (but not screwed down, as the rough plumbing must be visible for the inspection). After another 12 hour day that consisted of precision cutting and leveling, the MDF was down, and the new wall sections were framed (I know I need more pictures).  Another shout out B's Dad, and the one-and-only John Burrows, Class of 2000. :-)

Fast forward to Tuesday, when the owner of the second floor unit emails us to say that the 2nd floor tenants have a "wet ceiling". B is on his way to hockey (all this work, and he still has time to be a hockey-stud. swoon.) so I am dispatched downstairs for investigation.

Whoops! Luckily the wetness neatly corresponded with the heat pipe in the floor of our unit, so I can at least ID the source and shut down the water to that location. Also luckily, there were replacement ceiling tiles in the basement, which were installed the next day. Even more luckily (are you sensing the pattern here?) Billy the kid plumber was scheduled to be back in the morning to prep for the inspection anyway. Wednesday morning the root cause was found: a pin hole in the baseboard heat from driving a nail through the pipe. This also explains why it took the better part of four days to get that bad. Thank goodness the subfloor, cement board, tile, and cabinets were not installed when this issue was found. 

All in all, I'll explain this like I explained my recent appendectomy: if something bad had to happen, this is the best thing that could have happened. 


  1. This is complicated. Why not sell the fridge and buy a mansion instead.

  2. srsly! i like this one... want in?!?