Our recently developed campaign for home improvement made some progress this week. We have two large projects that we are pursuing simultaneously, plus numerous little projects that seem to always pop-up. Earlier this week we had a contractor out to estimate the job of staining and sealing our back porch. This is work that I have been doing in the past, but now I want to outsource it. He had promised to submit his bid by today. Also, today a second contractor should come around to estimate his bid for the same job. While the first contractor was here, we discovered that Dan’s bottle tree art project had toppled over. It had rusted through at its base. There must have been quite a bit of wind with the last ice storm, because not only did Dan’s tree fall over, but we have noticed that quite a few real trees had also fallen. We’ve already recycled all of the wine bottles that were part of it, and then we’ll recycle the metal branches. This bottle tree sat on the remains of a play structure that I had built years ago for the boys. All that was left of it was the base and it was not in very good shape anymore either. So yesterday, I began dismantling it. I got all of the floorboards off, cut up and into the trash barrel, which is now full to the brim. I’ll get the rest of it after our next trash pickup, plus a new circular saw blade.
Our biggest project is having a new upstairs bathroom installed. Our neighboring plumber, who lives up the block and who previously did a great job replacing our main sewer line when it failed came by to look at the job. We would like to have a shed dormer installed, which the plumber won’t do, but he does know three contractors who could do that job. His idea was to run the pipe chase up the back of the kitchen pantry, first only punching through the main floor. At the top of the pantry, the pipes would angle through the wall where there is a void formed by the arched ceiling over the tub. This would get the plumbing and new electrical to the second floor with the least amount of pain. We’re looking at a full bath and he suggested that the toilet, sink and shower all be on the same wall. He said that doing this would make the project not as expensive, to which I tried parroting what he had just told us, by saying that this was a cheaper approach, but he corrected me and said, “Not cheaper, but less expensive.” Later, our next-door neighbor, Art the architect came by to take some measurements. He seemed OK with the plumber’s suggestion and will prepare a drawing for us. When he has done that, we will contact the plumber again and try to find out how much is less expensive going to be.