Wednesday, August 3

DIY or Not?

Today, we moved into a new realm of house restoration - our first contractors. The flooring guys showed up, at a reasonable hour *after* we woke up early in case they showed up early, and got down to business. There was a great noise and vibration throughout the house.

Do we need to justify why we didn't do the work ourselves? Probably not. We plan to do what we like and hire people when it seems expedient. In fact, it looks like we're taking on a new project, which we never imagined needed to be done.

Both plumbers who looked over our bathroom informed us in no uncertain terms that the shower enclosure needed to be tiled if we wanted to add a shower head. That's right - for whatever backwater/Eisenhower reason, neither of the 1958 bathrooms have showers. Right now, the shower enclosure looks like this:


We're exploring the expedient route: installing plain white tile so we can clean ourselves until we tackle the whole bathroom. Honestly, I called three different tile guys, with not a single call in return. I guess they are doing good business.

While we were at Lowe's buying Grape Leaves and Mincemeat paint, we had a little chat with Debbie in Flooring. [We love the way Lowe's has the button you can push to get a sales associate, and the loudspeaker announces, "Sales Associate needed in Flooring."] She assured us that we could tile that sucker ourselves, with only a masonry trowel. We could even attend the FREE class at Lowe's this Saturday on "Installing a Ceramic Floor." So, buoyed by Debbie's confidence, we decided to take on this project DIY - and if one of those tile guys calls back, they can just shove it.

After we hauled in the loot, we snuck upstairs for a peek at the floors. Even dusty and unvarnished, they look great - lots of prominent graining and knots. They give off a piney and burnt aroma, like a campfire in the California Sierras, or the satisfaction of being one day closer to sleeping in bedroom instead of a living room.


At 12:49 AM, Blogger caroline said...

there are definitely certain projects where its worth the investment to hire someone to do it - refinishing hardwood floors is one of them. we did them ourselves in the house we are in now and in the one we just bought, we are plunking down the bucks to hire someone. lesson learned. :)

tiling isnt that bad! daniel tiled our upstairs bathroom in this house we live in now and it looks great! good luck both of you!


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Patricia W said...

Tiling really is a snap. Go to a free class to get some experience. You'll need to get some of the basic tools to do the job. I knew nothing about tiling but with the help from my aunt (like info on where to start placing tiles etc) I put in new kitchen cupboards with tiled countertops and backsplash. I then tiled a shower after resurfacing the walls with wetrock. If I could do it while being a total green-horn, you can do it too.

And a note on contractors. I have had some of the worst experiences with them. I'm certain that they are the reason DIY exists today. From lack of motivation (like showing up on time and working an entire day) to ridiculously outlandish fees or shoddy work they have made me a much more resourceful, knowledgeable person. In all my experience, only one in ten contractors is worth it. References do matter.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

You will need tile. Trust me. We're doing it ourselves and it's looking really nice.


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