Monday, November 24, 2008

Better late than never, I suppose

Anyway, as I promised you in September, here are some remodeling pictures and stories.

Story the First: when we got this place, the previous owner's daughter very proudly told us that they had been planning to remodel it but had never really gotten around to it, so they would leave the remodeling supplies they had bought behind. These supplies, according to the woman, were a new front door, some laminate for the hallway (three boxes worth, about 55 square feet), quite a few mini blinds still in boxes, and a toilet. The toilet was still in its boxes when we saw the trailer, and the woman pointed to them and said, “Here's a new toilet. We were planning on redoing the bathroom in a pink theme, so we got a new toilet.” From that I extrapolated that the boxes contained a pink toilet. We moved on.

Now it's after we've bought the trailer and we're clearing the garbage out, aka gutting it. No one has looked in the toilet boxes yet, but one had been moved into the living room to use as a little table. I realized we hadn't opened it yet, so I peeked inside and saw...the basin to a pedestal sink.

I called my husband over and said, “Please look in this box. Am I correct in thinking that this is a sink basin, not a very shallow toilet?” He looked and agreed that it was, indeed a sink and not a toilet. It was white, too—bonus!

I went to look at the other box, thinking maybe they got one wrong box and the other one is part of a toilet. A pink toilet, too. I wouldn't be surprised. But no, I opened the box and saw the pedestal to a pedestal sink.

A pedestal! A new pedestal sink. Woohoo! Best part of the deal so far if you ask me. Now, granted, these people aren't big on measuring things (you'll know how I know in the next story) so I'm not totally sure it will fit in the bathroom. The vanity has to come out anyway, though, so at least we don't have to buy a sink. (Probably not--my dad is strongly against the pedestal sink, and we've had a few fights about the pedestal sink. Mostly because I insist that the plumbing for the sink go under the floor or inside the wall, not across like you would be able to get away with if you had a vanity.) I will point out that getting a pedestal sink to replace a double vanity in a trailer that's less than 1000 square feet was probably not the smartest choice, but whatever. We'll put the pedestal sink in and put a tall cupboard next to it for storage. There was one at Home Depot that had cupboards on the top and drawers on the bottom that would be pretty nice, I think. I'd even stain it instead of painting it.

Story the Second: Remember the new front door I mentioned up above? This is it:

Now, first things first: I love a French door as much as the next person. However, this trailer is located in Nebraska. NEBRASKA! Anyone who lives in Nebraska—or anywhere in the Midwest or any other state that gets cold winters—please raise your hand if you think a French door is a good idea for an entry door. Not to mention how easy it would be if someone were ever to break in.

The second thing about the door...I don't know if you've noticed, but it's a storm door. It's not an exterior door at all. There is a handle with a lock on it, but it's certainly not a lock I would ever consider acceptable for keeping things out of my house. Plus there's no key, so the lock would have to be replaced anyway.

On to the third point. The point that makes the first two points moot. I shall tell this part in my typical long-winded fashion. As I was moving this stupid stupid door around inside, I kept thinking, “This door is really big. Really, really big. But surely they measured before they went and purchased a storm-door-that-is-supposed-to-be-an-entry-door. Surely.” Hahaha! Oh, you fool! Measuring is for suckers, all the cool people eyeball it.

Here is a picture of the existing front door. (It's textured almost-paper-thin sheets of metal sandwiching a slab of styrofoam, so it's probably not keeping much cold air out, either, but still.)

I have helpfully added the measurements for you. This door—the existing door—is 32 inches across and 76 inches tall. Now for the storm door...wait for it...

That's right. 36 inches by 80 inches. Really? Really? It's a metal door and this is a trailer, I'm not really sure if they just thought it looked like it fit or if there was some plan to make it fit. It could not have been a very good plan, I don't think.

Story the Third: I was going to separate this out into another blog entry, but I'm typing this in Open Office Writer (screw Word, I don't have that kind of money) at midnight, so it would really be pointless to separate it, wouldn't it? I'd just post both entries at the same time anyway.

This is the Best Story of All. This is the Story of How I Fell Through the Floor. Gather round, children.

Okay, enough of the caps and librarian crap. We knew when we bought the trailer that some of the floors would need to be replaced, even though there were supposedly no active leaks (HA! And HA! Again!). I am amazed that anyone managed to put a bed in the master bedroom, considering that the floor was completely rotten and was fixed with a sheet of 1/4” plywood and gigantic railroad spike-type nails driven through it (but not actually holding it in place, they were apparently just there to increase the odds of someone getting tetanus or something).

We knew that the master bedroom, bathroom and boys' room needed at least some subfloor repair. We did figure out that the kitchen also needed some repairs, presumably where the refrigerator used to be. We did not, however, realize how bad it was.

I was standing in the kitchen, having just triumphed over some crappy cupboards. I was now taking out carpeting—the original 1975 carpeting, I think; none of the cabinets had bottoms, but they all had lovely blue floral carpeting in the bottom of them, which is gross beyond words—that had been glued down with that black tar-type glue. I was basically just having to cut it at the wall with a utility knife because it wasn't ripping up. I think they installed the carpet and then put the walls in, because the carpet was under the wall.

I was trying to avoid the exact spongy spot because I was worried about exactly what happened next. I fell through the floor. Not just a little, but left leg up to the hip. I think I'm lucky that the insulation under that part of the kitchen had been taken out, because Lord knows what would have been in that.

There's the hole. That's the bare ground you see down there. I'm going to look on the positive side, though. Now it's going to be easy for us to put insulation in there, and no one will have to crawl through the nasty dirt under the trailer. Makes it easier for me to do stuff on my own, because Brandon is not really much of a DIYer unless he wants to be, and that's not very often.

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