The patio doesn’t look terrible to me, and it drained the heavy rain we got last weekend just fine with the drain in the center, so that didn’t get screwed up. I’m just excited to have real stairs to walk out the back door onto, as well as a clean place for our grill and now a table and chairs, rather than the pile of snow we had all winter, and rocks and dirt once the snow melted. There are only two concrete companies in Breck, these guys and the company we used to pour our basement last fall – but those guys were booked solid. I guess now we know why. What a pain. Yesterday we took the day off to go back to Fort Lupton to buy more tiles to put along the little retaining wall around our patio.
When we got to our house last Saturday, Curt found another water leak in the basement coming from upstairs. After some testing, he discovered that it was coming from the newly installed toilet in our master bathroom. He could see that the surrounding tiles and grout were damp. Once he took apart the toilet, he could see that the problem was caused by the wax ring not causing a proper seal between the toilet and the plumbing below. He had already noticed this on a different toilet a few days before, and had replaced it with a thicker, sturdier wax ring. So, at least we knew that problem would be easy to fix, and again, nothing was wrong with our plumbing. This has been a constant fear, even though our lines had been holding air pressure all this time. It was scary that we did most of that work ourselves – scary while we were doing it (to me), and scary now that we are putting water through the lines.
Late Saturday night, Curt walked down the stairs to the garage and heard water dripping on the floor. Once I went down there, you could see a line of water leaking along the roof of the garage. Curt was just livid, after dealing with water issues all day. Of course he first thought it was the toilet, and back up the stairs we went to see if anything was damp, which it wasn’t. After some serious panicking, thinking the water could be coming from anywhere and pooling on the foil sheeting on top of the drywall and all traveling to the same spot and leaking out, Curt listed all of the ways we could have caused a leak – from installing the cabinet last weekend and possibly puncturing a line, to back when we installed the foil sheeting and possibly stapling into a line - and nnone of these made sense to me since our air pressure had been holding in the lines. After Curt took a saw and hammer to our drywall (no nervousness on my part here at all! not!), and we watched more water pour out of the ceiling, Curt stuck a level up there to see where the high point was, and discovered it WAS the stupid toilet again. Same issue with the wax ring. Basically, every toilet we put in was leaking and has to have the wax ring replaced. Such a minor, easily fixable issue that caused downright terror and doubt that we had not done anything right up until this point (again, at least to me). Luckily the drywall and insulation that was cut out was in the garage and can be pretty easily fixed.
While Curt was working on the water lines all Saturday, I had hoped to tile two rooms – the laundry room and basement bathroom. Not too large, shouldn’t have been a big problem. But I started on the basement bathroom first, which became a big problem. I already knew the concrete floor wasn’t level because we had to jackhammer into it last fall to move the toilet drain. The concrete patchwork was very uneven. But I figured I could go heavy with the mortar to even it out. What I didn’t know was that all of the walls had been framed in poorly, and none were straight. Now, I am not a perfect tile layer by any means, but the tile I’ve done so far looks pretty decent, and it was beyond frustrating to be struggling to get my dang tiles to lay flat, straight, level, flush and all around jiving with the surrounding walls, while keeping an offset rectangular pattern between the door, tub, sink and toilet cut outs and a small nook in the back of the room. It was a mess. I’d hoped to get those two rooms tiled and we didn’t even get half the bathroom tiled by 7pm when I threw in the towel upon learning that even the damn doorway was not straight. Little did I know, our night was about to get much worse with pee leaking into our garage. Good times.
Luckily, we started with the laundry room Sunday morning, which went much more smoothly, so we could finish up the stupid bathroom, which again took until almost 6pm. And then I got to grout the upstairs shower which I’d been putting off. So now I have two big monkeys off my back. Curt was nice enough to find a cheap tile guy to finish our other 3 showers – one of which is over 150 sq ft – which will allow me to finish the entry, kitchen and adjoining rooms.
I didn’t take any pictures of anything described above other than the laundry room, well, because a lot of it sucked and we both had our hands full/wet/dirty. But on the bright side, Curt started laying our pine beetle kill flooring and finished one bedroom with over half of ours done too. Pretty exciting and it looks awesome! Very blue while also being green :) We paid $1.64 per square foot for this flooring from Rocky Mountain Forest Products. There will be a lot of sanding when we're done, and then oiling or whatever Curt picks to seal the surface. I'm aiming for low shine but high water resistance.
Also on the bright side, our counters are looking good enough to seal after Curt ground a bit of the concrete around the sink hole to allow the huge sink to fit. There are two miniscule hairline cracks on the slim edges around the second sink. These showed up after exerting a lot of force on the concrete forms to snap them off the edges of the counters. Curt is going to describe the countertop process in more detail himself. We also brought up and installed our first dishwasher last weekend which ran its first load perfectly (found one $200 off retail for around $500 at Appliance Factory Warehouse). We are bringing up a refrigerator next weekend (a Craigslist find - brand new and pulled out of a flipped house - talked down to $900) and we have the range hood (another Craigslist find for $200 because of a few small dents, but at this point we don't have enough cash left to be picky!) in our truck to bring up tonight. We’re going to lay more wood flooring this weekend and next weekend I will tackle the last of the tile on the floor so we can put the rest of our appliances in.
We're headed up tonight for our first two-night stay, made possible by our hot running water and newly finished first shower. Our friends are spending a night with us tomorrow so we can go to the Breckenridge Beer Festival and relax for a few hours. My fingers and toes are crossed that our water issues are over.