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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why I Can Never Be a Contractor

This weekend marked our bathroom makeover adventure. What started as a plan to simply change the double vanity in the Master Bathroom has resulted in a grand makeover. Jojo and I just wanted to replace the wood paneled vanity since the base on the right portion (next to our shower stall) showed signs of rotting wood - the water from the shower area seeped into the wood causing it to decay. Our plan was to replace the vanity and take care of the seeping water. Jojo's family friend, Dante, was going to help us get that done.

Yesterday, Jojo, Dante and his nephew, Dex, purchased a white paneled vanity from Ikea. They had assembled the new 30 by 21 foot vanity in our garage and dismantled our current warped wood vanity with the super heavy marble top. When they got ready to fit the Ikea vanity in the slot, they found out it would not fit. Now we’ve worked with Dante before and he’s really meticulous when it comes to measurements so we were quite annoyed when we found out Ikea’s measurements did not match our order. Dex and Dante had to dismantle the vanity, stuff it back in the box and take it back to Ikea to get the right piece. Once there they find out it’s out of stock. Meanwhile there is a gaping space in our bathroom and the old double sink/vanity is in the middle of the room.

Meanwhile, Dante finds out the gaskets to our sink faucets are all leaking and need to be replaced. He and Jojo head to Home Depot (in Carson) to get new gaskets and to look for white paneled vanities. Home Depot has the white vanities but they are the wrong size. Next stop - Lowes – which has the right size vanities but not in white. Finally they head over to the Contractor’s Warehouse in Gardena and find a white paneled vanity in the right size and color. But when they start putting it together, they find several wood panels have huge cracks on its surface. So they take it apart again and bring it back to the store. Of course, that vanity style is the last of its kind and the only other choice is one that looks really tacky and industrial-like (sort of like cabinets you would find in a garage). Jojo is tempted to buy it but holds off. It’s getting late so they call it a day. The only other task done is re-fitting the gaskets and stopping the leaks.

On Sunday, I accompany Jojo and Dante to Home Depot (Torrance) hoping to find a better vanity – there is one (great style and in white) but it is made of a molded wood material that Dante said would warp in a few months (sort of low quality material). So we head back to the Contractor’s Warehouse where I immediately veto the tacky looking industrial looking vanity. Instead we vote on another style (in the right size) but in a pale spiced honey color. We compared it against a picture of our bathroom and decide that the color would work. We decided to get the next best thing. When we got home, Lee (Jojo’s brother) helped build the new vanity (of course these vanities come in a box that has a million wooden pieces, screws and studs). After that our old vanity had to be dismantled (the marble top had to be removed from the warped wood bottom). As soon as the top came off, we noticed that the marble had gaps which caused the water to leak which caused damage and discoloration. Apparently our bathroom was built quite hastily by the former owners and the work was not well done. The marble top's sides and edges had cracked and chipped. Not only that the faucet spout and fixtures on both sinks were chipped and peeling.

So off Jojo, Dante and I go to Home Depot (Carson) to look for faucet accessories. We were horrified to find out a single faucet spout with two matching knobs can cost as much as $300.00. I will never take these things for granted anymore. We selected the ones we liked only to find out they were out of stock. On our way out Dante shows us a sale on granite vanity tops - there was one last countertop that matched our bathroom. We decided to get it since our old marble top was in no shape to be re-used. Our bathroom budget was going up really fast! We paid for it but could not bring it home since we couldn’t fit a double sink granite counter top in the Rav-4. Our next stop was Home Depot (Torrance) to pick up the faucet fixture we wanted. The plus side is they had them in stock, the down side is it was in silver rather than gold. We got them anyway since we knew it would work out (if we changed the knobs on the drawers and cabinets). We drove home to meet Lee and use his van to get the counter top in Home Depot (Carson). By the time we all get home it is almost 6 PM.

Right now, (as a I type this post), Dante is in the garage with Dex working on attaching the marble top to the vanity while Lee and Jojo are working in the bathroom clearing the debris and sealing the area where the shower stall leaks into the sink area. The noise is deafening and the house is a mess. The guys have been running back and forth. In between their work Dante has had to go home to get more tools, Lee has had to leave to pick up his kids, and Jojo has had to run to the Home Depot (again) to get a plank of wood (to add support to the base). They are about half-way done but will have to keep going tonight and finish as much as they can since Dante is on his own tomorrow (the rest of the guys have to go to work). I get President’s Day off so I’ll be here to help. I am using the word “help” pretty loosely though since I am the world's most mechanically-challenged person. My role has been limited to sweep the gunk, cements pieces, splintered wood, and dust every so often. I’ve also been tasked with folding cardboard boxes and moving them out of the way. But my main function is keeping these guys fed. So far I’ve made two lunches, two afternoon snacks, one breakfast, two dinners and a steady supply of water and iced tea on hand. But honestly, between the trips to these hardware stores, the hard manual labor, the backbreaking lifting and working in a small confined spaced with my two hands, I definitely have the easy job.


jol said...

People have different interests and skills. In our modern world, you can hardly find a jack of all trade and if you do, he is a master of none. Enjoy doing those things that matches your skills and let others take care of those that you are sadly lacking.

Anonymous said...

Cabinets and countertops offer the much-needed storage space in the bathroom to store your toiletries, keep medicines and first-aid box, cleaning milk, moisturizer and deodorants, towels and napkins besides other things that you use daily while showering in your bath. They are powerful accents to your bath décor and help you to define the tone and style of the bathroom wall cabinets and make the best use of the wall and floor surface of the area. .

Anonymous said...