I’ve been living in my house for almost 2 months now. I’ve been super busy finishing up everything and helping out my mom after her hernia surgery and I haven’t had time to keep the blog up to date. I will try to fill in everything in the correct order…
Dad hooked up the plumbing to the hot water heater and the electrician connected the wires.
Dad and I installed the washer and dryer, which was a nightmare. We had to stack them before we put them in place because we wouldn’t have access to the stacking kit screws once they were in the cubby and we couldn’t use the dolly because the shower base was in the way. We had to put boards down to support the weight of the W/D while we turned it so it didn’t damage the lip of the shower. Then we tried “walking” the W/D into the cubby, which didn’t work since it was a very tight fit with no wiggle room. I don’t even want to think about all of the different things we tried. Eventually we ended up prying it up on top of strips of hardboard with scraps of carpet under the feet and slid it into place. Then we had to pry it up again to get the hardboard and carpet out. The combined unit is definitely the heaviest item in my house. Hopefully it lasts many many years and never needs maintenance. I might cry if I have to move it again. On top of all of that… as I was following the directions on hooking up the dryer I realized something didn’t match up.
There was no water inlet connection like the manual showed and I was pretty sure I had bought a steam dryer, so I contacted Samsung which was not helpful in the slightest.
I’m sure Bhavana is a swell person but they seem to be lacking in the knowledge of their products.
Apparently my model doesn’t have a steam function and they do not have a manual for my specific dryer. Also, they have discontinued this model and there is no info for it anywhere on the world wide web, which I find a bit unsettling, but it is working great and dries my clothes super fast.
I hadn’t considered the size of my stove plug and had placed the outlet at the standard height, like regular wall outlets, and this caused the stove to stick out farther from the wall. I ended up drilling through the floor and bringing the wire up into a floor-mounted outlet, which the stove slides nicely over. This was dad’s suggestion and it worked out well. I did have to cut out the sheetrock all the way to the floor, to free the wire from the insulation and wire staples, and then patch it back up, which wasn’t fun.
The guys from Central Maine Heat Pumps hooked up my heat pump/AC unit. This was my biggest splurge and I haven’t regretted it. I did a lot of researching and pricing last year, thinking I could get a unit a lot cheaper online and install it myself. In the end I reasoned that, in Maine, temperature is far too important to mess around with and by buying it through an authorized installer it is warrantied if any problems come up. The estimator I met with was great and offered me an older, cheaper model that they were phasing out, instead of trying to up-sell me, which I really appreciated. I used the heat about 2 times in May and it seemed to work well, though next winter will be the real test. I am loving the AC! I keep it around 70 degrees and then turn it off at night and it stays comfortable until about mid-morning. To have no fans or AC at night in the middle of July… I have to say, all the pain of cutting insulation was well worth it! Plus, my electric bill is only $30, you can’t beat that with a stick! What?
I had installed DensShield tile-backer board for my shower and dad taped and mudded where it butted the MR board when we were drywalling. I was reading up on how to tile a shower and came across scary warnings of backer board failure so I sanded off all the mud on the DensShield, much to dad’s dismay. After reading more about DensShield, I realized we had drilled the sheetrock screws too deep and my sanding it was not such a good idea, so I took it all down and put up new sheets, not countersinking the screws this time. Then I taped all the joints with Fibatape (that’s a real product, not my Maine accent) and thinset. I painted Redgard on the area to be tiled, three coats on the joints and screwheads and 2 coats all over.
I consulted my cousin, Wayne, who is a professional, and he lent me his tile saw and grinder. Wayne used to build houses with my dad and grandfather and has been a huge help during the build. We often call him when dad and I have different opinions (I think dad has him on speed dial).
He also fostered my brother and I’s love of the Dukes of Hazzard.
There is definitely a learning curve to tiling a wall and, now that I have the hang of it, let’s hope I never have to do it again! I went with 12×12″ for the field tiles and 2×6″ for the bullnose trim with 3/16″ grout lines between the bigger tiles and 1/8″ for the trim tiles. I used sanded ceramic tile caulk for the corner grout line and where the tile meets the shower pan. This stuff is amazing! It’s basically silicone that dries to look like sanded grout. It’s color matched and blends right in. I used regular white silicone around the outside of the shower base and floor and where the tile meets the wall. I also did 2 coats of sealer on the grout.
The special WingTite shower drain I had to buy, because we got carried away installing the shower base and didn’t think ahead, installed quite easily. I installed the mixing valve and trim and dad put up the shower head. My first couple of showers I thought someone was using the water at the “big” house (I’m connected to mom and dad’s pump) because the water pressure felt like I was showering from a watering can but, when it kept happening, I realized it had to be my shower head. I took down my shower head and took out the watersaver contraption, very easy to do. This was a good and bad idea. While I had excellent pressure, I also was having a hard time keeping the water from spraying outside the shower. My first attempt at rectifying this was to get an adjustable shower arm. This helped but looked funny and leaked a little. Next try was a right-angle shower arm. This did work but I was still getting some overspray onto the walls so I found these nifty shower splash guards that attach to your shower curtain. These with the right-angle shower arm work great.
For some odd reason they do not sell round corner-shower curtain rods anywhere that I could find. Mike to the rescue again! He had a stainless steel railing that came off the bow of a sailboat. Dad bent it for me. I sanded and polished it and mounted it with $3 flanges! Shower is finished!
Dad and I installed the bathroom sink, mounting it on the steel plate he made. The sink drain that came with my faucet didn’t work with my sink, since my sink has no overflow holes, and I had to buy a pop-up drain. I plan to build a wooden shroud to cover the pipes under my sink.
I built my own medicine cabinet using 1x2s, routing out a groove for the mirror/panel, and biscuiting and screwing the stiles and rails. I then hinged the doors to the 1×3 frame I made around the opening. The inside is lined with aluminum boxes I had locally fabricated. I installed shelf rails and had 3 glass shelves cut at a local auto glass shop (also had my mirror cut there).
More to come very soon, I promise!