Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The roof, the roof, the roof is the only thing safe

Eric, the contractor or whatever, asked me to come my house by so we could talk about my bathroom. I was sure something would happen there. The wall was sagging. Sure enough. Problems.

First, let me say the good news. The back wall has been replaced, the bricks delivered, and they started laying brick today. I could legally move back in tonight.

Now the bad news. In order for a person to walk up and down the stairs without hitting his head is to elevate the bathroom. So a platform was built and the bathroom put on that. Perfectly sensible. Lay a base board to spread the weight over a great area, put 3 cross beams on the base board, put joists across the cross beams, then plywood, then tile, add a bathtub, toilet, cook at 375° for 45 minutes, rinse, repeat. Lets go back to the beginning and see where the last crew went wrong.

1) Lay a base board. [check]
2) Cut the base board in half and place the cross beams directly on the floor. [che... wait...]
That's right. Almost the entire weight of the bathroom is focussed on a single cross beam. And termites and age have had their way with what the cross beam is sitting on.
There is an easy fix, but it's not really a fix and I'd have to sign a liability waiver. Eric said that, we looked at each other, and we laughed. I told them to redo the back wall and it wasn't as bad as this.
It's a two week and ~$12,000 job. He says if I give him a days notice I can come back and use my washing machine in a week or two when I run out of clean clothes.

He's going to replace the bathtub with a shower so I can install a proper medicine cabinet and put in my cardboard table. (I'll post a picture of my cardboard table some day when I have nothing to say.) He'll also replace the toilet with one of those I saw in the 2005 Solar Decathlon. One with one button for solids and one for liquids.

Toilet picture

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