I am WOMAN…hear me flush!?

in #story4 years ago

What can I say about home-ownership? It’s a blessing with a splattering of random curses. When you least expect it, usually when funds or timing seem all wrong to have something go astray…OK, so there really is no good time for anything to break or stop working but it is inevitable if you own a home, especially an old home like mine. I notice though, in my home, problems always seem to arise on a weekend when emergency service calls would cost a fortune.

Two weeks ago, the toilet in my powder room cracked and leaked. This would force me into the renovation I have been wanting to do on this room for oh let’s say four years and have never gotten around to because of how much of a pain I figured it would be to take out the sink and toilet to redo the flooring. Now, with no choice I figured, no time like the present. So I called up a man to do it for me while I went skipping off to the kitchen to bake some cookies……screech…rewind…this is where the story makes a dramatic flip….I decided there was no reason I couldn’t tackle this project MYSELF. Big undertaking even though it’s the smallest room of my house, great place to start.
I am and Aesthetician (albeit not an overly girly or high maintenance type) but if you have a cracked fingernail I’m your go to..cracked toilets however, are completely out of my wheelhouse. I recalled giving a pedicure to a female real estate agent who advised me that putting in a toilet really was a fairly simple job. OK, I’m going to test that theory and although, very nervous about what I was delving into, decided “I've got this!”
I started asking questions, checking the internet and losing sleep while planning the how to’s because I’m an over thinker by nature.
Friday night came and my family trekked off to the store to “toilet shop” But I already had flyer in hand and a plan of what floor to get and toilet I was buying. My son picked out a different pattern for the floor than planned but it happened to match paint we already had at home, score! Supplies on hand, I started Saturday morning to deconstruct while the kids went ice skating with their dad and little did I know but it was best they were out of ear shot, as a few choice words flew about once I really got into the thick of it. I knew the toilet needed to come out first. Little did I know this is where I had to fight my biggest contender….RUST! Years of it…WD40 here we go…first part of my day was spent wrenching round and round wondering, is this just turning in spot or am I making progress here?? I freed it up enough and patience was running low, so I eventually was able to break the bolts off and pull the darn thing out…was heavy but I dragged it to temporary storage and now to clean up the mess…oh the mess, getting up all that wax off the gasket..sigh... My kids wanted a picture update, I thought “OK you asked for it” lol they were mortified and thought I was sloshing in poop. Rust..you nasty beast!

I quickly realized that if it’s not broken you don’t fix it. I.e. the pedestal sink. Getting in behind one of those to the plumbing is like squeezing an elephant into a mouse hole..anyways..not happening. I took off the baseboards and started to chisel back the two lovely layers of stick down tiles until it was just ply board. OK. Bare bones.


Cutting the vinyl tile was not as easy as the man suggested at the store “just a straight edge and a sharp blade” he said…By then all my muscles and joints were rebelling from hours of prying and wrenching but forging on I measured, cut and placed the boards until the floor was in place. Only felt like I did about 40,000 squats the next day from all the ups and downs of cutting and fitting the floor planks. I nailed the baseboards back in place and prepped for painting.

I recruited a little help here, actually, it was offered; my son loves to paint and my daughters do not like their brother doing anything they don’t get to do so everyone took a turn on a wall. Onto Sunday after everything dried.


I was nervous about the toilet install, but my son was anxious for this project to be complete as he insisted on being the first to “christen the throne” so he pushed my procrastinating self to do it..NOW! I carefully followed instructions and then the moment of truth…turning the water source back on…I held my breath and turned the valve and nothing exploded. I double checked for leaks and we were ready for the first flush. Success!

“Amazing” is how my family described my work..(brushes dirt off shoulders 😉)
Why did I share this story you ask? Who really cares about my toilet tales of woe and glory?
This is the message: I completed this task for around $400.00 Canadian dollars, I conquered and pushed through my self doubt and proved to my onlookers (kids) that I accomplished something I put my mind to and although viewing it as a challenge, met it head on and saw it through to completion. By no means is it perfect, but it is way better than it was and I’m very proud of it. Most importantly, I felt like a bad ass because although these days there should not be any real men or women “roles”, I still like to keep on “flushing away” the stereotypes. So if you are reading this don’t underestimate yourself in any way because if it’s something you want to do there is always a way if you put your mind to it. Oh by the way…I also used to drive transport trucks!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and feel free to share with me moments when you made yourself proud by stepping out of your comfort zone to accomplish a goal.

Sort:  

We think we can't do stuff but we can. Great job.

Thank you @anthrovegan you are right..you just have to believe in yourself which is sometimes the largest hurdle!

Great job @purplemagic!
Your brother-in-law, always tells me that with these types of challenges, if you can't watch a video and figure it out yourself, you aren't trying hard enough.
When he says this to me... it's usually at the height of the largest struggle within the project and as a direct result he usually receives a few choice words in response. LOL!
Way to not give up!

I had to help my dad install two new fluorescent light fixtures recetly. Since they're in my part of the house, I bought 'em - so you can say that my dad helped me.

Wow: what a job. Took us more than an hour and a half. They had to be installed in the ceiling, which (as the old rue has it) taught me I had muscles I didn't know I had. (Ouch.)

When we opened the old ones up, I saw something really weird: one ballast was powering both of the old fixtures! (They were foot-to-head.) That certainly explained why one bulb failing made the other bulb flicker.

Anyhoo, I certainly respect anyone - male or female - who's good at #diy projects, or at least persistent with them. My dad is; I'm not.

That is the thing with any kind of home reno project, there is always a chance you will start to unveil more complications or problems as you go. I certainly was hesitant with that in mind because there are so many things in my home that were just not done properly so nothing surprises me. I crossed my fingers because I really needed it to go relatively cheap and easy but was "plunged" into doing it because we all really missed the functionality of two operating toilets (3 kids)
I too respect handy people, my DIY projects more typically involve creating and crafting..I feel like I stepped up my game a bit with this one which felt great..my muscles afterward disagreed entirely. lol

Shout out to my bro-in-law for coming to my aid on several occasions with this old crotchety house of mine and for this project, helping to install a shut off valve (because no it didn't have one which is annoying) so I could use my main water while completing this job. I regret not watching him do that because I feel like I would be adding a few more down there....I guess I'll find a video for that lol

What a great story never mind accomplishment!
You should be proud!

that's a fine accomplishment. you should be ready to take on anything after that.. a brilliant post ! enjoy :)

Thank you so much @outerground I have a lot to take on in my house, this bathroom is now the fanciest room haha I figure though that now that I have done this, I'm practically a plumber and a carpenter so the rest of my house should be a breeze to tackle. lol It will only take me the next ten years ;)

I'm impressed. when my bathroom totally collapsed, I must admit, I let the builders repair it. I watched them carefully and although they refitted the shower enclosure incorrectly and had to replace it (and didn't tighten up the cistern properly) so it dribbled constantly into the pan.. I was intrigued with what they actually did. You were brave to take it on and I'm sure every time you look at it, you still blink and think.. did i do that ? when I open my cupboard and see the extra shelves I built, I still feel that 4 years later :) shelves, I can do ! I always wanted to build a house. Now, I'm not so sure. I'll be interested to see what you accomplish next.

my 2 year old daughter loves tools and helped me build her bed. she likes nuts and bolts and is a dab hand at putting the screws into the holes ready for tightening. She is also fascinated with the actual tools, which I think is great ! an engineer in the family, just like her grandad.. we're all artists !!

Funny, one of my twin daughter's is also fascinated with anything to do with building as well. Little go getters we have on our hands. Not to brag but I did win the shop award for woodworking in grade 8 so clearly the apple doesn't fall far..haha! My last project was putting together my son's bed which was gifted to him by his Grammie at Christmas. Was delivered right to my house so I got the privilege of staging the surprise. This is a loft bed though made of metal..you would not believe how many screws I had to allen key into place and how much my hands were sore and cramping for days afterwards. The expression..not a spring chicken comes to mind..sigh..

I joke that they'll end up as spaceship captains. we may not be far off. They could end up as real StarTrekkers in the not too distant future. I saw a great book for my daughter.. interstellar cinderella, she fixes broken spaceships with her sonic screwdriver. she tells the prince she's far too young to get married but will happy be his chief mechanic. I love it. she's got pink hair !

ooh that sounds like a GREAT book! Let's keep teaching them to think and dream to infinity....and beyond so they can do, be and FIX anything their hearts desire! ;)

Love it! Just found it on Amazon and right under it there is another author that wrote these books with the same idea..wonderful messages of children exploring their interests having a passion and persevering :)

Congratulations!

How'd you get the water intake detached from the toilet?

Well, @nxtblg it twisted off fairly easy with a wrench at the wall so I was thankful for that but at the toilet it was so rusted underneath the plastic piece I just broke it. No saving the flex hose or the toilet tank so I figured why not just muscle it off and keep on going.

Yeah: I just checked my own toilet after your replay and saw hot it's done. The nut's just past the shutoff valve for the water.

Rust is a bear, that's for sure. You can only do so much with WD-40.

I relied on WD40 heavily, as you can see in that gross pic there were puddles of it haha it was between that and using all my strength straight out of the gates plus a little bit of luck I figure. That pic was embarrassing but it clearly illustrated my struggle. Couldn't mislead anyone into thinking it was an easy undertaking for me, I literally thanked all the powers that be each step I completed especially dislodging the old toilet.