Monday, April 5, 2010

Kids' Room Progress

I got a call at work from Heather this past week. She called to tell me that the builder had the plumbers at the house and they needed everything out of her closet because they were going to start jackhammering in there.

Heather's closet is right under the kids' new bathroom and next to our master bath toilet. The plan was to run a sewer line down from the kids' new bathroom, through Heather's closet, and down into the slab and connect to the existing sewer line.

Heather couldn't leave work right then, nor should she have. Clearing out seven years of stuff under the observation of a three dudes waiting with a jackhammer is just a little too much to put on Heather and little Penelope right now, in my opinion. I told Heather I would go home and do it.

I had no idea the amount of stuff that was in that closet. The hanging clothes were not that big of a deal. My closet racks were full, but because I keep precisely 3/4 of an inch between each item, I was able to squish all of my stuff into 1/4 of its existing space. That made room for most of Heather's hanging clothes.

Maternity items went in front, of course. Heather even found a new skirt.

The floor was the hard part. There was just a lot of stuff - shoes on top of shoe boxes on top of shoe racks. Bill the builder and I loaded stuff by the armful into lawn bags and put the bags in the tub.

Shoes that looked familiar went into my closet. Other items that looked important went into the TV armoire or on the bench at the foot of our bed.

When we got to the bottom of the sediment of shoes up against the wall, the plumber yelled "look - there's a clean-out," which meant that there was a sewer stub already in the slab. Here it is after they cut the sheet rock out to take a look.

Bill the builder looked at the clean-out and said, in a deeper version of what Owen Wilson sounds like: "Wow - that was a really good idea I had putting that there." We stood and looked and nodded our heads. "It's almost like I knew we would be standing here one day adding onto the house when I built it." It was nice to see Bill admire the work he did, only to forget about it in order to pleasantly surprise himself later. That's actually a really good feeling if you haven't experienced it.

Bill's pride in his housing design aside, I was wondering if finding that sewer pipe was going to save me any money. I'm new to hiring a contractor to remodel a house. I know that upgrading a cabinet or adding a second one like we did in the bathroom will cost a few hundred dollars extra. I didn't ask whether we get a credit for not having to jackhammer through the slab when we find out that it's already been stubbed for sewer. Having people stand around with a jackhammer doesn't look significantly cheaper than having people actually use a jackhammer though. Something tells me that we won't see a change order entitled "found sewer line: -$350.00" when we get the one for the cabinet. Just a hunch.

As for the progress upstairs, everything is wired and we have water to and from the bathroom.

So far, I've managed to find everything Heather has asked me for that I pulled out of her closet. I'm pretty impressed with myself. There was a lot to keep track of. If I can keep this streak alive into the weekend when we put everything back, I will have pulled off the most successful mid-afternoon closet heists ever.


  1. Wow, what an awesome surprise! It's almost like finding a twenty dollar bill in your pocket, other than the fact that the discovery will not make you twenty dollars richer. That Bill sure showed some vision when he built your house. It looks like things are moving along quite nicely!

  2. just returned (gave up blogreading for lent) and read the name 'penelope' - do you know you're expecting a daughter or is that a nickname for the yet-unknown?

    p.s. yours is the one I missed most - makes me howl every time.

  3. Anon, Thank you. Welcome back.

    Yes. We are expecting a daughter and we have named her Penelope. I don't know if it's proper to begin calling a baby by name before he or she is born, but we are doing it.