Day 2: What the unknown comic left behind

Cabinet wall

I try to follow my higher self rule. That means, in the wake of all encounters, be your higher self–the forgiving, loving, kindest self. Sometimes that is hard to do. There is sometimes the situation where one’s reasonable and logical self says: but…but…

So, yeah, yesterday was one of those days. The “contractor” who shall not be named hit again, as we knew would happen. We knew there would be some “surprises” after demo, because we have found so many of them ourselves. First up, we knew there would be damage to the floor under the cabinet, but we did not know how bad it might be. We knew there was a hole somewhere, as the occasional mouse would find its way in under the cabinet. That is to be expected when one lives in the country near a wooded area or fields. This next part is where it is really hard for me to be in touch with my higher self. We realized at some point that the person remodeling the house [and honestly, it is hard for me to say that with a straight face, so I generally do not] had placed a piece of plywood in the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. We thought he had just put in a new floor. But as the water would splash onto the tile counter, and then seep under the rim of the sink in places where he had just grouted, not sealed, the cabinet wall began to crumble. It was pressed fiber, not plywood. When they tore out the sink cabinet, lets just say we found the hole… The subfloor under the cabinets was made of fiberboard, and it had literally deteriorated all around the water pipes and drain pipe connections. The new plywood floor served merely to hide the damage. At least we knew how the mice could get in–never more than the occasional one, but still, no one wants mice in your house, let alone your kitchen. I mean, yes, you set a trap and deal with it, but you would prefer to eliminate the entrance if possible.

New plywood to repair the damaged sub floor

The crew pulled up the old pressed fiber board, and fortunately, the underfloor was protected from damage by felt paper from the original construction. We knew that from the repair work we had to do to rebuild the master bath shower and rebuild the bathroom entirely in the hall bath, after we sistered the damaged joist. [Aside: raise your hand if you know what sistering the joist is, and if you have ever done that, let me know. It is now part of my manual labor skill set–we might be joist sisters or joist siblings.]

New valves were placed on the water pipes with cut-offs in the event of needing to shut off water. They started on the sheetrocking, with the intention of finishing that yesterday, but he who shall not be named struck again.

Can you spot the elephant in the room?

Sheetrock was going up rapidly, and I was agog with the progress. I was merrily working away when the electricity glitched, then the lights went off, then my computer went off, then they all came back on. I went to get Rand and said I thought they might be having trouble finding which circuit they needed. We went down the hall and there they were standing in the kitchen in the dark. Rand got the flashlight (we keep one by every door) and pulled the curtain aside. The electric box they were moving sparked; the ground wire was incorrectly wired, so they were turning off the circuit. Now we were not surprised. The home safety inspector found one switch wired backward in the bedroom and required a repair, but he obviously either missed this one or did not check this one. It will be replaced and corrected today, along with new ground fault circuits in all plugs.

A shock could have occurred, and we are thankful it did not. Right after we moved in, the French Drain which was never completed (i.e., a ditch was partially dug) filled up with water during rain, and while out in the back yard we saw a spark in the water where the electric line to the water had fallen into the ditch. Randy grabbed a wooden plank and lifted it out. In digging the alleged-to-be-built French Drain, the line had been cut by the shovel. Instead of repairing, he [I think by now, you know who the he is] wrapped the piece of exposed wiring with electrical tape. We called out an electrician, who spliced in a new wire with a technique where the splice is encased in a silicone sleeve sealed at each end, and then Randy buried the line, which is what should have happened in the first place…and perhaps the safety inspector might have suggested that would be a good idea, as well as noted the electric tape wrapped around what was supposed to be a new line. We were actually grateful the line had not been buried, or else we might not have learned of the problem. Randy was sharing the story while we were getting the explanation as to what had happened in the kitchen and finally one of the crew said “who was this guy?” If you have read other parts of the work we have done on the house, you know this guy was the same person who broke the PVC pipe in the sink of the master bathroom while installing it, and rather than replace it, wrapped it with duct tape, which is not meant to prevent water leaks more than temporarily. He was also the guy who “repaired” a hole in the copper pipe of the water heater feed line by wrapping it with aluminum tape. When the water from that leak finally burst through the tape, it sprayed directly onto the electric circuit panel, resulting in some damage. Now to my mind, those are not just “not knowing”, that is willful intention to deceive. In that case, it is really hard for me to get in touch with that higher self I seek.

That delayed the ability to finish the sheetrock yesterday. But they are on track this morning and almost finished with the sheetrocking. The goal today is to mud the sheetrock, finish the changes to the wiring, and install the floor. Have I mentioned again what a great crew this is? And how refreshing and comforting it is to have people who are competent and caring, and besides that, just nice people to work with?

Now, I am off to pick up the paint and my new vent hood. Appliance delivery is set for Friday. Still doing the happy dance. 🙂

Randy and Steffi at nap time

This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Kitchen Remodel, Mississippi and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Day 2: What the unknown comic left behind

  1. Katie says:

    I liked this, but it feels like I shouldn’t! Man, what a mess you found. Glad it’s getting sorted, and I’m still excited to see it when it’s finished! We’ve had similar issues in our house, though we’ve not done any major work yet. But the day will come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I think the worst parts were the things he knew he messed up and then hid. The electric mistakes could have resulted in death or serious injury, not to mention the cost of replacing things due to the water leakage issues. The shoddy work that was cosmetic (cutting a board too short and filling in with an inch of caulk, for example) was pretty sorry, but it did not endanger our lives.


      • Katie says:

        Oh, that’s so frustrating. Glad it’s being fixed, and that you were safe in the meantime! Electric scares me more than anything, honestly. Other things I can sort of laugh about, but electric work – and plumbing, for that matter – just really make me anxious. You just never know what you’re going to find.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So what’s the unknown comic’s secret identity?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beth says:

    As long as you see the end result emerging (Begin with the end in mind is often a thought I remember) and you keep doing the happy dance then the higher self rule is still in force. Your wann-be-contractor is a hoot, but for safety and happier living I’m glad you’re finding all the “repairs”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davidprosser says:

    I don’t know if I’m seeing a nightmare or watching high comedy from the Likes of Laurel and Hardy but they weren’t really cowboys and this person obviously is. How fantastic you”ve got a good team who just forge ahead and replace/repair to keep you on track.

    Huge Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Well, now that we are getting it all done, I try to enjoy the “high comedy” instead of fume. I have often referred to it as the Nightmare on Taylor Hill, however. But it is looking good–they will begin to install cabinets tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Betty says:

    In almost every episode where a home is being renovated on HGTV (which is the extent of my expertise, but still I have hours), there is a “surprise”, and it is often a case of “why did they do that?” or just plain shoddy work. The really good thing is now you now these hidden issues can no longer haunt you, and your house is in good stead. And! There should be no more mice trying to be your house guest. Good luck with the rest! Sounds like you are getting there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you Betty, for your always positive take on things. Yes, it is good that these issues will be laid to rest and we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. I feel good, very good, about the ending outcome.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. socialbridge says:

    If we ever get round to renovation, you will have to come and oversee the whole operation. A sisterly house swop for the entirety!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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