05 February 2009

Renovation Diary Part I

About 65,000 years ago I first contemplated a bathroom renovation. That's not exactly true. I contemplate a bathroom renovation every damn time I have to go downstairs to have a pee. 
I'm getting ahead of myself. 
Years ago I hired a longtime friend, Mike, to do Renovation v.1. A poorly installed and leaky upstairs shower had damaged the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom. I shut the shower down. Instead of repairing the downstairs bathroom ceiling and then beginning the demolition of upstairs bathroom, he tore up both bathrooms at the same time. 
I would have assumed that the obstacles inherent in demolishing both bathrooms concurrently would be obvious to anyone with a bladder, an alimentary system, and at least a passing interest in hygiene. It was not apparent to Mike.
His project management didn't improve after that initial blunder. One day he told me he was going to the hardware store and needed $250 for materials. That was the last I saw of him. Years later he calls. He's in a 12 Step Program and I'm on the list of people to apologize to. Turns out I've bought at least $250 worth of crack. Hurrah.
The renovation is finally rev'd to v.2. Yes, I've hired another friend, but this one isn't a crackhead, I'm certain. And I'm being much more hands-on to minimize the weird surprises (a distressingly regular occurrence during V.1.)
Minimize doesn't mean eliminate. I've spent an insane amount of time trying to find angle stops for the bathroom faucet I bought years ago, but never installed. The faucet is totally cool, but the pre-plumbed supply connections have no relation to any known plumbing standard. Seriously, they might as well have suction cups or bicycle handlebar fringe on the ends for all the good they do.
Why would anyone manufacture a faucet that cannot be hooked up to an ordinary angle stop valve? That just does not compute! It's not like using the proper 3/8" compression nut on the end of the 3/8" supply line would be prohibitively more complicated or expensive than using the fucking random 5/8" FIP nut they selected.
It's like discovering your new car runs on liquid propane, or your new kitchen appliances are coal-fired. It's like finding out you're pre-approved for a Diner's Club card.
It takes a special kind of malice to sell nonstandard plumbing to an unsuspecting public. And I didn't buy it from some fly-by-night website, either. I bought it from Rennovator's Supply. I picked it out of a PRINTED CATALOGUE ferchrissakes. I confess it didn't occur to me to ask, "Does this faucet connect to plumbing that might be found in an ordinary North American residence? Is it rated for potable water?" 
My bad.
Anyway, if you've got a line on a 1/2" compression x 5/8" MIP angle stop, I'll take two.

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