For months now, I’ve been aware that there was probably trouble brewing underneath the floor of our downstairs restroom. Honestly, considering the fact that the way the bathroom was developed and the toilet wasn’t actually bolted down to anything, I was aware much longer than that…
But after the floor started getting soft in spots, I realized I needed to do something, needed to take a look and see what all might be going on, see if the whole thing was about to fall out from under us.
In a frenzy of rage at the previous owners’ do it yourself bathroom-ing, I pulled out the toilet and ripped up the linoleum surrounding the offending area and found what I had feared….rot…water..and just overall grossness.
Within minutes I was able to pull up a child sized hole from the plywood that was the floor using only my bare hands, causing me to come to the realization that the only reason the toilet itself hadn’t fallen through the floor was the big pipe that takes all the waste away.
It was/is gross. And it was/is the main thing that frightens me about any home repair that I take on for myself. I mean, I’m pretty good at home repair, but these types of things wouldn’t have happened if they had just hired somebody to seat the toilet correctly (or not ignored their obviously bad cut in the plywood that kept it from being seated in the first place).
At the moment, I’ve got a couple of able-minded guys downstairs cutting a hole in my floor, removing the offending material, and putting in a brand need piece of plywood so that the hole is no longer there, threatening to swallow up my children, and within the next couple weeks, my wife and I will re-tile the floor (something we’ve found we’re relatively good at) and replace the toilet. A large task that wouldn’t have needed to happen if things were just done appropriately in the first place….
Of course…in case you weren’t reading closely, we’re intending to do our own DIY stuff on this bathroom as well…meaning, who knows what trouble we’ll cause.
Yet, this is quite simply the ugliest place in our house (outside of the basement…) and will be getting some much needed improvements, just simply because of this rot. I’m even doing some thinking about how things might be able to be rearranged in this tiny space to allow for better room usage all around…things that could cause me to do even further DIY repairs…things that could, in theory, cause some other home owner headaches somewhere further down the line.
But that’s kind of the weird thing about home ownership…there’s almost this unspoken rule that you should be expected to fix things yourself. Sure, part of that rule comes from the fact that it can get expensive to pay other folks to do it…but they’re generally better at it, do it faster, and you know, if there’s issue in the future, you can always have someone to blame (or have fix for free or whatever).
Instead, my wife and I, having absolutely no official background in home repairs outside of what we’ve taught ourselves, begin a project by cursing the people who DIY’d our house into its current state while turning right around and fixing it with our own lack of experience…it’s a pretty great cycle.
I’m honestly on the fence about all of it. I mean, it’s fun learning new things, and some of these things aren’t truly out of my abilities. I mean, seating a toilet isn’t that difficult…although I’m pretty sure that if I had known what I was doing better the last time I did it, the toilet might not be using quite as much water when I flush it…of course, that could just be that the toilet needs to be replaced…it was pretty old, after all.
Anyways…they just finished up their work, there’s a much smaller hole (the pipe that leads to the waste depository)…and a whole lot of work left for me and my lady…
Hooray for home ownership!
Have fun out there!