The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 5

September 22, 2017

Dear Daddy –

The bathroom is a big project. Its floor is down. Its outlets are partially wired. I furred out (is that the right spelling?) the opening above the now-installed shower walls, so that backing board for the tile would both fasten to the studs and slip down over the lip at the top of the fiberglass walls. How does one make furring strips—pieces of wood that are used to fill what would otherwise be a gap between a finished surface and the rough wall? You had obviously made a bunch of them. I wound up making more out of scraps of paneling you’d saved for years, left over from finishing your library and our family room. Continue reading

The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 4

September 15, 2017 (Continued)

Dear Daddy,

So the guy at Kendall’s told me that no hardware store could rip tile, and I’d need to spend $25 – $50 to get one tile ripped by a home contractor.

I believed him, but I was headed to Catonsville later anyway, to meet Ethan. You probably never knew that Ethan, Christian and I have, for years, gone to Cosmic Comix in Ellicott City, and later in Catonsville, every Wednesday. That’s the day new comics come out. You never understood my love of comic books. I remember proudly showing you a stack of seven of them that I’d bought with my allowance. “Look at all these great comics,” I said. Or I said something like that.

Continue reading

The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 2

September 15, 2017 (Continued)

Dear Daddy –

Let’s talk about the shower…

I hired Mike the plumber (and his son Gary, and his grandson Cody) on the recommendation of a friend. I knew that finishing the plumbing for three bathrooms and the kitchen was going to be too much for me. It turned out to be the biggest expense associated with the house so far, but it was worth it.

So the first thing Mike the plumber told me about the shower cubicle was that it had to go. It was designed for the plumbing codes of decades ago, and he really recommended I use a pre-fab, fiberglass cubicle. That would be fastened right to the studs, not to the plywood. Now I didn’t see any reason the plywood couldn’t be there in between. But once I had measured the available cubicle base and walls, I realized that I needed the combined inch of width that removing the plywood would provide. So out it was going to come, and it needed to go before Mike and his crew could even do the rough-in plumbing. Continue reading