Where We Are

ariel 0319
Look at what I just found today! A place to put captions! Who knew? This is the best of a lot of spectacularly bad screen shots of my impending steam shower. There’s a tub underneath.

Way back on Feb. 8 my blog post was about the decision I needed to make that day regarding my bathroom, although I wasn’t sure what decision needed to be made. I guess nothing really had to be made, because Feb. 8 came and went, and so have a lot of days since.

This bathroom has proved to be the most problematic room in the house, at least so far. Marvin’s line of Infinity windows apparently doesn’t come in round, so I had settled for an octagon (still sad about that) — except that the window isn’t yet installed, so I’m not sure what’s going on. The framers left a square at Dusty’s request, and it’s boarded up.

Everything in the bathroom was smaller than intended, and this has left a lot of holes in the subfloor, because a wall got moved after the plumber had drilled through the floor. (Dusty said he told Ben to wait, but Ben didn’t listen). And now that plumbing is in place for the toilet, that might get moved as well.

It might get moved because Dusty and I finally achieved Shower Resolution. When I looked at shower units prior to Feb. 8, the only one that caught my eye was a glowing box that turned out to be a steam shower unit. I’d never heard of steam showers, but once I started reading about them, I decided I needed one. They’re supposed to soothe achy joints and muscles, and help clear up sinus issues. They are talking to me.

But Dusty never saw the e-mail I sent him about this, and when we asked Ben, he didn’t care because he was on his way to Colombia. I expended tons of brain power on this, plus endless hours of ruined eyeballs in front of computers, and I kept coming back to the unit that first caught my eye.

Dusty finally got serious at his end, and needed to know if the unit was certified. And then he couldn’t get the company to return his calls or e-mails, which isn’t really a good sign. Someone at the Houzz website, one of about a billion to offer this unit for sale, finally managed to get him an answer: not certified. (But lots of sites still offer it for sale.)

So I turned my attention to a company with the wholesome Spanish name of Mesa, while unbeknownst to me Dusty was looking at units from a company called Ariel. Ben threw a wrench into the works by offering me a free steam generator that he had taken out of Holiday Inn Express.

But even with a free steam generator, a custom build was going to cost more — and require many more decisions — than a ready-to-install unit, and it wouldn’t come with a bathtub, let alone a whirlpool tub. And then it turns out that Mesa, which is actually a Chinese company, sort of like Ariel (Ariel proudly announces their bathroom pieces are “designed in the U.S.”), apparently helps itself to pictures and perhaps knock-offs of Ariel products.

Friday, then, more than a month past my original deadline, we settled on a steam shower unit — and it’s only twice as expensive as the original one I looked at. Hopefully the caliber is twice as good as well. It’s at least certified, and Dusty gets someone to talk to him every time he calls the company.

By getting this enclosed unit, it means a wall separating the toilet and the tub can be dispensed with, which should allow for better lighting — and the toilet can be moved four inches closer to the shower, which means the vanity can be four inches longer.

None of this fixes the too-small cabinet, which at the moment is the only linen closet in the house, but there should be plenty of space for cabinets in the laundry room that don’t have any earmarked purpose.

And then yesterday I looked at the electrical layout in the bathroom, and noticed a disparity: it appears that I’m going to get one whole two-plug outlet in the entire bathroom, while Lynn is going to get a four-plug outlet. Where’s the fairness in that?

I’m not sure where we are with the electrical. Dusty said Shawn, the electrician, was supposed to finish his rough-in Friday, but it doesn’t look very finished to me. I don’t know what constitutes “complete” for rough-in, so it’s hard to tell.

electrical 0319
I still don’t know how to make this photo smaller, which was what I was attempting when I found the caption function. I’ll let you decide: roughed in, or not?

We also need to ask about the pendant lights over Lynn’s kitchen island, because they seem to be aligned with the back of the island (which at the moment is only one set of 2 x 4s) rather than over what ought to be the center.

There are lots of outlets in the kitchen, but I’m second-guessing the plan for the garage. There will be outlets that will be completely covered by Lynn’s commercial freezer and refrigerator, and only one outlet on the other side. Not that we use power tools much, but it seems like it would be nice to be able to access power on that side of the garage from the front as well as the back.

We agreed to go with Lifetime — a brown stain-sort of approach — for the exterior trim, but now we can’t figure out a color for the stucco. French toast is not going to cut the mustard, and now we are squinting at color cards with the tiniest rectangles imaginable, trying to imagine them splashed across the large sides of a house.

jess and sally 0319
Here are side-by-side houses built by Dusty. The closer one features “Lifetime” around the windows and in the eaves. The bottom is rusted metal, which I don’t care for at all.

Dusty told us the next decision we need to make is on exterior doors, and we think we made progress on that, but we were operating blind in a catalogue without prices. I imagine our taste has exceeded our budget there as well.

And on the old home front, it turns out in this modern world (you may find this hard to believe) that there are apps for “that.” The three showings we had on Thursday and Friday were scheduled through an app, which then also allows the prospective buyer’s broker to provide feedback. We’ve heard from two of the three: one felt we’re overpriced, while the other loved our Star Trek and alien decor and is “hoping to put in an offer.” Both said they were “very” interested in this listing.

No additional showings have been scheduled, which I’m chalking up to spring break and am really not complaining about. For now.

We saw our new neighbor Lisa last night, and they must have had so much fun building their house at Riverwalk that they have taken on a massive renovation of a building for their plumbing business. She said she has been waiting since December for someone to come lay their flooring, and urged us to be getting on someone’s list ASAP.

Dusty hasn’t mentioned flooring yet, so I guess we’d better ask what his plan is for installation, and when we might need to make those decisions. Or we can just walk around on a subfloor with a bunch of extra holes in it.

So that’s where we are and that’s what I know. For now.

I’m hoping that all my Fun with Photos did not disrupt this post, but if it makes less sense than usual, I’m blaming technology. Not my lack of skill with it.


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