Necessity is the mother of invention

Ok, so I didn’t invent anything but necessity bred a strong impulse to learn to become a cabinet installer, plumber, sheet rock installer, mold abatement guy, and all around Do-It-Yourselfer.

You see, the reason I’ve been gone from the interwebs for a while is I had to rebuild my kitchen. Not completely but there was a pretty good chunk to fix because I had a leak underneath the sink.

Actually this story goes way further back than that. I bought the house we live in 12 years ago and the guy I bought it from told me that someone had broken in to the house from the kitchen window several years before and in doing so broke a pipe. He apparently didn’t have it fixed right and I being a first-time home buyer didn’t know I could tell him, “fix it or I won’t buy it.” I figured it was an “as-is” sort of sale.

Anyway, 12 years of neglect finally caught up with me.

Like I said we had a leak. Who knows how long the leak had been dribbling out of the sink because we never, ever open that cabinet. But here is what started it all. That is the drain basket that attaches to the sink and to the drain pipes.  Somehow it had worked itself loose of the drain basket.

Some of my blog peeps might remember I’ve written before how The Deistette is highly allergic (pretty much ‘deathly’ allergic) to mold. A few weeks before my brother came over to help rip it all out, she was having bad allergy attacks (her sinus were so inflamed she had nose bleeds) and we didn’t know what was causing it.  We just figured it was pollen.  It’s been said this is the worst pollen season we’ve had in years.

Nope.  Not pollen.  We found out it was something different. Here’s what happened because of the leak. I know… it’s nasty and this doesn’t even show how bad it was.

I tried to take a few more pictures but they didn’t really turn out very well.  I wish I would have taken some pics of us taking tearing stuff out, too.  Actually I wish I would have video recorded a lot of what we did just for the sake of helping others.  YouTube was a HUGE help and resource for me in doing this.

By the way… I am quite lucky to have had my brother help me with the demolition.  Had it not been for him coming over and not being afraid to get knee-deep in this I’m not sure I could have done it.

Anyway, I’m kinda glad I DIDN’T get better pictures because I’m pretty embarrassed at the state I let my kitchen get.  Hell, who am I kidding… my whole house.  But I’m working on it.  And with The Deistette spurring me along and she and the daughter handing out the occasional “way to go dad” I’m determined to get this little house of mine looking good and being a healthy place to live.

One thing I became aware of during this project and am somewhat surprised about is the number and variety of tools I have.  In digging into this I have never thought I would not have the tool for whatever aspect would come next.  It’s been rather amazing and I can’t recall how or why I managed to accumulate so many tools.  I’ve got ’em and I was able to rip out the kitchen counter tops, cabinets and drywall which was this:

to a cleared out area like this. Note the corner sink.  The Deistette has always hated this and apparently, sinks like this aren’t even made anymore.  I didn’t see a single one at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

So we took everything out down to the slab.  Pulled out the drywall and I put bleach on everything I could hit with my spray bottle and put up new drywall.

Drywall is surprisingly heavy and brittle.  I was able to bring it home though by putting two 7′ long 2×4’s on the top of my SUV and strapped ’em down.  I call it Mexi-CAN ingenuity. : )  Note the holes where the valves and drain pipes are in the sheet rock.  Not perfect but I was able to do it because I have a hole bit.  A hole bit!

Ok, so maybe I’m the only one impressed with having a hole bit but it’s a testament to the unusual tools I have in my arsenal.

Anyway, the process has been slow.

One of the reasons is because I have no clue as to what I’m doing or if I’m doing it right.  I mean hell, I took this picture so I could use it as a reference to putting my pipes back together.

I mean c’mon…. really?  A picture from a box in the plumbing section?!?

But you know what… it worked.  It was a helluva bitch.  But I got it to work!  I cut the PVC, glued it, wiggled it a little here and there and those drain pipes friggin’ WORK BABY!  I even moved the sink from being in the corner, to a side-by-side sink in a different location on the counter.  I’ll show a picture of that later when we’re finally finished with everything.

The kitchen isn’t completely done yet.  I still have to replace the bar.  We need to put backsplash all the way around the L-shape of the counter top.  The Deistette is still trying to finish painting the cabinets.  Then putting on hardware as soon as the paint is dried. I just got the cabinets and the small part of the counter top put in last weekend.  That small sentence doesn’t even scratch the surface as to how unbelievably hard it was to put in a mitered counter top joint and get it to fit on an opposing wall.

It’s been a huge learning experience.  I mean I just used the term “miter joint”. I even figured out how to use a volt-ohm meter and fix the light in the ceiling fan that hasn’t worked in about a year and a half.

Emmie is excited about having a new kitchen.


I’m just glad it isn’t making her sick anymore.  One of  the last things I told her mom when I took her away from Amarillo was, “I’ll take care of her mom.”

I’m tryin’ mom.
I swear to God I’m tryin’.

5 responses to “Necessity is the mother of invention

  1. I know it’s terrible, but I really do love the sink.

  2. Way to go, Julian! You tackled a lot there, man. Good for you.

  3. Hi Meghan! Thanks for stopping by. [wave, wave, wave, wave]

    Man, you said it Ombud. My body was feeling that tackle, too. Tugging and pushing and pulling and hauling on all that crap was tough. Left me sore in places I didn’t know could be sore. The paint is kinda weird. It has KILZ as a base and then some black and blue and something else to give it the battleship-gray that it has. Anyway, it won’t dry! It has a weird tacky feel to it still. I wonder if it’s just because it’s so damn humid down here.

  4. Haha! Mexi-CAN ingenuity. What a project! It’s so terrific you and your bro could do all this hard work, though, it would cost thousands to pay someone. That mold is nasty stuff. How ’bout some more cheers: YAY!!! Way to go! Thanks for the pics, most informative. 🙂

  5. Pingback: slap me silly and call me MacGyver | a UU Deist in Texas

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