Shady Dealings(?)

Brooke here:

We keep the shower open as the other side of the sliding door is a fixed full-length mirror situated directly in front of the toilet. You're forced to watch yourself poopin'. It's classy.

The basement paint job got pushed back to Monday to make time for cleaning and minor repairs.  We’re still waiting on two estimates for the bathroom remodels but it doesn’t look promising.  Two different contractors have gone through the bathrooms with wide, staring eyes; one even went down to the basement and the garage to see if the plumbing was in as bad shape as he thought.  It was.  The house was changed over from a septic tank to city sewers a couple of years back and was… wait, let me find the contractor’s quote…

“The cheapest and worst way to do this.”

We knew it was coming, what with the exposed pipes running from toilet to sewer throughout the basement.  Whoever did the conversion hadn’t bothered to run the pipes through the ceilings, opting instead to cut through the walls for convenience, and the pipes are supported with thin aluminum straps hanging from the floor joists (I forgot to take pictures; I’ll add these later).

I'm always concerned that I will post a photo and an antiques collector will recognize the item as a hidden treasure, then camp out in our dumpster, snickering wickedly. Well, almost always.

The one repair to the bathrooms that we might go ahead and knock out is the shower wall in the large bathroom – it’s all kinds of mightily disgusting in there.  We had planned to remove the tub and replace it with a tiled shower floor, but the tub is cast iron and was built into the bathroom before the walls went up.  Removing it will be far more trouble than leaving it and just fixing the shower surround.  And, if we get lucky and they don’t have to carve through three feet of 50s-style cement and mudboard to find the pipes, we might be able to get the surround replaced on budget.

Speaking of the budget, I scored big on Craigslist yesterday.  I had been pricing pool paint but kept running into the oil/acrylic problem again, except this time it was epoxy/rubber (never paint epoxy over rubber or vice versa because it won’t stick).  The pool had definitely been repainted but not recently, and we couldn’t tell what type of paint had been used.  Acrylic pool paint goes over either but doesn’t last as long, so I had been avoiding it.  Then I saw a Craigslist ad for six gallons of Insl-X acrylic pool paintInsl-x… Insl-x… Why does that sound familiar…

Oh hot darn diggety, it’s from the same company that makes the paint I love for cabinet refinishing.

(I cannot recommend Insl-x Cabinet Coat enough, by the way.  As long as you thoroughly clean and prime the surface of your old cabinets and have sufficient experience in painting bevels, edges, and curves, you will have a brand-new kitchen or bathroom.  It hides brush marks and the only problem I’ve had with it is that it can chip once dry, but since the chips can be touched up in five minutes, this isn’t a problem at all.)

The cans wouldn't pass a botulism test but if we planned to eat paint we'd have much bigger problems.

Anyhow, I read some (mostly very positive) reviews of their pool paint, then got in touch with the seller who offered me six new cans at below wholesale.  A Sensible Craigslist Transaction Process (public parking lot on a busy street in broad daylight) later, I drove off with enough paint to do two nice, thick coats on the pool.  The seller was a great guy.  He showed up in a huge red F-150 and said he was in the business of buying construction products from companies who couldn’t sell them but couldn’t write off the loss.  We chatted for a few minutes about how we were sad the burger joint we had parked at had closed, and how he had enjoyed coming there with his son.  He took my check, I took his paint, good feelings all around.

Which doesn’t change the fact that I’m now buying gray market supplies out of the back of a truck behind an abandoned building.

6 thoughts on “Shady Dealings(?)

  1. I’m thinking he meant construction companies? You can often go to construction sites and get cheap/free items. If they need 50sqft of something they will get 60-75 of it, just to be safe. Since generally things can’t be reused, and since the cost of the supplies goes into the estimate they’ll either sell the leftovers for next to nothing, or more often just give them to you if you’ll haul them (it costs them to dispose of the stuff.)

  2. I can see it now. The sirens, the police cars parked in the quiet neighbourhood, the final assault against the stronghold in the labyrinth, the yelling of you will never take us alive, only to find out that the place is not safe from gas grenades… The bag over your head. Brown spread eagled, head down, as three large men in black ops suits crack their large knuckles.

    “You got some ‘splainin’ to do, girl.”

    Don’t go over to the dark side! Buy Walmart…;-)

    Good luck with the bathroom. Unlike you though, I do love those bathtubs. The one you have a is a bit small compared to the one that used to be in my grandmother’s house: I could lie in it full length and I’m 6’5″.

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