Monday, July 21, 2008

Holmes on Homes

Holmes on Homes

This weekend, David and I spent a lot of time outside catching up on our weeding and trimming chores, building our raised bed for those heat resistant tomato plants we found last week and various other outside chores. The heat and the gnats, mosquitoes and flys only allowed us to stay out there for about 20 - 30 minutes at a time - once we'd reached our limits, we'd head inside for a drink, the A/C and our respective T.V's. for a chance to cool off - taking a 30 minute break before heading back outside once again.

During one of these breaks, I channel surfed to find a DIY program and happened to find this new show just as it began. The show caught my eye first of all because it dealt with a 100 plus year old farmhouse and the problems the homeowners were having with a previous renovation to their kitchen and bathroom - as they spoke of water leaking from the upstairs bathroom I felt almost a spiritual connection to them. I felt their frustration as they spoke of a pot light in the kitchen falling out of its little hole and swinging above their heads. And I cringed because I had a good idea of what would be found once Holmes and his crew began to tear out the shower and the walls.

Each time we've gutted a wall or a ceiling or pulled off baseboards and moldings, we've found something......the worst of those finds involving both water and electricity - all done in the past by contractors - and in one case structural integrity damaged by a plumber! Some of the issues were simply age and/or code related and were easy fixes.....the structural issue was the one that stopped us in our tracks and turned a 6 week tightly budgeted job into a 5 month and way over budget job. And for each issue found by Holmes and his crew, we have a story to relate.

I loved this show - as they tore apart the upstairs bathroom and revealed the illegalities of the reno (a fan/light switch on the same wall as the shower), concealed plumbing joins that legally are to be accessible, I was able to visualize some of the issues David has been finding in our house as he is gutting our bathrooms for reno. I cringed when I saw how the plumber had notched out structural beams, just as the plumber who did the work for our P.O's had done - although in this case, the structural integrity was NOT under the bathtub as it was in our house. I felt for the owners when I saw the inches of water that was found under the shower pan and in the open insides of the shower bench and I thought about the soft spots in our downstairs bathroom that grow worse all the time......

It was very interesting to watch this show just for the empathy factor - after all, I live in an old house with issues - they live in an old house with issues! But it was more then that.....I'm a hand's on learner and plumbing is one place where I've gotten little or no hands on experience - even though I wasn't standing there next to Holmes, I was watching and learning as they showed every little issue and then showed how to fix most of them. Where plumbing is concerned, David works alone.....its one of the few jobs we don't do together. Because I'm not actually working beside him and am only serving as accountant and sounding board on plumbing projects, I know that David is sometimes frustrated with me because I can't always visualize his verbal explanation or even a drawn out plan. After I watched this show, I could actually visualize our upstairs bathroom and the plumbing that David was going to be doing as the project continues. I suddenly understood what he was talking about when he spoke of venting etc.

This episode actually served to remind me of all that I have to be grateful I turned off the t.v. and headed back outside, I heard that David had started working once again on the plumbing in the bathroom above me....I breathed a prayer of thanks and acknowledged how blessed I am to be married to a man who knows how to these jobs and do them right and that I'm not at the mercy of a contractor!

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