Friday, August 29, 2008

Why do I live in the city and I'm still on a septic system?

Actually I don't know how much this has to do with a recent plumbing problem, but I have always thought it was weird that we have a septic system and well water and live 43 blocks from the middle of a metropolitan city. I know we are scheduled to be converted in the next few years but why did it take 50 years for that to happen? Questions I will probably never know the answer to. Adam was excited that we were on well water because it reminded him of being in the country, I also grew up on well and septic, so I suppose it is fine.

On to the plumbing problem I briefly mentioned. For some reason the water in the drainage line for the south side of the house is not adequately draining or not draining fast enough and causing back-ups, especially when using the washing machine. Adam spent one evening underneath the house ripping out some of the old cast iron and replacing it with PVC and also making sure the drainage was at the proper angle leading out to the septic line, that has been to no avail. He also looked down the septic line with his flashlight and didn't see an clogs or anything and said he could see for a long way, plus there wasn't any extra water in the septic line coming back to the house, so that wasn't it either. He then spoke with a guy at Economy Plumbing (his plumbing store of choice) and they said it sounded like something was clogging one of your plumbing vents so that lack of air release wasn't letting the water flow fast enough and thus the back-up. So last night my husband climbed on top of our house with the shop vac and try to shop vac out anything potentially in the vent, that had to be interesting to our neighbors. He did get an acorn and thought that was the culprit, but we were still getting the back-up. I don't know what the next investigative step is, but I'm thinking perhaps a professional plumber might not be too far down the list.

Needless to say this has delayed our putting up trim, and thus getting the carpet. Hopefully we will get back on track with that soon. Sorry no pictures, but I don't really think you would want to see the garbage disposal food that was trapped in our line then came out and went all over the floor, and the picutre definetly would not have conveyed the smell!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Lady in Waiting....

We have been working on stuff, I just haven't posted in a while because there isn't much in the way of pictures to update. We have the entryway and the fireplace tiled and grouted. We are now working on the mantle and trim around the fireplace and trim around the doors and floors. In my extensive Google research I discovered that getting your trim up before getting carpet makes for more finished look then the other way around. So we were cutting and painting trim this weekend. I think we pretty much have it all ready to go for the living room, hall, and office floors, which is where the carpet is going. Now Adam just has to get it up and we have to get more molding for the doors. We also need to go carpet shopping soon so we can get that lined up. Oh I never knew how happy I would be to have floors coming into my house, and so I am a lady in waiting to have a finished living room and thus something in my house will be done!

On a side note we also did some celebrating this weekend. I helped host a shower for my good friend Kim who is getting married next month and got to make party food. I like this kind of hosting/cooking stuff and made Bruschetta, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Pasta Salad as well as the punch. We also didn't do the normal bridal shower game, instead we played Cranium but made it a shorter version and made questions that dealt with either weddings in general or with Kim and her fiance Eugene. I think everyone had a lot of fun. Most of our husbands/fiances went golfing while we were being girlie, the golfing lasted much longer than the shower so we capped off the evening by going to see Mama Mia. All I have to say is that Pierce Brosnan does not have a future on Broadway, his looks are much better than his voice!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Slate.....My New Best Friend

The last couple of weeks we have been working on getting the entryway and fireplace tiled so that we can get really close to having carpet.

Below is a picture of the fireplace in the living room as it was when we moved in.

Here is the fireplace after we stripped it of anything really resembling a fireplace. First we removed the brass and glass cover. Then we dismantled the mantle and the trim on the sides. Lastly Adam took a hammer and pry and took off all the tile and residual mortar as gently as he could.

Part of our plan was to build out under the actual fireplace to give it a little more presence and also to to help provide additional protection for the soon-to-be carpet that will be installed. I didn't like the idea of just a hearth pad on the floor (this is the few little tiles that sit on or near the floor in front of your fireplace), if we had a gas fireplace that would be one thing but the idea of ashes on new carpet wasn't a pleasant thought. Here (below) Adam just took some 2 x 4's and built what I refer to as "the bench"

We used a brick pattern gobi slate that we found at the Tile Shop. It wasn't the cheapest tile, but luckily this isn't a huge area and we ended up getting just the effect we wanted. Here is Adam putting it up. We just used a normal thinset mortar with a trowel specifically for wall tiling. We also replaced all of the area behind the previous tile with new cement board, as well as put cement board on the "bench".

And after Adam's wonderful work below is the fireplace with all the tile up. It got a little tedious at the end b/c he had to kind of piece the sides of the bench together due to the area not being exactly 12 inches and requiring a partial tile piece. I think it looks great! We still need to seal the tile, since it is slate (a natural stone) you must seal it before grouting or the grout would stick to all the groves and stuff. After that we can grout it and then seal the grout. My participation in this project, other than cleaning excess mortar between the tiles, was to spray paint the brass doors black. I didn't take a picture yet but it looks so much better. Finally we will add the mantle and the trim and have a new beautiful fireplace.

We are also retiling our front door entryway and decided to use slate there also. We used a design consisting of 6 and 12 inch tiles. These we just purchased at Lowes and they weren't anything too special. Here is the tile all laid out we just need to get the mortar adhesive on and then we will finish it the same way we will finish the fireplace with the seal and the grout.