Laboring on Labor Day Weekend

The bathroom fittings category in Wal*Mart
The bathroom fittings category in Wal*Mart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Geeky and I started a home improvement project a little over a year ago.  We took out a closet, gutted our bathroom and reconfigured part of another room to create a walk-in closet/master bathroom.  We completed the first part relatively quickly.  We got the closet in shape, repainted our bedroom after creating a new doorway into the closet and repairing the former doorway.  However, we stopped at the bathroom.  We ran out of money and we ran out of time.  This summer, we set aside a little money and started planning.  We talked tile and vanities and thought we would create a little mini oasis.

After starting to do some research on tiling (which we’ve actually done before, just not a whole shower), we started to freak out a little.  Mr. Geeky was worried we wouldn’t do the shower floor right and we’d end up with leaks.  And tiling was a 2-3 day process involving multiple messy steps with lots of room for error.  So on Friday night, he convinced me we should just get a prefab fiberglass shower (which is what we had before in there, but which we didn’t pick out). Okay, I said, as long as we can tile the floor.  So, we picked out a shower.  We actually have a large space for a shower, not quite enough for a bathtub, but it’s a pretty big area for a small bathroom.  We brought the shower home, which came in three stacking pieces. After some measuring, we realized the bottom piece wasn’t going to fit through our bathroom door.  It would, however, fit through the window.  We spent the rest of Saturday prepping the space, buying more materials, looking into what we’d need to do to tile the floor, etc.  We ultimately abandoned tiling the floor, after a conversation with a helpful building supply store worker, who wasn’t trying to talk us out of tiling but said we should do some more research first.  Our research led us to some nice vinyl floor tiles.

Yesterday, we had more prep to do and some more supplies to buy.  Late in the afternoon, we finally got to the point where we were ready to get the shower into the bathroom.  I really wish I had pictures.  We set up a 12 foot ladder up the window.  On our first attempt, we realized the bottom where 2 x 4’s were attached for leveling, was getting caught on the ladder, so we attached 2×4’s to those running perpendicular to create a kind of “sled” so it would slide up the ladder.  We’d attached rope in two places on the shower, running it through the drain hole.  We then positioned the shower on the ladder, went up to the window (on the second floor, mind you) and proceeded to pull.  The sled effect worked great.  We pretty easily got the shower up to the roof just below the window.  But to get it through the window, we need to rotate it.  The shower itself was not that heavy, but the weight was distributed over 2 small areas where the rope was attached, and it was bulky.  It was 48 x 36 x 32.  It was the 32″ side we needed to get oriented through the window.

We made several attempts, at one point thinking we were just going to have to lower it back down, possibly damaging it beyond repair.  Finally, Mr. Geeky tied off the shower to the door. We’d decided we needed someone at the bottom to turn turn the shower from underneath while we pulled it in.  Neither of us was strong enough (and Mr. Geeky doesn’t like ladders).  He walked down the street to see if our contractor who built our addition was home.  It’s a little embarrassing to go get a pro to help you with your own project.  Mr. Geeky came back with Gerry and two other young men.  Gerry is not afraid to stand on a ladder with a big shower thing hanging over his head.  The two young guys came up and helped pull in and maneuver.  After one failed attempt where we realized we needed to take the 2×4’s we’d attached off, we got the shower into the bathroom.  It took maybe 10 minutes.  We’d spent about an hour or so ourselves, about half of which was spent just holding onto the shower thinking about what to do next.

So now we’re on to the next thing, but there’s going to be nothing more difficult than getting that shower through a small window.  I promise pictures!

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