Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Pink Monstrosity: The Vanity

Our carefully selected bathroom vanity met with near disaster in the spring of 2011. All of our bathroom items were purchased and safely stored in our garage. Or at least I believed they were safely stored in our garage. Then we had a particularly heavy rain. Heavy rains should never be a problem. Our driveway is sloped towards the house, but we have excellent drains that take care of the rain and it rarely causes huge puddles in front of the house and family room door. UNLESS those drains are plugs by yard debris. On this particular day, they were plugged by yard debris, and a lot of it. By the time I checked outside, we had a small lake in front of our garage doors and our family room door. (We have two front entrances. The main entrance goes up stairs to our living room and the second entrance is ground level leading to the family room, which, according to our best guess, was originally the garage before one of many additions to the house.) Increasingly pregnant, I was not the most nimble, but I rushed into action. I waded through the pouring rain and our new lake to find the drains and started emptying them. Then I noticed how close the water was to the garage doors. It wasn't just touching the garage doors, the water was higher than the garage doors. And behind those garage doors? The leftover stuff from our garage sale and the bathroom stuff. I ran to the garage and discovered that the lake had indeed spilled over into the garage. I called Jeff in a panic. Remember, I was pregnant, and my second pregnancy was much more hormonal than my first. It did not take much to set me off, and not only was I panicing, I was crying, convinced that the hickory vanity and mirror that we had purchased were ruined.

"What do you want me to do," my slightly irritated husband asked.

"I don't know! I don't know what to do! What if everything is ruined?!?!?!"

"Calm down, clean out the drains, find the drain in the garage. I'm off of work in an hour."

Well he's not much help, I remember thinking. I love and adore my son. He and my daughter are the loves of my life. But that pregnancy did me in. And it wasn't just the normal aches and pains that go with multiple pregnancies. My hormones made me borderline impossible to live with. And they did NOT help this particular situation.

I waded through the spillover and found the drain in the garage that was, surprise, clogged. Between that drain and the ones in front of the house I finally got rid of the water. I was dirty and drenched from rain and "lake" water, but by the time Jeff got home we were able to survey the damage. We unpacked the vanity, and while there was some damage just along the bottom, it was otherwise fine and able to dry out. The mirror was also fine. Eventually we moved both into the utility so that we could once again park the truck in the garage. And there they both sat for a year, waiting for their new home to be completed.

When I got home from Bible study last week and discovered that our toilet was done, I decided that it was also time to take the vanity upstairs. It NEEDED to come out of that utility room. I took the plastic wrap off, cleared off the marble top that was sitting on top of the vanity (I am terrible about storing random things on unused, and sometimes used, surfaces), took out the drawers, and Jeff and I carried the vanity out of the first level, outside into the hot, humid night, up the stairs to the front door, and then up more stairs to the main bathroom. I measured the doorway to make sure the vanity would fit, but didn't take into consideration the door in the measurements. Jeff took off the door and we carried in the vanity. While it easily fit into place, finding studs to screw it to the wall was a little more difficult.

With that task complete, we started in with the sink. We needed to install the faucet, drain cover, and then reconnect the whole thing. It was late, and we were trying to make sure that our noise didn't wake up two sleeping children. We succeeded with one, but our son finally woke up and needed to be soothed back to sleep. By the end of the night we were slightly successful. We didn't have the right stuff for the drain, but the water was reconnected, and while we still needed to adhere the sink to the vanity, it was pretty tightly in place.

The next day I took yet another trip to a home improvement store to get the correct drain accessories, only to discover I had no idea what I was looking for and that is was going to have to wait until Jeff could go shopping. We took a Friday night trip to the home improvement stores to get the adhesive caulk and correct drain accessories and only came home with drain accessories, still not the correct kind, because after looking at the adhesive caulk I became convinced that we had that at home. NOPE. Kids got put back into bed, we missed the opening ceremonies for the Olympics, and I headed back out, just before close, to get the right adhesive caulk and cleaner for the bathtub.

When I returned I decided to start on one last late project: the mirror. This was supposed to be a simple task: put the anchors in the wall, then the screws, then hang the mirror. It SHOULD have been done in a matter a minutes and without spousal help. This, however, was not to be. You see, behind our vanity wall sits not one layer of drywall, but two. This makes the typical drywall anchor useless. After putting both heavy duty anchors through the wall and discovering that they weren't going to hold anything because they were not designed for TWO layers, spousal help was required. We had two large holes and needed something that would help us hang a heavy mirror. The final solution? A small washer on top of a bigger washer with a toggle bolt anchor. It worked like a charm.



The next day Jeff discovered we had all the pieces we needed for the drain all along. He just had to clean the workshop to find them. The drain got put back together, we had a working sink, and with the countertop fitting so tightly into its spot that it was nearly impossible to take it out without damaging something, we called the vanity project complete. And it looks fantastic!


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