Commode To Joy

finding happy (even in the crappy)

The $7,000 Shower

I just about got duped. Big time. Played. Played for a fool! Raked right on over the money coals. But honey? Let me tell you what. Nope. No sir. Not having it. Not me. I’m not your girl.

It’s become evident over the past several months – yes I said months – that Muscato and I have a leak in the master shower. It all started in the back garage. I noticed a piece of paper-something-or-other dangling from the ceiling. Enough water had dripped onto it over time that it tore away. A small pool of water had formed on the floor beneath it.

The good news: it’s not above a bedroom or a kitchen or any other room with a finished ceiling – or floor for that matter; nothing is getting destroyed. The bad news: Like any type of home owner problem, it’s a pain in the ass.

Rather than take you through the nitty gritty of every phone call, every time I’ve scheduled someone to come to the house (stay-at-home peeps I know you feel me…let’s all give a collective groan right now to these scheduling headaches), every opinion, and every single trip to stores in town and even out of state trying to find matching tile…


Here’s the short(er) version:

Our shower heads, drain, and pipes are all in perfect working order thus saith the plumber. Amen and amen. After gathering the opinions of lots of folks in town, including those who work in home trades and homeowners who’ve hired work done, I determined which tile guy to call.

He came to the house and declared the whole shower would need torn out. Eeeeerything. To the tune of $5,000. Excluding new tile. And grout. And the glass guys would have to remove the shower door. And the plumber would have to uninstall all of the shower fixtures. Then tile dude would set to demo-ing and rebuilding our master shower.

All in, we’re looking at a solid $7,000. Minimum. To replace an eight year old shower that we love dearly. To destroy the tile that I still nearly drool over and is no longer in production.

People. I don’t want to do it. Neither does Muscato for that mater. BUT IT’S A WATER PROBLEM AND YOU DON’T MESS AROUND WITH WATER!!! 

I mean really, play with fire and you’ll get burned. Ignore water and you’ll get mold. At best.

But back to ripping my heartsanity, shower out.

Originally, the tile guy could’ve started on our house the first week in July. I hadn’t found a tile I loved by then, and I wasn’t about to rush into a decision of this scale for the sake of a timeline. He kept calling to check in, I kept saying I was working on it.

*** insert 8 trips to various tile stores here ***

You know how sometimes things fall into place with very little effort and it tends to be a really good sign? Conversely, when things don’t click into place quickly, I pay attention. And this tile thing wasn’t clicking into place.

Fast forward to last week.

Due to a second issue in the back garage – that required a whole different set of workers – my trusty ceiling drip hole was patched (unbeknownst to me) causing water to spread everywhere. There were even new water pools in some of the insulation in the ceiling.

I just about went berserk.

I was frustrated by the whole thing. By home owning and repairs and gathering opinions and wasting time and writing checks. Frustrated by a male dominant field. Frustrated for feeling like I’m not always taken seriously, and am sometimes taken advantage of.

And then it happened. I noticed the hint of a whine coming on in the form of, I wish my dad were here to tell me what to do. The truth is he and both grandfathers could fix, build, replace, repair just about anything. If any one of them were alive today, I could not only trust their expertise but also know that they wouldn’t be out to screw me financially.

I dislike playing a victim even more than I dislike home repairs. So when that waft of a whine surfaced, I thought, Jamie, stop it. You can figure this out. Talk a little less. Observe a little more. Then use your common sense to make decisions.

That’s exactly what I did. I called upon my common sense. And then I called our contractor.

His eyes got a little buggy when I relayed the above information. He’s of the opinion that replacing the entire shower is extremist. Why not try smaller fixes first, such as re-grouting the perimeter of the shower? (Turns out some of the grout has come out over time…live and learn.)

Before proceeding with that, I wanted to see just how much damage, if any, was done to the ceiling in the back garage. Insulation was removed to reveal great news: No mold. The floor joists are in perfect shape, and not just visually; the moisture meter went off zero.

I’ve covered the drip hole, and we’re showering in a different bathroom. A different tile guy will be re-doing our grout. Once comple, I’ll ensure there’s no more dripping in the garage before replacing the insulation.

We get to keep our shower. And our tile. My sanity has returned. I might not be able to fix everything on my own like Dad could, but by golly, I can use common sense with the best of them. And all of this – both the repairs and the lessons – will cost well under one grand.

Have I mentioned I love my shower?

Cause I think I love it even more now.

Categories: Encouragement

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