August 14th, 2012

Fernley House

Indoor Plumbing Comes to Fernley

As I've previously explained, the plumbing in Fernley House was mostly shot, and when we first moved in, we had to isolate the plumbing in the house. We put in an RV connection for the trailer — which is less of a hardship than most people think because Lisa had been living in the trailer for many years anyway — and concentrate our resources on what we could afford and what had a higher priority, like shoring up the floor under the kitchen where the joists had cracked. This past month, Lisa has been working with the local plumber with whom she gets along famously (and who likes Lisa, too), and who installed the RV water/sewer connections when we first moved in. Working within what budget we had remaining, he has been able to restore water to the forward bathroom sink and to re-connect the two downstairs toilets. Yes, we have indoor plumbing again!

Now this is only a first step. The kitchen is completely off-line because (a) the fittings need to be all replaced and (b) the pipes running under the house in that area were cut out during the floor repairs and have to be completely replaced. One of the two ground floor bathroom sinks isn't working because the fittings need replacing. (Lisa thinks she can do this one herself; the pipes running to that sink are okay.) There's no water running to the washing machine yet, although again, Lisa thinks she can do that one herself. There's no water running to the upstairs bathroom because many of the pipes need to be redone there. And finally, there's no indoor hot water at all because there's no hot water heater. Lisa says that when we can afford it — sometime next year — she expect to have us install a tankless water heater. But nevertheless, this is all forward progress on making the house fully habitable.

In a related issue, Lisa has been uneasy about the underfloor ever since the building contractor finished the work, saying that the east side of the kitchen floor is still much too lively. She told me tonight that the contractor came out this week and went under the house with her, and agreed that there is additional work that should have been done; they'll come out and do the make-good work when we can work out a time for them to be there. They also agreed to pay a little bit of the plumbing costs, where they admitted that their work removing the existing pipes to replace the floor beams increased the overall cost of fixing the plumbing. It's not a huge payback, but it's a relief nonetheless.

It's taken nearly a year (we originally took possession of the house on August 22, 2011), but we finally have some running water and working toilets in our house.