Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More of the joys of renovation (NOT!)

Monday was fun at Casa Bayou.

The contractor had to remove the toilet in my bathroom, to allow his painters to get at the wall behind it. While removing it, he found that the floor was somewhat spongy, and investigated further. Turns out that the toilet had been incorrectly installed about eighteen months ago by the plumbers sent to do the job by Lowe's, from whom I bought it when the old one cracked. They hadn't sealed it to the pipe correctly: so the fiberboard top layer of the bathroom floor, beneath the vinyl, had been absorbing seepage all this time. Result - a nasty, foul-smelling mess!

I called Lowe's to complain, since it was their installation team that had put it in. The nice lady on the other end of the phone was very sympathetic, but she couldn't help me: their installation warranty's only for a year, so my complaint came too late. I remonstrated that I could hardly be expected to detect the problem, but that didn't sway her. I guess I'm going to have to absorb the increased costs myself.

A poor workman had to spend most of the afternoon carving away the sodden fiberboard and scraping the underlying floorboards clean. It's drying out overnight (fortunately the boards and joists seem OK). I'm running a heater in the bathroom to speed up the drying process, and we've scrubbed the floorboards thoroughly with disinfectant. Tomorrow the contractor will put down a new top layer of thick, dense plywood. After the walls are painted, he'll reinstall the toilet (this time properly sealed to the pipe!).

As an interim measure I've had to hire a Porta-Potty, which now stands in regal splendor beneath a tree outside my front door. I've just had the post-midnight pleasure of going outside to use it, complete with flashlight, shorts and slippers - only to be interrupted by a passing armadillo, curious about this new structure on its nightly path, and wanting to come inside to investigate! Believe me, it's a wonderful cure for constipation to have something snuffling and clawing at the door of your Porta-Potty at oh-dark-thirty! Fortunately, I was able to restrain myself, and didn't put a bullet hole through the door. That might have taken some explaining to the toilet hire company!

I suppose I should be grateful for the fire that led to this renovation project. If the contractor hadn't spotted this problem, I might have sat down on the 'throne' one day and disappeared through the floor! Fortunately, the damage has been caught in time to rectify it.



Anonymous said...

You will regret it greatly in coming years if you don't take a picture of that Port-A-Potty with the house in the background!

Evil Transport Lady said...

Oh Lordy! YOU are lucky, my hubby finds all kinds of problems like that, and they have been much worse! Hopefully you'll have no more "surprises" along the way.

KK said...

kinda brings meaning to the term "shit happens"......

Anonymous said...

Get in touch with the corporate HQ and explain that it's not a warranty (failure) issue, but a negligent installation issue. Hint at lawyers if necessary--that should get their attention.

Odds are they'll try to pawn it off as something done by an independent contractor, and not a Lowe's employee (a typical arrangement); explain that, since you paid Lowe's, your business arrangement is with them. If they subcontract the job, that's their business, but you expect the job to be completed in a "workmanlike" (important word) manner, and they are responsible for actions taken completed in their name (vicarious liability).

That should at least get them interested in talking to you.

Roxie said...

Wonderful suggestion!

Having nearly fallen through the floor myself due to a faulty toilet seal, I understand your frustration.