Sunday, January 07, 2007

Commence Nickel & Diming To Death

I’ve started that phase of the project that requires me to make one or more trips to the hardware store a day and spend anywhere from $2 to $75 per trip. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up. You also have to factor in the gas money because inevitably you make pointless trips to get things you either forgot or just plain got wrong in the first place.

This nickel & diming happens when it comes to roughing in the electrical and plumbing. This weekend I did the electrical. It was pretty straight forward and required exactly 5 trips to the hardware store.

There is still one or more trips that need to be made for electrical. I bought an exhaust fan that required a 3-inch exhaust pipe and a 3-inch roof vent. They had the pipe, but not the roof vent. They had 5, 6, & 7 inch roof vents, but not 3. They had 3-inch wall vents, but I’m venting through the roof. I asked the guy why they don’t stock 3-inch roof vents and he said, “I don’t know. Most people get the 5 and then get a reducer and reduce it down to 3-inch”. That logic seems to work for him, but it seems easier to just get a 3-inch roof vent. Why cut a 5-inch hole in the roof when I only need a 3-inch hole. I’ll look else where before I succumb to “stocker-boy-logic”.

I’ve also noticed that if there is more than one selection for what is essentially the same thing, the one I need is always the more expensive one. Those marketing guys get you every time. This is not a case where one item is a better quality than the other and so it cost more. This is just what I need to do the job and do it too code. They know this and they get that extra buck off me every time.

Next I’ll start the plumbing. I’ve known for quite some time that this room was going to be a bathroom, so 3 years ago when I re-plumbed the rest of the house I stubbed out hot and cold water lines just under the floor. I’m really glad I did this now because from what I’ve been told copper prices have gone through the roof the last few years. I think I’ll be able to do the whole room with one 10-foot piece of half inch copper. I also still have a lot of short sections of copper, elbows, couplings, and Ts left over. There will be many trips to the hardware store, but hopefully a lot of money won’t be involved. Famous last words, right.

I want to do the drains before I do the water lines, though. I’ve never done drains before, so I’m a little nervous about it. Everybody tells me drains are easy, so I should be able to do it. I’m going to try and not get my neighbor Gary involved until I have to tie everything in to the existing sewer line. He always wants to give me a bunch of parts for free and I just don’t feel good about it. Running over there in a pinch for the occasional fitting I need is fine, but when I did the kitchen island drain he gave me the whole damn thing for free. It just feels odd.

Finally, I acquired the last piece of hardware for the bathroom today. I bought the TP Holder from someone local. It looks good as it is, but I might get the nickel plating redone when I have a few other items replated next month.

1 comment:

Carson Park Ranger said...

The bathroom fixture photo reminded me that one of my customers told me recently that Restoration Hardware was started at 1134 H Street in Eureka by a guy who was looking all over for original hardware to replace broken and missing pieces in his house.

The present owner also owns the exquisite Cornelius Daly Inn across the street. He says that the Restoration Hardware house was in terrible shape when he bought it.