Sunday, September 29, 2013

Houston, We Have a Problem...

About three weeks ago, we discovered that the water heater in the garage appeared to have a small leak.  You know, the water heater that just passed inspection in July.  Yep, that one.

Now I'm what you would call cheap frugal minded, so we didn't instantly go out and buy a new water heater.  For several reason actually.
  1. They're expensive
  2. it was only leaking a little bit
  3. They're expensive
I don't know about you, but I always go straight back to the clearance section of my local home improvement store to check things out.  The second thing I do is check their competitor to make sure I'm actually getting the best deal.  I did mention I'm cheap frugal minded.  We also decided to upgrade to a large capacity because as a family of six, particularly in the winter, we can go through copious quantities of hot water.

I'm happy to say that I did find brand new, 50 gal. water heater in the scratch and dent section!  The cap on top got dented in shipping.  After confirming that it would in no way impact the functionality of the water heater, I happily walked out with it, saving $300.  Yes, I did say $300.  Because the cap has a dent.  

Which turned out to be a really good thing, because it's the only money we're going to save on this project...

While taking down the water heater (side note, make sure your water heater is completely drained or it is insanely heavy!!) The Builder noticed that the ceiling seemed spongy.  Our inspector had called some dried water spots on the ceiling, but since they were dry, we thought they were from the water leak last year with the toilet upstairs, and we didn't stress over it.  In fact, we didn't give it a second thought.  Mistake #1. After giving it only the slightest of pokes, his finger went right through.  And we realized we needed to take down more of the ceiling to find out what the issue is.
It isn't pretty.

Apparently, not only did the upstairs toilet leak and ruin the ceiling in the laundry, but now the drain in the bathtub is leaking, and ALL of the ceiling is damaged.  There's a possibility that the beam is bad too.  We're going to let it all dry out before we make the determination.  Because when we pulled the back wall down behind the water heater, it was a big hot mess (a term I'm quickly learning since moving here...).

This also effects the bathroom upstairs, which is now out of commission for showers.  The tub is going to have to come out so the repair can be made as well as check to make sure the floor is sound.  My daughter's room, which you can see the water damage on the sub floor, may also need her laminate floor replaced.  Not an project we had any plans to do, even though I'm not a fan of laminate wood floors in a bedroom.  But if it does need to be replaced, we'll be putting in carpet.

The Builder Removing Drywall
This is what was hiding behind the wall when we removed the water heater.  The 'little' leak we thought we had was being masked by the now ruined area rug.  It was completely absorbing the water leak so we couldn't "see" it.  Because the soon to be man cave garage is way to hot in the summer to use for The Builder, and it's been collecting 'stuff' for the last six months - the last time we cleaned it out.  The wood was so wet, it was slimy. YUCK!!  On a positive note, there isn't an electrical outlet on this wall, and The Builder is going to have this portion of the garage for his ManCave.  So this is going to give us the opportunity to install some much needed overhead lighting, since the ceiling is down, as well as electrical outlets. We're also looking into installing a cooling unit so he can use this space in the summer as well.  But that will be after we replace the a/c unit, which also died this week (I'm on a roll, but that's something we anticipated buying the Spring because we already knew it was on it's last leg...we just hadn't anticipated it going out the last week or two of summer ).


So here we have it, gaping hole in the garage ceiling, drywall torn out, and to add insult to injury, we had a rodent enter through a hole in the now open wall, and will be calling out pest control company on Monday to have them pay a visit.

We're also now pricing a new tub and debating the merits of a all in one unit or a tub with new tile.  I suspect between drywall, a new tub, and a new shower fixture (that one was actually desperately needed but was way down on the bottom of the priority list because it technically functions ok) that I'm easily looking at a $500 bathroom remodel.  And since sharing the microscopic shower in our master bedroom simply doesn't appeal to us, as well as the fact that we are hoping my parents will be out for Christmas, the bathroom project is going to have to go on the fast tract for completion...
See the little dent in the top of the water heater?  That's how we got it for a steal.  

The Builder also made a new pedestal for the water heater.  The ramp you see was only temporary.  The other base was rotted through.  I'm amazed the water heater was still standing, it was really that bad.  The Builder increased the size so he could secure it to the studs. Whoever built the the last one had braces they attached to the studs and then to the base.  It was odd. We're also talking about putting a strap on it for safety purposes, even though they're not required her in TX.  

I am happy to say the water heater works well, and we are looking forward to having the extra 10 gal. capacity once we get the other bathroom in working order again. Also, since this is considerably newer (we believe the other one was original to the house) the energy star rating will keep us from seeing a spike in our natural gas bill for going to a larger unity.  This one is only about $30 more a year to run than the previous unit.  I can deal with that!

So, it looks like my red front door is going to have to wait a little longer.  Maybe spring...proving the new a/c and heating unit don't zap my entire budget!