In Search of: Updates from the Pleasure Palace

What the heck is the Pleasure Palace, you ask? Apparently, it’s my house. You see, I live near a street named none other than: Foolish Pleasure. I’ve tried to ignore that when giving people directions. I say things like: take the first right. I don’t mention the name of that first right. But, without fail, EVERYONE notices. And we all get a good laugh. So one of my friends dubbed my house the Pleasure Palace. And it stuck. So there you are. My house has a name. It’s just not the most conventional name. I guess that’s what you get when you live in Vegas…

In other news, lots has happened over here. My focus has remained almost exclusively on the house. I am determined to get it to a good place before school starts. And perhaps I want to stop spending money on home improvement and start rebuilding that travel fund of mine. Thus, I want to get it done, and move on.

My dad was out last week to help with some projects. We had a few goals, most involving plumbing and base boards. I’m happy to report, we finished them all. My poor dad probably ran out of here at the end of the week, arms flailing, screaming things like, “Get me away from this slave driver!” But we got it done. :) Thank goodness he came out; I couldn’t have finished all that work otherwise.

Today, I’ll show you some of the plumbing work we did (mostly replacing fixtures). Tomorrow, we’ll talk about base boards (because I know you’re dying to hear about them!).

First things first. You know how sometimes the smallest thing will just bug the crap out of you? Here’s one that caused me a few gray hairs: the drain at the bottom of the bathtub was nasty. It was corroded and covered with mineral deposits. I tried everything to scrub it clean, but there was no cleaning that mess. I tried covering it with a shiny new drain cover, but no matter what I covered it with, I still knew it was there. It had to be changed out. So I bought a new drain and saved it for my dad’s visit. Old drain removed. New drain installed. I feel SO much better. Whew!

Old drain (just so you know I wasn’t exaggerating; the thing was icky):

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Ewwwwwwwwwww!

Turns out, the trick to removing an old bathtub drain is a hair dryer. Yep. Blow some hot air on that thing for a few minutes. It’ll help to loosen the plumber’s putty that was originally used to seal it, especially if that drain has been sitting there 16 years like mine was. Otherwise, switching out the drain is a pretty easy process. You need a crescent wrench (or a long screwdriver), a tub drain remover tool (yep, it’s called that — just ask for it at the home improvement store; it’s about $13), and some fresh plumber’s putty. Then just follow the instructions on the packaging of the tub drain remover tool. Of course, I’m now in search of someone needing their drain changed out — I hate to buy a tool and only use it once!

Here’s the shiny new drain (go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief):

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While we were at it, we also changed out the bathtub spout, the shower handles in both bathrooms, the chrome plates behind the shower handles and replaced the shower handle cartridge in one of the bathrooms to fix a leak. Previously, I had also switched out the shower heads in both bathrooms. (I’m a stickler for a decent shower head.)

Old shower trim:

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New trim (yay!!!!):

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Next up were the bathroom sink faucets. They were the original 1997 builder’s grade faucets. And they just weren’t pretty. At all. So I bought new, shiny pretty faucets. (You will learn I really appreciate a good shiny fixture.) We switched those out and replaced the sink drains. The first two sink drains were easy — a ten minute process. The last one turned into a three-hour fiasco, including a trip to Lowe’s for tools. You see, the threads were stripped on the piping all the way up, and we couldn’t get that thing to budge. Of course, by the time we realized this, we had completely ruined the original drain, so we had no choice but to get it out. My dad ended up having to pry and bend the drain from the top into such a position that it would simply fall through the drain hole. Good times were had by all, I assure you.

Here’s what the old faucets looked like:

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And my dad, after the three-hour fiasco, quite proud of his work (he’s holding the old bent-up drain):

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Finally, the new bathroom sink faucets:

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Last but not least, although not plumbing related, I also switched out all the door knobs in the house. The original doorknobs were those lovely brass knobs that remind us so much of the 80’s and 90’s. I’m not a fan of brass. So I bought brushed nickel knobs and replaced them all.

Old knobs:

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New knobs:

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We’re making progress, people! Next up, I’ll tell you about the base boards. And a to-do list. And curtains. And maybe a break somewhere in between? Have a spectacular day, peeps!

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