The push for occupancy

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Happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it! Normally, we have a nice day planned, and some really awesome food, and seeing friends. This year it’s not worked out that way.

I guess, since I’m not working, we could have headed out, but since I have to be at work early tomorrow… it’s not ideal to need to head out immediately after food. So.

Anyhow, we’ve been pushing hard on a bunch of things to try and get the house ready for us to be in; the delay on our finish flooring compound (a recycled microcement topping) and the fact that, while Tuff Shed did put up our garage, the haven’t… well, finished it*, has meant that… well, it’s given us space to consider other jobs.

We’ve been working on the skylight wells, which we’d been planning to cover with veneer and ended up covering with 1/8″ plywood. Well, we’ve stared work on the second one, which is coming along nicely… except that we ran out of wood. When we planned out for minimum wood usage, we didn’t twig that the plan we’d drawn requires you to do the 2 of the same side when you’re cutting the largest board. Part of the reason we didn’t realise this was that we’d screwed up early on and ended flipping things around to cut from a better bit of veneer. Then everything kind of snowballed, and to top it off I miscut something (although we eventually worked out that it didn’t make any difference).

Still, we’ve got 4 of the 5 pieces up, and I stopped off to get one more sheet midweek – along with some veneered plywood for our in-wall bedroom bookshelf.


I also spent a lot of time working on the grouting (done, apart from a little tiny bit of patching where I didn’t get the grout fully into the gap between the tiles, grr). And the sink.

The sink proved to be a sod of a job. To be fair, they do recommend that you strip it off the wall, but that obviously wasn’t happening since I only just put it on the damn wall. The Crane Drexel sink is very odd in that it uses the body of the sink itself as the mixer for the tap. The taps pass through the sink and have seals both on the front and the back, and those seals are holding back the full force of mains pressure water.

A while back we’d ordered new cartridges, but didn’t realise how shot the seals front and back were until I tried to change the cartridges, and found out that they were well and truly stuck and that I needed to remove the whole tap body from the sink to get them out. Since the first time I’d turned on the water pressure and watched the water dripping, slowly, from the front and back of the sink, I should have known to order the seals that go along with it… but I didn’t. So we ended up paying an extortionate amount for shipping – but that got us all the bits to turn this:


into this:


There’s a whole twitter thread about my excitement here, so you can join in with the fun. It took a lot of finicking, and gradually tightening (which is terrifying as you’re crushing ceramic between metal and rubber), but eventually we got to a point where we have our ridiculous sink working (now christened “Bert Synke”, thanks to Emma).

And then I tackled the bath. This was very much a me project. I’d pushed for us to get this bath with my optimistic “Oh, we’ll just recoat it” narrative. I’ve never recoated a bath in my life, and this one was particularly sad, with the base of it having stained and eroded almost completely through the enamel in several places. It had also clearly been in a very cheaply refinished bathroom where they’d retiled over old tile (most likely), as it had two beads of silicone on it, one almost half an inch inboard of the first.

It wasn’t looking its best, even when cleaned:


I have had several somewhat sleep deprived nights contemplating this process, and spent several exciting blocks of time watching and rewatching the Ekopel 2k videos – our chosen recoating gunk. The basic points seemed to be – make sure it (the bath) is as clean as you can get it, etch it thoroughly, then throw the gunk on rapidly and don’t futz with it too much. Let it do the work.

I haven’t seen the dry results yet, which is kinda scary. But when I left last night, it looked pretty good:


Who knows how well it has stuck, or how long it will last. Or whether when we get back today it will have turned itself into a giant pool at the bottom of the bath.

I’ve also been scuttling around the house throwing wall plates around our wall sockets. A job Kathryn’s also been doing – we’re getting close to completing that project. With the garage still out of commission, though, it’s starting to get tricky. We might have a plan for that though….

*Some code compliance issues, the wrong roof (which isn’t finished anyhow) and most importantly… no flipping door.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.