Begins with a leak. From the third-floor bath into your second-floor bedroom closet. Ugh. Nasty. You wash about 10 loads of laundry. You dry clean. You throw stuff out. You wait. Because with the water valves turned off, no problem.
Months go by. Then, someone’s going to be using that bathroom, say, a returned college kid or a summer guest. You bite the bullet. You get an estimate. It’s gonna be expensive. We gotta rip up the floor, they say. You’re gonna need a new floor when we’re done.
Okay. That floor was pretty bad anyway.
The job begins. The problem is in the waste line. The toilet is removed. Ditto the sink. Ditto the waste line from the tub. Two guys are working, working, working two straight days.
Ut-oh, the problem is still not fully fixed. Something’s still leaking. We gotta tear out the ceiling to your closet to get to the other leaks, they say. You’re gonna need new plaster when we’re done.
Okay. That closet’s plaster was pretty bad anyway, after the initial leak happened.
The job continues. Two large pipes get replaced — big splits in both of them.
Look, they say. The wall beside the tub is rotting behind the tiles. Someone just glued tiles directly to plaster. The whole thing is caving in. You might want to replace those tiles, especially since the tile guy will be here installing your new floor.
Okay. That wall looked pretty bad. You had to admit that those green tiles were beginning to undulate like the surface of a vertical ocean.
Okay. You’ll do it. Why not? It will have to be done eventually anyway.
Listen, they say. You sure you want to reuse that same faucet and shower head. They’re not going to look so nice against new wall tiles. They’re like, ooooold.
Okay. That faucet stunk. Shower head wasn’t so bad though. Might as well get something new, something that matches.
Look here, they’re saying, pointing at the upper wall. This curved curtain rod is mighty rusty. Looks about fifty years old.
Yeah. You’re adding that on the list. Only that’s got to be “special ordered”.
You still haven’t picked out the new wall tiles, the faucet, or the shower head. You have no idea where to order a curved shower curtain rod of unusual antique length.
And besides that, are you sure you really want that old dingy vanity in that new bathroom? Are you?