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This year’s B.C. Home and Garden Show carries the tongue-in-cheek theme, “How’s that little project coming along?”
Cheeky, because many of us are contending with a range of household hazards and hassles on the to- do list, like warped kitchen drawers that demand a good arm-yarding to open and a body-check to close.
Or a hood fan that sounds like aircraft taking off but fails to encourage even a wisp of smoke to drift its way. How many of us warn guests to “just jiggle the handle” as they head to the head? Or have learned to step around that plank of buckled laminate flooring, or put up with the annoying squeeking of a subfloor that threatens to leave the joists altogether?
My little project that has not been coming along since the last millennium is a bathroom overhaul. I’m not quite in the state of this year’s Home and Garden Show poster model: dude in underwear trying to get to his medicine cabinet while standing in a pile of rubble and snaking pipes.
But I am reminded of my need for a new bathroom every time I’m in the bath, at eye level to the cracks of black mould in the marble-patterned tile behind the corroded circa-1978 faucet. Even Calgon can’t take me away from the nagging suspicion that there’s a thriving ecosystem behind those tiles.
Since I can’t escape this view, I spend what should be a relaxing half-hour working out a reno sequence: smash out tile; replace walls with water-proof version; buy faucets, select tile, find installer … wait, I might as well lose this too-small rubber-band beige tub, so logically the matching water-hogging toilet and chipped sink should go, and since I have to replace it all anyway, maybe I could reconfigure it all so there’s room for a standalone shower … with glass enclosure. And I’d really love to get a skylight put in here….
By the time the water’s cooled, any enthusiasm I’ve had goes down the drain.
Complex projects require information from a range of experts, which is where events like the home show come in.
I’m already building quite a list of confounding questions, like: Can a toilet even be moved from its sewer stack? How much would it cost to have radiant heating under the shower floor? What’s the latest in water-saving toilets and shower fixtures?
Or I could just bathe by candlelight and stay in the dark.