Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Day 22 I get a minor in plumbing fixtures

"May I sit on your toilet?" I asked my acquaintance of 45 minutes. I lifted the lid and sat down, wriggled experimentally and just barely restrained from rocking sideways.

"Do you see what I mean?" he asked as he hovered next to me. I did indeed. I almost heard a sigh of relief from my knees as I sat on the 16" comfort model.
"So the regular toilet is 14"?"
"Yes, so that might be a better choice as your children's feet won't reach th floor."
"Oh they'll grow out of that" I assured him. (And until then, better dangling feet than participles.)

As he worked out the price of the toilet, I wandered over to some other models in the showroom. "What about this one?"
"It has a skirt so you pay a premium for it", pointing out the flat surface in constrast to the snake like porcelain casting of the regular models. For a split second, I was distracted by the idea that some toilets wear skirts while others wear trousers, wondered about Scottish toilets wearing kilts while trying to recall the gender of toilets in various languages.....

It occurred to me that cleaning skirts would be so much easier and had Robert calculate the price and height of that model. (Some hours later, realising that my children were likely to spend more time on the toliet and in the bathroom than I planned to spend on any fictional cleaning, I opted for the taller comfort model since they will get taller....)

That was the only decision that clogged the system so to speak. In one hour, we managed to identify all the plumbing fixtures and stay within budget. I wasn't convinced the latter was possible when the first commode I saw was in the 4 figure range and the nearest faucet ran a close second to that price range.

Fortunately, after I delivered a machine gun rally of stated lifestyle preferences, (it has to be clean cut, simple lines, not difficult to clean, not too many bits and pieces, not too modern, definitely not traditional, not shiny, not dark, not bronze, a little shine was good and did I mention ease of cleaning?...) the very competent and calm Robert identified the perfect faucets, showerhead, sinks and commode. In the process, I received an education in plumbing fixtures, why shower heads are called speedman showers and why the Japanese got a jump in the American commode market when codes were changed to 1.6 gallons of water per flush. I also learned that there are ways to get around the water conservation measures already built into the showerhead. Right after I learned that the government has already mandated said conservation methods into our showers.

Robert said carefully, "Now I CAN'T tell you to do that, but I KNOW some plumbers do it......"

I scribbled a mental note, "Talk to plumber about potentially breaking the law re: water conservation in shower head."

I realised I need to communicate better with my builder. (He might disagree and assure you that I communicate plenty enough with him). When Robert asked me what type of counter top I was putting in the utility room, I explained that we may not need a counter top as we might get a stackable washer dryer instead of a side by side, thereby negating a need for a counter over the machines. His experienced countenance betrayed a flicker of confusion as I rattled all this off. "Well, what were you thinking I needed?" I asked.

He showed me a stainless steel 10 inch undermount sink. I cast a doubtful eye on it, "...I was thinking of a stand alone." Kindly, he pulled out a catalog to show me the standalone sinks. A quick look and my gut response was, "These are ugly."

"Yes," he agreed, "they tend to be unattractive." Working on the assumption the builder was planning on building a cabinet for the sink, I opted for an undermount. "It's easier to clean right? No fiddly bits...."

If Robert keeps a file on customers, mine probably reads, "Obsessed with ease of cleaning....." To my surprise, the feared painful hour passed quickly and I even agreed to return the next day to pick out hardware.

Meanwhile, at the house, the windows had been delivered and by 3pm, the men had finished the roof and were completing the extension of the three feet on the second story. They were just beginning to cut holes in what remains of the kitchen ceiling when I left a few minutes later.

Tomorrow an inspector comes to check the outside of the construction and if it passes, then they will paper it. It's all looking very well though the speed at which they work is making it difficult for me to keep up.

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