Setbacks & Realizations

Another weekend

  • spent working on the house
  • closer to being done
  • closer to moving
  • less than we had before

This weekend brought a mixed bag of outcomes. We made progress in certain areas but faced disappointing setbacks in others.

Two weeks ago, Dad A spent his entire Saturday meticulously laying the tile in our gardent apartment bathroom & out to the back door. It looked wonderful.

garden apt bathroom before

garden apt tile before

This past Saturday, we were supposed to finish it up and grout.

Unfortunantly, that’s not what happened. The mastic we used was still wet.


After 2 weeks, the mastic was pretty much the same consistency as when it was put down (think toothpaste).

garden apt bathroom after

It all came up. The floor had to be completely cleaned. The tiles are shot. The floor has been re-prepped.

garden apt tile after

We’re going to start Try #2 by using self leveling flash patch. That’ll make a more even surface for us to lay things on. Then we’re going to chuck Acrylpro to the curb and mix up some of the good stuff.

Sunday it poured. Not just rained. P.O.U.R.E.D.

During said storm, we learned that the back gutter has a giant rust hole you can stick your hand in. Water was gushing out the hole instead of the downspout and nearly flooding the garden apartment back door Sunday. A trash bag & some duct tape seem to be holding it for now. How ghetto is that? Ah well. It was either that or start loading in the animals 2 by 2.

Oh! And one more thing.

Our roof leaks. Or maybe the skylight. I tried to turn on the light in the 3rd floor back room but nothing happened. I just put fresh energy efficient bulbs in the fixture last month; how could it be dead already?!

Then I noticed the puddle of water on the floor under said fixture. Looked up and saw droplets of water pooling on the tip of my brandy new light bulb. Great…….


A trek across the roof didn’t provide any immediate answers. So I suited up and crawled through the attic.

  • Long sleeves & pants to protect me from the fiberglass insulation? Check.
  • Tea towel tied around my face so I don’t breath it in? Check.
  • Camera for picture evidence? Check.
  • 1 elbow length zebra striped rubber glove to handle the insulation? Check.
  • Flashlight? Check.
  • 1 non-rubberized hand for flashlight holding & dampness feeling? Check.
  • A sharpie to mark the spot? Also check.

suited up

A few cabinet doors spread across the rafters ensured I wouldn’t come crashing through the ceiling.


Went out straight and then to the left (back of the house) (the direction the narrows).


I found the leak and the direction the water was coming from but couldn’t follow it. The ceiling got to short, I was itchy from the fiberglass and it was hot as hell up there.

found the leak

Typically skylights leak but our skylight is about 5 rafters up hill from our leak. Water certainly runs down hill but it’d have to run along the ceiling, perpendicular to the rafters. While that’s still a possible source, I’m more curious about the neighbors chimney.


While we were on roof, it was obvious their chimney was in the worst shape out of any in our row. It’s at about the correct rafter back, if the water is running along a single rafter. Maybe this could be the source?

So another problem without a solution. Fan.freakin.tastic. None of this was on the list.


So those are our setbacks. We’re realizing just what kind of surprises all those other homeowners warned us would pop up. Things are taking longer and we’re running out of time. We have to move in September (we currently live in an apartment) and there were certain things we wanted done before that. We’re really going to hit it hard if it’s going to happen.

Even with all this, we did make some good progress this weekend. Tomorrow will be all about our successes!!

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9 Responses to Setbacks & Realizations

  1. caitie says:

    i’m sorry you’re hitting so many set backs! sounds like every episode of any house flipping show i’ve ever seen.

    but i do love that your scarf matches your sweater in that picture. even for attic crawling.

  2. mrslimestone says:

    My stomach dropped while reading this. That feeling of unexpected problems always makes me feel awful so I know what you’re going through. Someone else telling you to expect doesn’t mean it feels good when it happens.

  3. Ughhhh…I’m so sorry!! We had the same problem when we moved in. Leak coming from crumbling chimney. The roofers leveled it and roofed over it. (I have a great NJ roofer reference if you’re interested).

    Again, I’m sorry. Leaks are no fun at all.

  4. Kim says:

    I’m sorry for your snags. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems (even when it seems hard). And, I don’t even want to tell you how many times things got added onto our list. Yuck… I’m getting hives just thinking about it.

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