01 December 2007


I hired a guy named Mike Taylor to put in the plumbing line. This is a bit out of sequence as the trenches weren't filled before the plumbing line was laid but it all happened in quick succession between thunderstorms. The plumbing process was a comedy all its own although I was not always laughing. Mike showed up in an old beat up red truck, low to the ground with a hood tied down by sisal rope.

He used Pex tubing for the water line, had two very pleasant Mexicans who spoke no English do the manual labor and disappeared for hours at a time to go buy materials at Home Depot, seven minutes away.

At the bottom center of above photo is where the plumbing line comes into the studio. The spigot in top photo is mounted on the outside wall there. The boxed area hides the pipes that run through recessed interior wall to sink area in supply room.

No photos were taken during the plumbing as I discovered I had to supervise the work. Not that I had much of a clue about plumbing but the first french drain they dug out the back of the studio was a joke. I had never even seen a french drain and knew that it was done incorrectly. (Actually, previous to this incident, I'd had a long discussion with an architect about how to properly make one.) I insisted that they take it apart and re-do it. In fact, I was so pissed off that I helped with the digging. (A good way to work off steam.) Naturally, Mike Taylor was not pleased about this and got all "Yes, Ma'am" (more like, "Yes'm") about it but that was just too bad and I told him to knock it off.

One of the things that really got my hackles up was when I would hire contractors who, after explaining to them exactly what I wanted, assured me that they understood what I wanted and exactly how to do it and then turned out to have been lying or not listening or I have no idea what.

I later realized that Mike had been asking around at Home Depot about how to make a french drain. Fortunately, he knew how to make the required plumbing joints although he did not put in any shut-off valve between the house and the studio. To make matters worse, Mike wanted me to pay him in full for the job when there was still work to be done after the sink was installed. Although I did not pay him the full amount, I paid him more than I should have. And he whined about that like a two-year old.

It should come as no surprise that I never saw this man again and that the phone number I had for him was disconnected. Later, the highly thought-of plumber who originally had recommended this first man sent over a young plumber who's father had been a plumber. Not only did this second plumber finish the job properly and install a shut-off valve under the house at for a decent price but has been a big help ever since with little plumbing matters in the house, often talking me through issues by phone so that I don't have to pay his house call fee.

When I snapped the intro photo above this afternoon, I noticed that the spigot was not caulked. No time like the present!

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