Thursday, August 13

If You Get A Dumpster

Have you ever read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?  It’s a children’s book, and the basic storyline goes like this: If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want milk to go with it. That will lead to wanting another thing, and then another thing, and so on until you find yourself exhausted six hours later having given the crazy mouse everything but the kitchen sink.

I think someone should write a sequel for adults called “If You Rent a Dumpster” – because it seems to work very much the same way! If you’ve already rented a dumpster, and you’re going to pay the same whether you return it dead empty or stuffed to the gills, you may as well throw in everything you can think of that will need to go eventually anyway, right?

Following that logic, while we had a dumpster parked in the driveway at the beginning of July for our garage roof project we decided to tackle a few other things that had been “on the list” since we had a little extra room to fill in the dumpster.

First up: removing the shutters.

We’ve known since our first summer here that wasps liked to build nests behind the shutters on the two windows on the front of the house. With the shutters screwed directly into the siding, there wasn’t a lot we could do except hit them with Raid when we saw activity. So after the garage roof was knocked out, we grabbed the ladder and screw gun (and Raid!) and set about getting the shutters pulled down. I can’t begin to tell you what it was like to watch as the shutters came off and dozens of wasp nests (mostly dead, thankfully) spilled out from behind them!! I promptly decided that if I ever have shutters on a house again, they’re going to be real and functional so they can easily be cleaned behind!
Next up: Ripping out the tub.

Some used exactly zero common sense when setting up our Master Bathroom. The shower stall is quite small and tucked behind the door, and the tub was set in a corner alcove created by the shower stall and two walls… which made sitting in the tub feel a bit like being in a cave, staring at the blank wall that was the back of the shower. Very strange.  We tried it exactly once, at which point I discovered that (by some quirk of the plumbing) it took forever to fill the tub, and that I couldn’t make it feel clean no matter how many times I bleached it. (I blame the tub’s weird 70’s mustard yellow color.)

After that, it was officially ignored. We agreed that when we eventually redo the master bath, both the tub and shower stall are coming out and we’ll be rearranging the setup into something much more functional. So, with a dumpster sitting in the driveway with plenty of space still in it, we headed into the bathroom with some tools (and safety glasses and dust masks!) to rip out the tub!

It was very loud and bit messy, but once we got it ripped and hauled out, the improvement was impressive! The bathroom now feels huge and the space is much faster to clean.

(We filled what remained of the dumpster space with odds and ends we’ve collected off the property that needed to go, and are quite pleased.)

Thus ends my cautionary tale: if you get a dumpster, be prepared to get a head start on other projects – because once you’ve got it, you’ll be compelled to fill it!

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