Fixing the Gaping Hole in the Side of my House

IMG_20140311_123840_670After a higher than expected bill from the plumber I was left with a hole in the side of my house.

It was a normal Friday evening. Dinner was being prepared, chores were getting done.  Then it happened, as potato skins where getting put down the disposal, everything stopped. The laws of physics stopped working and the flow of water reversed.  [EXPLETIVE DELETED] (this is a family friendly blog, after all).

***This post is the first in a new category “Household DIY” I’ll be adding more before and after pictures of our house soon***

Being a man and DIY’er this was no big deal, just a pain.  I’ve got a drain line snake.  I decided to just deal with it Saturday, I filled the sink up with water and walked away.  I have a disdain for plumbing. It’s nasty, smelling, wet, and always involves crawling into uncomfortable places.

Saturday morning I saw the sink had drained over night, so I took the pipes going into the wall off and brought out the snake.  I figured that this was just your average clogged pipe.  If by average I meant clogged with solid concrete I was right. I got nowhere.

As much as I hated it, someone with bigger tools had to be called.  Turns out the galvanized pipe that went from the Kitchen Sink to the main line was completely corroded and had to be replaced.  I always like to be around while a pro works, because there’s always something to learn.  I have no doubt that I could now do the the job of replacing the pipe myself, I just lacked the knowledge of how to diagnose the problem.

My house has asbestos shingles, the stuff that all the lawyers say is really bad on late night TV.  So I used a dust mask to take it down, also I read that if you wet it down it keeps the dust at bay as I took it down.  I’ve removed siding before, but never asbestos.  After I broke the third shingle, I said another “expletive” and just tore it off where needed.  I got the pipe exposed and waited for the plumber to come back the next day.

I happened to be at Home Depot the next day and went looking for replacement shingles.  Concrete board makers (such as Hardie) make replacement shingles since asbestos is illegal to sale now.  Having inhaled my fair share of concrete board dust, I’m not sure it’s all that much better for you than asbestos, but whatever.  I didn’t see them in that section so I asked a worker, “Do y’all carry Hardie Board (the brand that HD carries) Siding Shingles?”

I get a dazed, ‘I’ve smoked too much pot’ look, and as a reply I get, “You mean those black things you put on a roof?”

“No,” I said, “Hardie Board,” as we stand in the aisle with the yellow board made of concrete.

“…What’s Hardie Board…?”

“…”  [bless your heart]

We go to the computer to look it up.  I tried to be nice, but eventually I just took the mouse away and found what I needed “Special Order Only.”

HD, “Does that mean we have it”

“… … no, I’ll order online”

I then went to Lowe’s and asked the same thing.

Lowe’s “I’m not sure this is my first day but I’ll find out for you.”

Me “Thanks”

They didn’t have them either, so I just ordered them online.

Here are pictures, Yes, I hate the color of our house too, but after this there’s not going to be money to paint it for a while.  So we got a quart to match the current color.

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I finished this post a few days ago, but in honor of the Home Depot employee I decided to post this April 1st.


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