Cottage Maintenance

For the last few years we’ve spent a week at Euince’s cottage on the French River. An hour north of Parry Sound, the drive isn’t short but it’s the road less traveled once you get out of Barrie.

One of my favourite parts of coming up here is that Euince shares the cottage chores with her friends and family. It always ends up with a great little story and it’s definitely a change from the every day.

A couple years ago I was tasked with removing mice from the sleep cabin rafters. After seeing that the insulation was indeed torn out by some vermin, I pulled out the rest of it with some gloves and ventured to Home Depot where I bought some spray foam insulation and some wood to cut to cover the hole so they wouldn’t just claw it all out again.

Once I got started I pulled my hand out and heard an angry squeak and found my hand had just brushed the back of a wee bat. Definitely unexpected.

This year my job was to steady the wooden pad that sits outside the outdoor shower. It was starting to sag, lots of water over the years had rotten out the pallet (skid) that the pad was built on. So I pulled it apart and tore out all the rotten wood and then the plan was to rebuild that part of the skid with some new pressure treated wood.

Plans got paused, like any reno does, by something completely out of left field. Dash had walked under the water intake from the river and bumped it a bit. The fitting to the poly pipe was rusted so the bump was enough to start water flowing. I tried tightening the pipe clamps but that only started the water flowing more as I was crushing the rusted coupler. I turned off the water and drove to the local Rona, where the hometown staff are awesome and helpful. They helped me find replacement parts (made with modern PVC instead of old rusty metal) and I was on the ball enough to buy a cap to block off the third direction of water flow in case I couldn’t remove the old tap from the old three way splitter. Within an hour I had the water back on and it was just in time for dinner. Never a dull moment.

Makes me glad I’ve had experience with plumbing. If I’d never done that kind of thing before it would have been a whole lot more difficult to get the water back on, or worse, find someone up here to do it for us.  $11 in parts to get everything running, another $23 to replace the outdoor tap the next day.  I’m guessing it’s there to drain the system before winter. Could have easily spent $150 in labour on top of that to hire someone to do it.

20130821-231754.jpgToday I was able to finish up the original job of rebuilding the shower pad but the only Robertson screwdriver I could find was really little and driving in 20 or so 4″ screws was enough to shred the palm of my hand and give me some nice blisters on a couple fingers. Skin is overrated anyway… all in a day’s work.

Author: Ian

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