Saturday, May 18, 2013

Goin' Solo

The effects of Superstorm Sandy are still evident in seaside towns throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Since news stories of continuing struggles--like hundreds of families still living in temporary housing--have long since disappeared from the headlines, most people not directly affected have no clue that there are still serious problems.

A quick drive through south shore towns on Long Island will reveal hundreds of homes that remain uninhabitable and many more where people are living in what amounts to permanent construction zones.

We're lucky. After about a month without heat and hot water and nearly three weeks without electricity, we were able to get back to a semblance of normalcy. Duct tape and a few rolls of plastic sheeting keep most of the construction dust out of our living area, but we've become accustomed to the fact that a thin layer of crud will be a semi-permanent feature for the foreseeable future.

Now that demolition is finished and the debris has been carted away, the rebuilding begins. My challenge is to complete the project myself--solo. Except for a few tasks which I am prohibited from tackling myself, like tying into the main soil stack, my intention is to go it alone.

Plumbing is nearly complete. With the ceiling and walls open, I'll be adding an upstairs master bath, a ground floor kitchen and two additional heating zones. Hot and cold supply lines are installed and DWV lines are in place, ready to be tied into the main stack by a licensed plumber.

Thank Heaven for PEX and PVC.

More than 40 years ago Mr. McGuire took recent graduate Benjamin Braddock out to a quiet spot to offer one important word of advice: "PLASTICS!"

How true.

In addition to modern plastics, other miracle advances like the JobMax multitool and the drywall lift make Goin' Solo much less daunting.

So stay tuned and wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.