Read on for the latest news in real estate in Wayne, Nebraska and the surrounding communities as well as useful tips for buying and selling your home. Bonus features include a look into the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeownership as shared by blog author, homeowner, property manager, and real estate broker, Trisha Peters.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Here We Go Again

It seems as if homeownership has a certain ebb and flow as the years go by.  Some years seem rather mundane with not many changes occurring in the landscape of life while others seem to hit you with ten projects needing done all at once.  My husband and I started our quest in homeownership with a major remodeling project, and after a short hiatus to start our family, we are back at it again.  This time, we are taking on the basement.

Before Demo
My husband and I have been carefully watching a developing bulge in our basement shower wall for about a year's time. It is a unique shower in that the builders of the home made it partially out of concrete block.  The other half was fashioned out of plain old sheetrock and some sort of laminate wall covering that isn't designed to repel water the way a shower insert should.  Over the last three years, that wall covering has slowly deteriorated and started to absorb and retain water during each shower.  Plus, it is lime green.  All in all, it has seen better days.

Shortly after the first of the year, I mentioned to him that we should do something about it.  His response was, "So long as it's done by planting time.  Once that hits, I'm out!"  Take it from me, if this thing drags on through planting and calving season, I might just be out!

The project started out with quite a bit of internet research on customizable shower remodeling inserts.  Let's just say that options are limited, and the inserts aren't manufactured here in Nebraska.  We found a product that seemed like something a do-it-yourself-er could install and a nearby home improvement store distributed, so that's where we set our sights.  We started taking measurements and making a list of the supplies we would need to get started.

Then, we made our first trip to the home improvement store, which shall remain unnamed, to start getting some more ideas and prices.  The only thing we came home with that night was defeat.  So many things to pick from, yet nothing in a complete package.  Everything would need to be retrofitted or pieced together to work properly due to the abnormal size of our shower and the complicated network of pipes, electrical wiring and duct work hiding in our basement ceiling.  We were back to the drawing board to decide what we needed to do to make the master plan pan out.

By the next weekend, we had regrouped and regained some confidence after going over our options and gathering ideas from our resident handy-people.  Off we went to the unnamed home improvement store to buy our supplies and get this thing started.  Thinking that we had everything figured out, we started in the plumbing and bath section to get the shower ordered.  Fun fact: did you know that a plain white shower insert costs far more than one that is supposed to imitate travertine?  Neither did we.  Our simple plan to buy a plain white shower insert was then turned into a 20 minute debate over which design to special order.  Plus, you have the buy the shower kit.  And, the trim kit.  And, the adhesive kit.  Attention product manufacturers: When something has "kit" in the name to start with, put everything in the "kit" rather than making three other "kits" to go with it!  Ridiculous.

From there, we moved on to the lighting section which killed another hour picking out which type of recessed lighting to put in the basement.  Fun fact: did you know that recessed lights cannot be purchased as a "kit?"  Neither did we.  First you have to pick out the style of cans that you want to use, then you pick out the inserts/trim to go with them, and then you pick out the lightbulbs to go with those.  But, be careful, my friends.  Some of the trim inserts come with built-in LED bulbs these days.

Two and a half hours after arriving, we were forced out of the store by the repeated requests coming over the intercom that the store would be closing in 5 minutes and we needed to head to the checkouts immediately.  The greeter literally locked the doors behind us.  Three things were clear at this point: 1) we were easily going over budget on this project 2) we had a tired, screaming toddler who wanted chicken nuggets and 3) his mother wanted a margarita.  Both of which my husband quickly found.

As a saving grace, we started demo this past week, and my husband is already liking the added space in the bathroom from taking out a large closet that he used mainly to hang up his towel.  Nonetheless, upon opening up the side of the shower showing evidence of the water seepage, we found that the hot water line is leaking in addition to the shower walls.  Removal of the sheeting behind the toilet also revealed evidence of seepage from some secret surprise still buried behind the moldy sheetrock that is not only nailed, but glued onto the studs as well.  It's as if the builder was thinking to himself, "Good luck to the schmucks that wanna tear this wall off. Muahhahahahaha!"  Everytime I remove sheetrock at our house, I feel like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes as she takes a sledgehammer to the bedroom wall and yells "Towanda!"

At this point, I can't make any guarantees the neighbors won't hear some yelling throughout the course of this project, but so long as they hear "Towanda," rest assured everything is going OK.  Welcome Home.


  1. I am so on the same page as you. Nothing goes wrong for a decade and then it all goes wrong within one week. My spouse and I learned that lesson once before. Every month we schedule maintenance for some major appliance in or around our home. We decided we could not deal with replacing everything at the same time.

    Nathan Riley @ Steemer Atlanta

  2. Basements can be many things to many people. They can be places to get away from the rest of the family, storage spaces, or simply unfinished portions of beautifully finished houses. Regardless how basements are used, they are important parts of homes and should not be neglected. Their structural and foundation upkeep are important for continued comfort and resale value.

    Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions