Small improvements — that’s all we can hope to make over a weekend (or two).
So I went out and bought a cheap faucet. I know it’s not a good idea to buy cheap plumbing fixtures, but… I’ll leave it at that.
There is a lot to spend money on right now, and I wasn’t interested in making a permanent decision for the sink/vanity area. And it’s not like it was really, really cheap. It was Price Pfister, so it’s about as cheap as you can get while still having a recognizable name. (It has a plastic drain assembly. PLASTIC.)
The first thing you need is to make sure you have tools. Not just any tools, but the right tools. And maybe some help.
According to the enclosed instructions, the average estimated time for installing this lavatory faucet is 60 minutes. This does not include the time to remove the old faucet. “This estimated time will vary depending on many variables such as the install application, the skill level of the installer, the type of plumbing, the type of tools used, etc.” Considering my skill level was nil, the types of tools were questionable (“honey, do we have a really big wrench for removing the drain?”), and because of my special helper, I expected this project to take at least 360 minutes.
And it just might have.
(There are various tips I can provide, such as: if the guy at the hardware store hands you a tub of plumber’s putty, make sure it works with the materials in your faucet, such as, PLASTIC. If not, you’ll inevitably call around to your friends looking for the right caulking to borrow. (Particular young guy at hardware store doesn’t like his job, I imagine. Find one of the older gentlemen there instead.) Also, sometimes there just isn’t the clearance behind the sink for the drain assembly levers and pulleys and all those little gizmos that make it work, so you’ll end up purposely gouging a hole in the wall beneath your sink so the lever can operate (somewhat) smoothly. Oh and, what the hell? How do big ol’ men with big ol’ hands and big ol’ fingers actually do this easily? I imagine they have craftier tools than our wimpy pliers and wrenches. Also, if you find yourself holding the flashlight in your mouth while wedged under the sink trying to tighten a nut with said wimpy pliers? Get a better flashlight that can stand independently as a lantern. Thank goodness I finished this project a couple months ago. I’m not sure I could fit my belly under there these days.)