On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Plumbing and Sanding over a Beautiful January Weekend!

Well the best laid out plans don't always work out.  We had planned on taking advantage of the sixty degree weather to work on a bunch of small projects around the house this weekend.  Those projects were derailed, however, when we removed the sink in the small downstairs bathroom.  (We had to remove the sink to prepare the wall for drywall patching.)  When we disconnected the supply lines, the original shut-off valves would not stop leaking.  So off to Home Depot we went to purchase new ones.  

We got back and got to work.  The first shut-off valve was replaced without a hitch, unfortunately the hot water nipple was too corroded.  So we had to buy a six inch brass nipple, and off to Home Depot we went again.  The corroded nipple came off quite easily, the replacement did not go as well.  LD managed to install the new brass pipe.  Unfortunately, it started leaking once we turned the water pressure back on.  Harold (our neighbor) helped us diagnose the problem, and made us a list of parts to fix the problem.  So off to Lowes we went (Home Depot had run out of six inch brass nipples).

LD played plumber's apprentice, and after a few hours they managed to repair the damaged parts.

The weekend wasn't all plumbing though.  I did manage to finish sanding the pecky cypress wall in the basement.  Now we have to decide if we want to stain it (add a little brown tint to the natural red of the cypress) or keep it natural and apply polyurethane.  Sanding was followed by lots of dusting and cleaning.   


  1. I would love to know what procedure you used to sand your cypress walls. I've got 2 LARGE rooms of heavy pecky cypress that is in great need of sanding. We're at a loss as to the easiest way to go about doing this.

  2. It was not easy. We used a random orbital sander and sanded it twice. The first time we used 60 grit paper, followed by 120 grit paper. We also used a finishing sander where the cypress met the wall and the floor. We had a hard time sanding the space between the boards, I believe we tackled that with a wire wheel attached to our drill. If you decide to go through with it, make sure to hang plastic barriers and wear a respirator. We completed all the sanding before we moved in.