birthday gift

My dear MIL very kindly gave me some money to spend for my birthday. Normally clothes would be my first thought, but since I had just bought some new clothes I didn’t feel like I truly needed more new things. Yesterday morning I was brushing my teeth and knew what I wanted to get. Our 15 year old bathroom sink had a broken drain plug, a very beat-up faucet, and rust around the vent hole. Yes, still functional, but my, was it ugly.

Yesterday I headed to Lowe’s and found a sink and a really cool faucet that kind of looks like a pump handle. I thought maybe my husband could install it this weekend. But today each time I walked by my lovely new sink sitting in the box in the corner of my bedroom, I wondered if I might be able to install it myself. The urge to try it grew and grew, and finally after lunch, I stuck a screwdriver under the edge of the old sink to see if I could pry it up. Yup. I took that as a good sign, and started unfastening the water supply lines. Pretty soon the sink was upside down on the floor and I was committed.

Now that I’d made such a mess, I felt a bit anxious. My husband would be less than pleased if he came home this evening and discovered he’d have to use the kids bathroom to shave and brush his teeth tomorrow morning. And though he is amazingly handy and good at dozens of things, plumbing is something he HATES. The last thing I wanted to do was dump the whole mess in his lap the minute he got home.

I sincerely hoped it would go smoothly. Part way into the process I realized that the water supply lines were too corroded to let loose of the old faucet. That ncessitated a trip to the plumbing supply store to get new ones.

By the time I got home it was 6 pm, and hubby usually gets home by 7. Thankfully I had tossed a frozen lasagna in the oven before I’d left, so the kids had food. At this point I was dismayed to realize that the new sink was bigger than the old one. Out I went to the shop for my husband’s jigsaw to cut the hole bigger. Two inches into the cutting, smoke began pouring from the vents in the jigsaw. Hmm… that’s not a good sign. After 10 minutes rest, the smoke was gone, but when I turned it back on, it growled twice, and quit for good. Thankfully my tool-hound hubby had a second one. That one bucked like a wild thing, chippiing formica as it roared along. Thankfully I had scored the cut line first so none of the chips were visible.

Just getting the drain put together took awhile, and then there was some wrestling with plumber’s putty as I got the faucet attached. I was hugely relieved to see that nothing leaked when I turned the water supply back on, and was even more delighted to see that I had a full tube of white silicon so I could silicon around the edge of the sink as the finishing touch.

The final bonus was that my husband got home an hour later than usual– it was crazy at work today– so I was able to get the whole project done before he arrived home. He was thrilled that he would not have to rassle this project himself. And I couldn’t be more delighted with my birthday gift!


  1. Well done!!

  2. Look at you go, girl!!! I’m impressed.

    This reminds me of a funny story from my childhood. My dad was remodeling our bathroom. He got the shiny new toilet installed, but he ran out of time (or maybe energy) so he left the old one on the other wall. For days. Maybe weeks. Well, my mom got tired of looking at it so one day while he was at work she got out the sledge hammer and knocked it right out of there and drug it out of the house!

  3. I love it, very nice job!!
    I too have a bathroom in desperate need of a remodel. Sad thing is that I have a brand new, still in box, toilet, pedastal sink, faucet, and floor tile. I only have one bathroom and very old piping so I will not be as brave as you. But someday just maybe someday, my husband will get around to it;(

  4. Wow- I’m impressed! Great job!

  5. Wow…all that and plumbing too! You are amazing!

  6. Way to go, birthday girl!

  7. I must say it looks like a job well done.

  8. Beautiful job! Happy Birthday!

  9. Good job. It feels so great when you do something yourself and you do well. Kudos

  10. Awesome!!

    And I have the same faucet (in 8″ widespread) in my guest bath-it’s my fave!

  11. So am I hearing that plumbing really is simple, Mary?? I have been contemplating ripping out the bathroom and replacing it myself. Not sure about the toilet part though….

    Well done!

  12. You rock!!!!

  13. rockchick7517 says:

    Hey thats a really good job! Nice work, better keep that one quiet or be starting a new career as a plumber!

    My Dad does 99% of all the DIY jobs around the house, but sometimes my Mum gets a bit eager and does things when he isn’t there.

    The day my Dad left to go skiing one year, she had me lugging around funiture rearranging 2 rooms on our house, even though I had been lying flat on my back with a back problem! She had got so far with the funiture and realised that she couldn’t lift the wall unit by herself…

    Another time we had taken some fittings out of the wall, so there were white blotches everywhere, so my Mum got the paint out and painted over them all with the colour that she thought was the colour we had used on the rest of the walls… Only to find it was a different shade when it had dried! We still have polka dot walls in the Bathroom!

  14. Look at that! WOW!
    And you know you’re adult when you think “Birthday money? I’m buying a new SINK!”

  15. I am uber-impressed. And I LOVE the faucet. That is the one that I drool over every time I see it. Solid choice and great work.

  16. I am so impressed! Usually it’s my job to hand over the tools and supplies…

    Love the faucet!

  17. Very impressive!!

  18. Wow! You’re one awesome DIY-er! 🙂

    BTW, I’m so used to your referring to your kids by their ages that for a second I wondered why one of your kids had “a broken drain plug, a very beat-up faucet, and rust around the vent hole.” ;^)

  19. I replaced a whole sink myself once too. We had this industrial-style sink in our bathroom and I finally decided to put a pedestal sink in there, change the light fixture, and paint. My husband went to a pastors’ conference and my sister came to help me wrestle the porcelain (it was WAY heavier than I thought). I think we made four trips to the hardware store, and one cashier told us it isn’t an official plumbing job until you’ve made three trips! The drain was definitely the toughest part. Pictures here:

  20. That is very cool! I am such a chicken with stuff like that, I am not sure I could have made the leap to pull the old sink out!

    You did a beautiful job!

  21. Beautiful job! You make me think there is a lot more I could do myself around here, which would eliminate the annoyance with my husband, who is far from handy.

    What a great idea for your birthday money – you’ll enjoy every day.

  22. Thanks for the tutorial! I’m gonna try this now! You rock!

  23. Wow- you are awesome! I can’t believe you put your sink in yourself!! Way to go! 🙂

  24. That is some seriously impressive work. No way I would have tried that. And I love the sink you chose!
    Happy birthday. 🙂 Again.

  25. Wow, wish you could do a tutorial on how to install a faucet because all of my bathrooms need new faucets and so does my kitchen. Keep putting it off because my husband would have to do it after work. Maybe my husband could show me how to do one and I could do the others.

    Isn’t it great to start a project and finish it in a day? Instant gratification! I need to do more of those type of things; it feels good and your sink and faucet look so nice! And what a nice treat for your husband.

  26. I agree, I’m impressed.

    I don’t do many diy projects, but whenever I do my carpenter son says, “Mom, you could’ve killed yourself doing it THAT way. Wait for me.”


  27. I’m rolling on the floor laughing at the comments! I especially love the one about “you know you’re a grown-up when you ask for a sink for a birthday gift”! I told my sister a nice compost bucket that could go in the dishwasher would make an excellent birthday gift.

    Love the sink job – it looks awesome! Good for you for doing it yourself!

  28. Well, aren’t you a go-getter? Fantastic job! I need a new kitchen sink & faucet…are you for hire?

  29. I was eyeing that same faucet a Lowe’s a couple of weeks ago. It’s just lovely.

    I’m very impressed that you did that yourself. Good on you!

  30. That sounds exactly like what I would do except that I borrow my dad’s tools and call my dad if it doesn’t work out (hubby does computers not faucets.) God job–God is good. Nothing worse than getting mired down in the middle of the project and having to ask for help.

  31. I am amazed. You are wonder woman!

  32. I’m not worthy . . . I’m so not worthy! You are unbelieveable (insert music trak here).

    Mary, you have done numerous things in the three years or so that I’ve been reading about your family. This one tops them all. Just one more reason all those companies are making pink tools. You are impressive beyond impressive!

    Great job, and it looks fabulous, too!

  33. Very impressive! The only problem with being so persevering and capable is that now your family might expect Mom to do all such tasks AND cook the lasagna. Still, great job!

  34. Add me to the list of impressed people! I can’t believe you actually used the jigsaw!

  35. I would have quit at the using the saw part. But you really kept at it. Impressive! Maybe this will motivate me to do some house projects that I keep waiting to do on a weekend when my husband has time (which is rare these days).

  36. Wow you are one amazing lady! Thanks for sharing this with us – I do believe I’m inspired – although I think I’ll leave the bathroom fixes to my Hubby.

  37. wow! You rock!

  38. I LOVE the facuet! You’re inspiring me to surprise my husband with doing some things at home! If I can do it without my two preschoolers “helping” me TOO much! (I’m thinking of painting, where their help wouldn’t be too good). 🙂

  39. its always nice to hear repairs made by wives. my wife accidentally broke my favorite juicer. i love her anyway lol

  40. I am so very impressed! Way to go. And I love the new sink and faucet. You are truly inspirational.

  41. Wow! Good for you, girl!

  42. Wow, looks great! Good job!

  43. all I can say is wow…i’m truly speechless. I’m pretty sure that would have turned into quite a hack job if I had done it. But at the same time, I am inspired.

  44. WOOOHOOOOO! That’s a major score for women everywhere, girl! And if you are anything like me, you’ll be feeling good about the project for many years to come. I once installed a garbage disposal in my house all by myself and I’ll tell you what, whenever I start feeling down on myself ’cause I can’t seem to do anything right, I think back on that little DIY moment, hoist up my britches, puff out my chest and feel better immediately. Beautiful sink and faucet and a job very well done, ma’am! Hugs – M

  45. Amazing job!

  46. Looks good. Love that faucet!