Hurray! We got the trim installed and caulked, and finally, finally got the water heater reinstalled. Now we are just waiting for the water to heat so we can shower.
Here is what the closet looked like this morning when we got started:
First, I installed the pre-painted trim, which fit perfectly. I had a little trouble due to the awkward angle at which I had to work. Also, there was no stud on the sides at the end of the closet. Consequently, I had difficulty getting the boards to fit snugly against the wall. In the end, I used a few extra finish nails and got it pretty close to where I wanted it. After all, it is going to be behind the water heater, so no one will ever see it.
After installing the trim, I caulked along both the upper and lower edges. Usually, I wouldn’t caulk along the lower edges, but I was not installing quarter round, and there were a couple of gaps. Also, I really wanted to seal the space, since the musty crawlspace is directly below this area. I touched up the nail heads with a little white paint, and voila!
I used clear caulk, so some of the white spots on the floor in the picture will disappear as the caulk dries.
By this point, Bridget was completely exhausted – again! Poor little thing! We work her so hard!
Now it was time to reinstall the water heater. Steve turned off the water and disconnected the cold water pipes. Then it was time to place the water heater. This part was a giant PITA, as I am basically unable to help Steve. He has to do all the lifting and manipulating – the space to just too small for me to help, even if I could. In the end, he got it placed, though the drip pan was somewhat damaged. However, the imaginative application of some duct tape solved the problem.
Once the water heater was in place, Steve reconnected both the cold and hot water pipes. Then, he turned the water back on. We checked to make sure all the pipes were nice and tight. The cold water line into the water heater had to be tightened a bit, but other than that everything looked good. While the water heater filled, I reconnected the electrical. I had some trouble with this part. The ground wire broke, which required me to cut back the Romex and restrip the wires. I finally got it all reconnected and closed up, and then flipped the breaker back on at the box. To my immense relief, the power and control panel lights came on. Whew!
And here is the final product:
Walls insulated, drywalled, and painted … check! Floor refinished … check! New trim installed … check! Water heater reinstalled and happily heating water … check! I actually kissed the water after I turned it back on. I had to retouch the wall paint in a couple of places, and then I was done, done, done!
I am hoping to start the front portion sometime this week, but for now, I am going to relax and enjoy the wonderful progress that we have made.