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Bathroom Renovation

Updated on May 7, 2009

Before

Before however the tub is cracked on the bottom
Before however the tub is cracked on the bottom
Tub cut in half
Tub cut in half
Some drywall out
Some drywall out
Tub, toilet & vanity out
Tub, toilet & vanity out
Wall out between bath and closet - space now ready for rough-in plumbing
Wall out between bath and closet - space now ready for rough-in plumbing

Bathroom Renovation Beginning

It sometimes feels like we have more ongoing house projects than the earth has blades of grass, although I do realize that is a complete exaggeration.  Another major project here in the House that Keeps on Giving is a total bathroom renovation from the studs, rafters and sub floor up.  We even removed a wall to make the room bigger.  We have never done anything like this before.  All our previous renovations have been performed with the writing of a check to a contractor.  Most of this project has been done by my husband with a little help from yours truly.  This entire project was precipitated by a crack in the bathtub which was not evident unless you stood in the tub.  Obviously we did not stand in the tub prior to purchasing the house and our not so competent inspector didn’t either.  It is now on my list of something I will do every time before getting through any inspection, along with the 100 other things that this lovely home has taught me.  The bathroom was much too small for a hall bath so we decided to take over a strange walk-in closet behind it which enlarged the room from 5 feet by 8 feet to 5 feet by 12 feet.  This project has been going on for a long time and we agreed that we would take it in chunks to keep our marriage intact and also to keep from rushing and making costly and time consuming errors.  Today I worked on the drywall taping so decided to blog about this room.  I’ll start at the beginning and just cover a few weeks of the project though, not the drywall taping.  The photos show the room before the demo, partial demo and the room after demo.  We had to purchase a special saw for this project which I had seen contractors use before.  I convinced my husband that he would be happy if he had this special tool.  You might be reading between the lines that I have other ‘ideas’ for this saw down the road and you would be correct.  This special tool is a reciprocating saw and the one we got is a DeWalt.  With it he was able to saw through the fiberglass tub shower unit and also cut down studs in the wall we removed.  We have used this saw a lot and it is a very handy demolition saw.  It even cuts through nails and screws which makes quick work of demolition.  If you decide to take on a project like this, plan to purchase a lot of tools or rent them if you don’t already have them.  You’ll see as I go through this entire project that more fun toys are needed.  We also have a shop vac and we purchased special HEPA filters for that at this point in the project to cut down on the nasty dust that these kinds of projects raise.  We would turn off the furnace during the time when the work was going on to keep the vent from blowing all the dust around the room and to minimize how much got taken into the furnace.  Another HEPA filter was put on the furnace.  You don’t have to worry about getting cold even though we started this fun project in January because you are working so hard you stay pretty warm.  I wonder if the dirt also helps with the insulating factor – just kidding.  After we stopped for the day we used plastic and enclosed the area from the rest of the house and plugged the furnace vent in there.  We laughed at how quickly these projects take on the various home improvement shows compared to our progress but were in no huge hurry as this is a spare bathroom in our home.  When we would get too tired we would stop and go look at Home Depot or other locations for products we wanted to put in this room.  We found a beautiful piece of granite from a granite remnant yard very early in the job and used that as the ‘focal’ point for the bathroom and everything else had to go with that.  We were worried that they wouldn’t have the granite in the yard even though we had put a cash deposit on it because it took us so long to finally get to the point of having the counter top installed.  The people at the shop seemed so incredibly happy and surprised to see us when we walked in some months later but they had it and we expelled a huge sigh of relief.  My next blog will take you through the behind the walls work that had to be done next.  I know you are holding your breath and I promise to make it as exciting as I can.

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