Sunday, February 22, 2015

Plumbing, Electrical, and Drywall, Oh My!

The shower pan I left you with last was exciting, I know. And I'm probably the only one excited about plumbing, electrical and drywall (oh my!). But it's one step closer to being able to put up tile. And that is my goal at this point.
The photo to the left shows electrical that needed to be moved.  The vent, the light switch, and a light not shown, over the toilet. We also decided to add some insulation because my youngest sons' room is right over our bedroom and stairs are on the other side of that wall. Also, The Builder is showing where the new shower light is going to go in.

The total cost on this part of the renovation was under $80. That included the light for the shower, insulation, and new drywall.  We'd already bought new electrical outlets as well as the light switch (I think we should buy stock in electrical outlets, we seem to be replacing them in every room!)
new light and light switch
I was moderately concerned that this shower was going to turn into a cave, since there is no natural light in this corner now that the glass blocks are gone. And trust me, I would rather have a cave than those glass blocks back! But The Builder assured me that a light would be an easy installation. Everything went smoothly on installing it, so I am very pleased!

Now we have the drywall back in, the insulation is done, the plumbing is closed up, and the electrical is all moved.  The arrow on the top of the photo is the new light. The middle arrow is the switch that turns on the light.  The arrow on the right is the new double outlets. You can see all the drywall is back in in the vanity area (a project for another time). The section in the shower that you see barely that doesn't have insulation is where the built in shower nook is going to go. If you look really closely, you can see where The Builder penciled it in. :)
Just a quick look at the light and the vent now that they've been moved. We'll be replacing both now that we've moved them. The a/c vent had been painted white. It was awful. The light we had replaced on our prior landlord's dime after the water leak upstairs. We both hated it from the get go, but The Builder we were trying to keep it inexpensive since it wasn't on our dime. I'm not sure what fixture we'll put in yet, but this one is already starting to rust. No real surprise since I think we might have spent all of $30 on it.
Ta da, the light on in the shower! I don't know if it's obvious in the photo, but it really makes all the difference in the world. We've got more insulation to put in, as well as a waterproof barrier (no more water damaged beams for us!) and concrete board, but we're that much closer to getting the tile in. I'm ordering the the shower pan membrane this week for next week's install, and then we'll have one more layer of concrete on the shower floor, but after that, it's tile time! I think I can see a slight glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel...


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Shower Pan

This is our new shower pan. The Builder did an amazing job. I came home from work Monday night and he was almost done. I am dually impressed!

We don't anticipate getting a whole lot done in the coming weekend since it's Valentines Day. We have plans to go to Waco and visit Magnolia Acres! For those who aren't addicted to HGTV, there's an awesome show called "Fixer Upper" which stars hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines. I absolutely love their show. Magnolia Acres is their store, and The Builder is taking me to visit.  I'm so excited!

Stay tuned, we have new shower valves to install and then the concrete board.  All leading up to new tile!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Building a Shower


Fast forward to this past Saturday. During the week leading up to Saturday, The Builder was chipping out the concrete from the bottom of the shower so that we could make a new shower pan. I'm not going to lie. This was the worst part of the demo. We had concrete dust from rafters to the front door. Friday night we had to go out to eat or we would have ended up with concrete dust in our food. I'll spare you the photo's of the dust cloud, even though we put up a tarp and tried to block as much as possible.

When we were done, this is new shower base:
The "square" bed is the original shower.  And the chipped out concrete section is the new extended portion of the shower. 

Clearly, we have more to do here.  In my previous post, I mentioned it was FFA show weekend.  The Builder and I had volunteered to do the concession stand before we ever ripped out a single piece of tiled or knocked down any walls.  Oops. So Saturday was a bust work wise (although we had a great time at the show and auction!). But this is where we were by the end of Sunday. Can you see the wall above? Yep, he framed in the wall as well. It's amazing how much an extra 16 inches of width and three inches to the depth. 

It's an awkward angle to get a photo because there's a wall to the left (the wall for the toilet alcove). But this is the new wall framed in. You can see that the light fixture is moved sideways. Yes, that will have to be moved as well. But that's a project for another day.









And here's the wall with drywall up:
Yeah, now it's really feeling like a shower!

For the rest of the week, The Builder is pouring the mortar for the shower pan, which has to be sloped to allow for proper drainage. We had contemplated tearing out the existing plumbing and moving it to the center of the shower. However, we watched a few tutorials on You Tube and realized that wasn't really necessary. And after the grit from concrete dust in my entire house after just that small section being removed, I can't fathom how bad it would be if we had to take out the whole thing. And The Builder said there is another layer of concrete below this one. No thanks. We The Builder can follow the You Tube tutorials to get the proper slope for the drain!

Have you ever read the book "If You Give a Mouse A Cookie"? In it, giving the mouse a cookie leads to more and more things. This is house this renovation feels. We realized after the drywall was up that with the glass blocks gone, the shower felt a little...cave like. I say that in the best possible way, and I'm sure the tile we chose will help lighten it up, but we also realized we're going to need to install a waterproof, recessed light. Which means taking the drywall down. And if we're going to install new electrical, we should move the current light, which is awkwardly placed between the shower and the toilet (yes, my toilet faces my shower. Don't get me started on that one..). So we're going to move that light to be centered over the toilet. At which point, The Builder noticed that the a/c vent is right in the path of the glass shower door we plan to install. So, that will need to be moved over about 6 inches as well. The Builder assures me these are all easy changes, just mildly time consuming. We shall see...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Demolition Day 2

The Teen's FFA project kept me busy this week, but The Builder has been working steadily on our shower for almost two weeks now. 

Today's post is all about tearing it down! I wish I could say I find demolition to be the exciting part of a renovation. But I don't. I hate the dust and the grime and the mess!

All the damaged parts have been completely removed. We found that the corner of the load baring wall had damage too, so we had to shore it up as well. You can see all the pink studs where we replaced the interior studs.

And yuck, look at all the debris!!!
Here's a quick picture of the corner. After The Builder removed the damaged piece, the wall actually sunk a bit. Yikes! Thankfully he was able to get the new piece in place and a little brute force later, everything was shored of securely. We'll have to do some drywall work, but at least there's no more rotten beams and load baring walls that could come down around us...

OK, the walls look lavender.  They're not.  But here's The Builder removing one of our vanities. We had to do this to move the plumbing. And the electrical. And install a new shower wall. Yeah, lots going on here. The vanity was probably the cheapest thing they could find. The doors and drawer fronts were real wood, but everything else was particle board. The last renovation this bathroom saw had them painting over the faux wood grain. Which bubbled up and peeled with the water leak. There was not point in trying to save this vanity. So it came out too.

And the only part of the demolition phase that I admit to enjoying?

Yes, down with the ugly 80's glass blocks!! We weren't sure how easily these would come out, but after trying a few different methods of removal, the sawzall worked best. These came down relatively quickly (I missed the rest of it coming out because I made a quick food run - that's how fast it went!). We've stacked them in the garage for now because I'm hoping to sell them on Craig's List. No, I would never buy them, but they still sell them at Home Depot, so someone must want them. I'm happy to make a small profit on them!



At the end of the weekend, we managed to get the drywall on the outside of the wall re-installed. Can you see how much larger the bathroom looks by taking out that glass wall?! I am never going to miss those blocks. I can say that with 100% confidence.

Yeah, the cat is really curious during this project. He refused to stay out of the photos at the end of the day, and I gave up trying to snap one without him in it. He's aptly named Zorro!

As anxious as we are to have our shower back, we're doing this shower in small bits each weekend. The Builder's work can start to get really busy in the spring and I don't want him to work 7 days a week!

Stayed tuned for more update...


Parting shot of Zorro. Because he's our little shadow!