Downstairs bathroom


Posted: January 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: bathroom, plumbing, slow progress, woodworking | Tags: , , | No Comments »


Around November we decided to focus on the downstairs bathroom and try to hurry up and get it working asap. We brought in Laura (wallboard and plaster) and Lynn (carpentry) and Nate (plumbing) to look at the situation. We thought we’d finished the demolition phase, but they all said we still needed to do more demolition work before they could get started! So we laid down cardboard and plastic sheets to protect our beautiful new white oak floors, and dragged in garbage cans and crowbars and set to ripping out all the rest of the old plaster and lath. Tearing down old plaster is getting really old, it’s so dusty and gritty and icky. Also, of course (as we have now learned to expect), behind every old wall in our house is a huge stinky rats nest or squirrel nest or something, matted wads of urine-stinking filthy batting and shreds of old clothes and candy wrappers and cascades of turds and birdseed that all comes crumbling down among the plaster chunks, raining upon your face when you take out an old wall. I’ve learned to put on a hooded sweatshirt, dust mask, goggles, gloves, and cinch the hood all around my face when I’m doing this work, but I still come away picking plaster crumbs out of my clothes and birdseed out of my ears and feeling like I need a shower. Anyway, we got it all out of the bathroom now!

demolition for the new downstairs bathroom

before

ripping out plaster and lath

during

demolition for the new bathroom

after (all done with demolition, ready to start rebuilding!)

giant rat nest :(

close up on giant rat nest :(

Then Lynn set to work furring out some walls to get them ready for hanging wallboard, framing out some areas to run the pipes through. The thing about old houses is that they were never intended to have plumbing in them, so it can be hard to find (or make) a place to run the pipes through. It was kind of a big consensus decision to figure that out, with input from plumber, carpenter, myself, mike, Judy and Richard. Got it all worked out and drafted some plans and directions for the workers to refer to. I started working in Google Sketchup to try and imagine how best to fit all the pieces together.
Then Nate (plumber) came in with his trusty assistant and set to work ripping out all our old plumbing (including the beautiful plumbing work I did myself over the summer, this was heartbreaking!) and laying in fresh, tidy pex in its place.

downstairs bathroom downstairs bathroom

tidy lines of pex (heating pipes, hot and cold water and drain pipe to upstairs bathroom) and washer/dryer hookup

plumbers also did a bunch of work in the basement, had to replace the entire waste line as it was archaic and rusty cast-iron, quite difficult to join drains into it, and too narrow for modern codes. And they hooked up an old radiator in the basement, we were getting worried about the cold weather and frozen pipes in the basement so we had them hook that up to the furnace to keep the basement above freezing temperature.

Meanwhile Lynn got the bathroom all squared-away and ready for hanging wallboard! Strapping and studs on walls and ceiling. We’re going to have exposed beams on the bathroom ceiling too, as the beams in there are really gorgeous and huge, like 12″ square and very handsome.

downstairs bathroom

carpentry all finished, ready to hang wallboard!

Meanwhile, Laura (the plasterer) was working away on the kitchen. In the end, it turned out that after tallying up the cost of all this work we really don’t have enough cash to have Laura do wallboard and plaster in the bathroom, as we had initially planned! So the question is: do we hang blueboard ourselves, and then have Laura do the plaster over it? Do we hang greenboard ourselves, and skip the plaster? (this would be the cheaper choice.) Do we just go ahead and install and connect the toilet, sink, bathtub and all the appliances in the bathroom now, without having any proper walls, and then at a later date remove the appliances, do the walls, and replace the appliances? Or do we put the bathroom on hold for the moment, until we’ve got a working kitchen, and then return to the bathroom, do the walls, and then install the toilet and everything once the walls are finished?
We ended up going with the last choice. We had originally thought we’d be closing off the 2nd floor for the winter and moving our bed into the diningroom or something. But we just never really got so cold that it seemed worth the bother. So it turns out it’s fine having our only bathroom on the 2nd floor. It would be great to have a downstairs bathroom too, but it doesn’t seem as urgent anymore. And now we’re excited about working on the kitchen instead, so… for the moment the downstairs bathroom has moved to the back burner. I think we’ll hang greenboard in there eventually, we’ll do it ourselves and then get the appliances in, and it will be fantastic whenever it happens.


IT FLUSHES!


Posted: July 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: bathroom, gross, plumbing, progress | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


dreadful bathroom IT FLUSHES!

toilet: before and after

Exciting bathroom progress: I finally got this stinking toilet clean! It took me a ridiculous amount of hard labor and experimenting with different cleaning products. I started by putting on rubber gloves and throwing away the ghastly toilet seat, then over the course of a few months I tried scrubbing it with toilet bowl cleaner, soaking it in bleach, dumping in vinegar, and scrubbing it with more cleaners (sequentially, not all at once). Each effort produced slight improvements but the real winning trick was to wait until it was disconnected (and therefore empty), then scrub the living hell out of it with a pumice stone and liberal doses of Ajax. Why did I waste so much time on this thing, instead of throwing it away and replacing it as any normal person would’ve done? I guess I hate to waste something that could be saved. I’m on a tight budget. And once I’d wasted a few afternoons scrubbing it I just refused to accept defeat and had to keep scrubbing until I conquered it. Today I declare victory!
But the best part is: it is now reconnected and it works!! The most satisfying thing about this whole weekend was completing the plumbing updates so that we once again have indoor plumbing. Just as we were re-installing the toilet, I discovered a pair of childrens’ scissors lodged in the drainpipe! Glad I caught that. Explains why it wasn’t working so well.

amateur plumbing amateur plumbing

baby’s first plumbing project! it took me a ridiculous amount of time and thought and trial-and-error and labeling and marking and color-coding (and infinite amounts of help from my dad) to figure out how to run the pipes and fit all the pieces together. But it was worth it because it WORKS.

I also improved the bathroom by ripping out all the flooring. It’s a shame because it was sort of new and relatively decent (compared to the rest of the house, that is) but it had such an unholy stink. You don’t even want to think about it. Now the flooring is all out and the smell is basically gone. The subfloor seems to be in decent condition, not too stinky, though I’m treating it with a hydrogen peroxide-baking-soda odor removal treatment just to be thorough.


bathroom plumbing!


Posted: April 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: bathroom, progress, upstairs bathroom | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »


meanwhile, Richard has been working to get water running in the upstairs bathroom, and simultaneously prepare the pipes for our new downstairs bathroom, which will be relocated to sit directly under the upstairs bathroom. (easy, right? That way the pipes are all in the same area!)

new pipes! a makeshift sink arrangement

new copper pipes, a makeshift sink arrangement

We had no running water in the house because the pipes had split and burst at some point in the past. The pipes running to the bathroom were all broken PVC so Richard replaced those with copper, and we got to sit in and learn some tricks about soldering and fitting pipes too! Right now our plan is to have the horrible little bathroom upstairs functional for now (we’ve already got a working toilet up there and Mike and Richard rigged up this makeshift sink using a length of flex-hose and a bent coat-hanger to shape it into a spout!!), and just use the upstairs bathroom until we’ve finished building our downstairs bathroom. Unfortunately the upstairs bathroom was really REALLY disgusting and no matter how much I clean it and bleach everything, it still smells like pee in there :(


Links

Categories

Tags

amazing argentina arrival bank bathroom before & after beginnings changes destruction dogs door dreams electricity ell front door gross hiking history house kitchen kitchen shelves landscape limington mike mudroom nature neighborhood photos plans plumbing progress renovation richard seasons slow progress stuff supplies tiles toilet walls winter woodstove woodwork woodworking yuck

Copyright © 2017 | Limington Farmhouse