Does anyone else remember those sorts of disclaimers in tech manuals?
Direct link for the feed readers: Gingerbread Diaries 2.5: Downstairs Bath Renovation, Week 3
That was the lesson we learned as we took up the first half of the bathroom floor bright and early on Saturday morning. Turns out that the joist we were basing everything on, the one we uncovered as we opened up the 10″x8′ gap in our back hall, the one that had been “supporting” the existing bathroom wall, that one? Was the lowest point in all the bathroom joists.
So, yes, that whole conversation about what level we were going to build up to, etc. was next to useless and the rest of the room is already that high. Okay then!
The new plan became to pick the most level joist in the bathroom itself and work to that. With said joist identified, we then had to adjust 3 others–one was too high, one was too low, and one was even lower than that! For the two low ones we bought 2″x1/4″ slats (for lack of a better term) to sit on top of the joists–one needed one, the other needed 2 stacked on top of each other, and for the third we would “take it down” about a quarter of an inch.
Take it down you say? Why, yes, we needed to remove some of the wood, and I was concerned that the method Todd first mentioned (planing) would have us in a too much, build it back up, too much again, etc. loop. So I asked if sanding would be a decent alternative (figuring it would make for less drastic changes per pass compared to a planer).
And that’s how we ended up with a belt sander.
Week 3, tool 3… I sense a trend, here.
After a trip to Lowe’s for said sander and half the store’s complement of PVCÂ elbow joints, Todd started in on the sanding. Even with the added power, it was still a tough, tedious job. I haven’t tried the sander for myself (I will when we get to the next half of the floor which will need similar treatment), but I did get to use the reciprocating saw this week!
We needed to build up the joist we’d put in the previous week, a task easily accomplished with a spare 2″x4″x8′, but there was a small section at the end that needed fitting in. I took it upon myself to notch out the bottom of the stud that was in the way (the sawzall is pretty cool!), trim an offcut of 2×4 to the right length (with the hand saw), and nail it into place.
Todd cut down the first sheet of plywood (3/4″, I believe) for the floor and I suggested going ahead and cutting both but we were a) losing the light fast and b) losing Todd–he was pretty wiped out by this point so we stuck with the single, got it into place, and called it a night.
Sunday brought with it a revision of our plumbing plan of attack (the new toilet location will be set up and hooked up before we remove the other half of the floor) and an overwhelming urge to nap. Not super productive, but super needed. The rest of the changes for this week are small by comparison.
- Filled in some gaps in the clapboards and where the walls meet (from the original, inadequate build) with spray-foam. That stuff is awesome.
- The removal of a kajillion square nails from the studs as well as removing the braces that once were–we’ll replace them with our own.
- The building up of two exterior wall studs–they installed them flat to the wall rather than perpendicular, then placed a brace across them, rather than between.
- Sistering the guide-joist of the bathroom after I noticed it had a crack radiating from a knot that became more visible when Todd leaned on it.
- Determining the height of the light switch and outletsÂ and installing the boxes for their eventual wiring-in.
Last night Todd tackled actuallyÂ attaching the floor to the joists (couldn’t be done until the wall studs were in place, so I’m not ragging on him for the delay) and was employing a 2×4 as a lever to scootch it up as close to the wall as it could go, when I asked “Oh, is it raining again?”
Y’all, IÂ wish I’d been recording that, because this would have been a scene just perfect for Renovation Reality (did anyone else see that show?). The lever had shifted a pipe under the house and what I heard as rain was actually it draining. Now, in Todd’s defense, he didn’t hit the pipe, he hit the cinder block-and-brick rigging that was holding it in place because the braintrust that last fixed it didn’t use the correct coupler to keep it in place on its own. And it’s one of the pipes that we’ll be moving soon, anyway, but still. Not something you want to do, much less have to rectify, at almost 10 pm!
But it wasn’t all sandpaper and rusty nails! While at Lowe’s we accomplished a couple of side quests by confirming what tile we’ll be using (the same one I snapped on my Pinterest board) and picked out our grout (a dark grey to coordinate with the faucet, etc. and it even has some glittery flecks in it to look shiny, not just dull and grey. Also, while browsing the lighting aisles to try and get an idea what we might want (because I seriously had no clue on this so far), we ended up finding and purchasing the most perfect light for this room–it echos the details on the sink and toilet we’ve picked out, came in brushed nickel, and was only $25 in store (website shows a higher price). Score!
Anyone want to place bets on what the week 4 tool purchase will be? I have a strong feeling a nail gun and compressor are now on the short list, but will we bite that bullet this week or wait a bit? Hmmm….