November 25, 2009

1810 Bathroom Part 2 - New Tub and Some Drywall

I spent the past few days working on swapping in the new tub and hanging some of the drywall. I owe a big thank you to Lon and Elise, and Laura and Lex for all of the help with the bigger stuff. I'm also very thankful that Denise next door has been very understanding about the noise, I hope it hasn't been too bad.

Here are some pictures of the progress.

I took the sawzall to the old tub and pulled it out in a few pieces.

Above you can see the tub is out and the outer wall has new insulation. The old tub leaked so the insulation behind it was pretty nasty and needed to be replaced.

There was a floor joist directly below where the drain would normally go so I had to get creative with some PVC fittings and bend the drain along the contour of the tub so it would fit.

The shared wall of the duplex had a layer of insulation board behind the old drywall. I decided to just use two layers of drywall. Here Lex is helping hang the sheet that goes behind the tub and shower.

Once everything was ready I called Lon to come over and help set the tub. After a few test runs to make sure everything would fit we mixed up 60lbs of morter and piled it onto the subfloor where the tub would go. We then pressed the tub into the mortar so that the floor of the tub is basically supported by cement.

Here you can see some more creative PVC work to connect the drain. You can also see how bad the ceiling was from all the past leaks.

Since we had to remove the old shower valve to get the tub in place I soldered a shutoff valve on the cold line so we could fill the tub with water (458lbs worth) to press it down into the mortar bed.

The next day I put in the new shower valve. It took two attempts because I didn't tighten the cold inlet tight enough...I hate threaded fittings, especially when they are behind a wall.

With the new shower valve in place I could finally install the shower surround. Before I screwed everything in place I took it for a test run and then pulled the right panel back off to double check for leaks on the shower valve, everything looked good so I put it back together and screwed it in.

Tuesday it was finally nice outside so I decided it was a good day to cut a hole in the roof.

Here is the vent that should have been installed about 29 years ago. This along with the new fan will eliminate all the moisture problems I had in the old bathroom.

I then switched gears and started hanging the drywall around the top of the shower. I decided to use furring strips behind the drywall so that I could go right over the nailing flange of the tub/shower. This will save all the effort of having to fill that gap with mud later on...and all the worrying about whether or not its going to crack in a few years.

Here is a close up showing the drywall over the nailing flange. When I tape and mud all I will have to do is fill the small gap and then after the walls are painted I'll run a bead of silicone along the joint to keep any moisture out of the wall.

November 20, 2009

1810 Bath Remodel Part One - Demolition

The 1810 full bath remodel is now underway. I started removing fixtures and tearing out drywall Monday 11/16/09. The 1808 full bath remodel started in December of 07 and ended about 5 months later in April of 08. This time I'm shooting for 3 months :)

The picture above shows the bathroom before. There are 3 main issues driving the need to tear this all out. First, the bath fan is not vented anywhere so there is no way to remove moisture from the bathroom which leads to mold and mildew. Second, the wash cloth bar broke off of the shower enclosure leaving 2 holes where it was previously mounted. I temporarily sealed these off but its not a great fix so a new tub/shower is really needed to keep the water wear it belongs long term. Finally, its ugly and outdated and a new bath will make the place a lot easier to rent when I finally move out.

The picture above shows the messy process of tearing out the drywall. I tore out 3 of the walls first and then was able to stand on the pile of drywall to work on the ceiling.

A big part of the reason these projects take so long is that I only have a few hours a night to work on this stuff and then I have to clean it up so I can use the shower the next day. This picture shows the result after the first day.

Wednesday I removed the vanity and toilet and pulled down all the drywall and insulation board from the shared wall. I then sweat some shutoff valves on the sink supply lines so I could turn the water back on and put the light fixture back up temporarily.

This weekend I'm hoping to swap in the new tub and also put the vent in the roof for the exhaust fan.

November 16, 2009

Random Projects

I haven't posted in awhile so I thought I'd put together and update of what I've been doing lately. As I mentioned in my last post the 1808 half of the duplex went up for rent Labor day weekend. After showing the place to quite a few interesting people I finally found a great tenant and signed a lease on October 17th and the new tenant moved in the following week. With that chapter finally closed I've had some time to work on a few smaller projects.

I spent a weekend pretending to be an electrician...the majority of the fixtures in the duplex are controlled by at least two switches and somewhere along the line someone decided that dimmer switches were really cool and replaced all a bunch of the 3-ways and 4-ways with standard dimmers. After digging into it and realizing how messed up it was I was absolutely amazed that it worked at all and hadn't electrocuted anyone. I put in a few new 3-ways and a new 4-way and can now actually control the lights from every switch...amazing concept :) While I was screwing around with that I figured I might as well add a few outlets in the garage since there was only the one.

I also spent a few days working on my beauty of a snowblower...

Its a 1971 or 1972 Gilson (Montgomery Ward Branded) 26" two stage that I picked up for free last winter. The lady was trying to sell it for $100 but after looking at it I told her I'd she just told me to take it. It ran great but the drive mechanism failed the 3rd time I used it so I tore it apart with some help from this website and found that the friction wheel was toast.

I replaced the friction wheel and cleaned all the crud off the platter and that did the trick, it cruises in all 3 speeds now. Since it actually worked again I figured I'd better give it some TLC, I changed the oil, put a few shots of grease in all the fittings, Lubed up the chute, topped off the auger gearbox with oil, and lubed and adjusted all the control linkages. Its still rusty and pretty beat up but hopefully I can limp this beast along for a few years until I can find a good deal on solid older John Deere.

I took a whack at broom balancing after being inspired by an email from Cory.

My broom was pretty beat up so it took me awhile to get it to stand, but It was pretty darn cool when it worked.

Laura's laptop stopped charging so I ended up completely disassembling it and replacing the DC power jack...only to find out that it wasn't just the bad connector.

It took me about an hour and a half to get it taken apart the first time and I was amazed at flimsy all the individual pieces were. After replacing the connector it worked a bit better but still wouldn't charge reliably so she ended up buying a new laptop the next day. Ah well at least it was fun to take apart :)

I finally ordered parts to build a new computer to use as a storage server and to also run MythTV so that when I do actually watch TV I can watch something I actually want to see instead of suffering through whatever happens to be on the limited channels I get with the antenna. Here is what I built:

Motherboard: ECS GF8200A - Not the latest motherboard but it has an HDMI Output and integrated graphics that will support 1080P video playback even in linux.

Processor: AMD Athlon II 2.6GHz Quad Core - Best bang for the buck right now, tons of power and only $99.

RAM: 4 Gigs of DDR2 1066 - Probably more than I need for a server but there is no reason to go with less.

Hard Drive: Samsung EcoGreen 1.5TB - Tons of space and lower power, perfect for a server.

TV Tuner Card: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 - Dual ATSC tuners so I can record/watch two shows at once. It is theoretically supported in linux...

The system is setup and working, storing files on my network and recording shows off the antenna and playing them back over the HDMI cable to my TV upstairs. The only issue I have to figure out yet is that the driver for the TV tuner flakes out once in awhile and writes error messages to my system many errors that the log file fills up the entire 30gig OS partition and grinds the system to a halt which is somewhat inconvenient. This is apparently not a common problem so I'm sure I just messed up the driver isntall somehow...I'll have to figure that out at some point.

Now that I've finished up most of these little random projects I'm getting ready to start ripping out and rebuilding the full bath in 1810. Stay tuned for pictures and updates on that as things progress.