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Renovation Feature Creep

posted Feb 3, 2012, 6:31 AM by Michael Dekker   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 6:18 AM ]
Original vanityOriginal entrance to bathroomFeature creep is not just something that happens to computer projects. It can happen to home renovation projects as well. I remember those old woodworking shows, This Old House I believe, that had the famous "Ya might as well" line sprinkled throughout.

Original toilet area
So the idea was to simply redo the bathroom: new tub, new sink, new cabinets and countertop. Add to that new tile, and you have a nice, shiny, new bathroom.

Original bath/shower
The image to the right shows the view in the bathroom doorway. The old vinyl floor, yellow melamine countertop, and a relatively impractical counter with limited storage (left image). The painting job was just done a couple of years ago, and I would like to keep that, and the fish are just stick-on for ambience.

The tub and toilet are likewise dated, with a powdered yellow motif. It's all got to go!

So of course the demolition begins by removing the major fixtures (sink, toilet) then a bit of demolition for the countertop. So far, so good. Then comes the floor...

The demolition begins
The floor was one layer of vinyl over what looked like actual linoleum (early 1960 house). Once that was up, I used the circular saw to start cutting up the floorboards, and discovered that the floor had already undergone some prior renovation. No big problem... so I keep working...

Area under the bathtub
The original shower wall
The tub was enameled cast iron, and must have weighed nearly 300 pounds! To get the tub disconnected from the drain (all copper piping, even the 1-1/2" waste), I had to cut an access panel in the small wall that holds the taps etc. Another
Floor rot
un-desired hole in a finished wall I would have liked to keep intact. But anyway, under the piping for the tub, I found a fair amount of rot. No, let me be honest... there was alot of rot. So the wall that I made the nice neat access hatch has to come down. I have by now decided to remove the ENTIRE bathroom floor and replace with new. That way it will be nice and level, strong, reinforced, and will not have cracked tiles. The left image is what the floor looked like at the entrance. The 2x4 that held up that mini wall was totally rotted, and could have been removed with a toothpick.

Wall mould behind the old tub
Well, that is all for now. I have to offload some images from the camera to show you the rest of the progress. It's exciting, because I'm almost ready to... no, that'll have to wait until tomorrow (or the day after) when I can take some time to post an update.

And let me know what you think!