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Open Mic Night
Demolition Derby
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Dan
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:34 am    Post subject: Demolition Derby Reply with quote

Per Paul's request...

A couple months ago, the linoleum in my bathroom started bubbling up. Didn't sound like there was any water under it, though. Just a wooshy air sound. I figured it must've been from the heat wave we had just had, or something to that effect. I decided to replace it with tile when I got back from BC a couple weeks ago. Went to Lowes and picked out a dozen tile samples and decided on the combo I would go with ("matched" to the tiles on the walls, which is no longer relevant), then noticed the linoleum was starting to bubble worse. I figured I'd better open it up and make sure everything was kosher, and to my horror, the plywood was completely water logged and smelled like raw sewage! It surrounded the toilet area, extending out 1-3' in all directions. Uh-oh, better start digging in and see how extensive the damage is.

The further I got into it, the bigger the project became...

The plywood and pressed board flooring were completely soaked around the toilet and tub. I should have made more of it at the time, but when I did the crawl space insulation nearly two years ago, there was a minor wet spot under the bathroom that looked like it might just be drips from an iffy seal on the pipes down below. The bottom of the sub-floor and the joists looked fine at the time. But looking at the wood under the linoleum, I'm pretty sure the water damage has been doing its thing for a number of years.

When I removed the toilet, I expected to have to work against the wax seal a bit, but there was no seal at all. Just lifted right off. My best initial guess was that's where the leak was, but it might've also been from the shower or even plumbing in that corner of the wall.

As I dug through the plywood, I finally hit sub-floor and it was looking pretty bad.... Lots of rot, and worst of all, some of the rot extends under the tub. That meant the tub has to come out, but that was looking to be a near impossible task:

- solid cast iron behometh; probably will take 10 people to lift

- same width as the room, so I'm not even sure how to get it up on its end; no room to maneuver

- the tub and surrounding walls are all framed in by tile, which had to be busted out. That opened up ~2" of room width for tub maneuvering, but still not nearly enough.

(My friend Greg came up with the game saving suggestion of busting the tub up with a sledge hammer, as cast iron is strong but brittle. I must say, that was a rather fun stress reliever.)

I got the sink/counter out of there and wrestled with one small piece of plywood for hours -- it was a tough one, being wedged in under the built-in shelving unit. Judging from the way the rest of it's put together, they probably nailed it in along the edge and then covered the nails up with the shelving. The faux wall to the side of that shelving unit was attached to the studs with 4" nails throughout and extends under the lip (and behind the top) of the floor to ceiling shelving unit, and of course was nailed in from the front and inside of the shelves (nail heads covered up with plugs and filler)...

I busted the sink's p-trap trying to loosen the nut on one end. Couldn't take the twisting. Looks like it was close to dying on its own, though, so it's just as well I caught it. I've replaced all the old shutoff valves and some of the stainless braided lines. I was going to add shutoff valves for the shower, but it doesn't look like I'll have as much space as originally planned.

Turns out the water damage was 4 or 5-fold:

1) bad seal at the corner of the shower closest to the toilet

2) old damage in the wall from the drain pipe

3) no toilet wax seal

4) under the window, presumably from the soap holder recessed into the tile -- major exterior wall and stud damage.

5) the utility room is on the opposite side of the water-damage wall; I noticed the washer hot/cold taps have no overflow collection -- they just drain straight down into the bathroom wall!

Get this, the tile that covered about 80% of the bathroom walls consists of 3/8" tile over 3/4" cement over heavy chicken wire over two layers of 1/2" sheet rock! And the rest of the walls and ceiling are all wall papered... Crikey, that was tough to bust loose. Took seemingly endless sledge hammering, and boy do my hands feel it a week later.

The damaged sub-floor pieces all extend under the wall, which really sucks for getting all the rotted base sections removed. Took quite a while to cut out around all the pipes and wires (those not already sliced and diced, that is -- I accidentally cut through my dryer cable with the sawzall and got a nice puff of smoke and small explosion -- since fixed with a junction box and some new wiring), and to remove the base 2x6 from the studs, sub-floor boards, and footer board on the other side of the wall. I cut out the one really bad stud between the shower and toilet and removed one joist length of 4 of the sub-floor boards around the toilet.

Figuring out how to span 2 joists at minimum with the new floor boards was fun, with the new piece and the old piece coming together in the middle of a joist so each will be supported at its end. Had to cut out old stuff without damaging the piece being left behind, with nails situated right on the joists where I wanted to cut... Then there's the 45 degree angle the sub-floor boards are on, which makes measurements extremely complicated (I don't think I got any cut right on the 1st ... or 3rd try), not to mention all the drain lines and pipes they had to fit around and the surrounding floor boards and wall line they had to match up to.

How's this for an odd sized piece of wood: 3/4" x 7-3/8"? That's the size of the sub-floor boards. Darn 50 year old measurements. I got pretty lucky with scrap pieces lying around my house and a neighbor's. Fit just about perfect.

Did lots of L-brackets and various joist hangers to secure everything down below once assembled.

I twisted my knee pretty good pulling out a rusted nail. The head gave way and I spun around with my foot planted. I also managed to make my right big toe pretty sore from dropping about 300 lbs of cast iron tub on it.... My fingers and wrists all feel sprained and swollen. Hurts to make a fist and I've been dropping stuff left and right because I can't grip it...

Yesterday marked 7 days straight of work, and I was up till 4am pounding away (literally).

Today, I'm planning on removing the window and re-doing the surrounding framing, being careful to not have a load-bearing wall collapse on me... That would really suck at this stage of the project. Neutral

I'm also hoping to move the floor heat register up into the wall, assuming I can find the proper ducting. That'll make tiling a lot easier.

My new tub/shower unit is ordered and should be ready on Monday. Here's the one I went with:

http://www.fiberfab.com/prod.asp?ID=20

Looks to be extremely good quality. Made locally here in Gervais; great reputation. It'll be fun to get it assembled and installed in the room, being as there is no room to walk around it once in place to get to the bolts in the back and sides... I've also got 2" less end clearance than I was originally thinking for dropping it down into place, would could be a problem. Dimensions are listed as 59-5/8" L x 32" W x 23-5/8" D (the one I measured at the showroom looked like 59", but they call it 60"), and I only have 61.5" of room width to work with, 62.5" if I don't put the sheetrock in until the tub's in place (i.e. get the tub down on the floor, slide it out into the room, sheetrock behind where the tub will go, then slide it back into place). Otherwise, I'm just not sure I'll have enough room to angle it down from an upright position, although the drawing of the tub looks like it is rounded in the back corners, possibly for that purpose. I may have to go back out to Gervais and do some more measuring.

Dan

edited for typos...
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Last edited by Dan on Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:40 am; edited 2 times in total
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Micah Ward
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Joined: 08 May 2000
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Location: Hot&humid, GA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is an absolute nightmare!!!!

Is this a solo project or do you have someone helping full time? There is no way I would undertake something like that.
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Dan
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo. Rolling Eyes Although, my neighbor says he'll be around tomorrow (been out of town) and available to help all day. Hopefully, I'll be ready for some drywalling by then, but it doesn't look like I'll quite be able to keep that schedule.

The window is removed and more or less framed in. I'd still like to seal it up a bit better, but there's not much I can do without gutting more support (king) studs and removing exterior siding...

Today, back down to the crawl space to add some overflow drainage, brace up sub-flooring, and modify the heat ducting to come out of the wall instead of the floor. That and finish up window framing and maybe remove wallpaper from the ceiling. And make it to practice at 4 and hopefully get a shower in before then. I'm feeling ambitious...

Dan
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Paul
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is some story. And very impressive taking on a project like that. That shower unit looks like a nice piece of work. I hope you are using Green Board for sheet rock in the bath area and around the shower.
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Dan
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That shower unit looks like a nice piece of work.

I broke down and hired a plumber yesterday, upon realizing I had no idea how to disassemble some of the old stuff, let alone make it right. I opened up the phonebook and looked through the listings and liked the looks of "Guaranteed Plumbing." I dialed them up and just as the lady answers the phone, their truck drives by! Wierd. I've never seen one of their trucks before, and there it is... Drives by again and stops at my neighbor's place. I went over to see what was going on and ended up chatting with the guy and he came over to look at my stuff afterward (still charged me the service fee). Good guy, very professional, lots of experience ... but not cheap. Pretty much doubled the total cost of the project. Oh well, had to be done, and he vastly improved a lot of hokey old plumbing, including the crazy washer hookup that drained into the wall.

I showed him the shower I ordered, to go over fitment and water hookups and everything. I assumed he was familiar with Fiber-Fab, to which he said, "Definitely! They're the cadillac of tubs and showers." Good assurance. Thumbs Up

Also, I may have scored some free venison out of the deal...

Quote:
I hope you are using Green Board for sheet rock in the bath area and around the shower.

Yep. Just picked up 4 sheets of it this morning (I swapped cars with my neighbor for the day, so I've got the truck), but it just ocurred to me I may need twice that much, so I'm off to Lowe's again to get more...

Dan
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Paul
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing this right is definitely going to add value to your house. Thumbs Up
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but after doing all this, there's no way I'm selling it. Rolling Eyes

Dan
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got some pictures up now, documenting the mayhem:

http://run-down.com/house/

Tub is scheduled to arrive today. That's holding up any further work on putting things back together.

Dan
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Indeurr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Solo. Rolling Eyes Although, my neighbor says he'll be around tomorrow (been out of town) and available to help all day. Hopefully, I'll be ready for some drywalling by then, but it doesn't look like I'll quite be able to keep that schedule.

The window is removed and more or less framed in. I'd still like to seal it up a bit better, but there's not much I can do without gutting more support (king) studs and removing exterior siding...

Today, back down to the crawl space to add some overflow drainage, brace up sub-flooring, and modify the heat ducting to come out of the wall instead of the floor. That and finish up window framing and maybe remove wallpaper from the ceiling. And make it to practice at 4 and hopefully get a shower in before then. I'm feeling ambitious...

Dan


___Solo . . . I would try to look at it from a more positive perspective -- you are building up your upper body strength.

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Dan
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said I wasn't looking at it from a positive perspective? Confused

Dan
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like it is slowly coming together. BTW, do you have another bathroom or do you have to take care of your necessaries at the school? Laughing
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Conway
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just impressed that a distance runner type individual would do so much hard labor ... Wink ... But the place looks nice !!!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got what is affectionately known as the half-ass half bath ... cuz that's all you can fit in it. I've been taking a shower over at the neighbors' every few days.

Conway, uh ... thanks. Neutral

Dan
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Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you are engaged in this project, are you giving any thought to replacing the water heater with that new technology model you were thinking about last year?? Echoing Conway's and Micah's remarks, nice pics!!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to go tankless on-demand, and I talked to the plumber about it last week, but to do it right will probably cost more than the total bathroom project, and I can barely afford that as it is...

I just sent a rather heated note to Fiber-Fab over the completely non-existant installation instructions and apparent requirement for me to weld the $#@!ing thing together despite it supposedly being fully assembled. Absolutely no clue how the spout gets attached. They tried faxing me the missing instructions earlier, but the copy was too faint to read and the copy they were supposedly emailing me hasn't arrived yet. I told them I paid for a "plumbed" kit and expected to have it ready to put together ... they owe me either a huge apology, a partial refund (to cover the extra equipment I'll have to buy or the cost of paying someone to do it), or a full refund and take the whole piece of s$@! back. I'll go buy an inferior product from someone else rather than deal with much more of this crap. I'm extremely frustrated right now and all torn up from wrestling with fiberglass.

We'll see if they're as good as their reputation...

Dan
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