1980's Master Bath Reno-Permits & Hiccups

Thursday, February 9, 2023

We are four weeks into this reno, but technically only four days of work.  When I tell you there have been hiccups...oh man.  However, this bit of progress I love.

To remind you, this is the design plan/mood board.

To start the project, demo was done on day 1 and 2.  Plumbing was rerouted to hook up to the new tub and vanity, and the vanity lights and outlets were moved over the new, smaller vanity on days 2 and 3.  When I went to schedule the inspection, I realized I needed to have the electrical and plumbing contractors submit affidavits to the county.  That took over a week to get uploaded to the system and get the inspections scheduled.  This closed out my week I had with my tile contractor and he wouldn't be able to come back for another month.  Rookie mistake. 

Along the way there have been other hiccups. During removal of the pump for the jetted tub, water leaked out and wet the ceiling below.  So we had this unexpected damage to repair. 

An issue I anticipated was having to remove parts of the door frame to get the bathtub in the room.  The doorways to all the bathrooms here are only 23" wide. (Why???)  I couldn't find a freestanding tub that would fit.  The tub I found was 23.5" wide, and I was hoping the door stop trim could be removed without causing too much damage.  But the doorway is busted up pretty bad.  

On the bright side...hello beautiful tub!   It isn't here to stay just yet, but the plumber wanted to make sure he got the placement right for the faucet and drain.

The initial rough inspection of both the plumbing and electrical happened several weeks ago.  Plumbing passed, but electrical did not.   My 1980s bathroom/house is wired with 14 gauge wire and a 15 amp breaker.  Code now requires that bathroom outlets be wired with 12 guage wire on a 20 amp breaker.  I tell you, I am LEARNING so much on this project, lol!  So the bathroom circuit has to be completely rewired.  All this because I moved a couple of outlets over 18".  Yikes, if I had only known, I'm not certain I would have moved those outlets.  This has been the most frustrating hiccup in the project.

What else?  The plywood underlayment was only 3/8" thick, so new plywood needed to be added.  The old mortar and mesh flooring that was removed required adding a couple of layers of durock to bring them back up to original height.  And the floors were unlevel needing a layer of concrete(?) to level them back out.  At the end of which the floors are higher now than the original floor was.  No big deal except now I am pretty sure the bathroom door(s) will have to be cut down to fit back on the hinges. 

Just typing this all up is stressing me out again, lol.  Good news is work resumed this week.  In between then and now, my tile guy came back and put in the initial layer of plywood and durock.  I primed the walls and trim and started installing vertical shiplap a few weeks ago because the multiple colors, old wallpaper, and holes in the wall were driving me crazy and making the bathroom look incredibly hopeless, lol.  I only did two walls so far, to visualize how it would look from the doorway.  Just having that small bit of progress made all the difference in the wait!

 (a bit of progress)

(Demo day view)

Work resumed this week, so I will be back with tile work next.  Looking forward to having the electrical work completed too.

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1980's Master Bath Reno-Design and Demo

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Hey, it's been a minute, right? Here we are in 2023, and we're finally starting our master bath reno.  If you had told me in 2016 that we would be nearly seven years later renovating this bath, I would have said "No way!"  It's exciting but has also required a lot of decisions and patience.  A couple of months ago I nailed down my design plans into a a mood board.

I've been dreaming of what I would do to this space for seven years.  Originally I thought we would keep the vanity, but changed my mind on that over the years.  I always dreamed of a freestanding tub underneath that window, but had a difficult time finding a plumber that would move the plumbing without opening up the ceiling below.  We almost started the reno back in 2020, but Covid had gotten back up to a level where it didn't seem safe to invite strangers into your home.  But finally this year we started work.  This is what the space looked like before demo began.

What I love about this room is its size, the amount of natural light it gets thru two windows, and the separate tub/shower.  It also has a nice sized linen-closet.  I do wish that it had a separate WC, but I appreciate that it at least has the wall to provide some privacy.  

In October of last year I started ordering materials and told myself there will be hiccups, but everything is figure-out-able.   I've chosen to act as my own general contractor, pulled the permit, and hired trades to get the work done.   Work started on January 2nd and by day two, this is what we were working with.  OYE!

Already there have been hiccups, but I think setting my expectation that there would be some made them feel less overwhelming.  They have NOT been the hiccups I expected.  Since I've had a bit of space to think about them, honestly I guess they're not so bad.  My fear was that we would discover some horrible leak or rot underneath the shower or tub.  Nope!  Or some termite damage or rot in the walls.  Nope! The actual hiccups have been one of my own making, and one from a failed inspection, and one from the doorway size.  The work has been paused for a month because of one of the hiccups.  The good news is demo is done and I actually started a DIY project while I have been waiting for work to resume.  But I will be back to share more about that!

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