3 min read

Holding pattern

Holding pattern
The second floor bathtub surround has been stripped away, revealing more layers of architectural archeology. The apparent "tile" on the back wall is really grooved and painted plaster.

In my last post, I observed, "Contracting schedules are inchworms. The middle part has to rise up before the front can push forward and the back can be pulled along."

And here we are.

I expected more framing and electrical work today, but both sets of subs contacted me this morning to let me know they were running into problems (having nothing to do with our job) that were going to keep them away from 615. I was understanding, of course. Like them, I am self-employed and I get that sometimes your workday doesn't go as you're anticipating. (For example, instead of spending the day cleaning up plaster knocked down by electricians, I transcribed interviews for the book I'm working on.)

Still, I have a few updated photos to share with you. Above and below you see the stripped-down second floor bathroom.

Here's how it looked before we started:

You may recall we had only intended cosmetic fixes here – including replacing the drop-down ceiling above the tub with drywall and replacing the thick plastic faux-marble panels with tile.

But then we discovered the plumbing needed total replacement, there was no moisture barrier in the walls around the tub, and the ventilation fan was not up to code. So, it's basically a near-complete bathroom renovation project now.

The plumbing is done. The tub, which was reglazed and is good condition, will stay. Across from the tub, there will be a new vanity and medicine cabinet, with sconces around the cabinet.

Where the toilet was, we'll either reinstall the old toilet (which is pretty new and working) or a new toilet, depending on what we decide about the old toilet's efficiency. A new ventilation fan with a light will be installed above the shower/tub, and it will be on its own switch instead of being, as it is now, on the same switch as the two overhead lights.

The tub/shower surround will get a proper moisture barrier installed on the walls and then will be covered in fresh tile. The floor will also be covered with fresh tile.

We haven't picked out the tile yet but it will be something to complement the tub. I'm still inclined to go with blue since the tub doesn't really read "gold" so much as "arts and crafts mustard yellow." But brown, grey, or even some colorful combo could also work. I'm sure Lisa will pick out something terrific.

In the kitchen, yesterday the framers removed the last of the extraneous boards from the kitchen ceiling.

You may recall that, with the new second-floor plumbing tucked up into the old ceiling, we'll be able to bring the new drywall ceiling for the kitchen all the way up to the level of the old plaster. So, everything hanging down beyond that level – including some old non-structure 2x4's – had to be removed.

Next step there: the electricians come (hopefully Friday) and string wires for the razor ceiling lights that will be the chief source of illumination in the kitchen. That's when lots of plaster will come down in the kitchen.

In the first-floor back space, the framer has made good progress on the wall that essentially divides the new bathroom from the bedroom/office area:

The two openings look big because there will be pocket doors set into each of those. On the left will be the sliding door that leads from the back space vestibule to the bedroom/office. That door will make it easy to get from the bedroom/office to the bathroom. On the right will be the sliding door for the new closet in the bedroom/office. We will be using doors salvaged from this area of the house.

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