Thursday, October 25, 2018

Master Bathroom Stall Shower

With the roof all ready for the "wet season," the next most urgent project was the leaky stall shower in the master bathroom. This was not something that I was looking forward to, but it had to be tackled before we could move on to the more enjoyable projects.

The bathroom -  and a few other parts of the house, unfortunately - have been victim to an over enthusiastic amateur tile installer. While the choice of patterns and colors is not one I would have made (not without a gun to my head, anyway), what we have is mostly functional and therefore here to stay for the time being.

The problem with the shower was one of installation. The full length tile at the shower stall and at the floor was okay, apart from a few elementary errors with the layout, but the tile at the plinth had been installed in what is best described as a U-shape. In other words, not flat or regularly sloped as is standard practice, but sloping inwards such that a trough is created along the entire plinth. The end result is that water running off the shower door pools in the trough at the plinth...before seeping through to the basement. Less than ideal, let's put it that way.

As with several of the preceding posts, I don't have many before photos, mainly due to being in such a goddamn rush to get stuff done. I do have one photo of the plinth which I took to the tile store at the start of the project.

Another reason for the lack of photos is how messy/dusty this project was. OMG! After I cut off the top row of tiles with a diamond encrusted cutting wheel (we call it "the scheming wheel of death for a reason), I found damaged cement board underneath, so that was pulled out too.

The timber framing around which the plinth was actually constructed was very well secured, but was sloped in the opposite to ideal direction! I actually ended up correcting this with a hammer and chisel. The next photo is a ways into the project. I've got the timber frame sorted out and I've installed a rubber membrane over the framing...and cleaned up a LOT of dust.

Fitted and installed the first pieces of cement board with the correct fasteners...

All joints were tapped...

I put a layer of thin-set over the cement board, working plenty of mortar into the taped joints. I then let it cure for 24 hours before installing a second layer of cement board on top to compensate for the reduced height of the framing (plus more tape and more thin-set). It came out like this:

I got some eight inch square tiles from All Natural Stone in Berkeley which were complimentary to what we already had, and I cut them into suitable sized pieces with my wet saw and installed them on top of the cement board. The tile adhesive was slightly too viscous, so I had to wedge the tiles with a piece of plywood to stop them sliding off the plinth.

The replacement tiles were grouted and the grout was sealed.

Re-installing the glass panel enclosure and the door, and getting it all lined up and making the door swing correctly is something I never want to have go through again...ever!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Up On the Roof

We moved at the end of the summer, but by the time the attic was done, it was getting towards the end of the year - and some quick roof repairs were top of the agenda. The roof is in just-about-okay shape mostly, but the ridge shingles were in a mess.

The ridge shingles were basically toast.

Vent pipes and flashings were corroded.

The flashing at the chimney was lifted.

Not to mention an obsolete satellite dish.

Started by tearing off the old ridge shingles.

Installed some new ones.

Took a quick break...

This bit is later...

All done!

Re-painted the vent pipes and flashings

Re-sealed the chimney flashing and painted it

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Boarding Out the Attic

So, onto the attic then? It's probably fair to say that most people, when they move into a new house, don't immediately think about boarding out the attic. But then most people don't have the amount of "stuff" that we do. And anyway, we've never been most people.

The attic, in it's unmolested state, certainly had some positives: For a start it was huge, and it was fully insulated with good quality fiberglass material. It also remains one of the few attic spaces where I've yet to discover any rodent scat. Still, the small access hatch was located at the top of the basement stairwell and there were no floorboards anywhere in the attic.

Not to mention a pair of asbestos-coated flues to deal with...

I called in the cavalry over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2017 and we spent the first morning carving a suitable hole in the hallway ceiling to accommodate my flashy pull-down ladder. I chopped out the joists with a combination of the circular saw (first bit) and and oscillating tool (last bit) and I cut the joists about 1½ inches beyond the opening in the ceiling. The lighting cable running through the middle made it all a bit more complicated.

We're committed now...

Framed around the new opening with some 2" x 6" lumber which I installed with the awesome DeWalt cordless nail gun I bought specially for this project.

We spent the next several days and more parts of weekends than I care to remember boarding out the entire attic with ½ inch OSB sheeting which we installed with 1½ inch drywall screws. There was a lot of trimming to make the boards fit around various obstacles and a lot of shimming because the floor joists were not uniform. Fortunately I had a LOT of help :)

Always wear protective clothing

Heineken refreshers the parts other's can't reach.

We finished up by installing some pre-primed trim around the opening which covered up my slightly jagged original cuts.

After the boarding was done, I installed a bunch of antiquated florescent strip lights which were most recently installed in the shed at our last house. I think this is the fourth (and hopefully final!) time I've wired them in somewhere.

We also installed a thermostatically controlled extractor fan at the gable end...

...and made it so both bathroom extractor fans actually vent to the exterior rather than to the attic space.

This is how the attic looked after we started filling it up

Both the asbestos coated flues were wrapped in foil tape to encapsulate the material.

Painted the attic hatch and trim

Filled in the old opening at the top of the basement stairwell.

I had to re-texture the whole of the stairwell ceiling to hide the repair.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Welcome to the Garage

The last house was nice, but it didn't have a garage. This one does. Nothing special on first appearance though.

First job was to fill it with boxes, bicycles etc...

And my toolbox. It's the closest I got to a big Marshall Stack.

This is about two months later

Then the 68 came back from storage!

Looking good, under the hood :)

Bought myself a new garage clock.

To be continued....