Weekend Work

I snuck away for a quick overnighter to Hood on Friday, but had to get back to my weekend work Saturday morning. For the past 4 weekends I’ve been remodeling a bathroom in our house.

One thing I’ve noticed in how I work is that I tend to be too precise. And it *always* bites me in the ass. For example, the 4x post with the tape measure sitting on it is the end of a half wall enclosing a walk-in shower. As it’s a half wall that will be tiled, it can’t flex…at all. So the post is bolted through joist into the basement and then blocked and nailed on each side with 2×6 framing. It’s solid. I drilled out 3 holes in the post: 1 at the bottom (to rotate it plumb) and 2 above (to fix the location), an upside down triangle pattern. I used the drill press to make sure the 3/8ths holes were perfectly straight through the post – I find it impossible to hand drill in a straight line. Then I clamped the post to the joist, used the level to make sure it was level and plumb, then penciled the corresponding drill holes on the joist.

Sounds good, right? So the bolts are also 3/8ths. Precision. Perfect fit. I drilled the joist and then bolted the post through. it was off by nearly 20 degrees. Totally not plumb. I had to take everything off and check the holes through the joist. It was as if some gremlin moved the post when I was drilling. I have no idea how that happened. Lesson: if you have a 3/8ths bolt, drill the hole to 1/2 inch to give yourself some wiggle room. There was no way it was all going to line up with precision. Not with rough framing.

The plan is to have a curbless walk-in shower (72×36), so the subfloor has to be at the level of the joists to allow the slope from the highest floor grade to the drain. I’m almost finished lowering the subfloor and blocking under the shower to support the weight of the tile.

Next is to build the back shower wall (8 feet 4 inches to the ceiling), finish the half-wall. Then plumbing (toilet is moving), electrical, insulation and rock on the walls, finally tile, sink, toilet install. It’s slow going working alone but the most difficult parts are finished. Demo’ing anything in an old house is like digging up dirt – it expands at least 50% when it comes off the walls.

Should be a nice guest bathroom when finished.

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