Category Archives: bath

Notes, 15-16 July 2015

  • Draw 1 update. After weeks of delay, it looks like the wire transfer payment to Ranserve will take place 17 July, paid by the Leons from funds on deposit for this purpose at South Star Bank SSB — but only after a wire transfer of additional funds by the Leons into the account at South Star, as demanded requested by South Star. For months, Steven has made clear that the Leons are responsible for and will pay the difference between the contract price of the remodel, the funds on deposit at the bank, and the loan amount approved by the bank. South Star finally caught up with the math. Now that the payment gears are turning, we move on with getting the house remodeled, finished, and the Leons moved into it.
  • Draw 2. The irony is, Kathleen at Ranserve reports that the second draw paperwork is forthcoming, probably 17 July.
  • Medicine cabinets. The medicine cabinets with integrated LED lighting arrived via FedEx ground from Lighted Image. The LED-7 model — two for bath 2, Jadin’s bath, and one for the mudroom bath. The LED-12 model — two for the master bath.
  • Countertops. Steven and Jacquela approved the addition to the countertop quote from Austin Stone Works of a quartz backsplash at the kitchen sink to match the quartz countertop, and quartz shelving for use in the master bath in the shower and behind the vanity. Kathleen at Ranserve warns us that we have now busted the countertop budget by $8.68, plus some amount in “overhead & profit” to Ranserve for processing this change. Every dollar counts …
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Structural engineering and plumbing

With the house down to studs, it’s time to map framing changes with the structural engineer, Ben Feldt from Feldt Consulting Engineers, and the plumber, Barry Samsel from Custom Plumbing Services.

Plumbing needs chases for pipes — waste, hot and cold water supplies, venting stacks — with enough vertical height to ensure the 1/4+-inch slope required by code.

Ron needs Ben to spec the locations and sizes for the chases.

Ben confirmed we can take out the non-loadbearing wall between the kitchen and family room, to create a “Great Room.” He will properly size the beam that will replace the undersized beam between the family and living rooms — the beam that is visibly deflecting under the second-floor loads. He will size beams for the ceiling in order to properly move the rabbit-warren of walls in what will become Jadin’s bath, aka “bath 2.” He will spec beams and studs elsewhere in the house to fix structural issues — at the back door and windows in the family room, in the master bedroom and the kitchen ceiling under the master bedroom, and elsewhere.

We knew the house needed these fixes. There are no surprises. We did our homework in the planning and discussion phase for this remodel. And we went spelunking, opening up holes in the drywall to confirm our suspicions, drawing the changes into the plans with Brett the architect and Michelle, keeper of all things budget at Ranserve.

From left, Barry, Ron, Ben and Jorge Santiago (from Feldt) talk through and sketch structural changes to the ceiling over the living room.
In bath 2, figuring out where to insert beams to carry loads.
In bath 2, using the LED light of a smartphone to figure out where to insert beams to carry loads. Yes, there is an app for that … Jorge at left, Ben in the middle, Ron at right.
Barry and Ron. This may be Steven's favorite photo of the remodel, so far. The lighting makes it look and feel reminiscent of a Renaissance painting.
Barry and Ron. This may be Steven’s favorite photo of the remodel, so far. The lighting makes it look and feel reminiscent of a Renaissance painting.
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How to not cut structure when remodeling a bath, continued …

DSC_9958With insulation removed it’s now possible to see just how badly the structure was cut when the upstairs bathrooms were remodeled sometime during the life of this house.

At left, the blocking was turned sideways and cut to shreds. At right, the blocking was cut by half. In the middle, the blocking is, well, holed beyond integrity. And the ceiling beams are compromised.

Building code today prohibits this.

Steven is thinking that taking the house down to stud is a smart decision.


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CPI: Plumbing fixtures

CPI is not the Consumer Price Index.

When it comes to remodeling, CPI is the acronym for Critical Path Items — the decisions that must be made or everything else cascades to failure and delay.

Today’s assignment from Ranserve is to finalize the plumbing fixtures — toilets, showers, shower heads, sinks, drains, faucets, etc.

Steven met today with Jonell Speak at Ferguson to go over every item in four pages of fixtures previously selected during three meetings in person with Jonell and Jacquela, and countless email messages with Jonell and her assistant Herb.

Ranserve, the plumber and Jacquela are now triple-checking all that work.

Jonell would not allow Steven to photograph her to document the two-hour meeting. She did allow this shot of her desk.


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How to not cut joists when remodeling a bathroom

With the ceiling in the living room down, we now know why the second floor moves when you walk it. It appears that bath 3 and the master bath upstairs were remodeled at some point in the history of the house — and too much “meat” was cut out of the structure of the house. The joists are severely compromised.

We’re calling in the structural engineer to determine how to best “sister” in new joists to hold the original lumber together and strengthen the second floor. The plumber is also going to have to fix this mess of pipe.

DSC_9733 DSC_9734 DSC_9735

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Shower/tub kits vs. custom

We’ve been debating custom showers/tubs vs. kits.

I did the math yesterday with Michelle, budget czar at Ranserve.

Using round numbers and bath 2, shower only, as the example:

Custom pan, including mudding $800
Labor, floor pan, estimated at $7 psf $150
Labor, tile the walls, estimated at $12 psf $983
Tile for floor, estimated at $6.50 psf $800
Tile for walls, estimated at $6.50 psf $700
Total, estimated $3,433

Requires backerboard and Redguard waterproofing, included, because this is something Ranserve has done before.

Kohler Groove pan, 60×32, left hand drain, mudding not needed $414
Kohler Choreograph wall kit, 60x32x96, corners included $734
Kohler 9-inch shower locker, aka soap/shampoo shelves $206
Estimated labor to install $700
Total, estimated $2,054

Still requires backerboard and waterproofing, included in “estimated labor to install.” Ranserve has not built a solid-surface shower kit before, which means there is a learning curve.

Today, at Emerald Hill, Ron and I rolled out a plan set on the back of his truck and talked through all the product options.

He’s opting to research construction methods and product specs with Ferguson, the supply house. And we will circle back.

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