Thursday, February 25, 2010

Updates and Setback last weekend we finished installing the bamboo floor and installed the bathroom and bedroom 6-panel solid pine doors. We were feeling pretty good about the progress. I stained the doors on Monday. Helped Anthony replace some outlets on Tuesday.

Then Wednesday my cousin - "A Better Handyman" came in to finish what the plumber seemed to have forgotten. The plumber said he would be in last Friday to install the sink and toilet. Friday comes and he doesn't show up. He doesn't answer my 5 phone calls on Friday or my phone call on Saturday. Either something has happened to him or he just doesn't want to talk to me anymore.

So...About 10AM my wife calls and says "There is water coming in the recessed lighting". My boss allowed me to go home and take care of the disaster.

First off...I am happy about 2 things:
  1. We took pictures of the rough plumbing
  2. We have flat ceilings

A picture taken after the water stopped "flowing". This isn't the "rainforest" option on the recessed lighting unfortunately. And these fixtures aren't rated for water :(

Me cutting the "access panel" where the tee joint was. I knew where the only place the leak could be was the tee joint where the cold water was split to go to the toilet and the sink.

Also, there is no way that I am pulling up the tile floor or the bamboo floor, so I am getting at this leak from the ceiling in the downstairs living room.

I looked at this picture and I can see that we are between the 2nd and 3rd stud for the sink drain. And the 2nd and 3rd joist for the Drain Wye. This is the same spot that the cold water is split off for the sink and toilet (unfortunately, we don't have a picture of that).

So...the joists and studs are 16" OC (On-Center), so we are between 16 and 32" from the LVL beam downstairs and the stair wall. I measure 24" in both directions and make a mark on my ceiling downstairs. I then mark 8" from that mark in both directions so I will have a 16" wide cut-out. Then I pull the recessed lighting can down that was leaking and find the closest furring strips (where the drywall attaches to). I mark a line between 2 furring strips. This gives me a 16" x 16" access panel.

I take my Dremel Multimax and make my cut. Pull the piece down and see the joint. It doesn't look wet, so I turn the water back on and immediately hear "It's leaking". So I guess we know that it leaks from there.

This is after I made my first disconnect. I pull the piece off and notice that it is a "Watts" Tee Joint that they sell at Lowe's. This is the same type of the one that I had a problem with when installing my outside spigot and had a leak problem. I curse the thing and the plumber for using it and head to Home Depot for the Shark Bite Tee Joint as I have never had a problem with those.

Of course my local Home Depot is out of Stock for the 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" Tee Joint. I have them check surrounding stores and find one that has it that is about 20 minutes away. Head there, pick it up, head home and have the piece installed in about 2 minutes. Turn the water back on and life is good.

Leave the plaster/drywall down for about 30 minutes to see if were getting any leaks (left the water at full pressure). None, so I reattach the plaster, tape the seams and put my first coat on.

Today I put my 2nd coat on at lunch and tonight I will do my 3rd and last coat. Then prime and paint tomorrow and it will be like we never had a leak...other than the $25 wasted in parts and $50 worth of time wasted by "A Better Handyman". Not to mention that I had to take an entire day off from work.

Overall, not a huge setback, but we have our first showing on Sunday, so we have some hustling this week (esp Saturday).

The mess. The insulation absorbed 80-90% of the water which kept the drywall from getting saturated.

The "Access Panel" and recessed lighting. I could have reused the recessed lighting fixture if I hadn't damaged the mounting clips while removing it. My walls are 1" veneer plaster and the fixtures are designed for 1/2" or 5/8" drywall, so they are a little precarious to get installed on a 1" thick surface.

I have left 3 messages with the plumber and called numerous more times than that. Looks like I may have to escalate this, but we will give him a week to get back to me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More progress.

This is really my favorite part of building...the finish work. It makes the most impact as well as you feel like you are actually accomplishing something and you are that much closer to a check mark in the finished column.

Here are the built-in dressers painted. The last knob went missing for awhile - got to love toddlers :). We have found it and installed it since taking this picture.

Bed finish trim is complete. There is a junction box in there (hence the blank faceplate). This feeds Keira's room.

Bathroom molding partially installed. This is so the plumber can install the toilet and sink. We are trying to finish this as quickly as possible, so that's why I am bringing in the big guns. It would take me 3-4x as long to install them. One less thing for me to do...and I don't enjoy plumbing, so I am OK with that.

Flooring in the landing has been completed. It is natural horizontal bamboo. I covered it up with red rosin paper to protect it which is why you don't see a fully completed picture.

That last piece of bamboo was very tricky to install. Since the walls are off about 1/2" from one to the other, I had to rip down the bamboo and put a new tongue in it.

It proved difficult to cut because I was tapering my cuts. When cutting it, I must have moved it away from the saw because it wasn't straight. So I had to recut it. That time it was better.

I also layed the first 4 rows of the Beech. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of the Beech flooring...especially against the blue walls.

The Beech is 3/4" thick while the Bamboo is 5/8" thick. I decided to shim the bamboo up to meet the 3/4". But the Beech still was about 1/8" higher than the bamboo. So I had to take 1/8" off the bottom of the wood so it would sit closer to the floor. I also had to remove the top part of the groove so that the groove would sit flush with the bamboo. About 1.5 hours later and we had a near perfect match. It is not 100% perfect, but pretty dang close.

My hope is to finish 99% of the room this weekend. Which means I am going to be working both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

My plan for Saturday:
  1. Install the bathroom door. Need to cut 4" off the bottom.
  2. Install the bedroom door. Need to cut 2" off the bottom.
  3. Cut the rest of the window jambs. There were extension jambs on there for 2x6 construction but I only have 2x4 construction, so I need to flush cut them.
  4. Finish the hardwood flooring in the bedroom.
Sunday I hope to be able to do molding and touch up any paint/drywall that got dinged during the finish carpentry.

After that, the things left to do:
  1. Tie in the electrical circuits. I will be using a GFCI breaker for the bathroom and AFCI breakers (2) for the bedroom. There are 2 circuits running the bedroom outlets. One of the circuits runs all but 1 of the outlets. The outlet under the middle of the window is for an Air Conditioner so we put it on a separate circuit.
  2. Room Darkening blinds. Since the window is on an East facing wall, you get all sun in the morning. Which is not good for a sleeping baby.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another item to check off...Painting!

Well...the drywallers came last Wednesday and hung the drywall in 3 hours. Pretty much could never come close to that. I figured it would have taken me 2-3 days. Of course, I am more meticulous and wouldn't have had as much waste, but 3 HOURS!! My wife said after they were done, "you are never doing drywall again". Which is only about 95% true.

I am sure I will be roped in to help others in the future. Or if there is a small repair that needs to be done, I will be doing that...but no more hanging/taping/mudding/sanding in my house!!

Here are the pics.

Under these pieces is the bathroom.

They came back and taped/mudded/sanded over the next couple of days.

Then it was our turn. We cleaned up, laid new plastic, primed and painted! We now are closer to completion. Quite a bit left to do (see list below). I also installed the light fixtures and light switches. They don't carry 20Amp Tamper Resistant Receptacles (Outlets) at my local Lowe's, so I will have to buy them at Home Depot or our local Electrical Distributor in the near future.

Yes...there are 2 different shades of blue on the walls. We felt it would be too dark and too much blue if it was all one color. Made for more difficult cutting in, but worked out in the end and I like it. We painted the dressers the other shade of blue. The drawers will be alternating white and light blue. This is a very boyish color in my opinion...perfect for our boy's room. We have been working on this room since August. He was born in October, so we are about 4 months behind a completed "nursery".

Shelves to be completed.

Bathroom color is mocha which is hard to tell in this picture. Goes great with our bronze fixtures.

Left to do:
  1. Electrical Receptacles
  2. Faceplates
  3. Tie in 2 circuits (bathroom and bedroom).
  4. Bathroom door
  5. Bedroom door
  6. Paint the drawers
  7. Shelving in landing area
  8. Floor in landing area (bamboo)
  9. Floor in the bedroom
  10. Bed paneling
  11. Molding
  12. Bathroom fixtures

And all of the other little things I am forgetting :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Feels like Progress

Well we started this in August. 6 months later and we are finally at the drywall stage. Many modifications/changes, tons of insulation, lots of reframing, countless weekends and hours.

My drywall guy is the same guy that I used to tape, mud and sand Keira's room. In Keira's room, I hung the drywall. Because I want to get this done sooner than later, I have decided to just hire out the drywall job. He came in and gave me a quote yesterday. $800 for everything. It's about $250 in materials. There are a lot of angles, cuts and tight spaces, so I am pretty happy with the quote. The plan is to complete this in the next week or 2. This will work great as I have a wedding to go to this weekend, so I wouldn't have been able to work anyway.

So, if all things go well, I hope to have the entire room complete by the end of February. Of course, that probably won't happen :)

Don't be jealous of our 3x6 cell...I mean bathroom. You can see the nailer for the sink. Depending on where the plumbing ends up, the sink was straddling the 2x4, so that is why we put nailers on both sides of the 2x4.

Bathroom wall. This is the wall that is shared by the bathroom and the bedroom. Insulated for sound deadening purposes only.

Built-in bed. This will have beadboard instead of drywall for durability purposes.

Beautiful, big window. When you walk into the room, this is the first thing you see and it makes the room so much better. This also brings the room up to code since the window can now be considered an egress. If a firefighter can't fit through that space, then there is a problem :)

View from Keira's room (my daughter's bedroom). This landing used to have oak hardwood, but we had to tear it out so we could do the plumbing. We also moved the wall for the bathroom, so we would have had a difficult time matching it up and staggering the pieces. I originally tried to just pull up the first set of boards, but since they are tongue-in-groove, they just destroyed the adjacent boards, so the whole thing had to come up. We will be installing bamboo in the landing area since Keira's room is bamboo, it will be more uniform. Israel's room will be beech because I picked it up off Craigslist - 140 sq. ft for $100. Just enough to do the 10x13 room.

After 3 years in the house, Tanya will finally have the shelving at the top of the stairs that I have been promising her. I also built-in a filing cabinet in there, so that will make it easier to keep things organized.

Built-in dressers. We were going to build an armoire/wardrobe into the bedroom as the closet, but since we added the bathroom, it took over that space. So, we are considering the built-in dressers as the closet. I did a search on the MLS site and there is no definitive explanation of a closet. They define a bedroom as having a closet, but they don't define a closet. So, a closet is a place to store clothes, and that's what we have.

Anthony has helped me every weekend for the past 6 months. He is crazy, but I am ever grateful. I can never repay him for the help.