Thursday, July 7, 2011

Starting in the bathroom...

Today is July 7 and the fireworks tents are coming down, but the mood at the house is far different in 2011 than it was in 2007. In July of 2007, my wife and I were still tearing out walls, wiring, and plumbing. And no, we didn't actually start in the bathroom, but sometimes you just have to go there.

The floor was rotted out under the gray pipe.

One of the most apparent problems with the house was the bathroom floor. An old plumbing vent—a pipe which, in this case, ran up through the wall which separated the bathroom from the linen closet and exited through the roof—had been disconnected from where it would have attached to the sink plumbing. How long it had been disconnected, I don't know for sure—but it had been enough time that the water (rain, melting snow, etc.), which came in through the vent, had rotted out the subfloor and joists at the base of the aforementioned wall.

Inspector's note: if I were to inspect my house today--in the condition it was in when we purchased it--I would have noted the rotten floor and the open vent pipe as the likely cause. Surprises have their places, but real estate transactions aren't one of them.

My plans were to somehow sister all of the joists which supported the bathroom floor, neatly replace the subfloor, and magically move onto the next project without making much of a mess.

My father-in-law's far more realistic plan involved a chainsaw.

Guess which plan we used?

We ended up removing every piece of wood from the floor—the subfloor, the joists, and anything touching either. The end result was a nice new floor in a lot less time, the latter of which being very important—after all, it wasn't until August of 2009 that we moved in!