Bathroom remodel: Day 1 - demolition

What a long day.  I feel bad saying this, as Shayne did pretty much all of the work.  I made a trip to Lowes and picked up all of our fixtures and most of the tile.  I also helped clean up.  Shayne took care of all the physical labor and got the project rolling.

Thanks to him, the bathroom remodel has started with a day of demolition.  We are very conservative about what we remove, and we try to save the original whenever possible and practical.  Out of the 4 walls, a floor, and a ceiling in the bathroom, we took one wall down to the studs.  We are leaving the others alone, as they are in good condition.  Sadly, they are sheetrock over the plaster.  I had contemplated ripping out the sheetrock only, then repairing the plaster underneath.  But in the end, I couldn't find a compelling reason for the extra work.  The sheetrock, while obviously not original, is in good shape.  It would be wasteful to rip it out just because I'd prefer plaster.  The wall that we did remove will house the new water supply lines for the sink.  It also had the electrical in it, which (as expected) was not up to code.  K, the PPO, had jury-rigged the GFCI outlets.  We found a junction box in the wall where it was just directly hooked to the old knob and tube.  I was disappointed that the man hadn't properly wired a room he had remodeled, but not at all surprised.  Par for the course; we've seen enough of his "handiwork" by now to know what to expect.

In addition to his incompetence at wiring, K was also not so great with drywall.  He only put up sheetrock in the places that would be visible, so there was none behind the vanity or the floor-to-ceiling cabinet in the corner.  Not even on the ceiling.  That man was a cheapskate!  I'm expecting that we'll find the same thing behind the shower and adjoining cabinet when we remove it on Monday.

While today was really productive, I also found it really demoralizing.  I know that demo is the low point because you are taking something that is functional, though not particularly attractive, and making it ugly and temporarily useless.  I know that the bathroom I've envisioned for YEARS now is finally on its way to appearing in my house.  I know that in 2 weeks, we'll be just about finished, since we're hiring someone else to do the work instead of learning as we go and slogging our way through on sheer willpower.  But after we demo (and by "demo" I mean everything from ripping up carpet to tearing down walls), I get this overwhelming feeling of, "Oh shit, what did we just do?"  I'm not energized or excited to be starting.  I'm mentally tired and sad.  This is the point where I can't see the finished product and just wonder how in the heck it's all going to work out.  But it will.  It always does.  But I don't know many people who would be excited to have a bathroom that looks like this (though at least now the dust has settled!):

Note how the drywall doesn't extend much past the window...  Also the layers of flooring: linoleum over hardboard over plywood.  Awesome.

See the hanging junction box where the new wire connects to the old knob and tube?  The new PVC is our work from last summer, which is why the other side of the wall is open as well.
Here's what we started with:

The angle isn't the same, so you can't see the HUGE floor-to-ceiling corner cabinet
I will say this: having the corner cabinet and clunky vanity gone has made the room seem so much bigger.  Obviously, it looks like hell right now, but I feel like we knocked out a wall or something.  It's that dramatic.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow, after we remove the hardboard and plywood underlayment.


Arika said...

It will soon look amazing! I'm thinking back on some of the other remodeling projects with pictures you've shared in the past, and everything looked a whole lot worse before it looks better. In the end though, all the projects you've tackled have looked awesome, and have made those spaces more functional and more authentic looking. When it's done, you'll be glad you did it!

Just some words of encouragement :)

Di said...

Thanks :) I feel much better about it all today. We're done with our portion of the work, too, so maybe that helps. The rest is someone else's problem!

elizabeth said...

i want to see it finished! I know it will turn out great :)

sordar joy said...

Cute bench! Nice tiling job!

Hexagonal floor Tile