Tuesday, August 1, 2017

To the Studs and Beyond

We knew when we purchased the retro ranch that the bathrooms had to be completely torn out and rebuilt from scratch. We knew that the beam under the master bath shower and the associated sill were rotted and needed to be replaced or repaired. We knew all this because we had an inspection done before we made our offer. What I didn't realize was exactly what living with a whole bathroom renovation might look like. Yes, I watch HGTV and have seen Chip and Joanna Gaines turn the saddest houses into country chic homes (in just one hour!) But those homes aren't my house (for emphasis, MY house).

Enter our general contractors - Northwest Home Concierge in Portland, OR. Gordon and Troy at NWHC are knowledgeable, professional and communicate on a regular basis. They are very clear on price, what's included and what isn't. They are sticklers for doing things right and making sure things get cleaned up each day. Their subcontractors are masters of their respective crafts and are a pleasure work with. In fact, one of their subcontractors recommended them to us! You can find contact information for Northwest Home Concierge in the Contractors tab at the top of the blog.

The first week of the bathroom project was actually deconstruction of the old bathrooms and correcting structural issues. You can find "before" pictures in my last post here. It really hits you when you get home from work on the first day of the project and there is a six foot by four foot hole where your master bathroom floor used to be. Now for the good stuff, pictures from the first week of the bathroom project!

Pink sinks on their way to Re-Store!

And the pink tub, too!

Removing the floor tile in the hall bath

Tile surround from the hall bath - Bye bye!

Master bath vanity - Re-Store!

Master bathroom shower and floor

Just Wow!

Yes, that's the exterior brick seen from
inside the master bathroom! 

Master bath and little corner bedroom
as seen from the hall bath

The Minion's Corner (or Musings from Scott)

Allow me to to provide some additional flavor to Beth's description of the demolition of "her house". The job started on the morning of July 5th. We spent July 4th at our condo in Astoria watching the fireworks over the Columbia River about a quarter mile from our deck. So someone (and I won't name names) had to get up at the butt crack of dawn and drive two hours back to "her house" so the games could begin.

At almost exactly 8 am, our new "temporary" bathroom was unloaded on our driveway. After having done 20 or so AIDS bicycle treks since 1999, there is nothing like a porta-potty in the morning to start your day. About 8:15 the NWHC team arrived and the demolition commenced. Troy and Gordon had two helpers during the day and within hours we no longer had indoor toilets, a shower or bathroom sinks. Amazingly a good portion of the bathrooms was gone by day's end. You know the damage they uncovered was bad when their helpers are taking pictures to show their family and friends. As Beth wrote, we knew it was bad however when it is completely exposed...holy sh*t Batman!

What I would like to point out is the quality of construction and materials that due to many years of deferred maintenance had to be removed. Previously Beth has posted about the matching grain, built in-place cabinets. Great craftsmanship - rendered unsalvageable. The tiles on the countertops were set in thick concrete with a steel mesh base - heavy! The wood beams and studs were old growth, with a density of grain you can't find or afford these days. I am pleased to say that any studs that weren't rotted have been used again.

On Friday afternoon, Troy and Gordon poured a concrete pad to support the section of beam they tied into the main beam after removing the rot. The car-decking, sill plates and studs for the second bedroom wall were replaced and any minimally rotted wood left in place was treated and coated. Did I mention that Beth missed most of this portion of the renovation as she boarded a plane for Chicago on Thursday, July 6th. (Well I have now....)

Stay tuned for next week's adventures in plumbing, electrical and more.