GeneralHome renovation, don't be scared!

GeneralHome renovation, don't be scared!Posted:

  • Rigged Luck
Status: Offline
Joined: Sep 25, 20149Year Member
Posts: 4,817
Reputation Power: 7296
Status: Offline
Joined: Sep 25, 20149Year Member
Posts: 4,817
Reputation Power: 7296
Hey guys I always make posts on modifications I do to my trucks but I haven't done that for the house so I figured people may like this too and give them ideas.

I am a finish carpenter, I don't do framing or drywall or electrical or plumbing or any of that but that didn't scare us. We bought this house knowing a few things had to change. This house was originally built in 1901 (doesn't have much of that original "charm" though as it was renovated in the 70's).

The biggest issue was the bathroom. I mean seriously, look at this.

That built in on the left is kind of cool but doesn't leave much room to get to the toilet and who needs that much storage in a bathroom? Also that vanity, it's tiny and there's no counter space so that also had to get fixed. This was pretty easy thinking wise, take out the built in and the vanity and put a new vanity where the built in was. I took out the built in and we found out there used to be a window there. Don't worry we saved most of that built in and it is being used as storage in my shop.

I started to get a little worried, I really didn't want to put new drywall up and figure all that out. It's not hard, I just didn't want to do it because it was extra work. I went from not wanting to do extra work to ripping the floor out because there were 2 transitions where the floor was different heights so I stripped the floor and took everything out. Under the floating floor was 3 more laminate floors. We also took out part of the wall that was on the ceiling where they had rails for an old sliding door that wasn't there anymore.

This looks really bad and so far this was about 3 days in working maybe 4-5 hours a day after work. Also mistakes happen, I was all excited to get the drywall up but I forgot to put insulation in. I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible since my mortgage is almost double what I was paying in rent so I took the insulation from a wall I'm going to demo in the shop.

So far all this is easy stuff that I had kind of done before but the walls had no texture and after putting in the new sheet of drywall I wanted to blend everything in so I had to figure out how to texture. Even though this is going to be mostly covered by a mirror I still want it to be blended in just in case either I or the next owner change something. I did end up getting a sort of texture going but I finally perfected it in another room and this is good enough so we primed it and wanted to focus on roughing in the plumbing and working on the floor.

I got the plumbing roughed in (the easy part) and then I decided I wanted some instant gratification so I decided to start working on making the laundry room a half bathroom. We started with a very ugly room but it started getting better after stripping it and getting plumbing roughed in there.

Even though we had way more than enough light in the main bathroom we thought it'd look odd with no light above the vanity so we added a light. This was a learning curve for me, I've never added another fixture but after watching a few videos I decided it looks easy enough to take power from an outlet and that's what we did.

After that I finished up the drywall and the floor so the bathroom was almost done.

We went through a few different paint options but ended up with this goldish color. Originally it was going to be a light blue but our vanity is a grey color and we thought it'd match too much.

We also painted the other bathroom and got the toilet in, we had to wait a long time for the new washer / dryer (stackables) so we dealt with this for almost a month.

I had some extra lighting strips from one of my jobs so I decided to put in under cabinet lighting because why not?

After that I got the vanity in and put base in the bathrooms.

Originally I was not going to permit it but then I decided we walked away from a couple houses due to work not being permitted so I decided to increase value and because we did a pretty bang up job that I'd get it permitted. The city put an end to that, they told me I had to redo all my drain pipe and go to 2" because that's the new code and 1.5" won't do. That was an extra $200 I didn't plan on but oh well.

Our washer and dryer finally came so the 2nd toilet wasn't so cramped.

This is where things got frustrating. Going back to the plumbing, my sewer tie in was 1.5" so I had to update that to 2" as well. I had never done anything with cast iron and on one side it's clay which I also had never dealt with so I dug it out and called a plumber. I got a quote of $3,500 to fix this! I got 2 other quotes of similar prices too so I ended up finding a guy on Facebook who did it for $200.

I wanted (needed really) to focus on the vanity again because we've been living in the house for almost 2 months at this point and we didn't have a bathroom sink so I got my subtop installed and all I was waiting for was my top. I ordered a corian top because you can get it to look just like a nice granite or marble top but there's no special tools needed to work with it. I use the same blades on my skill saw for corian that I do for plywood. If you get a scratch in it you can just sand it out and it's just very nice forgiving stuff.

After about 3 months total of waiting on this top it finally came in.

I didn't waste any time getting started, I cut everything down, I cut off a 1" piece to have a 1" self edge all the way around to make it look like a 1.5" top.

After that I glued in the sinks. This is another spot where I am doing something new. I work a lot work corian but I've never glued in an undermount corian sink but it was pretty easy. After finding out where they go all that was needed was to take a router with a bottom bearing bit and route out a hole in the top for the sink.

Once I was happy with that and getting it sanded to a finish that I liked I did a dry fit to see how it'd look with the cabinet. I also made a top for the laundry room out of the extra.

After 3 months of waiting we FINALLY got our mirror in and have a complete bathroom!

So far that's where we are. As far as cost goes it wasn't too bad. The vanity cabinet was $400, the top was $900 (it is a special color, you can get a sheet of corian for half that), drywall and paint was $150 and flooring was $250. The laundry room sink was $200 and the toilet was $150. If I paid my company to do this we would be close to $10k in labor but we saved all that by doing this ourselves. With most of this stuff it seriously does not hurt to try. If you do it right then awesome, if you don't like the product then call in a professional and the price to fix it probably won't be much different than to just have them do it in the first place.

The following 2 users thanked 002 for this useful post:

Rob (01-29-2023), Frog (01-24-2023)
Users browsing this topic: None
Jump to: