Let me preface this by saying….ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
So this is the next bathroom up for reno. This time around I had the common sense to take some “before” shots prior to the contractor ripping everything down. When purchasing an older home where there has been 2 owners before, you can never tell what lies underneath till you take it down and inspect. Well 1st off, who puts a brown sink in with blue tile and blue toilet? and wallpaper?? That was my 1st indication something was not quite right. But we took the house as is knowing that eventually we would do certain renovations and hey, if it works, why break it?
But underneath that nice looking floor tile (8×8) there was that hideous 70’s mosaic tile that I was glad to see be gone. I wont bother to ponder why the previous owners never bothered to rip it up when they placed the new tile down. Cost? Perhaps. But when you are looking at a house that is roughly 40 years old, you don’t want to take any chances. So I had the floor totally ripped up so I could see the joists and of course all the walls had to come down to see how the studs held up after all these years. So back to my 1st statement above. I had already anticipated and expected to see some water damage. Its a bathroom, its seen its share of humidity and wetness and its from the 70’s when cement board was not around and the builders placed tile on sheetrock. Not to mention that floors back then only used 3/8th inch plywood. There was some water damage to the studs and also to the exterior wall plywood and some of the insulation had actually deteriorated to nothing. Not a good thing for sure and not something that any homeowner wants to hear or see. But having a good contractor also pays for itself and they will usually come up with an idea to help you save money and yet maintain the structural integrity of your home.
What you cant see behind the new insulation is a new 1/2 inch piece of plywood running along the exterior wall to help reinforce the main exterior panel. So the exterior wall is now 1 inch thick with plywood and also had new R-13 insulation. What you do see is the sister studs that mount next to the existing studs to help reinforce them as well. There was also some additional framing done to help reinforce areas where the contractor thought they would work and that had not been done at the time of initial build. Of course there was a cost for this extra work. When planning your remodels, always count in some contingency money for the unexpected above and beyond your parts and labor costs. I cant stress this piece enough. Never assume the framing is still intact, never assume the plumbing is still good (next blog will show why). And of course never assume your electrical will be adequate for your new remodel. Codes change and what may have been ok 40 years ago wont cut it now a days and your contractor will tell you that you have to update or upgrade in order to meet code.
So today I am just waiting for the building inspector to come and give it his blessing. If there are no issues the contractor is back tomorrow putting the new walls up and will press on with tiles after that.