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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 565
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
The project also extended upstairs. You can see how I capped off the chair rail. Some sections were wider than 6" but still too narrow to do a recessed panel so I went with a 10" particle board and ripped it the table saw.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:50 pm 
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Wow, it looks great Neil.

I've thought about doing the same thing in this house, but I don't think our walls ever had that type of chair railing. Our house was built in 1920 and we've been reversing some of the improvements, to restore her to the charm of the time. We're lucky. The woodwork, which is a species of oak that's now extinct, has never been painted.

Right now, we've torn the bathroom completely apart. We spent almost an entire year working on the house before moving in, in 2009. All of the systems had to be replaced; Frank had to install 2 HVAC systems, because the house is 3 stories tall. We reinstalled the original French doors between the living and dining rooms (which we were beyond fortunate to find in the attic), and I've been replacing the modern light fixtures with rewired fixtures from that era. Frank installed all energy star appliances, including an instantaneous hot water heater.

We had to replace the tub. It's the one thing that we didn't do before moving in. I wish that we had. The tub is in and we're in the process of installing subway tiles in the bathtub area. The hardwood floors were under 1 1/2" of flooring which accumulated over the past 100 years, but they were too damaged to refinish, so we're installing wood look ceramic. However, we'll strip the layers from kitchen flooring, and we will refinish the hardwood that I know is under all of that stuff. That's next after the bath is done.

We've had to replace small pieces of the oak trim here and there. I had to go to the local lumber company to have them mill the stuff for us. This is the same place where I've found cherry and walnut that has been laying around since before WWII, that I use for tonewood.

I can commiserate about being in restoration pergatory.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 6205
Location: Hegins, Pa
nice
work

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 565
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
Thanks!

Our house is only 30 years old and these aren't so much restorations as they are trying to make our house more sturdy. The wainscoting is as much functional as it is decorative - though it's primed pine. I made the decision to install a backboard of 1/8" MDF to reinforce the recessed panels so that they can take any impacts without the wall caving in again.

Funny you should mention putting in new bath tubs on your own, Diane. Both full bathrooms in our house need new tubs. After 18 years we're sick of the crappy single piece of plexiglass tub/shower units and after having water damage from metal sinks rusting out we're due for new vanities too - not to mention light fixtures. Tearing out and replacing two upstairs bath tubs is not a single person job though so we got several bids ranging anywhere from $20K to $50K (for a full remodel of both bathrooms.) I balked at that latter price and when my wife wanted to get a cash back refi to fund it I dug my heels in. She hasn't exactly been happy with me over that but slowly she's coming around to us doing it ourselves. I think if I have a plan and can find reasonably priced materials she might get on board. I can understand if she doesn't want to have the master bathroom tore up for months though, so I suggested starting with the smaller of the two full baths.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Quote:
]Funny you should mention putting in new bath tubs on your own, Diane. Both full bathrooms in our house need new tubs. After 18 years we're sick of the crappy single piece of plexiglass tub/shower units and after having water damage from metal sinks rusting out we're due for new vanities too - not to mention light fixtures. Tearing out and replacing two upstairs bath tubs is not a single person job though so we got several bids ranging anywhere from $20K to $50K (for a full remodel of both bathrooms.) I balked at that latter price and when my wife wanted to get a cash back refi to fund it I dug my heels in. She hasn't exactly been happy with me over that but slowly she's coming around to us doing it ourselves. I think if I have a plan and can find reasonably priced materials she might get on board. I can understand if she doesn't want to have the master bathroom tore up for months though, so I suggested starting with the smaller of the two full baths.


We own our house and unless it's a life or death situation, I won't get a mortgage. So, we do all our own work. But, my husband is retired from the trades. He worked in HVAC for more than 60 years, a so he knows plumbing, and electrical too. We Had a second bath in the basement, but we knew that almost all improvements in this house were done badly. He pulled out the corner shower in the basement bath, to find out that it had been set into PLASTER! The plaster was wet. Gooey, and moldy. The stench was unbelievable.

We built an entirely new bathroom for my shop, but it's only got a sink and toilet. We had to spongebathe in the sink for a couple of days, until we got the new tub in place.

The old tub was like yours, with the addition of drill holes in the outside rim. The previous owner thought it was cute when her grandson played with the drill, hammer, and nails. We took down the surround before moving in. We should have taken the tub out then.

He used a sawsall to cut the old fiberglass tub into pieces, which made it easy to carry down the steps. The 2 of us were able to get the new tub up the steps, and into the alcove. It took us a couple of hours to position it and get the drain connected. The new tub is an inexpensive composite Koehler. But it's 1000% better than the POS that was there.

We're installing white subway tiles from the tub to the ceiling. We had tiled above the tub when we bought the house, but the backer board and tiles broke up when we removed the old tub.

You're lucky to have 2 full baths.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
Another fall bump:

Diane, does your husband do side work? We're only about 6 hours up the road! ;)

My wife has a list that is prioritized differently than mine. Her projects seem to involve improving curb appeal. I'd prefer not to move the kids out of the school district. The way I see it, if she wants her dream house she can wait until the kids are grown. If she's got a problem with that she can talk to her dad; that's what he did. I think he's finally gotten the picture that we're not moving to accommodate an in-law suite.

Anyhoo, apart from these projects the bathrooms have her attention. I won't go too indepth with my wife but she's not one to "negotiate" or actively contribute for that matter. I had called contractors to do a variety of projects from big enough to take a gamble on the equity on our house with a HELOC to just having individual rooms completely renovated for not that much less - which is to say for way too much $$$. The 2 bathrooms were quoted at $50K which caused ME to balk. It's taken months of passive aggressiveness and life handing us generous portions of humble pie for her to finally come down to "let's just buy the materials ourselves, hire somebody to do the grunt work and we'll DIY the rest."

That's a huge step for my wife. It's been some pretty potent humble pie - and it took our kids to serve it up to us for us to see.

Anyway, my wife volunteered to lay ceramic tile herself. I'm guessing watching lots of HGTV and seeing her friend's efforts with their house have shown her that it's not difficult, just time consuming. They have all the tools for us to borrow too. I could've told her that; 20 years ago I helped her dad put ceramic tile in their house. He did a foyer and kitchen in two weeks, including laying and leveling the subfloor. The only reason it took that long was because he hadn't retired yet and was still working.

After that I want to put in a new front door. The original is 30 years old and the doorjam is drafty. I'm weighing costs and have a particular door in mind. I'm not sure I feel comfortable DIYing that job. I've done interior slab doors but not prehung exterior doors.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Very nice job! It feels good, doesn't it? You really did an excellent job.

We just tore out all of the fixtures and floors out of our main bathroom. Our house is a foursquare and was built in 1920, so we only have 1 bathroom (with the exception of my half bath for the shop).

We replaced the tub, tiled the walls with subway tiles and tore out 1 1/2" of flooring, which was piled on over 100 years. We tiled with wood-look tile.

Now, I have to do the same to the kitchen. It also has 1 1/2" of accrued flooring and crappy 1970s cabinets. But, I know under all that flooring lies the same oak flooring that's throughout the house, so we'll be refinishing all of the floors on the first and second floors.

This house has been an ongoing restoration for 8 years.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
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Been there, done that (more or less). You have my empathy.I can't do a decent taping job no matter how much I try. I dunno. Some people can come in, make a couple of swift passes, and the joints hardly need sanding at all. It is one of the Cosmic Mysteries.

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When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1364
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Maine

I had problems with taping too until a friend gave me a tip. ALWAYS put in too little material. NEVER build up material that is too thick.

If you always filling a place that is a little too low, you may have to put on 4 easy coats instead of 2 finicky coats, but you never have to sand. Just use a damp sponge.

Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:56 am
Posts: 104
I ran across this and thought "hey maybe you're building a little studio/quiet room". It's one of those little perks I'd pick for being the project manager for a home renovation. :)



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