Week 9 Journal: Entering the Home Stretch

By: Bruno Aug 10, 2012

Curbly House: Week 9 Journal

Wooo! After almost of a month of trying to get our stupid bathroom plumbing approved, we finally passed our rough-in inspection! That was a huge deal, because it meant we had the green light to start closing up interior walls. And that's one big step closer to completing the project! Read on to watch my weekly video journal and see what other big steps we took this week.


My palms were sweaty as I watched the inspector walk through the house for the third time, and when he finally signaled that everything looked good, I could barely contain myself from squealing.

And then, of course, we couldn't find a pen for him to sign the permit with. Sheesh. (Finally found one lying around in the basement)

Weee! a signed plumbing permit!
(Is that not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?)

So, with the go-ahead from the plumbing inspector, we set about frantically sheet-rocking the rest of the house, finally closing up all the walls and ceilings. Here's the bathroom, with sheetrock and tub in place, and a rough opening for our glass block window:

roughed-in bathroom

That tub is courtesy of one of our bathroom sponsors, Kohler. It's the 60-inch drop-in Underscore model. And the shower surround in this pic is all set for tiles, which we're thrilled will be coming from ModWalls.com. They make some amazing glass subway tiles; we're trying to decide which ones to go with.

Here's a sequence showing the progression in Ayla's bedroom:

Bedroom, half sheetrocked

Sheetrock, no tape.

Taping, mudding and sanding sheetrock is an art. I've tried doing it myself, and I swore never to do it again. This is definitely one of those things I'd advise people notto DIY. So, after all the rock was hung, our drywall contractor, Marco, came in and started taping, mudding, and sanding, sanding, sanding.

The whole process is so dusty and messy that I mostly stayed away from the house for this part. But there were a few things I needed to be around for, so when I was there, I made sure to wear a good mask. This is common sense, people, but please, protect your lungs. A pack of these is around $20. A lung transplant costs way more than that:

Wear a respirator in construction areas!

(Make sure you get the right type of mask. This one's an N95 from 3M, meaning it filters out 95% of airborne particles, but not oil. See the ratings here).

After the walls were sanded, I moved on to the next big step: putting back all the old trimwork we had removed. Most of it was labeled, but not every piece, so this was a big hassle:

Trim work sorted and ready to put back up
(These are all crown pieces from the living room that we had to take off to re-do the ceilings and install can lights).

The other hard thing was that some of the trim got cracked or broken as we were removing it, a few pieces (I think) got lost, and in other places we changed the wall openings and dimensions. So, there was a lotof patching and tweaking to do to get the trim back up.

Here's an example where I had to patch some baseboard caps using spare trim from the kitchen (which we're going to remodel later, I hope):

Patched trim

In this case, the old baseboard was actually destroyed due to water damage and couldn't be re-used. Thus the patch using spare pieces.

So, to re-cap: now our plumbing is done (well, the supplies and drains at least), our walls are all sheetrocked, and the woodwork is back in place. The house is practically inhabitable!

So what's left to do? Well, we have to finish the bathroom (tile, fixtures, vanity, etc.), paint everything, re-finish the hardwood floors upstairs, install a water heater, washer and dryer, finish the mechanical venting through the roof, and finish up the electrical fixtures. Piece of cake, right!?

Check in again next week to see how we're doing. And please leave your comments if you've gone through a similar remodel or just have a question about our project!

This is a post in the Curbly House series! Follow along as we document every step of our complete home makeover, from gutting the walls to putting up the finishing touches. And don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments! 

Our bathroom remodel is being sponsored by Kohler and ModWalls.com. We're so thankful for their help with this project!

3M has graciously supplied us with safe preparation and protection products (like that respirator) for this project. Thanks to them for that!

Still, all opinions in this post are mine alone.

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Comments

Thanks guys! It's nice to know you're enjoying my updates! I agree that the glass block window is the bomb, and I don't care if it's outdated.

The good news is, we still have of posts left on our remodel project, and we hope to tackle a big addition (kitchen, master bedroom, etc.) as soon as we can! 

High five on the plumbing inspection! I wish I could do what you're doing. It looks incredible, and it must feel really good to know you are doing it right. That glass block window is the bomb. (Is this cool phrase outdated yet? My kids aren't home for me to consult.) I love the bubbly look of it.  Thanks for the inspiration to do improvements on a much smaller scale.

I really love all your weekly updates! I don't think I could ever undertake a full house remodel but it looks fantastic. I'm excited for you to get your house done but then I will miss the Curbly house updates.

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