What Happens When You Decide to Start a Remodeling Project When You're Headed Out of Town
(and hand the keys to your contractor)?
Anyone that's ever tried to remodel while living in the house understands what an undertaking this can be. This couple was smart. They decided to start the project while they went out of town. There week-long vacation allows them to skip what many consider to be the most stressful part of the remodeling process - THE DEMO! #DEMODAY can not only be taxing due to the noise and dust but also the worry of what lies behind the walls. While this demo was no cake walk, the homeowners will return to most of the chaos behind them.
While the pictures do not show the severity of what was hiding behind these walls, I am here to tell you this one was not fun. Not only is there significant dry rot on many of the support 2x4's, there was (at one time) a host of insect and rodent homes lurking inside these walls. In fairness, this is an older home, dating back to late 50's early 60's so it's been through a lot in those 60-70 years. That said, it's taken quite a lot to get to the cleared out demo stage. Watch day-by-day as this master bathroom remodel undergoes a major transformation. The design palette (in the first picture) is a gorgeous, clean, and classic design. One these homeowners as well as homeowners down the road will appreciate for years to come.
As you're looking through the gallery, make a couple of notes about the renovation. This is a full renovation. Every surface floor to ceiling is being touched. The old shower location is going to be converted into a closet to make a larger master closet. The old tub will be removed and replaced with a large walk in shower with custom tile. The bathroom walls will be encased with white subway tile. The current walls have been through a variety of texture updates over the years. None of the wall surfaces match in texture. The options were to leave them as is, which didn't seem to be the right choice since the entire bathroom is going to exude a luxury feel, second, sand them down and re-texture the wall. While that is always an option, the homeowner elected for option three, which was to cover up the uneven wall surfaces and texture. Floor to ceiling subway tile is classic, offers the clean lines current homeowners are looking for, and is very easy to maintain. When the grouting starts, we've chosen a dark charcoal grey color to make the white subway tile pop. There were some other interesting aspects of this remodel that you'd never know unless you were there but worth mentioning. What happens over the years behind the walls can be every bit as extensive as what happens on the inside. In this case, when we opened up the walls, we found traces of a roach infestation as well as that of a rodent infestation. There was enough mouse poop to fill up several flour sacks. It all had to get cleaned out. There was significant dry rot, more than what we typically find that forced us to have to replace a great deal of lumber (behind the walls). The support of the house fell largely on the back wall and the lowered support beam that's shown in one of the first pictures. The homeowner wanted the ceiling above the window to be raised and the beam to be removed if at all possible. When we got into the ceiling, it became evident that the support was not going anywhere. This is a series of 2x4's that are stacked on top of each other. It's a design challenge to incorporate a structure that's so prominent and to make it look as it was an intended part of the overall design. As you get towards the bottom of the gallery, you will see the final design solution we chose to minimize the appearance of a low, load barring support beam.
Above the vanities, lived a soffit. We removed it and raised the ceiling and added some can lighting.