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March 2008
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Eave Repair

This is an eave needing repair. The damage is called ‘dryrot’, which is a misnomer as water was the culprit.

The damage came from the foam roofing failure from above. This is a weird problem as most foamed roofs are monolithic structures and holes are not usually this large nor pervasive.

The solution begins with cutting out the bad areas, slightly undercutting them, and applying spray foam. While that is drying, we work on the underside,

We chisel out the rotted areas, and rebuild the wood with bondo all purpose putty, which is just like the plastic bondo that they use to repair cars. There is the putty and the creme hardener. It works like a thick hot mud, and sets up quickly. It is waterproof, rot proof, and you have a small window while it is curing to use a cheese grater type buffer to remove large material.

Note: This is an appearance and not a structural repair.


Back on the roof we saw off the excess material with a serrated blade bread knife, apply a coat of quality caulk and in this case re-coat the roof.

Moving back to the eave, we scrape, sand, prime the repair , caulk and repaint.

Master Bath Project Episode 9

The Master Bath Project is virtually complete. The only missing items are the Shower Door and enclosure, trim rings and switch plates.

Here we go with a tour of this project.
The walls are textured with a knockdown texture and painted a light off white, the ceiling and trims are a pure white,(Behr Ultra White). The laminate and the solid surface is are off whites as well. The fixtures and cabinet hardware are a brushed nickel finish. The floor is 20” ceramic tiles in a light beige to complement the tub which was the only item left from the original bath.
The Makeup Area.
The square footage of flooring is almost as much as in the original bath, just rearranged differently.

Design Notes:
The counter height was derived from the rolling seat. the area between the counter and the cabinet above was determined by the two mirrors.

Behind the Magnifying mirror on the left is a switch for the mirror light as well as an outlet for other electric accesories. You can also see the shelves in the back corner in the shower in this photo.

Here is a closeup of the mirrors and counter. The lit mirror is 25×25” the mirror on the right is the door for a built in medicine cabinet. The bottom of the storage cabinet is finsihed with laminate to diffuse the light.

The Shower
The shower as noted before is a custom size being 4′ wide and about 6 1/2′ long. The shower walls are 76” tall adding about 4” more than ‘standard’. The safety bars are in place on the side wall as well.

The shower head is on an adjustable bar with a 6′ hose allowing the clients to reach anywhere in the shower. The soap dishes are adjustable as well.

The control for the shower is mounted on the inside of the ponywall. This allows them to adjust the temperature of the shower before stepping in. Note that the control is a single handle control which is used everywhere on this project. Single hand controls just make more sense.

Here is a long view of the bathroom along the back wall.

The Vanity
The vanity is suspended between the two pony walls and has two drawers with the same pull hardware that also acts as towel racks. The caps on the pony walls are notable as they are much thinner than normal contributing to a much lighter feel. (It was one of the details that was a little hard to get across, as it was not ‘standard’, but we prevailed.)
The sink is a one piece unit molded into the counter top eliminating clips, rings, and cracks for dirt or mold to hide. The sides and back have back splashes of the same solid surface.
There are also two outlets GFI protected outlets on either side of the counter. Finally is the built in medicine cabinet. The only thing left is trying to find a light fixture for above the cabinet. There is a lot of crap in the market.

The Tub
The tub being the only item left from the previous bath got a makeover as well. We installed additional jets in the front and the back, that the client reports work great. At the same time, the lines and jets were replaced. We also installed new controls with a spout type diverter valve for the deck mounted wand in the corner.

The backsplashes are the same solid surface that are carried to the bottom of the window. The window sill has the same thin detail as the pony wall, tying them together. We also installed a grab bar on the deck of the tub for accessibility. We finished off the tub with a solid surface modesty panel to cover the plumbing and to be able to gain access should any problems arise in the future.

The flooring complements the tub, and is much better looking the second time around. We also installed new base board.

Comfort Station
The toilet is a one piece high line toilet in keeping with building this bathroom with future accessibility in mind.
The TP Holder is a one piece design tucked into the top of the magazine alcove. The stretcher bars for the bottom of the magazine rack are made out of standard door stop material.
Morning Multi Tasking!

Towel Bar
On the other side of the pony wall is the heated towel bar. It runs off of a timer mounted on the wall above the pony wall.

So there you have it. A new bathroom. In case you are just arriving here, here are some photos of before:
Makeup Area




Comfort Station

Master Bath Project Episode 8

Solid Surface Hell
One of the earliest design decisions made was solid surface for the shower. If you have a tiled bath/shower enclosure, you have experienced the heartbreak of keeping it clean, grouted, sealed, killing mold and mildew.
Since we were building a custom shower in both size and function, we interviewed a number of companies. Most could not produce the off center shower pan. Most of them were installers using buyout materials.
We finally found a local company who could produce the shower pan, and manufactured their own solid surface.

In addition to the shower pan, and side panels, they were also making the vanity top with integral sink, the makeup top, tub surrounds, modesty panel, and the caps for the pony walls.

We explained that we were going to have a swinging shower door with a simple glass panel on the top of the pony wall. ON the Inside Edge. Horizontal surfaces in showers and baths are breeding grounds for mold,mildew, and dirt. They were brought on site early enough to be able to discuss their requirements for installation. Which is one of the reasons that we left the bottom sheets of drywall off until the shower pan was installed.

The day of installation arrived with a couple of stout lads as this pan was heavy. In wresting the pan in place they chopped up a corner of the pony wall. It sucked but I can fix anything.

The first major problem is here, where they brought the edge of the pan completely into the opening and created an area that would have the water splashing onto the floor. Remember the shower door and glass were to be placed on the inside edge of the pony wall and inset on the other side. Also floor tile selection was finalized.

The next morning, I hung, corner beaded and taped the rest of the drywall, and bagged off the solid surface, cabs and counters so the texture guys could come and spray the walls.

After some discussion as to fixing the drainage issue the solid surface guys showed up to install the walls. They must not talk a whole lot as there is a new problem. See in the corner where they did not extend the solid surface to the floor? Yep, looks like crap.

The decision was made to fill in the edge and machine it in the field. There was a lot of delay in what they said was a color matching issue. This is weird because this material was a ‘standard’ color from their collection, and should have been a no brainer. It wasn’t. It took multiple applications, a lot of sanding which creates a dust storm to rival anything you see on National Geographic.

Complicating this was the scheduling of the tile. The tile was laid and they had to return with a new crew and redo it. There was no reason but carelessness for the first tile job. There were no cracks, bumps, or other problems that prevented them getting it right the first around.
Not square, flat or consistent in grout lines.

1/2” gaps on the edges and incomplete grouting was an issue as well.

The second time got the job done.

Smooth, flat and consistent.

I will be reluctant to recommend either of these two companies, as a first choice unlike my plumber and texture guys. To be fair, both of them did repair their mistakes, but it did push the project into February.