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April 2008
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Remodeling Surprises

I do not like remodeling surprises.
Surprises in remodeling are not good things. They usually involve more work and extra expense. They usually happen on things you consider just a minor change. These things are the stuff of legend in projects going over budget and time. They also create the greatest amount of acrimony between folks who are remodeling and the contractors they hire.

Case in Point

This is a bathroom wall that has a mirror that covers the entire wall from side to side and from counter splash to the ceiling. The door contains a stained glass panel made by the client. Why is there a porcelain fixture hanging in space?

It has been precut for a 4” electric box. So why is this light here? And why is it showing wires? From this side it would seem that you could install a ‘old work box’ (the plastic boxes with the tabs for attachment) or one of the box on a rod electric boxes, and be done with it.


Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

In going into the other room which is a closet, and cutting an inspection hole we find our surprise. The original location was over the sink and guess what? It is on a box on a rod!
But Wait! It gets ‘better’.
The hole in the mirror is sitting on one of the studs by about 3/4”. The photo is bad as I was using a flashlight as the batteries in my camera were running low. You can see the edge of the rod bracket, so you can imagine the stud.

What should be an hour (setting a box) will take a couple of days to fix. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

So to clean up this mess, we will empty the closet, dismantle quite a bit of the built in shelving unit, open up the wall, sister the stud that is protruding into our opening, cut away the protruding bits, check to see if we have enough romex to make it into the new box, or if we need to pull a new piece, remove the old box and bracket rod, probably seal up the hole behind the mirror, and drywall, tape, texture and paint.

But this is remodeling.

Fireplace Freshen 3

Spent a bit of time last week detailing the fireplace including cutting in the edges where the new work meets the existing and painting the inside of the firebox with hi-temp paint. My son installed and finished the tile in the front of the fireplace.

One of the other details that will be addressed is softening the window openings with the radius corner bead used on the front. As I mentioned the other day, radius bead requires a different backing strategy than regular cornerbead. Here I will install drywall pieces on the window sides and attach our bead with one side on the new drywall and the other side on the existing wall. I will also skim coat the areas on the back wall. I will give the dust control mud a real test.
Typical square corner

In spending some time with the fireplace, it has been decided that we will reinstall the vertical blinds that were here. This is a mockup of what it will look like. These vertical blinds have the slightest amount of curve softening their lines. The fireplace door is not to scale. and the vertical line of the glass door are too fat, but you get the idea. The top bracket of the blinds will be hidden, and we are installing lights on the back side of the valances which will give this wall some real drama in the night.

The electrician will be by in a week or so to install ceiling lights, and the lights in the valances.