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June 2009
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Lightyear Sunken Bath Episode 7 – Doorways and Bonding

Most of my work is done as a solo act. I work better this way. However there are times where you need someone on the other end. This weekend my daughter gave me a hand moving and installing the doors on this project. She had recently gotten back into town after a few years elsewhere, and was up hanging out with the old man.

Here she is removing the trim  prior to moving it to its new location. This opening will framed in for a bifold door for the utility storage room


Here is that door in its new location looking out.


Here is the door from the flip side. Trim will be a challenge.


So you don’t think that the hinge lobby has gotten to me, no project of mine would be complete without ….. A pocket door! A lot of builders hate pocket doors. Most of them don’t have anybody on their crews who can read a level, or understand that a pocket door is not a shim and trim operation. It takes more time, but is worth it in space gained.


As I mentioned previously, I mostly work solo, which is why you see pictures of the work and none of me. It’s not about me. However this weekend my daughter managed to snap a couple of pics for those of you dying to see the man behind the camera. I am standing on a bucket and am not 7 feet tall.


Here is the flip side. Happy now?


We also ripped out one of those aluminum patio/arcadia doors and replaced it with this number.


And that’s how we spent some of the weekend. We spent the rest pigging out and watching movies.

Lightyear Sunken Bath Episode 6 – Storage from Nothing

Most Arizona houses are slab on grade. This means that changing plumbing  is challenging or expensive. Slab on Grade houses are laid out, and the plumbing, both waste and supply lines are buried in the ground before the slab is poured. You see some interesting bottom plates here. On the remodeling end, this means that you either get creative or you get to spend really large amounts of money time and noise to move things around. (Nothing screams remodeling to the neighbors like someone with a concrete slab saw in your bathroom.)

The LSB is a case in point. This was  the wall where the plumbing came up. Now I knew that I had space to fool with as the new tub was a foot
shorter than this opening. Plus the fixtures were going to be replaced
and mounted much higher.


Shower valves are all different. Whether it is a two control or a single valve, the width and depth varies. The height of the spout and the shower head will vary as well. This is the point where you can get that shower head up high enough so you do not have to scrunch to get your hair wet.

The first order of business was to build the new wall for the tub and
the fixtures.  If you look at the new wall closely, you will note that
the two studs in the middle are spaced about 12” apart. The center
ones are actually 6” away from the tub centerline. This is on purpose.

Plumbers like this. This is where you precut a couple of blocks for the plumber to install as backing as needed. They can plan the layout and put together your water lines quickly. If you are paying one by the hour, you will like this too.

Because there was going to be space between these two walls, I talked with the plumber so we could reroute the vent lines so I could get as much free space in this wall as possible. Vern from Exclusively Plumbing made that happen.


On the left side of this photo you can see where I rebuilt the old wall corner. I ended up rebuilding the entire wall to frame for the storage units.

He then came back and installed the rough in for the shower.


Notice that I put a 1/2 plywood sheath on the end of this double wall. This is to provide backing for anything they may want to put on it.



The upper unit will be roughly 24x36x 10” deep. With 2 shelves. The drywall screwed to the back of the front wall will act as the cabinet back with a coat of paint.  The shelving unit will be made of stock pre drilled shelving material, with pre finished poly shelving. Much cheaper than building a custom unit.

Below is a magazine rack using studs as the framing and a piece of drywall screwed to the back of the studs. A little mud,  some corner bead, paint and a bit of trim.

The electrical outlet on the wall is for controlling the power to the jacuzzi and the inline heater. The bad thing about the jacuzzi is having the controls at a convenient grab height for small children.