Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I go on a Power Trip (The DIY Series, Part 2)

So after my little breakdown, I took a break for a couple days. 

It took me a couple days to figure out what to do.  I couldn't just cut out the damaged part, because the tiles broke when they fell.  Besides, obviously I didn't have the right drywall around my tub.  Cement board is the only stuff that belongs there.

So I let the momentum build for bit, and then I pulled out my two favorite tools: my California Framer and a nail puller.

 Seriously, ladies, if you ever want to feel like a million bucks, go get yourselves a California Framer and knock down a wall.  It is a fabulous feeling!   My eldest brother bought that hammer for me last year when he built a cupboard for me.  He said, "Everybody needs one of these."  Words of wisdom, I tell you! I know it doesn't look different, but it's twice the size of a normal hammer and it really packs a punch.

Anyway, on to business. Thanks to some help from a wonderful lady named Dani, who played mother to my kids while I played construction worker, I was able to take down the wall in just one afternoon.  I tell you, there is power in knocking down walls.  It was invigorating in a way I've never expected. 
 See, I'm invigorated!

The Captain helped by tearing down the remaining wall you see in that picture.  As you can see, there's a dark spot where the soap dish used to be.  That would be mold.  I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed it with mold killer then let it dry out.  Those first few days were really toxic, but you could tell after a while that we'd gotten all the mold.  Ultimately, I am glad to conquer this project because it would've come up eventually. I also replaced a water-damaged cross bar between the studs. 

After making sure all the nails were out, I started installing cement board.  

Cement board is heavy and not easy to cut.  I surprised myself by lifting it onto the wall alone.  I had both walls installed when I changed my mind and redid them.  They weren't square and plumb enough, and I didn't like the job I'd done cutting the pipe holes.
So I re-did a portion of the pipe wall.  It helped that I found my jigsaw and could cut better holes.  At least the botched wall gave me a good hole template.  When I redid the wall, I made sure to hang the boards so they were just a fraction of an inch above the tub flange, rather than resting on it.  That way they hung more plumb.  I was much happier. 

(Remember how I mentioned that breaking down walls was invigorating?  Well, I discovered putting up walls is also invigorating.  I look down at my hands and I cannot believe they've done what they have.  It's a cool feeling.)

I decided to also tear out the third (back) wall. 
When I had the cement wall hung as I liked, I put up corner striping and mud and tape.

Notice anything missing?
Captain did, and he pointed it out.  He expected me to cry, but it made me laugh.  It was pretty easily fixed.
I made an approximate hole and then cut a more accurate hole.
A little more mud and tape and voila! Now we can have a shower, too.

I'm glad he caught that.

This is me after sanding the drywall.
Two words describe sanding drywall:  white boogers.  (Yes, I had on a mask.)

 I'm glad I thought ahead and put up a curtain to keep the dust from covering all of my bathroom.
To be continued...


  1. You are so impressive my friend! The missing shower hole made me giggle vim glad you caught it before you finished the wall.

  2. Giiiiiiirl! You are a super woman! Keep us up on how much you're spending as well!