It’s been an gruelling end of winter here at the Fantabulous house. I’ve been slogging away at comic work mostly, but now that the Minority Monsters book is sent off to the printers I have a free sunday to do an update!
When we last left the kitchen it looked like this:
Behold! A gateway to the new bathroom! The room was letting out out a lot of warm air (due to poor insulation and a hole for the bathroom extractor) so first thing was putting a door in the hole to cut down on heating.
I considered buying a new door but fortunately for me I had a spare one from when Ruben and I took out the hallway wall
These doors got ‘modernised’ in the 70s with chipboard and trim, but a chisel reveals the beauty hidden away…
I even had the door frame (mostly) intact from when we ripped it out. This is why keeping all the random bits of scrap wood ‘just in case’ works out.
Some huffing and puffing, hammering and cutting, swearing and tearing later; I have a frame in!
BEHOLD! BATHROOM PRIVACY.
The door was about 1cm too wide for the doorway so I used a circular saw (having to rest periodically for the battery to cool down) and a handsaw to finish off.
Here’s my ingenious method for keeping the door closed while I waited for the handle hardware to arrive.
Next thing was to update the insulation on the far wall and build a stud to support it.
Unfortunately this meant taking out the old toilet cistern… with a shut off valve that didn’t actually shut off properly.
Mum to the rescue!
In boxing day tradition we decided to check what local shops were open and managed to buy a pipe freezing kit. This would freeze the water inside long enough to change the stop valve for one that actually worked and get the grubby old toilet off the wall.
Some commemorative graffiti for anyone who ever opens up the wall years from now. I highly recommend hiding things in your home wall space for this reason.
Then we began building the stud wall. Here’s the shower bits laid out so we know it looks right.
The stud was built in sections so we could put felt on the back to prevent moisture getting into the room and insulation.
A lot of wangling and we get it in!
Next day we begin on the rest of the wall.
Then one last big one to go in the middle!
I had to smooth down some brick work in the middle of the wall before the studs could go up in the final corner.
Safety first kids!
Then we spent many, many hours cutting out insulation with a knife to get it to fit into place.
The next week the very nice building inspector man came to look at our handy work. He asked to check the backing but when I proudly pulled a square of insulation out his face fell and he said
“I’m very sorry… but that’s the wrong kind of roofing membrane. You need vapour barrier, not felt.”
“You’re going to have to change it or condensation will build up on the inside”
WHELP, TIME TO DO THE STUD WALL AGAIN
ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
So the next time I had a sunday free I carefully labelled all the insulation blocks and took them out the frame.
Then awkwardly wiggled the middle stud out and put it to the side.
Ripped out the FELT OF BETRAYAL
Put in the correct Vent Light stuff
Very fortunately for me I could get around the back of the stud and staple gun the two sides insitu, so only the middle section had to be removed.
Then shoved the middle stud back
And beat the thing up until it was level again.
Then lots of insulation and taping occurred. I’m so glad I labelled these before I took them out- it was a puzzle even with the numbers.
Lastly I made a stud above the window and popped some insulation up there, ready for the builders to come in and start work.
Start of January and the plumber/electricians turn up for the bathroom.
They make very quick work of pulling up the floor upstairs.
Laying in the new pipes
What light through yonder window breaks?
Tis the upstairs bedroom, and tis disconcerting as hell.
Pipes all going in. God these guys make it look easy.
Shower business! The pipe is bent so there’s less likely to be issues with pipes leaking- important with a concealed shower unit!
Plaster board for some nice new walls!
I got the builders to put in moisture resistant board around the shower, but even that’s not completely safe (even with tiles on top) so I bought a tanking kit and set to water proofing the shower.
The kit includes some tape for joints as well as slurry to go over the top which is like a low odour rubber. So I put on the first coat and happily went upstairs to bed…
Only to come down the next morning to a floor full of water.
Fortunately the plumber had planned ahead and had put in a stop valve in the floor upstairs so we could switch just the new the bathroom off and still use the water in the house.
We initially thought it was the middle valve, so got on to the factory about a replacement. They needed a bunch more info so that meant I had to get the plumber back to take the plaster off and have a deeper look.
Some more faffing (and weeks) later we finally diagnose the problem as this teeny tiny crack in the brass. Then I start a fun game where the factory blamed the plumber for over tightening it and the plumber says there’s no way the factory can tell it’s over tightened from a photo. In the end I just gave the plumber the factory’s number and got them to sort it out themselves. Finally the factory relented and I am now in ownership of a new valve, ready for me to call up the plumber on monday to get it fitted.
It’s not all doom and gloom though- in the meantime I’ve been able to work on getting the newly plastered walls painted:
I went with wall lights because I thought they were super cool??? But also makes more flattering lighting for looking into the mirror- I’m getting old now so need all the help I can get. 😛
I also managed to get some SUPER CHEAP green tiles for £14 a metre, taking the last 10 boxes topps tiles had in the country.
After much searching I also managed to find a beautiful trim tile which is almost a perfect colour match- though in typical tile style (and because my mains were so cheap) the border of 50 tiles cost me more than the ENTIRE 1400 other ones.
Then, because I like to give myself work, I decided I would tile the shower enclosure on the angle. To get this right I screwed a wood guide to the wall at 45 degrees, the got tiling.
HNNNGH IT LOOKS SO NICE
Doing it on an angle takes a lot more time but it also makes the entire wall look like snake skin and I am 1000% into that.
Now it’s time to get the shower fixed, and do the rest of the room!
I cannot wait 😀