As promised I am continuing to chronicle our bathroom renovation. In the last post the main demolition that was started was removing the tiles. After I had removed the tile what was next was removing the plaster. It isn’t drywall throughout the house, because of the home’s age what was most common at the time was plaster. Before I started, I looked up “how to tear down plaster walls” on YouTube. Most of the videos I found were pretty informative. A lot of them though explained how plaster and lathe is removed. I am so glad that in this house there doesn’t seem to be any lathe. Phew! The plaster was messy enough to clean up.
Because Derek works regular daytime hours, to speed things along I decided to tackle the plaster demo myself with the help of my mom otherwise known as “Ralph”. That was my grandpa’s nickname for my mom and I will explain that in a later post. A tip I would recommend when renovating a house for the first time is to borrow tools. Of course it is a great idea to have a basic tool set of your own for various things, like picture hanging, hardware replacement or repair etc; however, for those larger more expensive items if you can borrow said item from a friend or relative this will save you a ton of money. Especially since you may not be sure when you’ll need such a tool again, perhaps never. If you find yourself doing renovations and making things all the time and borrowing is becoming a burden that is a better time to think about investing in the right tools. Since Gord is our go-to handyman, we asked him if we could borrow a sledgehammer. He lent us one small one and one large one. As an added bonus he let us borrow this magical tool. It’s called the Super Wonder Bar! This thing has to be one of the best things ever! It’s a pry bar. It is really great for removing nails and other stubborn things that are at an awkward angle where a regular crowbar is just too big and clunky. The Super Wonder Bar allows you to get proper leverage. When working in a small space like this one I would say it is almost a necessity. By the way I am not kidding, the name of this tool is really “The Super Wonder Bar”. With the tools I was almost ready to tackle the demo.
Safety first. Even before removing the tile, it was important to have proper safety gear. I went to my local Home Hardware and purchased some safety goggles, ear plugs, gloves and a mask that was effective for keeping dust particles and such out of my lungs. Just a side note: many safety goggles that are available in store are one size. They are made for a man of average height and weight. Grrrrr. So even though it was irritating I went to a Canadian Tire after realizing the glasses would not stay on my tiny woman face to look for more suitable ones. The gender discrimination amongst proper construction attire is very frustrating to me. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to remain safe on the job for a woman in construction. More power to them. Found the glasses. One word…bedazzled. Yes, the only pair of glasses that were “for women”, and I put that in quotation marks because safety glasses shouldn’t be gendered they should make different sizes surely there are men with smaller heads and faces! Ugh. The only pair of glasses “for women” were bedazzled. Along the sides there were rhinestones. Anyways, I wore them and they fit perfectly and they kept dust and shards of ceramic tile from scratching my eyeballs. I wore them proudly.
So after working away for a couple hours the wall was removed! Huzzah! My mom had returned when I had just finished. I was excited to show her the progress. I pull her into the washroom and say, “Done!” She looks at the wall and says, “Cool…uhh what’s that pipe doing there?” I turn and look at said pipe. My eyes widen and I reply, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiit”. My mom laughs tauntingly. I laugh too. The wall we were planning on moving has a pipe running through it. It runs all the way from the basement, through to the main floor, the second floor and then the roof. There goes some of our contingency fund. There were few options if we wanted to move the wall and have the tub moved on the other side of this pipe. We had a plumber come in almost immediately to see how difficult it would be to move it and how much it would cost us. The pipe is necessary as it is a pipe that vents out the sewer gases. Pipe relocation was added to our list of expenses. Oh well. What are you gonna do, right?
By the way, that’s my partner Derek in that last photo. My sentiments exactly Derek. Catch you guys later!