Dave's New Bathroom

Well, it's not the 20th yet, but it is a rainy Sunday so I went and made a small start (click photos for explanation):

Saturday 14th January 2006:

My friend Dan and I started on all the woodwork for the bathroom, which is basically just the new boxing for the soil stack. This incorporates four storage spaces with low voltage down lighters. Two of these will also have shaver points.

Not bad for a day's work. It leaves me very little to do tomorrow, which is good. I did forget to make a hole for the toilet waste pipe though, so I must do that, and I also forgot to add extra storage compartments for bog rolls and bog brush, but that won't take long.

Next update on Friday 20th, if not tomorrow...

Sunday 15th January 2006:

I've decided not to mess around in the freezing cold garage with bits of wood today, so instead I've put the bath and it's panel together.

That really is it for today, next update on Friday after I've removed the old suite.

Friday 20th January 2006:

Right, just got back from the pub after a really productive evening. I skived off work at 3 this afternoon, so got home at half past and got straight on with it. Photos say it better:

Not bad for four and a half hours! That's it for now. Must go and watch some TV with a big glass of Highland Park.

Another update tomorrow night...

Saturday 21st January 2006:

Not much visible work done today, but plenty of behind the scenes stuff. My brother in law Al and I tackled the soil stack and succeeded relatively easily. I'd set aside a full day for this and I was pretty worried about it, so it was good to get it done. We also hired a skip to get rid of the old bathroom suite, and a load of other old crap...

That's it for today. I gave up pretty early at around 5, but it was such a nice evening I had to go up in the garden and watch the airliners go over as the sun set. Plans for tomorrow: get the bath fixed, including the waste, and plumb in the toilet and sink. I may also do the radiator, but we'll see...

Sunday 22nd January 2006:

A very productive day today, thanks to Dan and Dave. It would have been even more so, as Mel was hoping to start tiling, but we haven't got enough sealant to seal the bath, and I daren't risk filling and emptying it as various fittings (the strap boss mainly) need time to cure. Anyway, I got all of the plumbing finished, and with some help we got the bath properly fixed in place (and perfectly level)...

Not many photos today, but we got into it pretty well and before we knew it, it was 6 o'clock. The plan for tomorrow is to sort out all the electrics and fit the shower. I'm removing the pull cord light switch (which is a shame as I made it - see my lathe page), and replacing it with a normal switch outside in the hall. I think so anyway... we'll see...

Monday 23rd January 2006:

Again, not many photos today, but an impressive amount of work. I've installed the shower, complete with both pipes and cables. With Dan & Al helping I've also re-installed most of the door frame...

That's it for today - pub quiz tonight...

Tuesday 24th January 2006:

Oh god - today was a complete nightmare. It started off well: I assembled the shelving the unit, which needs a little bit of tidying up, but not much - that's all OK.
So I finished that, and decided to turn the water on for the first time. Scary. Hot water first... fine, no problem. Little less flow from the hot bath tap than would be ideal, but OK.
Now the big one... cold water. All seems well at first... cistern starts to fill OK. But the connection to the shower is dripping, bugger. Not unexpected, but disappointing. Also, the tap connector into the base of the cistern is dripping too. The cistern is easily fixed, but the shower is being a pig. I end up chasing leaks all around the two compression elbow connectors, so in the end I take the whole damn thing apart and reassemble it with masses of PTFE tape... all fixed, phew, happy again.
So Mel and I decide to fill the bath to see how far it moves when full of water (we need to know this before we start tiling). It doesn't move at all... good. Everything's starting to go OK, until I release the plug in the bath to empty it. Water everywhere... dripping from two points on the waste. What's worse is that now the bath is fixed in place, I can't get in there to disassemble the thing to fix it. I've had a go, and will check it tomorrow morning. If it doesn't work, then tomorrow will be a big backward step as I have to remove lots of stuff. It will be fixed though.

On a more positive note, Dan has excelled himself by plastering the area around the door frame. Despite admitting he was "a bit scared" about doing it just before starting, he's done a damn good job and I'm well chuffed with it.

Anyway, enough rambling... some photos...

Oh well... I've got a beer and a take-away curry, so I can forget about this for a while and watch some crap on TV.
Sigh...

Wednesday 25th January 2006:

Seeing as yesterday was so much of a chore, I thought I'd give myself a day off today. That doesn't mean that nothing was done though. I did check the bath waste first thing this morning, and that appears to be OK now. The main progress today is that Mel has made a start on the tiling...

That's all for today. I'll get back into it tomorrow...

Thursday 26th January 2006:

Oops... I forgot to take any photos today, and to do the update, so I'm cheating and doing it now (Friday).
I've more or less finished the wooden shelving unit behind the toilet, including the extra bit that I hadn't planned.
Also, Dan has been back and done the finish coat of plaster. It needs a bit of a sand, but otherwise it's perfect.

Friday 27th January 2006:

OK, I remembered the camera today. It's been a bit hectic as both Mel and I have been working in the room. Mel has been painting and tiling, and I've been fitting the sink. That's all I had planned for today, so I've left her to it for now...

I will probably do another update later, as a few more tiles and a couple more coats of paint will make a big difference. I'll be able to put the door back on tomorrow, so the room will be usable for the party, but I think I'll leave the radiator until Sunday now. and we haven't even thought about the floor covering yet...

Saturday 28th January 2006:

D-Day. I got up to find the cistern leaking slightly from one of its fixing bolts. I had to empty and dismantle the toilet to fix it, but it didn't take long. Strange that it was fine for 4 days, then started leaking.
After that I got on with refitting the door. It's amazing the difference that made - with all the little architrave pieces fitted around the frame. The door is a bit tight to the carpet, but I'm not going to plane it down until we have the carpet changed. It's still that hideous blue stuff, so it won't be long...
The lower half of the door frame is not vertical for some reason, so there is a small gap at the bottom on one side. I should be able to correct this though.
After all that, I decided that enough was enough for one week, so my brother Simon and I went out on a shopping expedition for party food, (with a detour to the local for a pint). While we were gone (for three hours!) Mel, Dave & Al put some finishing touches to the door and various other things. It really does look like the door has always been in this position, which is pretty cool...

Well, that's my involvement pretty much over (thank god!). I have to go back to work tomorrow so I can relax a bit. Mel has next week off to finish the tiling and things like that.
I still have to fit the towel rail, and the side of the wooden shelving, and a couple of shaver sockets, and move the light pull cord, and connect up the downlighters, and sort out a shower curtain, but those are all pretty small jobs to be tackled over the next few weekends...

Sunday 29th January 2006:

Day off today. We are both a bit fed up of working on the bathroom, and as it's such a nice day we went up to Dartmoor for a long walk...

That's mostly it. I won't be doing any more nightly updates, but hopefully by next weekend, progress will justify another one...

Tuesday 5th September 2006:

OK, so 7 months is a bloody long time to leave it, especially as my last comment was "by next weekend...", but the summer is just too hot to be doing stuff like this, and I got caught up with music servers and things like that. Anyway, where was I? The bathroom, that was it. I will admit, I fell into the "it's almost done, and we can use it now" trap. But today brought the first significant progress since January. We had a sparky round to finally wire in the shower. I've spent the whole day worrying, because I didn't really know for sure that all those pesky speedfit reinforcers hadn't lowered the water pressure by too much. The shower needs 9 litres per minute at 1 bar. I can't check the pressure, but the flow from the bath tap was 18 litres per minute. Still, nerve-wracking stuff, as if that low pressure light came on it would mean installing a new pipe, which in turn would mean having to put it in the room as opposed to behind the tiles, and I would also have to drill a hole in the bath. Also, remember the trouble I had with leaks when fitting the shower. I had no idea whether that would start up again.
Anyway, Steve (the electrician) made seemingly light work of it all, installing an additional shower consumer unit and isolating switch, and checking that what I had done already was OK (it was!). Commissioning the shower was a breeze, and it all ended happily, with none of the problems I'd been expecting:

I should probably add that since the last update, Mel has done all the skirting board in the room, and made a bloody good job of it too.
At some point, (I can't remember when exactly as I'm actually writing this little sentence on May 8th 2007 after reading this through again), Dan and I fitted the towel rail. No great problems encountered there, except that I got covered in scalding hot black sludge when cutting the first pipe because I hadn't drained the system down properly. We also managed to flood the garage because I installed a (intentionally and carefully) bent pipe upside down and the copper speedfit elbow couldn't seal as a result. Surprisingly, for such a heart-stopping situation, it was fixed by simply rotating the pipe, in place, into its proper position. I did drenched again, but this time with freezing cold water as I (sensibly) hadn't turned the boiler on yet.
Anyway... back to 8 months ago...


Still to do: Fit shower curtain (big head scratcher), connect shaver sockets and LV lights and sort the bath out once and for all. It is still dropping very slightly when full and opening up a gap in the sealant. Expect the next update sometime around 2008!


Big thanks to people for helping me with this:
Thanks to Mel for tiling and skirting-board-ing, taking pictures, tidying up and supplying coffee when the water is on (and beer when it isn't!)...
Thanks to my friend Dan for knowing how to knock seven bells out of delicate walls!...
Thanks to my father in law Dave for helping despite being decidedly not well....
Thanks to my brother in law Al for knowing how to operate a spanner in the tiniest of spaces.
Thanks to my mother in law Hazel for solving the problem of how to block up the old pipe boss.
...for all the help.