Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Dear Friend, When you begin a home improvement project, it helps to determine upfront what level of complexity is involved. Is the project merely cosmetic in nature, requiring minimal surface preparation, removal of bulky items, or major technical skills such as mechanical, plumbing, roofing or electrical? Does it involve a moderate-level of complexity consisting of some light demolition, surface preparation, or minor technical skills? Or is the project a “gut rehab” that requires removing walls, flooring, or ceilings and involves major technical skills?
Though I initially classified the master bathroom remodel as a “moderate-level” project, it quickly turned into one with “gut rehab” complexity. I considered doing the plumbing portion myself, having previously consolidated plumbing lines in my guest bathroom and researched installing a shower pan on YouTube. But I decided to play it safe and hired a professional plumber through Angie’s List. While this proved to be a wise decision, the advanced preparation work required a level of demolition I didn’t anticipate.
Check out today’s edition to see how I handled this “gut rehab” job!
The Thriving Marriage Coach
The light-weight sledge hammer I tried to use to remove the shower floor proved to be no match against the unseen 4-inch deep foundation beneath the tile. Off I went to the Home Depot to purchase a major upgraded sledge hammer, which did the job but took far more energy and time than expected. The work that began early Sunday afternoon continued into the wee hours of Monday morning. It had to be completed to prepare the area for the plumber’s early morning visit.
Down and Dirty
Busting up tile with a large sledge hammer can be therapeutic. It can also be downright dirty! Did I mention the wood rot and nasty black mold I found behind the main shower wall and underneath the threshold? Yep, that had to be removed and rebuilt before the plumber’s part could be done, requiring another visit to the Home Depot to purchase a reciprocating saw that was not part of my toolbox or factored into the cost. And this work required me to get down on my knees (not a bad posture at this point in the project) to address the problem.
The remaining demon…I mean “demo” work had more surprises in store, especially for a one-man job. After removing the floor and one wall to enable the plumber to perform his magic, I proceeded to remove the two remaining walls, stripping the entire shower area down to the studs. I was surprised to learn that the wall facing the brick exterior of the house was only insulated with a thin paper and aluminum foil-type material.
Things got really interesting when I began to remove the ceiling tiles. With no supporting walls to uphold the weight, and the law of gravity beginning to take effect, over ninety percent of the ceiling began to teeter and nearly collapsed. I literally paused to pray and asked God to show me exactly where I needed to strike the mallet to direct the falling slab away from the fragile copper water lines and my fragile skull!
Don’t Just Survive the Surprise
Complex remodeling requires tearing things down before building back up. Needless to say, I survived the demo process. But just surviving doesn’t ensure your project will thrive. CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 30-minute preview to learn how to take your relationship to the next level and enjoy a marriage that thrives.