House renovation – Bathroom Part 1

With the winter nights closing in , more time is spent indoors, starting all those projects that have been put off throughout summer, and we are no exception. We purchased our 1950s house July 2019 for a bargain price and with that came alot of work to bring it up to scratch. I intend over the coming weeks to document all that we have done in relation to the home. Now the bathroom is something we all put off, primarily due to the inconvenience it causes with out of action wash facilities etc . Luckily we have a downstairs toilet however we lack another bath/shower room therefore this has to be taken into consideration when progressing with this project. So the intention is simple. Remove the dividing wall between the separate bathroom and toilet, easy you say?!

Wall dividing toilet and bathroom

Now before we could start any demolition work, the planning stage commenced. For us there was a few criteria for our new bathroom. Firstly we want to retain having a bath, secondly, we want a separate shower, thirdly, just a simple sink and toilet to complete the suite, fourthly cause as little disruption to the house hold routine as possible.

Removal of the old radiator

Job 1 which occurred prior was to remove the old radiator from the dividing wall. Luckily I have a family member is the trade who kindly came over and capped off the old pipework before removing the radiator and then putting a new towel radiator in the room in its new final position. Although in essence not an incredibly difficult task I would recommend paying someone to do this. In the end having foul radiator water leaking into your ceiling etc is not something worth risking in my view and ultimately money well spent.

Now let me start by confirming something which I know is abundantly clear already, I am not a builder and everything I suggest or have done is purely my own knowledge gained from life and conversations and does not constitute a professional opinion.

So I’ve split the task into several parts for a few reasons; limit the impact on life , with all projects I knew I needed to dedicate alot of time into this therefore two working parents and raising three children doesn’t offer much free time. Linking onto that I need to make sure we can all function ie wash when we need to. The second reason which I will go into is advice. Knocking down a wall isn’t is simple as taking a hammer and letting rip.

With the weekend presenting itself and a day of awful weather i took the plunge and began the project. Starting with removing the tiles on the bathroom wall i separated the waste into its different components. The reason behind this is due to our local waste sites only taking segregated waste therefore it seemed logical to do this as we progressed rather then delay an inevitable task! That left three different sacks of waste tiles, plasterboard and wood.

The work itself is relatively easy simply removing the tiles using a hammer and bolster and then bashing out the plastered board between the stud wall. This was quiet a messy task therefore I recommend that you both open windows to carry some of the dust away but also cover anything within the area as it gets extremely dusty. I would also advise wearing a mask as in my case I was disturbing material which had laid stationary for nearly 70 years!. Little tip, as you go clean up keeping your work area tidy and also hammer any nails exposed during the task into the studs. Getting sliced by one of these isn’t nice and I’m sure would test your immune system..

Stud wall exposed

Within 2 hours I had removed most of the tiles and the plasterboard, and this is were I drew the line for the day. Now that I have exposed the studs I have reached the current end to my knowledge and require a professional input. At this point I am unsure if this studwall is supporting any of the rafters in the roof and would be uncomfortable in taking the risk, therfore am seeking professional advice from a certified structural engineer. Part 2 will commence post inspection.

Thank you all for reading. Come back in the near future to see how the project is progressing!

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