Days 123-124: Framing the Bathroom, Part 1

Saturday 11/14
We finished up at the shack around 2:45pm and headed over to the two hardware stores to check out their selection of vanities and toilets.  Our shower door arrived at the Las Cruces Home Depot but we aren’t required to pick it up for 30 days.  In the meantime, we decided to see if we can find our other bathroom fixtures locally; if not, we’ll plan to get them when we go to Cruces to grab our door.

After two brief hardware store visits, we rushed home, changed clothes and headed to the house.  We checked our lumber inventory to see what else we would need for the bathroom and rushed (back) to the lumber store.  It was about 4:20 when we arrived and they close at 5:00pm.  We purchased what we needed and started the selection process.  When we had the max capacity on the racks, I drove the wood to the shack (about 0.5 miles away; as opposed to 4 miles to get home) and dumped it.

I got back to the lumber store by 4:45.  We had the lumber loaded and were checking out at the gate at 4:59.  Phew!

We picked up the dog team and headed to the property.  By the time we had everything unloaded and organized in the house, it was 6:00pm, dark and we were starving.  Knowing it would be 7:00 by the time we finished with dinner, we decided to just call it a night.

There was a huge beautiful rainbow Sunday morning. While the entire thing is not shown in this photo, we were able to see it from our house.

There was a huge beautiful rainbow Sunday morning. While the entire thing is not shown in this photo, we were able to see it from our house.  [This area of the building pad is the only thing left to cover with gravel.]

Is there a pot of gold at that house? Brilliant colors!

Is there a pot of gold at that house? Brilliant colors!

Sunday 11/15
We woke pretty early and were at the house by 8:00am.  It was raining.  Not hard, but not merely misting either.  The whole point of the base course was to protect our driveway from developing into a mud hole.  And where is the base course?  Most of it is still in its mega-pile!

We decided to cover at least the building pad.  Other than one food break between 8:00am and 1:30pm, we did nothing but move and spread gravel.  We became super motivated halfway through and decided to do the whole driveway.  Why so motivated?  We found out there was a snow storm predicted for the next day.

We checked our bathroom plan by marking where the two walls would connect to the arched wall. Then we moved to framing.

We checked our bathroom plan by marking where the two walls would connect to the arched wall. Then we moved on to framing.

We grabbed more food at 1:30pm and picked up the framing book from home.  Next step was scaffold trim-down and bathroom framing.  We took apart most of the scaffold and organized the lumber.  For the bathroom, we have three walls to build –

This is the bathroom floor plan and walls.

This is the bathroom floor plan and walls.

  • The 8 foot long, 2×6 plumbing wall (between the kitchen and bathroom)
    • This wall runs connects to the arched wall and will require precise plate and top plate cuts to make it meet properly.
    • According to our original spacing plan (10′ for the futon space, 5′ for the bathroom) this wall ends up conflicting with a cross beam.  We decided to inch the wall northward and take some space from the futon/bedroom area.  That way we will avoid collision with the top plate and rim joist.
    • We read that it is helpful to center the shower mixing valve between the studs so it is easy to install and work on.  We only recently read this tidbit (and also only recently decided on the size of our shower enclosure), so the stud schematic does not accommodate a centered space for the mixing valve.  We toyed with the idea of having the faucet off-center inside the shower but ultimately decided to shift a stud and add an extra so that the mixing valve can sit in the center.
  • The 5 foot long, 2×4 wall (faces the center of the house)
    • This wall should be the most straightforward.  No plumbing fixtures and no door.
  • The 8 foot long, 2×4 wall with pocket door (pocket door opens into futon area)
    • This wall will not have any plumbing but will have wiring and the pocket door hardware. Since the pocket door will require modified studs, we decided not to start here.
    • This wall will also connect to the arched wall and will therefore require precise plate and top plate cuts.

All of the points brought up for the plumbing wall came up while we were constructing it.  We thought that it was going to be the easiest wall.  We didn’t know it would collide with the cross beam and we hadn’t realized how tricky it would be to connect to the arched wall.  After we built the plumbing wall, we tipped it up and discussed how to move forward.  Then we stopped for the night.

New minimal scaffold - we removed the two pairs of legs that were previously in the center, their cross braces and the big long braces that were on the sides.

New minimal scaffold – we removed the two pairs of legs that were previously in the center, their cross braces and the big long braces that were on the sides.

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