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high desert. small house.

Days 269-271: Paneling Part III, More Bathroom

Friday, 4/8
The day started with a little butyl rubber here and a little plumber’s tape there.  The last requirement prior to securing the paneling over the plumbing wall is to make sure the plumbing objects are exactly how we want them.  That meant sealing off the places where the PVC comes through the floor and securing the bathroom vent in place (it has been rubbing [squeaking] against a stud during recent win buffetings).

Butyl rubber at the base of the ____

Butyl rubber at the base of the main drain stack.

Plumbing tape to _____ and a piece of wood to ____

Plumbers’ tape & a 2 x 4 scrap to pin the drain stack in place.  Rubber added under the plumber’s tape as a slight strain relief buffer.

By code, anywhere that _____

By code, any stud with plumbing or electrical wire through it needs a nail protector plate if there’s less than 1.25″ of wood shielding it.

With those tasks out of the way, it was time to start cutting holes in the paneling for the plumbing ends.  This was another wash, rinse, repeat situation except it was examine, cut, fit, mark, remove, cut, fit, etc.

Cutout for the bathroom vent.

Cutout for the bathroom vent.

Holes for the plumbing objects.

Holes for the plumbing objects.  [Some final cuts ended up less perfect and round but this was how they started.]

Yay, the panel is finally done!

Yay, the panel is finally done!

Saturday, 4/9
The outlet on one of the pieces of 1/2″ plywood (the pocket door side of the bathroom) was recessed – not flush.  Prior to starting new paneling tasks, this had to be corrected.  [It will later be discovered that Arlington ‘box extenders’ are the better solution.]

When we were originally setting that outlet in place, we did not have the exact plywood we would be using handy; so we had grabbed some scrap that we believed was the correct size and used that.  After attaching the 1/2″ plywood, it became apparent that it wasn’t quite right.

Once the outlet was done, we started working on the outside of the piano wall (the 5 foot section).  Once you count studs it is about 70″ wide.  That means we would need one 4×8 panel and then a partial piece a little more than 20″ wide.  Because these widths caused the edge of the panels to terminate in empty space, we had to first add in some scrap blocks for smooth attachment at the seam.

Saturday was carb day and we enjoyed tasty burritos and key lime pie.

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Cheat day delight – Mi Tierra Burrito. It has roast beef, pinto beans, cheese and a red chili sauce (complete with cactus chunks!).

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Because the wall material is combustible, the boxes have to be at least flush with it. Not the case here.

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After too much effort, Brian got it flush. However, the connection of the box to the stud was now floppy due to swiss cheesing of the area where the box’s nails went in. If only Brian had known the magic of Arlington box extenders….

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Securing the scraps so the panel edges would have a place to attach to.

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Brian has the hip mobility of a toddler.

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This is what happens when you use a hole saw from the ‘wrong’ side of the tri-ply.

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Thank you Vanna. The 4×8 piece with hole for sconce is complete! (The panels we attached over the weekend are actually only partially complete. We didn’t use screws on the top half of the pieces because we were running low and the hardware store doesn’t open until Monday.)

Sunday, 4/10
What a lovely day!  We woke early and took care of a bunch of things at the apartment, including:

  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Washed the shower curtains (there are FOUR of them to complete the circuit around the tub – there should only be two)
  • Swept up the box shreds that are all over the bedroom from Fred’s nesting efforts
  • Cleaned Fred’s cage
  • Vacuumed the living/kitchen room
  • Brushed Trooper’s right side and shaved the right side
  • Cooked two pounds of bacon to have as snack food during the week
  • Washed nearly all of our dishes and
  • Washed three loads of laundry
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The two big boxes against the wall are the mini-split for the new house. We’ve been storing them for awhile. The shredded box on top is the project we give Fred that consumes him in the evening. We stuff it full of toilet paper rolls (see them on the ground), egg cartons and other paper objects. Then, while we’re eating dinner he keeps himself busy throwing everything out on the ground and shredding the box.

At the house, we measured, trimmed, etc and finally attached the other panel for the kitchen side of the plumbing wall.  We had to shim one of the double outlet boxes because it wasn’t level with the paneling.  Then we did the whole routine for the remaining piece for the piano wall (the 20ish inch piece we mentioned on Saturday).  This piece required resetting the outlet boxes here as well because they were recessed too far [pssst box extenders]].  In this case, it was because the stud was out of plane.

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Other major kitchen wall panel is attached! One tiny strip to go.

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We cut the piece and the box openings for the 20″ piece but then had to pause progress to adjust the boxes.

Our next options were to finish the tiny piece on the kitchen wall or start on the inside of the bathroom.  Since the inside work is best done with two people, we decided to leave the skinny slice for Brian to do on a different day.

The first step inside the bathroom was to assemble the shower enclosure so we could cut the hole for the mixing valve.  Also, the shower enclosure needs to at least be dry-fit in place so we can measure the panel pieces that go above it.  We ran into a few issues with the mixing valve so we didn’t quite get to the paneling.  But that’s okay because we need to purchase the shower adhesive and secure it all in place prior to cutting the panels.

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Cutting the hole for the mixing valve. Getting dark….

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The first hole didn’t quite work so we had to widen it slightly.

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Even though we didn’t get the opening exactly right, the plate more than covers it all. Phew! We used a 3″ hole saw to be safe but a 5″ hole saw is about as big as you’d want to go in terms of keeping the hole covered.


  1. WAY TO GO!!!!!!!! You guys are awesome..

    • Thank you! Getting closer every day.

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