Week 2 Renovation

The story of Week 2 was…not much happened. The discoveries of the end of week 1 (asbestos-y tile and an old plumbing/carpentry cockup) put the brakes on much of the work from this week and led to a series of rolling delays.

Monday was carpentry. The solution to the cut joist and overly aggressively notched joists in the bathroom was cross bracing, rather than sistering.


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Monday I also had a lengthy conversation with the project designer and the cabinet maker where we went over each detail and measurement from every angle to make sure I knew what I wanted, what this would mean both aesthetically and functionally, and to make sure the cabinet maker knew what I wanted. This was very long and there was a lot of tape measuring and in some cases I couldn’t decide (or had no means of deciding) between two choices, so took recommendations. At the end I felt good about things and one of the upshots was the original plan to get a counter depth french door model refrigerator didn’t make sense. Now I’m going with a regular depth french door fridge at a savings of about 6 or 800 dollars. I had decided on a counter depth model before I decided to move the door, so it wasn’t necessary and might have created a problem to have a shallower fridge. Ordered that Monday and scheduled it for December 2 delivery. I also ordered a bunch of new door pulls for the new and old cabinets.

Tuesday was plumbing. With the carpentry taken care of, the plumbers could work on the bathroom plumbing. Until they discovered that the existing plumbing for the toilet and heading up to the third floor weren’t going to work. So we had to sacrifice more plaster in the bathroom wall and some of the dining room wall (where there is a column for plumbing) to get the old plumbing out and the new plumbing in.

But Tuesday had some other developments, like installation of a new programmable thermostat and the insulation of my basement exit door.


I have a soft spot in my heart for fully manual thermostats. They’re very conceptually simple — too cold, turn the heat up. warm enough, nudge it down. But of course it is kind of wasteful when you leave the house too warm during the day because you forgot to turn it down or just didn’t turn it down enough. So this thermostat, at about $250 seemed like a good investment. Many of the other energy saving choices will probably not pay for themselves in a reasonable (10 year) horizon, but I expect this one will — heck even within a year or two. But, you’ve got to spend your money on something so it might as well be energy efficiency for the good of the planet.

Tuesday night we had a fire in the fireplace. I bought a load of firewood in October and the providers indicated it was somewhat seasoned. Not even close. So I’m somewhat shamefully using kiln-dried firewood I buy at the store as needed. Very cozy.


Plumbers came back Wednesday and finished off the rough-in.


Thursday not much happened because the Town of Blacksburg inspector was not available for a rough-in inspection. So Thursday was moving the tub up and connecting the plumbing and framing it in a bit.


Friday was some preparations for the inspection, including filling holes and gaps around vertical piping to establish fire blocks. We passed, with the note that the half-bath plumbing leaked some during the air test.