This morning I got back to work in the exam room after a week’s absence and a gnawing hunger to break more stuff reached the boiling point. When last we left off, the huge pile of debris had disappeared and the walls in the main office were laid bare to the studs.
I started by shutting off the water to the sink and disconnecting the trap; moving it into the front room was easy. The toilet, however, has some ass-tacular piping that won’t fully shut off. The drunken plumber who extended the lines into the bathroom used a mixture of copper, pvc, chewing gum and prayer to get water to the toilet, and because of a $0.39 plastic faucet I can’t yank it. So that will all be coming out when the lines get moved.
After cursing an empty room for a while, I started dropping the cieling over the bathroom, which was installed about a foot lower than the exam room, in line with the front porch roof beyond. Several things became clear as the drywall came down; one of which was that the carpenter must have been related to the plumber, or possibly drinking buddies. The second was that the ends of the joists in the blue bedroom above were open to the uninsulated air above the porch, resulting in very cold floors during the winter.
Next, I took a crowbar to the rest of the bathroom walls, pulling down the nasty red paneling and the nastier sheetrock underneath. The carpenters must have been in a hurry, because half the studs they installed were studs in theory alone: two short pieces of scrap wood joined to make one long piece. Thankfully, the end studs were whole, which meant the walls never fell down.
Continuing out into the front office, I found that the outer wall came later than the inner wall, because it was framed over the drywall on the ceiling and the nice pine flooring. This is perplexing. It means neither of these walls are load-bearing in the traditional sense; It also means I’ll probably have to yank some of the office ceiling down to see what I’m framing against.
Looking around this week, I found Lowe’s has stock Pella store-brand windows that are almost exactly the size we need; $100 will get us a white double-hung window with a low-E rating and insulated glass to put in along the outside wall, which is definitely affordable. I’m thinking about six of them, possibly in a bank like the ones above, or maybe spread out in pairs of two.
Doors seem to be relatively inexpensive, too: I found a prehung wooden single French door for a little under $200, but I’ll probably have to special order it. And then, there are toilets and sinks….