Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Slow progress, but progress nonetheless

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the bathroom reconstruction project, so I thought I'd let you know how it's going.

In short, it's going slowly

We started taking it to pieces on 30th April and by the time the plasterers arrived on 10th May, everything that was removable had gone; bath, wash-basin, toilet, airing cupboard, tiles, plaster, floor covering, lighting, the lot.

Here's how it looked at the various stages of dismantling

This is the point immediately prior to two days of plastering action, when we were completely bog-less. The only things that we didn't remove were the hot water tank and the central heating pump.

After the plastering, it looked like this.

Once the plastering was done, I refitted the old lavatory pan, which was a bit of a relief, then put back the old bathtub on temporary, flexible plumbing. Although this isn't awfully elegant and we have to use buckets of water to flush the toilet because there's no cistern, at least we can have a bath and go to lav without having to nip next door.

Everything seemed to be going pretty well.

Then one evening, as Blight-of-my-life was in the bath, she noticed a wet patch on the floor near the hot water tank.
"Have you spilt any water by the tank?"
"Err, I don't think so. Why?"
"I think it may be leaking"
I had a quick look. It was leaking.

It was time to call in the experts. In this case, it was time to call Mr Barnett.
I explained the problem and asked if he could fit a new hot water tank for us. With everything else that would normally be in the bathroom gone, there'd probably never be another time when installing a tank would be so easy.
There was good news and bad news. He said he could do the job, but not until the following Monday. Not only would we have no bathroom, but we'd have no hot water for the best part of a week.

After a couple of days, there was some better news. Mr Barnett was able to do the job three days sooner than he'd expected, so after just four days of kettle washes in the kitchen sink, we had proper hot water again, and I could start building the airing cupboard wall.

And here's where we were a couple of days ago. The stud wall is up and waiting for the shower manifold and associated piping. The ceiling is painted, all the walls have been primed with PVA and a coat of emulsion and the bracing is in place for the new bath.

As you can see, we still have the old bath and flush-by-bucket lavvie.
It's funny how you get used to things.


  1. You have two windows in your bathroom... TWO!! I am only over reacting because my family bathroom is windowless and dark and foosty... and the expelair is not powerful enough to sort out the steam (and by law we can't install a more powerful one) so we constantly have wet walls and fungus and mould problems... ah I dream of such a bathroom... and I could spend hours looking through plumbing mags at fittings...

  2. As you'll probably have guessed, there are two windows because the bathroom and toilet were originally separate. One of the first things we did, 30 years ago, was take down the partition wall between them. Not only did it make it easier to fit in the suite, but we also won a bit of extra floor area that had previously been wasted as part of the upstairs landing.

    I'm a bit puzzled about your bathroom extractor fan. Most of the rules and regulationss about ventilation of bathrooms tend to start with minimum airflow rates to prevent the sort of swampiness you describe, so not being allowed to "install a more powerful (extractor)" seems odd.
    It might be worth talking to somebody with a thorough knowledge of the most up to date Building Regulations...

  3. Looks like you're making good progress. Can you come and do mine when you're finished :o)

  4. Blimey! Going through all this caper twice in thirty years is probably twice too often already, so I shall politely decline your kind invitation :)