Bathroom Over the Front Door
This is about half demoed now but I stopped when I shifted to working on the bedroom over the garage at Marlborough. I want to get back on it but am trying to figure out the right approach. It has a metal skin on the outside and that should stay there while the rest of the demo is done and while the new framing is constructed. Actually, it shouldn't just stay there, it should be raised up a bit because it has sagged downward at the parts furtheest from the house wall.
I also had replaced rotted floor joists and made temp frames to support the roof. Now I see that these might need shims or sisters to line up with the rest. But I'm not sure about that because I think the old floor parts are coming out anyway.
- how to put a sheating layer on the outside of the frame with the metal in place?
- how to support metal during demo?
- how much more demo can be done safely before framing?
- can metal panels be removed piecewise to attach sheating?
Can this actually be done right without ripping it all off?
- 09 Oct 2021
Build out from what is solid: right now we have 4 good joists in the middle. So support the ceiling from those, with some diagnoals reaching out further atthe ceiling. This will mean bringing in the two side wall temporary supports to put them over the good new joists.
Then continue to add new strong joists to replace the old ones.
I believe the southwest corner cantilever is what gave out so that the wall sagged there.
We want to get a temporary wall frame inside the south wall, near it, that can hold it up. The we want to remove material from that wall, especially at the west end of it where it joins the west wall, because we want to build a new west wall frame that goes all the way to the corner and is supported well from below.
- 10 Oct 2021 - 15:44
When I installed the 4 new joists I was focused on making them vertically strong and supporting them vertically on the wall. But now I am concerned that I did not tie them to the house joists so that they can't slide out horizontally. So I want to address that now.
- tie new joists in horizontally (3 of 4 - 4th is in pocket)
- insulate floor temporarily
- replace pieced plywood with single sheet for strength
- cap over copper lines at wall
- run a new 12-2 line for receptacles (and maybe some heat)
- run a new 14-2 line for lights (these 2 may be joined in the bsmt)
- re-connect electric line going to front of house
- 13 Nov 2021 - 09:20
Just finished the electrical items above. There is now a circuit breaker for the front bathroom (doing both the lights and the receptacles).
Will get back to the carpentry next. Maybe use steel plates to tie joists to old ones?
- 28 Nov 2021 - 13:26
Tied 3 of the 4 new joists to the old ones inside the house. Used a few different spacers and wood (mostly plywood). Used 'construction lags' which are pretty great: they use T30 torx and could be driven to 8" depths.
- duplicate south temp. frame over 4th joist.
- remove south temp frame
- extend support towards south w diagonals
- ADDING: lift wall off of corner load so it is safe to remove and replace the under support at the corner
- shore up 5th joist (old rotten one), extend to west wall line
- " 6th " - this one is not parallel at the moment
- " 7th " ?
- 04 Dec 2021 - 16:12
Weather is warming up so getting back to this. A little more writing today about the strategy here because it is not super simple.
The weakest area is under the SW corner: that has crumbled and allowed the south wall to sag. To replace that with good new structure I need to hold up the south wall by supporting it from above, and then cut out the bottom of the south wall so it is all exposed. This is to get the load off the floor joists so they can be replaced or shored up. It is tricky because the south wall structure is very unclear. It might be that removing plaster will be removing the main support. And removing some of the bottom of the wall to get the load off the floor might bring the whole wall down. The goal is to remove weight and load without removing the structure as much as possible.
This morning I woke up worrying about this project. It is annoyingly public and exposed. If I knew a way to pay $10 - $20k to get the structure rebuilt that would be very appealing, but I don't, and I doubt if that price is at all right, and I also really doubt if it would be done well. I know the work that was done at 3950 by "pros" has a few glaring thoghtless mistakes.
SW wall: are the wood parts holding this up? I remember that the lag screws for the bars go into air, not wood. So what if it it the lath and plaster that is holding up the whole wall? Can we remove that? One way to know when we are supporting it right with temp framing is to measure it go up slightly with jack before the frmae goes in. But there's also the question of what is holding the metal sheets on. At some point when we remove the wrong piece of wood the sheets won't be attached to anything. From what I've seen there are nails through the sheets and a lot of the wood behind them is rotted.
The Dec 4 plan above still looks like the right next steps. The only thing is that exposing the 5th joist, by removing the top floor sheathing, is removing a serious SW wall support (when you look at the way that wall is supported from below on a cantilever).
- 02 Apr 2022 - 08:09
Yesteday did the first 3 steps of the dec 4 list. Sistering joist #5 should not be hard and it looks pretty solid until it gets past the I beam. But I don't think it is smart to fiddle with the 6th or 7th joists until the wall is lifted up slightly, so we know isn't being supported on the SW corner.
I see an I beam going down too which I was not aware of.
- 03 Apr 2022 - 16:37
Shored up the 5th joist a few weeks ago (4th item on Dec 4 list). Used 6" GRK screws to tie sisters to it. Those are amazing screws.
Tried raising corner a little with a jack but got nervous when there were cracking sounds and it seemed like it might make things fall apart, so decided to switch to building a 'real' section of the wall in the middle of the west wall, to make that strong first. Yesterday added a girder on the ends of the floor joists that have been replaced (#1 - 5 joists) and it extends well into the corner though not quite to very corner. Today will add floor sheath above that and then a 2x6 sole plate which should make that all strong. Then build wall above it. Surprised to read online that headers above windows are often made from two 2x10's, but that's what I'm doing. Will leave large aperture around diamond window.
Want a temporary top plate to go near the corner, so that can be supported on the new wall on one end and then be jacked up near the corner. Aiming to get the weight off the corner so we can sister the 6th joist which can then be tied to the girder. The 6th joist is not coming out straight. It either got pulled to the side when the corner sagged or someone knocked it in that direction as part of an old "fix" to the framing. Also, the 6th joist is a 3x4, not a 3x6 like the others.
If the corner is lifted enough to get the weight off it then things then things will be less stable and more risky, so that's not something to rush on. It might be good to try to remove weight -- things like plaster -- first. But I think the plaster on the south wall may be a big part of the structure in that wall now.
Also, just a note that the ends of joists 1 - 4 are not on exact 16" spacings. They have an error of about 1/8" in the gaps that adds up to about 1/2" over the 4. Here are the centers starting from the north side of #1 (at the outside wall end of the joists):
I'm wondering if it's better to put the wall studs directly over these or to make the wall studs 'right'. Leaning towards 'right'.
- 21 Apr 2022 - 08:10
Yesterday I built the first section of the wall frame, roughly 4' wide in the middle of the west wall. It looks pretty good. But it needs diagonals or a sheet of plywood, and it needs to be tied to the roof. It is not actually holding up any weight right now. The 'spyder' saw blades make really controllable cuts and the framing nailer worked well.
- 22 Apr 2022 - 08:07
West wall: left 2/3rd removed now, middle 1/2 replaced with new framing (though not tied in yet). Top beam (old 3x4) of this wall very rotted. Old plank sheathing mostly very rotted, though top planks are better than lower ones. What is keeping this up? The metal is thick and probably very heavy. It is tied to old sheathing with nails. There are visible nail heads on the exterior, painted over. Not sure but probably original, though the plates have lap joints that look as though they were supposed to be nailed in a way that kept the nails covered. At the top there is probably old tar paper and roofing tied in to it with a cumulative holding effect but who knows.
- add diagonals to new section and tie it to ceiling/roof/masonry wall
- attach metal to new section from outside without removing panels
That would give new section support to metal and roof. Then work towards SW corner. But how? Need to get into corner but afraid to remove material from S wall. There's a piece of old beadboard that is resting on the rotted corner diagonal with some weight.
- 28 Apr 2022 - 07:06
Yesterday added 2 good screws from outside metal into header of wall for a little stabilizing. Added one diagnoal on inside of wall Added temp connection from wall to temp support framing to keep it vertical.
Yesterday also cut into ceiling to expose the roof framing. In the center it is in pretty good shape: the 3x4 ceiling joists and rafters are solid and I don't see water damage until the west wall which had a header that is very rotted (resting loosely on the new west wall framing). The main issue I see is that the ceiling joists and rafter have pulled out from the wall pockets by ~ 2". The ceiling has 3 main layers: 3/4" tongue and groove beadboard (very solid still), then plaster on lath (I think?), then a layer of wire mesha and cement board. Very heavy and strong.
The framing goes from the house wall to the west wall but does not extend to the outside edge of the metal cornice work. That support seems to be ad hoc and not strong, and crumbled at this point.
- sister 2x6"s on inside of ceiling joists with grx screws
- tie those temporarily to new wall section at top
- Connect with 2x6 2-3" from wall
- Bolt 2x6 to wall for stability
- Eventually tighten bolts to draw ceiling joists and rafters in to wall
- 01 May 2022 - 11:04
Long time no update!
Since the last writing:
- finished the floor joists to the south wall (still need a few on the north side -- haven't worked in that direction yet but it is in better shape anyway)
- Added the last few feet of west wall to the sw corner
Next need to remove more of the ceiling material and tie the ceiling/roof to the west wall sw corner (temporarily but strong: this will be raised up and redone later to make everything level up top). Then remove temp framing we had put in to the south side and put down a good subfloor over that whole south area.
- 03 Feb 2023 - 09:14
Again, a long time between updates. Now the 3 outer walls have all been rebuilt from the inside -- they still need outer sheathing under the metal skin.
- loosen metal skin on south wall at all points then re-attach temporarily 
- loosen vertical panels from horizontal molding sections (bottom, middle and top)
- pull the roof in to the house at least 1 inch (it is out about 3" at the worst)
- level the roof
- reinforce the cantilevered outer rim section
- add a header to the rafters on the west edge (also for reinforcing rim section)
 This is hard because we need to cut away an ugly bondo/stucco/mesh patch job at the corner where it meets the wall.
- 19 Jun 2023 - 13:51
The 3 walls are now sheathed with ZIP system. The roof needs work now because the top edge of the first two walls is done, but the 3rd isn't, and it leaks there.
But also need to find the fix for the corroded metal areas, which are extensive. Today I did find metal moldings from this place
, which are very nice looking. But I also wonder about forming metal myself and then soldering it to the old stuff.
Could I: 3D print rolling profiles and then feed flat stock into them?
- 27 Nov 2023 - 09:24