I haven’t been posting the last few days because I’ve either been too goddam busy or too goddam tired.

The difference between the DIY reality shows and reality is that the shows never show people covered in filth on top of a ladder working with heavy tools at arm’s length in the middle of the night.

Monday I pulled down the ceiling and dropped a huge pile of rockwool all over everything — I pulled one nail off the corner of each sheet of drywall and the whole thing came down. There were a bunch of nails in the joists, but the drywall must have been completely rotten. After I cleaned all of that up, I scraped up all the vinyl flooring and the linoleum underneath it (at least I hope it was linoleum). Also, the building inspector showed up for the preliminary inspection, and signed off on all our plans, including the stairs; what was especially useful is that he let me know that on old existing buildings they’re understanding about what’s possible and what isn’t, and with respect to the winding stairs that the 6″ inner width of the tread was the most important part and that if we missed the 10″ middle width by a quarter-inch or so they could let it slide.

Tuesday we had Nate the Handyman (colleague of Bob) in to help. I realized that the bathroom and the old closet floor were at different heights, so we stripped it down to the subfloor. It broke my heart to rip up all that 3/4″ thick hardwood floor, but it was so damaged by moisture that there was no saving it. Then we moved the tub, all three hundred pounds of it, out the door onto a piece of cardboard into the parlor.

At this point, Nate did most of the work while I ran back and forth to the hardware store for parts. First he furred out the old closet wall so it wasn’t just 2x4s laid parallel to the wall (leaving a space to get the tub back in). Then we demoed the old tub drain line. Because we were unclear on the requirements, I called a plumbing inspector at the county, who said that the line had to be 2″ pipe, but Home Depot only had 1-1/2″ tub-drain-and-overflow units, and the galvanized nipple sticking out of the cast iron stack was only 1-1/2″, so fine, we’ll make the line in between 2″ and just slap adapters at both ends. This turned out to be a mistake. (See the post after next.)

He cut the hole for the new tub drain and started putting in the trap, and also hung up the overhead light and the vent fan, but unfortunately at that point he’d worked a full day  so I asked him back the next day (oh, my wallet).

Wednesday, he built a bumpout wall against the outer wall because the trap wouldn’t fit otherwise (it would have to go down into the concrete foundation wall). Then he put in the drain line and we moved the tub back in and set it in place. Although that doesn’t sound like a lot, it took most of the day to do. Meanwhile, I was ripping up the subfloor floorboards against the wet wall because they were completely rotten. Last thing we got done was cutting the hole in the roof and installing the vent fan duct. Nate left his near-$1000 bill and went home; I went to Lowe’s for the PEX supplies they don’t carry at Home Depot (and a bunch of other stuff) and then went home.

Thursday, the plan was to do all the electrical and PEX water piping and call for frame, electrical and plumbing inspections for Friday so we could close up the walls this weekend. Didn’t happen. See next post.