Bathroom Remod X 3, Day 1: Demo!

August 22, 2012 | by Ethan (email) |

It’s an exciting day because we’re kicking off a new Pro-Follow with general contractor Joe Bianco as he and his crew remodel not one, but three full bathrooms! Although we’ve covered bathroom projects in the past, each job presents its own unique challenges, and I’m sure we’ll find some unexpected twists in this remodel.

One interesting aspect of this project is that Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner are beginning the process of selling their home, and Mrs. Homeowner is a real estate broker. They’ve tasked Joe with remodeling the bathrooms, but that isn’t the only work taking place. The homeowners are also replacing the roof, installing new windows, expanding the master bedroom closet, and making cosmetic improvements. Mrs. Homeowner is confident that despite the drop in real estate values in our area, these upgrades will more than pay for themselves when the house sells. She jokes that often her clients are resistant to her suggestions for improvements, but when it’s time to sell, even real estate brokers follow their own advice.

Here’s a look at the bathrooms, and they’re in fair shape. However, some of the furnishings are original to the house which makes them 27 years old!

Joe’s crew began the demolition in the master bathroom, and the plan is to replace everything including a jacuzzi tub. In its place will be a regular, full-size tub.

Instead of a wall partitioning off the toilet, the guys will be turning that into a knee wall.

The walls around the shower are also coming out to be replaced with glass to make the bathroom a more open space.

The plumbers got started on disconnecting and capping off all the supply lines beginning with the jacuzzi.

The plumbers like to use caps when possible because they’re so inexpensive. You can see they used Sharkbites to cap these 1/2″ lines because it would have been difficult to maneuver a torch, and even though they’ll reclaim them later, it’s one more thing that can get lost in the shuffle.

Here’s a look at how the plumber soldered caps onto the shower supply lines. First he cut the lines.

Using a wire brush and plumbers sand-cloth, he cleaned the fittings and pipes.

The plumber got his solder ready and applied flux which will draw the solder into the joint.

Using an acetylene torch, the plumber quickly heated the joint and applied the solder.

The plumber also disconnected the vanity sinks and capped the drain lines.

Here’s a look at the jacuzzi innards before and after the tub was removed.

Here’s the master bathroom after demolition was completed, and Joe’s crew has moved on to dismantling the other two bathrooms.

That’s all for today’s update. Stick with me as I continue to follow this bathroom project, and become an RSS or email subscriber to keep up with all our Pro-Follows.

9 Responses
  1. Wow, a lot of those fixtures are ugly. Are they doing all the bathrooms at once? Are they leaving at least one stool in place while remodeling?

    I’m a huge fan of sharkbite cap fittings. I keep 3 of each (1/2″ and 3/4″) in my plumbing bucket. They can’t be beat for use in remodeling projects.

  2. Icarus says:

    Hope they do recover their costs. I would be hesitant to update a bathroom before selling because I’d want to enjoy the updates.

  3. MissFixIt says:

    What happens if Mrs Homeowner likes her house so much after all the renos and doesnt want to move. Ive seen it happen before.

    With real estate upgrading the bathrooms,windows and kitchen you get more return and less buyers saying “well this is outdated it will need to be replaced” then say “i think the price is too high take off 20G’s 50G’s” they want a bargain when its outdated! Even if the house is priced fairly all people see is the cosmetic flaws and outdatedness.

  4. Reuben says:

    Three bathrooms at once! Huzzah! Looking forward to seeing this come together!

    That tub drain in the photo looks like it has left a significant notch in one of the floor joists. Is anyone concerned about that?

  5. Chris says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of work. Is the homeowner living somewhere else already?

  6. paintergal says:

    Wow! Three bathrooms at once. Lotta work!
    I do hope they reuse/keep those curvy floor tiles. They are so cool.

  7. poiboybf says:

    Got a kick out of the color of that toilet. Do they even make them in that color anymore? Classic throne.

  8. trebor says:

    This is probably a stupid question (spare me, I’m still a beginner) but what are the end caps for? I would think that they’re just for temporarily stopping any water flow but it looks like such a permanent solution that I’m not sure.

    Looking forward to seeing the project unfold.

    • Brady says:

      The caps can be removed in the same way they are installed. The torch heats the joint, which heats the solder. When the solder melts, the cap can be pulled off, and the remaining solder/flux is wiped off the pipe to reclean the end.

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