Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hacks are all around us...

This morning I received a call from a gentleman that I know through my Aunt, but he is not someone that I've done any work for. The reason for the call was a leak from his newly built shower. Why me??? I had built my Aunt's shower a month before he had his done. He asked if I could shed some light on the work done.

One look at the hole in the ceiling below the shower was all that I needed to understand the mindset of the guy who built this and of a lot of people out there who pass themselves off as contractors and handymen.

This hack had not replaced the strip sub floor, had placed the liner directly on the sub floor without a pre slope and from what I could see, the top layer seemed to thin down to infinity which is exactly where his ass should have been dispatched........

So in honour of Hacks like these, I present you a gallery of  'You always get what you pay for'

Have you ever heard of a ABS to Copper Transition coupling??????

The liner.... I can see the liner.... Do you comprehend P R E S L O P E ?????? What the hell did you do to the Sub Floor????

A 72" spirit level would have helped....... to beat some sense into you. You don't need tools to see that the drain is anything but square, level or plumb

Duct tape will not fix everything...... 

Did you cut this recess with a butter knife??? and then try to cover it up with caulk????

I guess junction boxes are overrated.....

as are the clamps that are built into junction boxes

Why bother clamping your cable when you can pierce the wire with a loooong effing screw....

and why bother with a junction box, when you have the opportunity to short it against the copper stack pipe......

This is known as a faucet extension. All the rage......

By now we've established that junction boxes are no longer necessary.... or desired.

OK. Who invited the ants. It looks like they brought the entire colony.

Who needs a stud detector when you have a hammer

If I had a hammer......

This situation needs Divine intervention......

 Someone approved this tile job.....

Stud detector???? I have a drill.......

And finally, we can do away with proper venting as well

Disclaimer: These are images curated at various times during my various jobs and are NOT my work. But you knew that already........ 


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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rectifying a Flawed Kitchen Vent

A Kitchen remodel that I am working on called for an upgrade to the venting system from 4" to 6" on account of the change in the fan. The newer unit moves a higher volume of air that the existing 4" would handle.

The existing vent ran through a bulkhead above the kitchen cabinets to the outside and then through the roof and out a roof vent. Or at least it should vent out a roof vent. This was not the case in this install. The 4" flexible duct was pointed at an attic vent and left like that.

 An attic vent is supposed to remove air from the attic through convection and should not be used to vent any devices under pressure

What I found when I removed the attic vent

What's wrong with this??? Firstly, there is no positive connection to the outdoors. The flexible duct is merely pointed at the vent. Should the vent get blocked or squished, the air flow (in this case containing moisture) will be vented into the cold space of the attic and condense into water and lead to mold issues. Exactly what I found when I removed the ceiling to repair the bow.

After removing the vertical drywall section of the bulkhead, I ran a rigid 6" duct all the way to the end where it connected to a 6" flexible duct and up into the small attic section. 

 All joints screwed together and sealed with foil tape

6" elbow to connect to the range hood. The old 4" hole is visible to the right. Modifications to the layout of the kitchen meant a new location for the duct

From the outside I pulled the flex duct through and connected it to the supplied collar. I had to enlarge the hole and reinstall the collar. The collar has to be slipped under the top shingles so that the water flows over the vent and will not enter attic. After this the actual roof cap is installed over the collar, but under the top shingles as with the collar. What you have now is a venting system with a positive flow to the outdoors. No condensation problems any more.

The flex duct, screwed and taped with aluminium foil tape. 

Roof Cap installed 

Another view of the roof cap


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Brampton Washroom Build

I rebuilt a washroom at the very beginning of summer. As with most of my builds, this was a complete tear out, down to studs and joists.

A new tub had been installed 5-6 years ago. However the previous builder had slapped tiles onto moisture proof drywall and had installed the tiles with mastic. Needless to say, the tiles fell off easily. However there was mould everywhere including in the insulation. This increased the scope of my work. After ripping off the strip wood sub floor, I found that the floor joist spacing would not work for the 18" x 18" stone tiles. This increased my scope even further.

This particular house was built in the late sixties, so I expected to find some surprises.

These are pictures of the washroom as it was on the day I started the tear out.

The line 4 rows up indicates where the old tiles were removed to install the new tub 

Bye Bye, old shower..... Please observe a moment of silence.....
Then sledgehammers!!!!!!

And this is post tear out. We worked too fast to take pictures of the mouldy insulation etc. So no pics of that grossness......

Looking into the tub area. I moved the control valve up. I would've normally removed the tub filler, but the clients wanted it in place

 On the electrical side, I added another control for the shower pot light

I found the floor joist spacing to be over 20" OC. Not exactly great for the stone tiles. The original flooring was linoleum over 1/8" plywood. Later the owners had the wash room tiled. This was laid over lath and scratch coat

 None of the stud spacing was consistent. I was going to hang a cabinet on the right. I would need to install blocking which would facilitate the proper install of the cabinet

The mould is visible in these shots

Copious amounts of blocking had to be installed to stiffen the floor prior to installing the new sub floor 

Blocking here

Blocking there

Blocking in the shower area for the pan liner

The new shower drain in place 

Blocking for the toilet roll holder and rectification of the window frame

Blocking for the mirror and for the cabinet

Next up was the drywall install. I used moisture rated drywall for the walls and ceiling and Durock for the shower enclosure

Next step Mud & Tape....

These are final pictures that I have. I did some more work and will attempt to get pictures later.

 Furniture and fixtures installed. I later did a back splash for the wall behind the sink

 Looking into the shower enclosure. The controls are not yet in place

 View of the shower seat

Another view of the wash room and the reconstructed window frame


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mississauga Basement Build - Final Pictures

I finally went in with my T3i and got better pictures of the finished product. The ones from my phone did not look so great once enlarged. The lens on this is the one that came with the camera. A 18-55 'kit' lens not really made for architecture, which is obviously evident by the curved walls. I assure you.. my walls were built straight, plumb and level.

This is looking from the far end of the basement. The stairs are to the left. To angled projection was made to disguise one of the steel columns that support the upper two levels.

The door to the right of the projection leads to what is a spare room built as a storage room or prep room during parties. During the build, the customer opted to upgrade the baseboard to 5" high ones.

Not much to say here. The room is a standard size. 10' x 10' me thinks.

A built in closet measuring 5' x 80" with mirrored sliding doors.

I built in closet organisation with shelves to the left and hanging and a shelf to the right.

This is what I did with that projection. A pass through niche with casing to match the existing casing on all of the doors. A low voltage halogen puck light controls the ambiance. The 'sculpture' is a piece of birch that I selected and harvested from my birch tree. The base was cut from a 2x8 and chamfered 15 degrees on all sides and the spike is a gutter nail.

This is looking straight down from the stairs and into the furnace area. The client wanted these door to be different. Double doors were installed to accommodate the temporary housing of the treadmill during parties.

This is another closet that was built to house shoes and linen. While it may not seem like the greatest idea to store linen and shoes together, this configuration is two discrete spaces unified by a common sliding door. No animals were harmed in creating this space. That is a 'faux' carpet.

Shoes to the left. Linens to the right.

The main area is L shaped. This is kept unfurnished for dancing etc.

Looking at the main area from the TV area. The Treadmill will be a constant feature on account that the children are runners and this allows wintertime training.

The viewing area. I bumped out the wall to accommodate an area for receiver and other electronics. This allowed all of the cabling to be invisible. A 'mantle' was built to emulate a fireplace. Split faced travertine was installed to give that stacked stone effect. 

A sectional on the other end of the room makes for relaxed viewing.

View of the TV from the Treadmill. The TV can be pulled out and swivelled to face the treadmill.

In the original plan for the basement, I was to only provide a rough in for the bar plumbing. I had promised the client a feature wall for the Bar are at the onset. I achieved this by harvesting boards from used pallets and nailing them to the walls in a random pattern.

After much deliberation, the client left it in my hands to build something to match the space. I've covered the build in a separate post.

I've been a proponent of LED's since the early nineties, being an early adopter of some of the earlier failures as well. I really wanted to work in the new RGB strips and I think i did it to great effect.

Both upper and lower cabinets were custom built in situ.

A hammered copper sink was chosen for the project along with an oil rubbed bronze faucet. These were ordered from the United States.

I installed pegs at an angle, glued and pinned them in place to support wine bottles.

On both sides!!! Oenophiles take note of that ever so important incline to keep the cork well hydrated!!! Though with the prevalence of screw tops, this might not be so important......

The niche into which the customer chose to display her collection of decanters

The bar rail is Oak and was by far, the most expensive piece of the entire unit. The bar top is tiled with travertine subway tiles.

The business end of the bar has three discrete sections that flare inwards on account of the design. On the left is a bar fridge and a wine cooler

The devil is in the details. I spent an hour cutting and dry fitting 8 tiles just to get the design right.

Finally a little whimsy. I identified this board with the manufacturers stamp branded into the board. I kept it aside and installed it in a place of prominence

Custom built doors were installed on the entire unit. The grille or jali is stamped MDF

Close up.

The washroom is small, but houses a 32 x 60 glassed in stand up shower and shower bench. The mirror was provided by the client.

Shower stall

Shower niche

Shower seat


If you are looking for solutions for your home, contact us about our design, build & decorate services.
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