On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Monday, April 26, 2010

RIP Master Bathroom and its Pepto Bismol Tub

Deffenbaugh delivered a 30 cu. yd. trash bin to our driveway Friday afternoon.  I was quite excited about the delivery because I knew that things were about to get serious this weekend.

I was very impressed with the delivery guy's skill at unloading the bin.   It only took him one try to place the bin precisely where we wanted it ( I can't even back up in a straight line).

Our big demolition started Saturday morning.  We spent a few hours demolishing the walls, ceiling, and removing the old insulation.

By the time we were done, all we had left was the pink Pepto Bismol tub.    I don't know what the original builders were thinking, maybe it was on sale, or maybe they were color blind.  Whatever the reason for a pink tub (which used to have a 5-gal pink toilet for a partner), it was certainly not something we wanted to live with much longer.

We tried using a 4-lb sledgehammer to break it, but no cigar!!!  So Saturday evening I went to Home Depot and picked up a 16-lb sledgehammer.  I was quite shocked by the size, and I thought for sure we would have to ask one of our neighbors for assistance.

After procrastinating a few hours on Sunday morning, we started tackling the bathtub.  We thought if we drilled a few holes through the tub, the holes would weaken the cast iron making it easier to break.  LD managed to drill a hole and a half, but it took a long time.  So I handed LD the big sledgehammer, the canvas tarp, and crossed my fingers.  The first few blows only took some of the enamel off, but after a few more blows the cast iron actually cracked!  Swinging that sledgehammer sure took its toll on us, so we traded back and forth to give each other a break.  After a couple of hours we had managed to take out over 85% of the tub.

The remaining 15% was still there because we broke two tub drain wrenches trying to remove the tub drain.  So we decided to take a break and go haul some of the brush from our backyard to the bin.  Our neighbor came over to see why we had rented such a large bin, and LD explained that we were gutting our master bathroom.  He went in to take a look, and told us that the brass drain had seized to the pipe, and we could disconnect the pipe further down.  After about 15 minutes of looking for our pipe wrench, LD gave it a shot.  Well there was not much room to maneuver the wrench, so I did what any self-respecting DIY person would do, I brought in the reciprocating saw!  Within seconds (literally), LD managed to cut the pipe and free the rest of the tub.  A few more blows later, and the Pepto Bismol tub was history.

We were lucky in that there was only minimal water damage to the studs, but we will have to replace some of the subfloor.  Then we'll need some plumbing and electrical work done.  I am hoping that the handyman can make it out tomorrow to give us a bid on those items.

With a sense of accomplishment and plenty of room in the dumpster, we turned our attention to the brush pile.

A cardinal decided to nest in our brush pile, so we tried to minimize our disturbance to the nest, and worked around the cardinal family.  However, we still managed to fill the rest of the bin, and our pile has shrunk.

We will have to wait for the chicks to fledge, and a day when we can burn to get rid of what is left.

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