NEWBIE!! Bathroom in ruins help!!

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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JasoninTC

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:11 am

I have a 1983 Fairmont 14x70 2 bedroom 2 bath(1bath in each bedroom). I'm in Traverse City, MI and have owned this for 2 1/2 years and this has been a problem since i bought it. The bathroom floor near the interrior wall between the bath and bed is shot its a valley completely rotted and in my bedroom the floor next to the same wall has a massive hump sticking up abouth 6-8 inches. the shower/bath is cracked all over and leaks profusely i have gorrilla tape in it now covering the cracks the floor beneath the shower is shot as well im sure and i have black mold, im am an extreme novice to home repair but cannot afford to hire a contractor, how do i go about replacing the floor, the shower the wall and can i put a different tub/shower in there, we dont take baths we only shwer so i was thinking maybe a shower only model. here are some nasty pics of my problems and any help would be greatly appreciated, I have a baby on the way in Nov. and want desperately to rid this mobile of mold. My 9 year old and I have allergies and they have been progressively worse here. thanks again for any help!!
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Greg
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:40 am

Jason, Hi & welcome to the family. I can promis you that you are not the first and you won't be the last to have these problems. I can also assure you that you have THE BEST support team anywhere in the world right here.
My first reccomendation is to buy Mark's book avalable in the books & parts section, it is written in generic form and covers about anything you may have to deal with.
As you now know, water is a mobil's worst enemy. You have some work ahead of you, it is not that hard to do but make no mistake it is time consuming. Plan on replacing part of the floor, partical board turns to mush when it gets soaked, then turns to sawdust when it dries. you will need to cut the damaged floor out and replace it with a PLYWOOD or at the very least MDF (chip board). Like I said this is not a hard job but to do it right it does take time.
I would suspect that the main offender is the bath tub, so plan on replacing that as well but don't rule out other problems untill you have checked waterlines, roof and side walls for leaks. Depending on the size of the present tub and your wall configuration you MAY be able to put a full size tub in with out too much work.
This is a job that is a DYI with basic carpentry tools & skills, I think that most of us here have had to do it at one time or another.
Start by doing an inspection and planning the job. get back to us and we CAN get you through it. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

altasnowman
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:58 pm
Location: Edmonton,AB Canada

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:09 am

Welcome and hello Jason,
Good pics and having said that the project that you are looking at will be time consuming and require you have a basic knowledge of woodworking. first thing will be to plan out what you will need for materials, and having said that you will have to inspect walls,ceiling,floors,floor joists, and plumbing for damages. it is not going to be a difficult job but like i said before it will be time consuming. let us all know what your plans are and we will all help you as much as we can in here. ALSO would be a good idea to purchase Marks book on repairs, you can find it in the books and parts link at top of page. Best of luck for now.
The dirtyist word in the dictionary CANCER....it takes many too soon and leaves nothing but anger and pain. We all mourn the loss of those that have succummed to this......

JasoninTC

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:29 am

Thanks for the quick replies, I just got back from under my mobile and the floor under the tub is mush,water just pours onto the ground and it appears the drain may not be connected properly, and the wall seperating the bedroom and bathroom is pretty bad at the bottom(large chunks fell right in my hands) as for leaks in the wall and roof that all seems to be fine. This will make all of you laugh, i was trying to tear out the shower/tub and was loosening the hot waternut and when it was loose enough the damn thing blew right off and tons of hot water came shooting out, needless to say i had forgot about turning off the water there and had a lovely time screwing it back in and stopping the flood which added insult to injury, anywho i was under the tub because i thought that is where the valves would be to turn off the water for that tub however all i saw were the gray water lines with no valves are they gonn be near the water heater?

altasnowman
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:58 pm
Location: Edmonton,AB Canada

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:58 am

Hi and sorry to hear you took a bath without the soap LOL. Sad to tell you but if no shut offs at tub then add to your list of things to do is add shut offs to all lines. When most homes are built this is one area that the plants take a short cut and the only shut off you will have will be the main line shut off. At this point you might want to replace all your water lines as grey pipe is poly and not pex. this too is not a hard job,but again it is a time consuming project. If the lines are still in good shape and not leaking this could be a project for next year, if your finances will not handel it at this time. I would if it was me doing bathroom i would change water lines to pex now and that would be one less job i would have to do later. keep in touch and if you can take pictures of project as you go along.
The dirtyist word in the dictionary CANCER....it takes many too soon and leaves nothing but anger and pain. We all mourn the loss of those that have succummed to this......


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JD
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:47 pm

Hi Jason and welcome to the forum,

Most homes, stickbuilt included, do not have shut off valves to showers and baths. Still a good idea to have them. Mark has a good article on installing them in the Articles link above.

The tub in your pictures looks like a 60x34 tub. There are nice 60" shower stalls available at Lowe's and other home stores. The Sterling Ensemble unit is very popular with my customers. It's a well made unit with two seats molded into the shower base.

As a novice, you may be biting off a big chunk, but it is something that you can do. It would be best to gut the bathroom, removing the toilet and vanity too. Framing in around the toilet flange can be tricky sometimes. Just be sure to do the job right and not take shortcuts. Be sure all your blocking/framing is in tight to avoid squeaks.

As you work on your project, there are a lot of nice people here to give you tips and instructions on how to get the job done. There are also ton's of old posts on floor repairs that you can go through using the search feature above.

JD
☯JD♫
Today is PERFECT!

All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.

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Brenda (OH)
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:50 pm

Hi!

my shut offs for the tub are behind a piece of paneling in the wall of the closet in the next room.... maybe yours are similarly "hidden"

could you barter some help from someone in your circle of friends? I recently did a similar bathroom redo, and I am wondering if you already have a circular saw, prybars, drill etc that are needed to make the job less stressful, and to minimize the amount of down time for the bathroom.

if you have mold sensitivies, please get a mask to wear, consider taping plastic over the door to contain the dust and mold that will be released when you tear up the floor, and getting saline nose spray to rinse your sinuses at the end of the work and before bedtime, to help you not get a constantly stuffed up nose (lol, guess who did not take her own at advice and had a three days of sinus problems)

that being said, the project is very do-able, especially if your local home improvement store will pre-cut the plywood to your measurements, to save time and weight. as a woman, I can tell you a whole sheet of 4 foot by 8 foot 3/4 inch thick plywood weighs more than you want to handle by yourself. some of the neighbors biggest laughs have been had watching me drag a full sheet of the wood across the yard and sliding it onto the porch.
(most everyone in the park has back problems, and cannot help me lift stuff). so, if you can divide up the sheet in the store, it will help. I had whole floors to do, and thought the whole sheets would work well, but they were a pain in the backside to get through the doorway by myself.

unless you hate the tub surround color, you may be able to reuse what is there, it looks like it may be able to be reattached if it was retrimmed to fit better.

I applaud you for going under the home to get the complete picture on the needed repair. that is the part I hate the most, going under the home...

Brenda (OH)

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Brenda (OH)
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:00 pm

opps!, sorry Jason, I saw the baby on way sentence and thought you were the one carrying it lol. you probably can handle the weight of the plywood, but it still is awkward to get it through some door ways, especially if it is not a direct shot in.

I was so new at rehab when I did the bathroom floor that when I took all of the floor up, I did not think to screw the temporary plywood pieces I was using to sit on on the joists while working at the edge of the room, and it tipped over and I bumped my head on the wall. I was sitting on the board, so I did not smack very hard, but hard enough to take a break and figure out a better way to do what I was trying to do lol

wishing you the best on your repair. it was almost miraculous how much better the bathroom looked when it was done and painted. It had a green shag rug, and a soft spot in front of the toilet......

Brenda

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Greg
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:10 pm

Good point Brenda about the mold & dust, Someone else forgot about it too when I ripped out my bathroom yesterday. Funny thing, I thought about it this morning when I woke up with a pounding sinus headache. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

JasoninTC

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:13 pm

Thanks for all the replies. It looks like ill have to completely redo the bathroom floor and bedroom floor and the interior wall seperating the bedroom and bathroom. I am gonna go with tile in the bathroom and something similar in the bedroom as the wife is sick of the carpet. Does anyone have any idea on the costs of this type of project and the length of time involved? Also im going with a shower stall instead of a tub as we have no need for a tub, if we want a bath we'll use our daughter's bathtub.

Thanks again all.

Jason

altasnowman
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:58 pm
Location: Edmonton,AB Canada

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:09 pm

Hi Jason,
Your costs could be anywhere from 1K to 10K depending on what you want. Time wise you are looking at minimum of 2 days to 2 weeks depending on what your work schedule is. you should be able to get the bathroom roughed-in condition in a weekend if you start early in the morning and have all your materials on site. Just remember.... measure twice and cut once. Also spend budget wisely floor,shower stall,and good lino not tile for bathroom floor,accessories later and insulation for belly is a must before winter sets in.
Last edited by altasnowman on Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
The dirtyist word in the dictionary CANCER....it takes many too soon and leaves nothing but anger and pain. We all mourn the loss of those that have succummed to this......

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Maureen
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:16 pm

Hi Jason, as everyone else has said, welcome to the forum! You'll find a wealth of information here on the site and in Mark's book! Make sure that you check out the articles link above! Good stuff can be found there also!

From the photos, it looks like you have a lot of water damage! I'd pretty much plan on replacing the whole bathroom floor with new subfloor. The bedroom you may be able to piece in. Since you're on a budget, make sure that you spend your money on a good subfloor, a good shower piece, install shut offs, with a shut off panel. Then make sure that the flooring you use will protect your subfloor! I'd use something other than tile. Your best bet, and most inexpensive is sheet vinyl. Simple install for a bath, and protects everything!

Now, you mentioned those 'grey plumbing lines'. With the age of your home, I suspect that they might be the same plumbing lines that are a huge problem. I'd spend the rest of my money to have the plumbing lines replaced first. You'll also want to check and replace the insulation and your under belly before Winter hits! Once that was done, then concentrate on the pretty stuff in the bathroom.

There are plenty of places around that sell items at a discount. Check out a habitat for humanity store, if you live in a populated area. They are great for gently used items!

Basically, get the place structurally sound both in the living area and down under first. That includes repairing the plumbing lines, then move on to cleaning up the mold and repairing walls. If needed, take your time and use the other bathroom for a bit! We've all been there at one time or the other!

Last tip, if you get stuck, someone is always around here to help you out on the board!

Maureen 8)
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
'Plato'

Guest

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:35 pm

Hello, Find where the main water line enters into your home may be next to the outside garden hose line ( If you have one ) sometimes it's buried below the valve like mine was about a 1/2 foot deep. I ended up placing another shut off valve on ground level when I installed my water conditioner system.

wes

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:51 pm

we did the same project last year. replaced the bathroom floor, walls, tub, tub surround, toilet, interior wall, vanity, sink, bath fixtures, drywall, paint, lighting, door, 1/2 bedroom floor, bedroom wallboard, exterior wall and floor insulation in both rooms, bedroom carpet. we got about 2500/3000 bux into it (stopped counting) and about 1 month of time.

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Greg
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Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:40 pm

You did set off one "red flag" when you said tile. I would caution you on the use of tiles in bathrooms. First if you are talking ceramic tile you may have a weight & movement issue, I'm not saying it can not be done but the home does shift some through out the year. If you are talking stick down tile you will have " 4 cracks" at the edge of every tile for water to get through to the new subfloor. I would recommend a sheet vinyl floor, you can buy reminents fairly cheap at any floor or home store. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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