Friday, August 26, 2011

And Now The Hard Work Begins...Advice Requested.

Okay sooo, got the permits to start the work....cept I just seriously threw my back out and I'm not doing any kind of anything for a while....Actually I've got a full plate of 'computer stuff' to do right now so I'll be busy but still, I wanna get this work started!!!

Except I'm not entirely sure how exactly to go about doing the work.

Here's what we have to do for the bottom floor.

I've got to turn this illegal set-up
Sorry about the lack of detail on this existing drawing, doesn't show the existing electrical or kitchens.

Into this legal set-up.

But what does that mean exactly?
I don't have to change out any of the windows, thank god.


The bathrooms are staying put as-is. Except that I will have to convince the inspector that they were installed correctly. This is probably going to entail cutting into the walls in various places so he can have a look around...I also have to redo the fan-light switch wiring because the fan and light has to be able to be switched separately. I am also adding an on the wall vanity light to both baths.

I'm going to have to add AFCI protected outlets to all the rooms as they only have one per now. Should I cut in new boxes and fish wire or just remove drywall?

Switched over head lights need to be added in most of the rooms and  hallways.

I need to add powered smoke and CO detectors to the ceilings as shown.

I'm moving the location of the units electrical panel to a different wall and probably adding several circuits to it.

I'll need to add and remove some non-load bearing walls. Biggest thing I'm going to do is remove the wall in the kitchen to open it up to the family room to have a single 'great room'.

The PO also installed bamboo floor in the one bedroom apartment that I will have to pull up as its buckled, ugly and installed incorrectly.

God, where to start.
The baths and kitchens are all plumbed already and I'm not anticipating having to do anything with the DWV stuff (lord I hope so as its all in concrete...).
But the water supply piping? Somehow, the hot water to these two basement kitchens and bathrooms is piped to the one, single lone water heater in the 3rd floor attic!!! I believe all the plumbing is in the ceiling of the basement. I wonder if I'm going to have to remove most of the drywall on the ceiling just to figure out the water supply piping?

I will have to run new gas lines to the new mechanical room for the new furnace and tankless water heater that will be servicing the unit.

I will install a tankless water heater in the mechanical room also.


Right now there is a single furnace that is ducted to heat this basement unit and the main floor of the house above. I'm going to have to untangle the ducts and separate the ducts for the two different units with two different furnaces. I've also got to fix the heating for the bottom unit which means adding registers and returns in many I've never really done before.

So that's two new correctly sized furnaces and a tankless water heater all installed in the mechanical room. All of them are of the condensing type and all of them will be vented horizontally with PVC pipe through the North wall of the house. I'll also have to figure out what to do with the condensate.

I'm going to have to 'un-build' these two kitchens

and then re-install the cabinets in the new single bigger kitchen.

Whats the best way to un-build a kitchen? Can I save the granite countertops to re-use them?
I'm going to have to add a ton of outlets to the new kitchen for the counter top, the frig, the dishwasher, range, MW, what point does it just make more sense to completely remove the drywall and start from a clean plate?

I Need A Plan:
I think I need to decide just how much drywall needs to be demo'd. All the drywall? Just the ceilings? The ceilings and the kitchen?? Would love some advice on that. Seems like all the ceilings are going to have to come down..between running new heating ducts in the ceiling, gas piping, the water piping, the smoke and CO detectors...

Here's my vague sketch of a plan.
Unbuild the kitchens myself. So they don't get F'd up.
Pay somone to come in and remove all the drywall that needs it and clean up after themselves.
Then I come in and do the expensive stuff to hire out. The wiring, plumbing.
Then pay someone else to drywall the place.
I hang the kitchen cabinets.
Then I paint and finish the floors. There is brand new carpet on the south side of the apartment. I would live to save it and keep it as is...does that make any sense? Can it be reasonably protected from the destruction-construction process?

How does that sound? Not sure about how much of a budget I'm going to have to hire any of this out after I pay for the materials...

And this is just the bottom unit work, still have the two units to deal with on the second floor!


Jim said...

Is the door from the MBR to the entrance hall required for egress? Seems odd otherwise.

You should be able to pull the granite countertops apart without messing them up too badly. They should just be epoxy-ied at the seams and to plywood underneath.

Given the amount of electrical and heating, I would demo all of the drywall. It's probably less labor for the drywall contractor to do simple seams on large pieces rather than patch umpteen holes and your HVAC and electrical work will go so much faster. Alameda is also damp and drywall patching can be very tricky and take eons to dry properly. Plus, I don't completely trust electrical that is pulled blind; it's too easy for a stray screw to partially cut a wire that isn't properly tied to the studs and leave you with a nice fire from arcing.

The MadScientist said...

I left the door to the hallway there cause well its already there so why take it down?

If the granite is epoxied at the seams how in the world am I going to get that apart?

I might end up taking all the ceilings down but am leaning toward cut in boxes and a flexible bit for the walls. If I remove the wall coverings I'll have to deal with all the trim.

But I don't know if the snaked wire will be okay with the inspector so I'll have to check with him first.

Jessamyn said...

Info on separating granite countertop pieces:

You should definitely be able to save the carpet. They sell big rolls of plastic that are sticky on one side, meant to be stuck down to flooring to protect it from contractors. Unlike paper or whatever, it can handle the flexibility of the carpet.

The only thing against the MBR hall door is that you have an awful lot of doorways in that room. Once you place the bed and bedside tables, where are the bureaus/TV going to go and not impede traffic?

Jim said...

> But I don't know if the snaked wire will be okay
> with the inspector so I'll have to check with him first.

Legal per code and legal in El Cerrito, but I'm uncomfortable with it. I've seen many nicked wires and once found a 220 dryer outlet that had been quietly arcing.

The MadScientist said...

I bet that all the runs tied to an arc fault breaker would trip if there was any kind of arcing short going on?

Boy that could be fun diagnosing that after the fact.

Jim said...

> I bet that all the runs tied to an arc fault breaker would
> trip if there was any kind of arcing short going on?

Arc fault were only required for the bedrooms, so there were many circuits that were pulled blind.