Light Townhouse Rehab - Project #6, Week #6

Things are getting cleaner and brighter each day! One evening during the week, I went to the townhouse and rinsed the basement floors for a second time. On the next two trips out, a prime and finish coat of concrete paint was rolled out in the basement. The basement is now ready for me to replace the drywall and base trim that was removed.

Last week, we rolled out the primer/sealer on the wood subfloors, but we were not able to get in all the tight spots. One afternoon this week, we went through each room and "cut in" the unsealed edges and corners with a brush. We also were sure to get the primer on the toe plate of the walls - not just the subfloors. Paintbrushes from the local dollar store were used to do this task, since the oil-based Kilz is a pain to clean from brushes. It's so much more efficient to just use and toss the cheapie brushes!

While I was cutting in with the primer in the master bedroom, I noticed that the lower 10" of the drywall just outside the shower stall seemed crumbly. When I poked at it, I found that water had damaged it. You can also see that the corner bead got pretty rusty. I went ahead and cut out all of the ruined drywall and the rusty corner bead. I'll come back later and replace it with concrete backer board and make sure it is sealed much better.

In the dining room, I worked on replacing the section of subfloor that was cut out. One tricky aspect was that on one side of the room, the edge of the new section of subfloor was not going to fall on a stud. Unless I did something, the floor would be unsupported and springy when somebody walked on it. So when I was at Home Depot buying the sheet of OSB (Oriented Strand Board), I also bought some 5" long carriage bolts, nuts and washers. I plan on through-bolting some studs to the bottom of the toe plate of the partition wall. Drilling the holes in that tight spot requires the use of an expensive 90-degree drill...or the $10 common man's version, as seen below.

Notice in the picture above that I also have two drill bits - both are the same diameter, but one has been cut down to work in tight areas. First, the stubby drill bit is chucked in the 90-degree adapter and positioned under the toe plate - it just barely fits between the bottom of the toe plate and the drywall below it. The stubby bit is then sunk to its full depth, but it is not long enough to bore all the way through. The longer bit is then placed into the bore, chucked in the adaptor and used to complete the hole.

A bolt was then snuck in through the gap in the drywall and placed in the bore. A 2x4 cleat was the held in position and by pressing down on the bolt, an impression was made in the cleat that indicated where a hole needed to be drilled in it. It was a simple task to drill the appropriate holes in the cleats, then through-bolt them in place. Nails were used to end-nail the cleats through the floor joist. I also added a cleat next to the duct to firm up that area as well.

While I had that section of subfloor removed, I re-routed the cable TV coax under the floor and fished it to the front of the house. It now comes out of the wall in the living room, instead of laying on the floor. While there was carpet to hide the coax before, when the dining area gets the new laminate floor, the coax would be an exposed eyesore. I also added another cable outlet in the dining area in case somebody wanted a TV in that corner as well.

Here are the new sections of subfloor, just waiting to be fastened down and sealed.

The master bedroom is right above the dining room, and is another place the coax for cable TV enters the house. Like in the dining room, the cable was outside the wall and tacked to the baseboard.

I was used the drill to carve out a channel in the OSB and toe plate so that I could route the cable through the wall. Along the section of wall that was exposed by removing the trim, each stud was drilled to let the cable run through.

With the coax out of the way, I started filling in the gap created when the trim was cut out. First. I went around the room and secured the existing drywall to the studs. This was needed because when the dywall was cut out, the bottom of each sheet was no longer fastened. I drove in the new screws as low as possible, hoping that the taller base trim will cover most of them. With the existing drywall secured, strips of fresh drywall were cut and installed to fill the gaps.

That's it for another week of the project. See you next week!

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