The tile tub enclosure in our 70-year old house leaked, creating dry rot in the floor and the wall framing. Since the wall must be rebuilt, I'd like to do a small bathroom remodeling. I'd bump out the wall two feet and create a custom shower stall with medium-priced tile. The exterior is clapboard siding and I'll tuck a small gable under the existing gable. Any ideas about problems and costs?
Suzette ~ Nassau, New York
Suzette, it sounds as though you are planning to expand your existing bathroom by adding a small "bump-out" extension to the footprint of your home, and then covering the new addition with a small gabled roof. Although I can't foresee any major problems for this type of project, it is important that you don't install any water supply lines within the exterior walls of the new bathroom. Water lines that are located in exterior walls are more susceptible to freezing and bursting during extreme winter weather or during power outages that deprive your home of heat for several hours. The best way to avoid frozen pipes in your new bathroom is to run the water supply lines within the existing interior walls.
When remodeling your new bathroom, it is also important that you completely remove all the dry rot from under the old tub. Depending on the extent of the past water damage, the underlying floor joists, as well as the plywood sub floor may need to be replaced. If the water that leaked from your old tub has also damaged the adjacent wall, then you should replace any framing members or sheet rock that was affected. Remember, even the smallest amount of water damage can create a big mold problem for you later on down the road.
If you want an accurate cost estimate for your new bathroom, then you should consult a contractor who works in the Nassau area and can inspect your home, as well as create some construction plans and a materials list for the project. Once you have some detailed drawings and measurements, then you can price out the new wall framing, the exterior siding, and the finishes needed for the interior of the new bathroom. Working with a qualified contractor during the initial project planning is an excellent way to keep your costs in line and to help ensure that you are picking out finish materials that meet the budget numbers. Good luck with your project!