The Laundry Riser – Finished

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of this in-progress.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had built a square frame for the riser using pocket holes.  A couple days later, I bought another 2×4 and added some joists in the frame.  Over the weekend, we brought home a cut-down sheet of 1/2” plywood for the platform base.

The first thing I needed to do was cut the plywood to the precise size.  In the end, it was a pretty pathetic result.  Trying to cut such a long length with a circular saw resulted in me skewing the angles.  This means the platform doesn’t sit square on the base.  I decided I would live with it.  It’s more of a utility platform and not a piece of the house.

Then I used some wood putty to fill in screw heads and smooth the front of the platform.  The result of that effort wasn’t all that attractive either.  So I’ve kind of written off this whole project as a learning experience.  But in the end, the platform accomplished exactly what I wanted it to.  It raised the dryer so that its exhaust port is almost perfectly level with the vent port.  You can see how close I was able to get the dryer to the wall.  If you look closely at the corner of the riser, you can see how poorly I made the cut – 1/4” at least.  That’s why I squared up the front and put my crappy cuts to the back.


And getting the washer and dryer up onto the platform and against the wall returned a lot of space, just as expected.  The washer and dryer used to extend beyond the door frame.  Now, you can walk through the area without feeling like you’re going to run in to anything.


Master Bath Progress

Over the weekend, I finished up the ceiling of the master bath, primed, painted, and reinstalled hardware.  The new light was installed and is very effective.  Along the way, we brought home a replacement toilet – a new fancy tech one, with “rimless design”.  That will be installed after the painting.

So there’s a list of dependencies, as always, to complete this room.  Currently, those are:  Remove the towel rack and toilet paper holder and patch them up, rewire and install new light boxes for the vanity, maybe remove the large vanity mirror, patch up the marks from removing the soffit, remove the old toilet, prime and paint everything, install new toilet, install new towel/toilet paper racks and install new vanity lights.  That’s no small list.

Last night, I made the effort to remove the old racks from the wall.  They are chunky pink porcelain warts stuck in the drywall.  These were also in the guest bath and they were removed from there years ago.  Removal was simple – cut around the edges with a utility knife, then whack them with a rubber mallet until they fell off.  This left nice, gaping holes in the wall.


You’ll notice I cut additional paper borders around the outside of the holes.  I’ll be using this for the patch.  The drywall patch fits inside the hole and the patch has additional paper extending out that will fit in the wall space.  With all the joint compound, this will all it to flow without sitting higher than the existing wall surface.


The next step is to spackle them up and sand them down.  Then they sit until priming and painting.

The Laundry Riser

I mentioned elsewhere that I was having some issues with the new venting tube for my dryer.  Because the tube was semi-rigid, I couldn’t make the tight turns that the old wrapped, spring-style tube used to.  And because I couldn’t make tight turns, I couldn’t get my dryer close to the wall.  So ever since I’ve redone the laundry room, my washer and dryer have been jutting out at least 6” further from the wall than previously.

The solution I came up with was to raise the washer and dryer so the outlet port on the dryer would meet up with the vent port in the wall, eliminating all bends in the vent tubing.  This should be a piece of cake.  The difference between the port in the wall and the dryer port is about 4”.  So a base of 2×4’s with a 1/2” plywood top will be just about perfect.

Over time, I’ve collected a bunch of tools I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to use.  And this project would let me get a few more things that I probably won’t use very often, either.  One of the cooler new things I’ll get to use is a pocket hole jig.  I probably don’t need to go to that extreme to build a frame, but I’d read some really good things about pocket holes and wanted to see it for myself.

With a $40 Kreg jig and a couple of 2×4’s, I cut out a frame and fastened the pieces together.  It was very simple to do and the results were quite solid.  I did intend to put a couple of joists in the middle of the frame, since I’m dealing with some heavy equipment on top.

I’ve been collecting random tools here and there and it’s just stuff I’d always found workarounds for in the past.  Like sawhorses, I’d just use some boxes or anything else flat and elevated.  Like clamps, I’d just use my foot or a weight like a cinder block.  There’s something really nice about having the tools that are supposed to be used, instead of improvising.  And as I keep collecting more things, I can do more things the right way.  A few years ago, I probably would have cut the frame with a hand saw and used whatever nails I had lying around to fasten it all together.

So at this point, I just need to get the plywood top, attach it, and paint the whole thing.  Then, I need to move forward on getting cabinets for that room. 

Master Bath, Step 1

Today began the process of redoing the master bathroom.  That means removing the popcorn ceiling.  That also means dust everywhere.

Before I started, I had the forethought to seal off the master closet to minimize the dust invasion.  Unfortunately, I was also in a hurry to get started, so I didn’t remove the ceiling light.  That worked out ok, because I did the ceiling in two passes.

After the first pass, I had more than half of the ceiling done.


You can see there is attic access here, which is just a piece of drywall.  The piece kept shifting as I tried to scrape it in place, so I took it down and scraped it on the floor.

The rest of the ceiling went smoothly as well.  Tiny ceiling light is removed.  Just a few nicks here and there when I was done.


Without the light soffit in place, it was easy to get at all the parts of the ceiling.  Tomorrow is sanding and patching.

I already have the light fixture to go back in.  It’s the smaller version of the light in the master closet.  Unfortunately, Alico lighting doesn’t have anything similar for vanity lights.  I may still buy the same brand just to provide consistency.  There’s still some time.  I’ll need to figure out how I’m going to wire the lights.

Master Bath Beginnings

I have a backlog of things I need to post about.  A lot has happened in the Master Bedroom in the time passed.  The Master Closet is completed also.  But before I can get everything cleaned up and staged for taking a picture or two, I decided I wanted to do the ceiling in the master bathroom.  Then I got ambitious.

To scrape the ceiling, I would need to work in and around the light soffit over the dual sinks.  I began by removing the diffuser panels and inspected the florescent light fixture in place.  I wanted to swap that out with something LED, but wasn’t sure yet.  A longer-term project was to remove the soffit altogether and replace the light fixture with something more engaging.


While I was up in there removing the bulbs, I noticed that the soffit was held in place with only 5 screws.  And just like that, my long-term plan became my current plan.  I’d seen too many DIY videos glamorizing the process of “demo”.  The soffit is coming out.


I removed the florescent fixture and noted the mess that was made when it was installed.  I was sure I’d be making a bigger mess by yanking this box out, and my immediate intention is to get rid of the tile toilet paper holder and towel rack, so drywall repair is already in the plans.


I started to work the screws out.  They were 4” ,monsters and had odd heads that really battled with my driver bit.  With a little manual and a lot of power driving, all but one screw was out.  The soffit was still firmly in place.  I retrieved a utility knife and sliced the caulk seams around the edges.  Then it started to move, just barely.

I didn’t need the thing crashing down and possibly breaking the full wall mirror underneath it, so I climbed up on the vanity, supported the soffit with my shoulders and started working it free.  It was fit in there really tight.  And it was probably installed before the orange peel texture was on the wall.

After a lot of effort, I was able to free it from the wall with only some moderate drywall gouging.  Now I have a new problem.  How am I going to light this area?  The vanity is 70” wide.  Quality LED vanity lights in the 40” range are $400 and up.  I know I’m insisting on quality with my remodel, but that’s really a lot for a light.


Further, I have to consider the Alico lights I’ve chosen for the closet and bathroom.  They are square in shape, and I should continue that design.  There is 24” between the sinks.  Maybe a 24” fixture dead center will illuminate the area well enough.  Maybe I’ll have to route wiring to have two lights, one over each sink.  Or, even another option is to have an overhead light fixture.  Plenty of choices to mull over.


I will probably have to do some wiring anyway.  There’s no light box in the wall.  Just wires.  I’ll need to install something there.  It’s not the only electrical work I have to do in that room, either.  I have to upgrade an electrical box from a two gang to a three gang.

Next up is the scraping of the ceiling.