And then there were none: unfortunate end to renovation work in Portland

Last post I mentioned the competing contractor controversy for work on the Big Kahuna while in Portland.  After letting one contractor go I continued working with the other, Bert, for the bathroom renovation, with the intention of having him do a partial exterior paint job as well. Unfortunately the bathroom work stretched and stretched and stretched, and as it finally neared completion on day 10 it turned out that the paint facility was no longer available to support work on the exterior in the time frame required.   Frustrated I called it quits and ended work on the bathroom at about 90-95% done so that Rose and I could have one full day in Portland to clean up and reorganize before we hit the road again.

All in all this was not a great experience, but here is the current status, things left to do, and the lessons hopefully learned:

  • Toilet moved left about six inches to accommodate a larger shower.  This required some imaginative plumbing work.
  • All internal walls replaced with brilliant white textured FRP, which also required some imaginative work due to the major curve in the ceiling
  • Prefabricated two piece full sized shower installed, which required, you guessed it, imaginative solutions to frame, seal, and modify two of the shower walls to fit the curved wall as well as plumbing work for the drain position since it came down right on a support frame.
  • Shower fixtures replaced with Delta valve, handle, and shower head.
  • Walls, framing, and trim mostly restored.

Left to do:

  • Finish cleaning all the Liquid Nails and other glue off the FRP walls.  They looked like a monochromatic Jackson Pollack painting, it was everywhere, and requires a lot of elbow grease to remove.
  • Complete FRP trimming out.  It was mostly done but a few corners are in progress.
  • Restore wood trim on the outside wall. Several pieces were apparently tossed out with the garbage.
  • Put in new floor covering.  We pulled up the old vinyl to get to the toilet and shower mods.
  • Replace traditional shower head with as yet to be ordered, detachable RV shower head.
  • Order and install decorative Delta shower valve sleeve, somehow lost during the install process.
  • Install custom vanity backsplash.  Rose picked out some tile, and hopefully we can work that project while we are volunteering at Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington.

Lessons hopefully learned:

  • Craigslist is fantastic for buying and selling things, but I am finding it pretty shaky for hiring labor.  I will need to sign up for some more professional sites.
  • Avoid pay by the hour work on future renovation in favor of set fee for set services.
  • Have more realistic expectations about project timelines. There was no way I was going to get this bathroom work and the paint job done in the five days I planned for.  Even ten was not sufficient.

In any case, no pictures of the bathroom until I finish some of that work listed above, but they are coming.  And if anyone has recommendations on where to get affordable and basic exterior bus paint work done in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, or Colorado let us know.

8 thoughts on “And then there were none: unfortunate end to renovation work in Portland

  1. Pingback: Five Months Fulltiming: May 2015 Report | Shell On Wheels

  2. Darlings, Sounds like lot of work along with the fun! I hope all goes smoothly from here on! Remember, you’re on vacation!!

  3. Pingback: Something looks different… | Shell On Wheels

  4. Pingback: Six Months Fulltiming: June 2015 Report | Shell On Wheels

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