As promised, here are some pictures of recent work. Today I’m going to focus on plumbing. This week the place is getting the drywall installed, taped, and textured; we’ll have more pictures for that soon!
So, without further ado, here are the pictures.
Our current water heater is a wall-mounted tankless gas unit. It is capable of supplying all the hot water needs of a one-bathroom house. It would not supply enough hot water for two showers, though, so we decided to install a second dedicated tankless water heater for the addition. We could have replaced our current unit with a bigger one, but installing a second unit was a) cheaper and b) provided redundancy in case one unit fails. The new unit will be installed on the wall right in front of you in the picture above.
One of the things I learned about plumbing is that there are very precise rules about the size, shape, and location of holes and notches in studs. I learned those rules, and then managed to break them anyway. See, you can’t bore a hole in a 2×4 bearing stud to accommodate a lavatory vent pipe. The hole is just too big. Well, sometimes you can bore a hole that big, but the stud has to be doubled and you can’t bore more than two successive studs that way. I read the code and then promptly bored seven consecutive single studs for my lavatory vent. Then I proceeded to have a heart attack when I re-read the code later and realized my folly.
I immediately consulted the great Oracle for help and was promptly berated as a reckless idiot by certain participants of almost every home improvement discussion board there is. I also found some decidedly kludgy solutions, like sistering 2×6 studs to the 2x4s. After giving some time for my self-esteem to recover and crawl its way out of the Pit of Despair, I got smart.
The holes I bored are just fine for a non-load-bearing wall. So the solution was pretty simple, actually: make the bored studs non-load-bearing! So I retrofitted a couple of headers above the horizontal vent, doubling the studs in between (the second header is in the shower to the right of this picture). The roof load is transferred around the problem in a code-approved manner. Problem solved, and the work passed inspection without a second glance.