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Old 05-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
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is there an inexpensive solution?

I bought my first house 5 years ago --- very naive and trusting at that time. There were so many things we should have demanded be addressed before purchasing but the biggest one we didn't even know about until after moving in. The previous owner expanded what had been a half bath (or maybe no bathroom at all, just a little entry way to the back door) off the kitchen adding a shower and some storage space. When they did this, however, they did not as far as we can tell, insulate the room AT ALL. They also ran the pipes up out of the basement into the outdoors and then into the bathroom. There was no wall around the pipes at all. But they were under the deck so we did not see that until one cold day the pipes burst. The plumber replaced the outer pipes with PVC and the short term solution was to wrap heating tape around the pipes and then close in the area with some kind of thick plastic wall (i don't remember what that material was). I believe he also nailed some insulation in there somewhere. This hold over project cost $250..we just didn't have anymore to spend then. WE don't have much now but we are considering selling in the next year or two and really need a plan for how to address this. The bathroom is freeing cold all winter so we can't even use it four months out of the year. I doubt if it falls within the DIY scope although I am pretty good at following directions. But I don't even know where to begin looking for much this is likely to cost or whom to ask about fixing it: plumber? carpenter? general contractor?

thanks for any advice!


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Old 05-27-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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I've known a few people who have 3 season rooms & they are not used in the winter
We have a 3 season front porch

Depends upon the layout, construction, wall materials
If drywall I'd take the drywall down, insulate & then put drywall back up
But if the shower is on an outside wall (seems like it) that may be a problem
Other option is drilling holes & blowing insulation into the wall cavities
Ideally the pipes should have been run on an inside wall
When I redo our 1st floor bath I'm having the pipes moved from outside wall to an inside wall


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Old 05-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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The cheapest solution would probably be to tear out the plumbing and call it a closet.

Also, do check with your township to find out if the work was properly permitted. Otherwise you will be prohibited from claiming it as a bath when it comes time to sell.

Sorry, there are ways to do it right. And it can be done; but the inexpensive solution is to tear it out.
If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for replies...i had a feeling taking it out might be necessary. I also considered simply taking out the shower and making that space storage and just trying to insulate the area with the toilet and sink. Who takes a shower right off the kitchen anyway? I guess one thing i was wondering about is whether it would make any difference insulation-wise to carpet the bathroom...or put up beadboard? I assume there is no such thing as insulating wall paper...

my understanding about blown in insulation is that eventually it settles and is not so useful.

the plumbing isn't on a wall at just sticks straight up out of the ground and then goes up into the floor of the bathroom. really, really crazy...the shower backs onto the wall of the kitchen but the toilet and sink are both on outside walls.

I think the previous owners did get a permit but i suspect they paid someone off to get it...surely no one could legally allow such a thing.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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a couple things

Yes, you have a mess, and I sure don't know of any cheap solution. A pic or 5 may be helpful. You may be able to salvage something by installing 2 to 6" of EPS or XPS on the outside of the walls, then siding. Commonly done. Google Remote Wall. You may be able to blow in cellulose with 2 to 2.5" holes drilled, one or two per stud bay, in the sheet rock. Blown in insulation is great, if done right. Dense packed cellulose will not settle appreciably. Google it, or Robert Riversong; he does this all the time, and has for decades. Pipes sticking up out of the ground? You can dig them up (maybe?) and install in a well insulated (XPS under ground) box around them, and leave an "on demand" heat tape around them for kicks. Good luck. john
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