Renovation Surprises – One of the many reasons you want to hire a professional

There can always be something unexpected beneath the floor or in the walls. Nevertheless renovation surprises are no problem for the best renovators.

A renovation can always come with an unexpected surprise or challenge. These renovation surprises could potentially make or break a project or your budget. Providing you’ve hired an experienced professional renovator, you can relax knowing that an unexpected situation will not halt the project or destroy your budget.

Because or years of experience, a renovator like Hammerdown can usually predict the types of surprises lurking behind closed walls.

But even so, there is always a risk of some unknown problem lurking beneath the floor.

Renovation Surprises - #1 Concrete Floor - Bathroom Renovation - Hammerdown Home Renovations - Winnipeg Kitchen Renovations
A renovation surprise, concrete!

Hammerdown recently encountered such a surprise during the demolition of a second story ensuite bathroom in a 1920’s River Heights home. Beneath the layers of vinyl and sub-floor, the Hammerdown crew found a not unexpected tile floor dating back to the 40s or 50s.  Unfortunately beneath this tile, and it’s 2″ mortar bed there was also 4″ of concrete.

This bizarre occurrence is something Hammerdown has never seen in any of the hundreds of Winnipeg homes we’ve renovated. Admittedly the crew was a little confused by this find. The Hammerdown project manager quickly decided that as difficult as it would be to do, this concrete had to go. Once our crew began to remove the concrete, it started to become clear why an installer from generations past may have decided to do this unique installation.



Encase the problem and hope it goes away

Renovation Surprises - #2 Removing Concrete Floor - Bathroom Renovation - Hammerdown Home Renovations - Winnipeg Kitchen Renovations
The difficult task of removing the concrete begins

After determining the best way to remove concrete encased between floor joists without causing damage to the plaster ceiling below, our crew got to work. During the removal installers find the old galvanized drains encased in the concrete. Further, the crew sees the existing drain has been installed flush to the top of the floor joists. To do this, the plumber of years past caused significant damage to the integrity of the floor joists. Unfortunately the drain was also sloped in the wrong direction, and the old tub had been forced to drain uphill. Because of this the previous drain had been incredibly slow and often needed to be snaked.





Renovation Surprises - #3 Poorly Installed Plumbing - Bathroom Renovation - Hammerdown Home Renovations - Winnipeg Kitchen Renovations
A very poor plumbing installation

At any rate, the crew removed the concrete and began to correct the problems.  To bring back the integrity of the original floor joists we doubled up every one with new solid material. As a result our plumber was able to run new ABS drain lines, correctly sloped, through the centre of the joists as code requires. Despite this surprise, our experience in problem solving allowed us to quickly correct the situation and move on with building our client’s dream bathroom.


Here’s hoping this is the last time we find THIS particular surprise!

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