Demo is underway at the Grosvenor Residence. Since the building was built in the 70's, there were definitely some unknowns going into the project. For instance, the building is concrete so we knew we would have to get a little creative with some of our solutions as it's not practical or cost effective to relocate services in concrete.
In the kitchen, we wanted freedom with the design layout so the contractor built a new wall on top of the old, so we could run the plumbing exactly where we needed it. We lose a little space (4" or so) but we get a blank canvas to run services where we want.
In older buildings, surprises are inevitable. DIYers can often take shortcuts, and if you're renovating a space that was done by a DIYer, definitely be cautious.
The design called for demolishing the old oak railing in the loft, to be replaced with a glass railing. When the crew pried the shoe (bottom portion of the railing) off the concrete, they exposed a plumbing pipe hidden underneath. Unfortunately, that pipe burst from the strike of demolition, and immediately added a 'water feature' to the space! IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are doing a renovation, make sure you have the proper insurance in place - especially if you are renovating in shared space like a condo.
Luckily the condo was mostly concrete so once the fans were brought in, the space dried out quite quickly and construction could continue.
Some things you can bank on in old buildings, but honestly plumbing running under the stair railing was a surprise to all of us! There is no reason we would have assumed we would find plumbing in that location!
Surprises happen on site - that's a guarantee. That's why it's important to have your designer available during construction, so they can work with your contractor to mitigate changes as they occur.
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