An issue with the Cupola Art building is (big booming echo)THE THRONE(/end big booming echo).
The Throne is the name that anybody that’s ever seen it immediately and universally dubbed the bathroom in the building. Essentially, due to various alterations and problems over its history, by the time we owned the building the bathroom consisted of a toilet…on a platform, basically overlooking the entire mezzanine, and with a straight-line view of the top of the stairs. No walls. No sink. Not even a curtain. You are, no question, truly the king of all you survey when you sit on this thing.
I should mention that us male types (pointers vs setters) also have difficulty with the approach here. An understanding of ballistics and diaphragm control of an extraordinary sort are required since we can’t actually stand in front of this thing. Headroom is an issue as well.
Anyway, there is a definite need for a decent bathroom in the place. Since there never was one on the ground floor, some substantial work is required to add one.
Ah well. What’s a little work?
After pondering for some time, I decided that pretty much whatever use the building was put to, a pair of ADA compliant bathrooms would make it a nicer place. This is not actually required due to the age and history of the building, but, I really felt bathrooms on the ground floor are a necessity in any public building, and if I’m installing them, it’s a simple matter to make them complaint.
After lots of measuring, some thoughts about various configurations, and a few anxious glances at the moths flying out of my wallet, I came up with a layout that maximizes space, solves all the problems, and provides a good setup for pretty much whatever use the building gets put to in the future.
This weekend we framed it up. You DO know though…that no project like this can be pondered without several more becoming obviously necessary, right?
The bathrooms are to be framed under the mezzanine, with the doors into them forming a “hall” to the interior door that leads upstairs. After careful measurement, I determined the mezzanine had sagged in the middle. A little poking around immediately showed me why.
There used to be a support beam across the middle. You can see in the pic above that it was cut out. It also acts as a header for the mezzanine stairs. All the joists under the mezzanine are two parters…and the beam supported the joint.
The result of it missing is the sag and bounce. I’m unsure what’s holding the stairs up there at all.
The new bathroom walls will take the load and provide support most of the way across the center of the mez…there is a double wall for the plumbing chase, and I’ll cut that stairway header out and add a new beam from there to cover the rest.
That meant careful jacking of the mezzanine deck, and building walls precisely the right measurement to stand up and sledge into place.
Anyway, framing is done. I’ve two 8×7 bathrooms (one with a shower stall) laid out. 70 2×4’s, and 10 treated (sill plates) to get this done. I still have to add the stairway header.
Nailguns, sledge hammers, jackposts, and a saw with a fricken laser on it. Life is good!
Many thanks to my step-dad and nephew for the assistance this weekend!
The view from the sales floor. That is a 15″ thick I-beam inside that top wall to hold the front of the mezzanine. A 11-foot prep sink will nestle against that side wall and shower enclosure.
Looking down the hall…at the doors to the bathrooms. The door at the end of the hall leads to the main stairs (they also have an exterior door for access)
This view is looking back toward the sales floor from the door to the main stairs.
The hall is 4′ wide, and the doors to the bathrooms are 36″. Swing room and fixture type/location will all meet ADA requirements.
Up for next week: Stair header install and the start on wiring/plumbing. A load of green-board (bathroom sheet-rock that is water and mold resistant) is also in the cards.