Workmanship: Hiding the Pipes - Bathroom

Related Posts
1 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes - Kitchen
2 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes - Bathroom/Toilet
3 Workmanship: Hiding Pipe-Accessible-HDB Guidelines

It was a week before the LNY. My ID's regular window fabricator and installer - a local factory - had already stopped taking orders. Gosh, the ID had overlooked LNY and failed to place an early order with the window contractor! Owing to this oversight, work on the bathroom partition wall had to be postponed. The proposed partition would bisect the bathroom window, and it was necessary to replace the old window before work could start on the proposed partition wall.

Old bathroom window had to be replaced first!

The ID's weak project management and failure to plan ahead delayed window replacement and pushed back all dependent jobs by 2 months.

The window fabrication factory already had a huge order backlog. Which was compounded by the public holidays: the factory workers, mostly Malaysians, took their annual leave to coincide with Lunar New Year for a longer holiday period!

Taking Measurements
A second problem arose when the ID took measurements. The measurements indicated he would do a single large window replacement in the bathroom. "No way!" I uttered in disbelief. "Wouldn't it look strange for the bathroom window to show only 3 aluminum edges with the partition wall butting right on it?" I pointed out. He stared at me blankly, clueless and lost for an answer. Finally I said, "Look, do it this way.. split the single bathroom window into two windows and frame both. That way there is a framed window edge against the partition wall. That would give the bathroom window four aluminum edges with the partition wall butting against it. Just like a normal window."

My solution is depicted below:
Inside View: Bathroom window split into two to align with proposed partition wall

Outside view: Bathroom window split into Two

Luckily I caught the 'one-for-one window replacement' error before the ID gave the measurements to the window factory!

Making the Partition Frame
The ID's sub-con came in the morning - Tue 18-Mar-08 - to put up the partition for the bathroom.
Window correctly framed against Partition

Imagine how window would look with no aluminum edge against Partition!

Cutting the partition frame

Electric wiring carefully arranged to hide behind partition frame

Left side of frame completed

Temporary measure for water supply while awaiting final plumbing

Taking measurement

Re-taking measurements to ensure structural integrity and alignment

Sigh.. pipes criss-crossing everywhere!

Metal frame cut to accommodate air-con drip pipe

Metal framework completed

Frame ready to install Partition Hardboard

Rain-shower arm installed

Work will continue after plumbing completion...

Plumbing work in progress.. shower tap fitted!

Partition wall ready for tiling

After tiling of Partition Wall

Bathroom Window properly framed against Partition Wall

Completed Bathroom with Partition Wall after Tiling

Ready for your Rain Shower?

Final Thoughts
This bathroom renovation was a huge challenge for me. I was fully stretched in terms of time, energy and patience by the sheer amount of work and coordination required. How was that? Well, I had to deal with several major issues.

First, my ID screwed up with his late orders for window fabrication and installation by his regular window contractor. That delayed work for 2 full months. Second, plumbing works on the kitchen sink, wash basin, and toilet bowl were delayed several times when the regular plumber failed to show up.

When he did show up, it was already 6 pm or late in the evening. To top it all, he fouled up (pardon the pun) the toilet bowl installation, detailed in another post. And when he also did a bad job with the rain shower alignment, I decided he had to go. The ID was unprepared for that eventuality, however. He didn't have a contingent plan and had difficulty sourcing another plumber. That created more delays. Which in turn led to delays in bathroom tiling and installation of the partition wall.

Not that the delays made renovating the bathroom any easier or more relaxed. On the contrary, the problems compounded what was already a complex task, as close coordination was required of several inter-dependent works:
  • replacing the old bathroom window, 
  • electrical wiring for the water heater and ceiling light, 
  • plumbing to the water heater, wash basin, washing machine, kitchen sink, toilet, 
  • installing the partition wall, 
  • tiling the bathroom wall, 
  • installing the water heater and rain shower, 
  • accessorizing the bathroom with towel rail, glass rack shelving, etc
  • not forgetting the air-con drainage pipe that had to be laid out well before installation of the partition wall could begin.
And all the above had to be worked on in the small confines of the bathroom!

Not surprisingly, I had to be present at the job site most of the time to shore up the ID's lack of focus. I was there to ensure work was coordinated as several works were going on at the same time. Fortunately I had out-sourced

air-con supply and installation independently of the ID. I also dealt directly with the electrician, after getting the contact from the ID. And you know what? As you could see in the photos, these two works were the only ones completed in the bathroom, well ahead of the window replacement, partition, tiling or plumbing!

Lesson: If you expect good workmanship from the ID and his workers, you must be ready to step in when circumstances demanded of you. You can't let things be or the errors will compound and lead to disputes.

Related Posts
1 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes - Kitchen
2 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes - Bathroom/Toilet
3 Workmanship: Hiding Pipe-Accessible-HDB Guidelines

Workmanship Series
 1 Good Workmanship
 2 Workmanship: Dispute Resolution
 3 Workmanship: Walls & Floor
 4 Workmanship: Laminated Floor
 5 Workmanship: Electrical Work
 6 Workmanship: Air-Conditioner
 7 Workmanship: Doors & Architrave
 8 Workmanship: Gas Piping & Gas Dryer
 9 Workmanship: Kitchen Works
10 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes
11 Workmanship: Windows
12 Workmanship: Plumbing


Anonymous said...

Hi GreenCoal,

Thanks for providing such an insight.

How do I deal with hiding the pipes and making it accessable at the same time according to HDB guidelines?


GreenCoal said...

Thank you, James, for yr question. As the question has been asked previously I will answer the question in a new post. Read it here.

Post a Comment

Hi, thanks for your comments. While I will strive to answer all your queries please be patient as I am overwhelmed at work.

Thanks for your understanding,



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