Monday, January 16, 2012

We Won!

Long Beach Heritage has acknowledged our efforts and awarded us a 2012 Restoration and Preservation Award. How cool is that? Thanks Rochelle Kramer of Ranchostyle for referring us to them!

I had to supply them with exterior shots... which made me realize I hadn't really properly photographed the completed exterior. So, here are some shots from today:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bitchin' Kitchen

Yes, we are still alive. No, we didn't forget to finish the house. We saved the biggest project for last, no surprise. But it is now done. I can't believe it, but we have a kitchen. With cabinets. And a counter. There are some drawers too... It's great to not have to dust off the silverware anymore.

Let me start with a shout out to Corey Pollock of I and C Craftsmanship. If you are thinking about custom cabinetry, give them a call. They're super easy to work with and completely get the aesthetic. And when we thought about the quality/price comparison against something like Ikea... it was a pretty easy decision for us to spend a bit more and get custom fabrication, with way better materials, and exactly what we want. No regrets there.

Originally I didn't think I was going to have to completely open this wall. I guess I should have known better at this point. Opening the wall revealed we needed to call in the pros, both electrical and plumbing, to get us set first.

The old kitchen island. I made this out of scrap when we tore down a wall - I think about three years ago. I had no idea we'd use it for so long.

Knowing the cabinetry was getting installed in a couple days was a great motivator for getting the drywall up and primed.

Corey and crew, doing their thing.

Island and pantry cabinets in. I am still finishing priming the drywall on the sink wall at this point...

The four photos below show the progression.

And, done.

We went with storage instead of the bar counter.

Big, deep drawers fit all the pots and pans.

We went with 2x4" ceramic tile from Heath.

We've shuffled the house around a bit. The kitchen bump-out is now our dining room. This is because the old dining room is now the living room. That's because the old living room is now the office. That's because the old office is now the guest room. That's because the old guest room is now the... drum roll... babies room! (We still have 20 weeks to go).

Thus wraps up the great Cliff May Rancho Rehab of our last 4 years. I'll be back, as I have a couple ideas in the works - but major renovations on the rancho are now complete. Thanks to everyone who followed along as we tackled project after project. It was a lot longer ride than we bargained for, but no regrets. We are enjoying the ranch more than ever these days.

Friday, June 25, 2010


It's been over half a year since my last post. Funny what happens when you take on a full-time job. Luckily the rehab is in it's final stages. We are happy to check the pergola off the list!

The first thing that had to happen was to remove 2 bricks from where each post would go, and then dig out holes beneath.

I borrowed "Zeke" at the start of the rehab. He came through once again as the tool of choice to remove the bricks.

I dug the footings about 2 feet deep.

I failed to document pouring the concrete and setting the brackets. It turns out the last thing you want to do when mixing and pouring concrete is take pictures of it.

When the wood was delivered (rough sawn cedar), it was a happy surprise to see that the 4x4's were a true net 4x4. Same with the 4x6's. Being a bit heftier than expected meant I had to route out the posts to fit in the brackets.

I measured the height of the first post level with the barge beams of the house, then leveled other posts to the first post. Then I cut the barge beam at an angle to match the house and dropped it on.

The second side the same as the first, then I attached the 2x6's. All the hardware is basic Simpson ties, which I thought was fine since the plan was to stain it. Check out the shadows working, keeping the house much cooler!

More shadows.

The next morning I added some angle braces.

Then the Mrs stained it up!

Up next, the kitchen. Don't hold your breath. ;)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picnic Table

While we would love to have one of these, it's just not in the budget right now. And after not having any luck finding a solid used one, I decided to build it myself. Made from 2x6" redwood and 5/16" bolts. Sturdy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Landscape 5: Pretty much done

I finally finished the planter-bench. Except for the redwood decking on top it is made entirely from salvaged wood, most of it from the old fence. The short vertical board and batten sides let me use a lot of small redwood scrap that would have otherwise gone to the dump. I put a pond liner on the inside to help keep the wood from rotting. Now we just have to figure out what to plant in it.

Sod laid down in the back, with drip irrigation. Not a lot, just enough to keep things from being too dusty.

I see you! An early requirement from the Mrs was that we have an intercom where we could see who was ringing and be able to buzz them in. We went with a system from Aiphone. The installation was a little tricky, but definitely worth it. Sorry JW's, magazine sellers, high school kids trying to "raise money" to go on a European vacation, we are unavailable at this time.

Up next, a picnic table, a pergola to go over the backyard brick pad, and then a kitchen...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Landscape 4: Phase 1 complete

Sorry for the delay... it's been busy business time over here lately. Phase 1 of our landscaping plan has been completed for a few weeks now. Our little patch of grass is taking off. We planted a Chinese Pistache in the courtyard and are looking forward to the fall color. The brick patios are finished, a big one out back which will be covered with a pergola at some point and a small one off the kitchen which will be the grillin' station.

The front yard is pretty much done except for the planter I still need to build along the fence.

Here's the big pad. It turns out that not all of our old brick was the same size, but Jason and crew shaved the bricks one at a time to make the patio we wanted out of them.

And the little guy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Landscape 3: the Patio

Today the team powerwashed off the concrete retarder to expose the aggregate, and we are psyched. There's a bit of touch up to do yet, but it is just what we wanted. It already looks like it's been there for years.

I'm going to take a second to give props to our landscaping team, Dalman Klodt builders. Jason Klodt and team have been nailing each phase on time, on budget, and with fantastic results. Give him a shout if you have a project. Just don't distract them before they wrap up here, okay? We've got a bit to do yet...

Per Jason's recommendation, we put in a new water main first. The old one was PVC and a bit too close to the surface. We put in copper. We definitely don't want to have to break up the new yard to replace a water line.

Framing it out. Tape goes on the redwood spacers to protect them during the pour. There's a space between the framing and the fence for a planting bed. It'll either be a planting bed with a bench in front or a raised planter with a bench built into it. I suppose that depends on what we plant there... any suggestions?

When this guy shows up you better be ready.

Pouring and seeding.

Finishing touches.

You let the retarder sit overnight.

Powerwashed. We have a step inside the house to get to the den, and now we'll have one outside too. (This was done so we could get water flowing away from the house at our previously at-grade lanai). A cool benefit is that the transition from inside to outside will be more seamless... the step out is barely a step no matter what room you are stepping out of. The step has a little cantilever with a redwood 2x4 inset.

Feels like this is how it was supposed to be. We also need suggestions on a shade tree for the empty square. Anyone?

X marks the spot again, only this time we're keeping it!

Up next, salvaged brick backyard patio or front yard pavers and sod, not sure what will finish first...