Friday, November 30, 2007

New siding & some concrete

Wow... it's been 2 and 1/2 months since the last post. Well, it's not for a lack of working on the place. There just hasn't been anything that's been fully completed. We have a lot of things happening at the same time. But before too much time gets away from me, I'll share some shots of the new siding and concrete.

The front of our house, if you were to be able to view it in 1953, would have been louvered panels that allowed a partial view into the patio (now the den). We discovered that each foot wide board on the front of the house was actually 2 of the original louvers placed side by side. Difficult to explain, but basically it meant all of our boards looked split down the middle. In addition to this, the concrete around the perimeter of the slab stopped where those panels originally were. So, in order to properly close in the den, we poured new concrete where it needed to go (in 3 places) and replaced the siding on the front of the house.

There are so many details of what was wrong... I could go on and on. But it's fixed now. New electrical is being run as I write this. Here are a few shots of this phase.

One area where concrete will be poured. See the 6" wide boards?

Concrete poured:

Front of the house with split boards and no concrete. BTW, before we poured the concrete the siding was nailed into a couple 2x4s loosely attached to the slab. Way janky.

Redwood factory. We had to have it milled because it's no longer stocked locally in a 1" net thickness. Any loose knots I removed and did preemptive bondo-ing.

In some areas I was able to use salvage redwood. The pinkish color is the original color of the house. The green is the current color of the house. The white is the new stuff, primed. Here is some art of all three together.

Front of the house pre-battens. This front wall had to be re-framed on the inside as well. I'll share those shots when I post the new front room... hopefully some time this month.

New front. Woohoo! Check out the clerestory windows. Those probably deserved their own post. I emailed a sketch and dimensions to a local glass company, fabricated the stops, and popped them in. That was a simple thing that made a big difference. New sconce lights, too. Should be working by the end of the day...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Doors & Windows! (in progress)

Our particular Cliff May floorplan is one of the "Lanai" models, which means it had an open patio as the front room. This was closed off a long time ago. (Actually it was done in 1970, as I discovered a Dodgers schedule in the wall). While part of me would like to open it back up to it's original state, it's really more practical for us to keep it closed in, so it can serve as our den. So, the goal now is to follow the lines of the house as closely as we can, to do it how we estimate the architect would have. We had door and window panels fabricated to match the originals as closely as possible. It's not totaly done, but it's quite a dramatic improvement from the outside and the inside. We'll post again when this front room is finished off. It still needs everything on the interior. Good thing I've honed my drywall skills...

More Drywall & Paint (boring)

Here are a few shots of the guest room. They show holes punched in the wall where we ran new electrical. We ran 3/4" romex from the panel up into the soffit in this room. I'm told we can run up to 10 circuits through this line. So, now we'll be able to run electrical throughout the house as we need it (i.e. kitchen make over). Hopefully from here on out we can keep this punching holes in the wall thing to a minimum.

Again, Pay no attention to the beam or window panel colors... we just had to get some paint on the wall board so we can move on to more urgent things...

Friday, August 3, 2007

New drywall, paint, desk

The last couple weeks have been spent getting my working situation in order. I work from home, and until now, my office has been a bit of a dump. We had new elecrtrical installed, so the office is now on it's own properly grounded circuit. Many holes were punched in the drywall when doing that, which helped us discover the water-rotted wallboard on 2 sides of the office.

Holes in the wall: I cut the bottom 2 feet of drywall out on the 2 rotted sides and replaced it w/ green board. This is the shady side of the house. The original board lasted 50 years, so the green board should do us for a while. I thought I took pics of the drywall patchwork, but I guess not. I have to get better about documenting all the steps...

New paint: So far we've only painted the drywall boards... everything else comes later...

New desk: I built a simple desk using legs from Ikea and 3/4 inch Birch plywood with an MDF overlay. We have a dresser made of MDF, and I like the simple utility of it. I finally have my printer and scanner off the ground. I think this set up really helps open the room up and makes the most of the 10' by 10' space.

Braced with redwood:

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bring that Birch back

Sometime between 1953 and 2007, previous owners of our home thought it would be a good idea to paint over the built in birch cabinetry that is (was) a focus point in our rancho. This restoration was quite a long process, but it's pretty much back. I used Peel-Away 6 (2 coats), then rubbed it with mineral spirits, then a fine and superfine grit sandpaper via random orbit sander. The only finish on it now is a couple coats of tung oil. I'll add more in the future to build it up a bit.

For the large sliding doors, I had to flip them over and finish the backs. This is because a previous owner also decided to route out the original pocket pulls for something far larger and gaudier. For some reason, these came out darker than everything else... so for now, I am on the hunt for original slider doors.

The brass pulls are very close to the originals (from Lowe's). The only hinges I could find that exactly matched the geometry of the originals were from Ace. Luckily they look fairly close to the originals too.

Before we moved in:

Here we go:

Water damaged board discovered... guess there used to be a leaky roof:

Bad board removed:

New birch board goes in... might take some time for it to blend in.

I love the orbit sander.

Someday this will be the den. Right now it's the shop.


Friday, July 6, 2007

We have a new roof!

After much debate and research around the different kinds of roofing systems available, we ended up going with a tar & gravel rock roof, the same basic system that was on the house when it was built. A close 2nd place was the single-ply system offered by Duro-Last. But in the end, the look of the rock roof is much more aesthetically pleasing. And the look wouldn't have been quite such a big deal except on these houses, and our floorplan in particular, you can really see a lot of the roof from the ground. We are really happy with our decision so far, and are enjoying the heat deflection that white rock gives. The real test will be the first rain though... cause I suppose that's the whole point of a roof, right?

Deteriorating shingle roof:

Yes, all of our furniture is still in the garage. We covered it with drop cloths to protect it from all the debris that would be raining down through the ceiling boards.

Tear off:

New fiberglass plysheets going down. New 2" rough sewn fascia boards and metal flashings:

New roof! We'll be painting the metal flashings around the chimney soon to minimize them.

We took the opportunity to install some new lighting above the future island, a new original style exhaust fan for the stovetop, as well as exhaust fans (same model as the kitchen) for both the bathrooms. No more steamy mirrors!

Monday, June 25, 2007

I love my toolbox!

As Dad used to say, "just make sure you put it back where you got it".

The Fireplace, another retrospective

When we moved in, it was covered in travertine tile with a janky gold frame and glass doors. Under that was 3 layers of paint. Under that was the original brick we wanted to bring back. We started with Peel-Away 7, then did another round of Peel-Away 7, then when to Citristrip with a stiff wire brush.

The shots date from 04/03/07 to 05/15/07.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Flooring Demo - a retrospective

These shots date from 4/17/07 through 4/28/07. I recall getting bids from a few abatement companies. They came in around $3K to $4K. It wasn't so much the cost as it was my concern they wouldn't be neat enough. I didn't want liquified mastic on the walls, and I wanted to be sure ALL the mastic was removed. So, we bought the Bean-e-doo and tackled it ourselves.

Here you see examples of all the flooring types we dealt with (except carpet, which I ripped out before we moved in). Green VCT, brown VAT, beige VCT, and a couple different types of mastic.

Here are a couple shots taken before moving in that show the carpeting.

Here you see the process of removing tile and mastic from the master bedroom. I will say that after I put down the bean-e-doo, and all the mastic became a liquified oil slick, I was a little worried. I almost retreated to the abatement company bids. But after a couple rounds of the degreaser, it came out really well.

And here's the same process in the living room:

So, the sad part is it's still not done... once the kitchen is demoed there will be more green VCTs to remove. They are the worst.