Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guest Bath

It's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and this one really came down to the wire. We have family coming in from out of town today and we just wrapped up painting last night. This was another major one as far as DIY'ing goes. We had a plumber do the rough-in plumbing and install the fixtures, but other than that it was all us. I gutted it, replaced some water damaged 2x4's, fixed some more suspect wiring, hung cement board in the tub surround and greenboard elsewhere. The lady of the house insisted that the tile go all the way to the ceiling, so there was a lot of glass tile cutting to do (since the ceiling is at a pitch). It took four days to install the tile and one long day to grout it.

There wasn't much original in this bathroom when we bought the house, so we had somewhat of a blank slate. But, we did have the original bathtub and ended up really designing the whole look around that. When shopping for tile we came across this glass mosaic gradient. We thought it would look great around the original blue tub. It sort of feels like water splashing, which we thought was fun and felt right for the place.

Once again I neglected to take photos from the start. So we join this project having already done all demo, plumbing rough-in, electrical, and hanging of the substrate. Here's the tub surround.

A nook was mandatory. The plumber had to do a few extra turns to make this possible. You can see I had to level it a touch.

That's a lot of tile...

"I want the tile to go all the way to the top".

And done.

I like having the old distressed concrete in here. I don't want everything to be new.

Here are a few shots peeking in from other areas.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Done, Done and Done

At this point, we can finally check off a few rooms as "done". The master bedroom, guest room, and office are all done. After we had the floors polished I had to install baseboards, then repaint. Next on the list is the landscaping in tandem with the guest bathroom.

The guest room:

The office:

And the master bedroom:

Dining area also is done:


We bought our house with a cracked Mistlite glass panel between the jack and jill bedrooms. At the time I didn't think it would be a particularly difficult thing to source, but it proved to be quite the challenge. I called several local glass companies. No dice. I searched internet forums and found someone who had luck with a supplier in Canada. I called them and they no longer carried it. Everyone said it was no longer available in the length I needed. I was about to paint these rooms and just live with the cracked glass, but decided to make one last effort. I opened up google maps, typed "glass", and started making calls. I probably called about 30 different shops when I finally struck gold. Paul's Glass on Anaheim in Long Beach could get it. They seemed so casual about it I almost didn't believe them. But I put in the order and had it in 2 days, tempered.

Puppy battle with cracked glass background.

Glass gone. Wow, things were really a mess in this area just a couple weeks ago!

View from the guest room.

New glass in.

Painted. The continuation of the brown ridge beam to the outside is one of my favorite things.

Late addition, night shot:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Polished Concrete

Okay, forget the landscaping. I can't wait to have that done, but we moved that back on the list in order to take care of the floors. There are several things inside that depend on having the floors done first, and knowing how invasive a process it is, we decided to do it now.

And when I say invasive I'm not kidding. First of all we had to move everything out of the house: toilets, sinks, refrigerator, oven, the whole freakin' kitchen island, washer, dryer, everything. We covered everything that had new paint or refinishing in plastic. We moved out of the house for a week and lived w/ neighbors. We put everything in a pod in the driveway. The appliances were in the yard. When the job was done we came back to dust city. Closets that were closed and covered in plastic could not stop the dust from getting inside. We've had to shop-vac the entire house and still have a few areas yet to do. Several areas need re-painted or at least touched-up. But...

In the end, we are so glad we did it. It's a major step and has made the house so much more livable. The floors feel great and squeak under your sneakers. No more dusting from the slab. And we love the organic look of it. The aggregate varies as you move through the house. The bump out in the kitchen is a totally different darker color, which was a fun surprise. When you get up close, the color in the aggregate is pretty amazing. I'm glad this job is done.

I've got to hand it to our contractor, Jeff Vasconcellos. He and his crew worked very late several days in a row to get the job done. They know what they're doing and I would use them again.
Jeff Vasconcellos
5723 E Bryce Ave
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 921-9520 Office
(714) 749-8811 Cell

Using up the last of the bean-e-doo in the bathroom. Toilet and sink are outta here.

Please mind the birch.

Always load the tools last.

Dining room:


Bump out surprise:



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Landscape Planning

Right now we are starting to plan out our landscaping. So far we've just been collecting images for inspiration, but today I drew out my first sketch. Overall we are fairly certain that we'll be based on a 45ยบ grid, with 2 sizes of concrete squares. We'd like to vary the amount of aggregate between the 2 sizes like the inspiration shot. On the left will be a planter with a bench built into the lip.

Inspiration 1:

Sketch 1:
The red illustrates existing brick that we'll be working around. I think I need to mock up some 3D illustrations to see what it would really look like...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bring that Birch Back II

In going back through the blog, I realize I never updated this story. When we left off, I was looking for replacement sliding doors for our birch cabinetry. Well, thanks to our neighbors Erik & Rebecca, who are doing an extensive renovation and could not salvage their cabinetry, I was able to salvage doors as well as the frame (large square piece that surrounds the doors). I also salvaged some panelling pieces, which may turn into kitchen cabinetry...

We went a little crazy and continued the paint stripping on into the bedroom with the master closet. I think the effect is pretty nice... a continuous wall of birch.

Wall of birch:

Mini Post: Can Lights and Bamboo
New can lights and bamboo wallpaper. Our paneling on the ceiling was a real mess. We had to draw the line somewhere with the refinishing. Knowing we were going to cut holes in it anyway for the lights, we thought the bamboo would be a nice element. We dig it.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Hey, there's that drip edge again:

And those beam caps:

Lanai Victory!

What a long crazy trip this room has been. When we moved in it was 2 rooms... with a dropped ceiling in the 2nd. Everything was bad. Bad bad. The concrete patio was poured and overlapped the lanai's slab between the posts, then the walls were built on top of that. So, this room was lower than the outside. Of course there was rot where water drained down into the house. The 2nd room's dropped ceiling was exposed to the outside... as there were no panels between the rafters in this section. 50+ years of dust and debris on top of that ceiling. Very bad. Wiring held together with electrical tape. Chopped framing inside the walls with no rhyme or reason. Ductwork going to nowhere. Oh, the little things you discover after having moved in.

But, after a full rebuild of this room, I am sitting on the sofa in a room with no tools and it feels pretty good. This one is really just waiting on the floors, but it's good enough for now!

When we moved in there were 2 rooms, posts were not aligned under rafters, much badness.

Human tornado 1 and 2:

Walls framed and furred out where needed. Garbage sparkles under the new lighting.

We added recycled denim insulation to the new exterior walls. It might not do a whole lot... but this side faces the street so we might as well try to cut the noise and wind a bit. BTW, this stuff is a pleasure to work with. Just use your bare hands, tear it and stuff it.

Here's a good example of one of the many surprises along the way. After tearing off the paneling attached to this beam, we found out how the electrical was run to the 2nd room. This one hurts my brain. Nothing a little bondo can't fix though.

Only one way I know to get straight lines. Tape.

Ahhhh. It was nice to rediscover our storage units that had been in the garage for the last 10 months.