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...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Landscape 2: the Fence

We went board and batten because it's relatively inexpensive, fits the house, and we could build it ourselves (mostly). It starts with the footings. We had our landscapers pour the footings. They are heavy duty (2 feet deep), and doing it this way I feel good knowing that if a post ever rots it can be swapped out easily.

Al helps me set a post.

Posts all in, stained and cut to level. Once the top rail is on it'll be 6' high.

All pieces got stained before assembled. Hopefully that gives the fence a bit longer life. Here are the boards laid out on the bottom rails, ready to drop in once the top rails are routed, stained, and cut to length.


We're going to put battens on the inside as well once the landscaping is done. We also still need to decide on the gate (slab or board and batten) and put boards in at the bottom between the posts.

I'd like to thank our friends who volunteered to help us get the bulk of this up the first day. Thanks Danny B, Missi P, and BDC!

Up next, exposed aggregate concrete patio...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Landscape 1: Demo and Salvage

We're doing it, finally. The yard is getting tackled. We've completed demolition of the items that needed to come out, and saved what we could. 

Sorry pink concrete, your day has come. To those who feel it was a shame to tear this out, we had no choice. This was poured above grade and caused drainage problems for our den. It had to go. See ya!

We had it in the backyard too.

The view from the inside has changed.

These are good bricks. This is a stack I started a long time ago. The rest of the walkway bricks were pulled up and saved. We'll use them to make a new patio in the back yard, which I'll cover with a pergola hopefully this summer.

An old bottlebrush that was planted long ago too close to the house came out. The lesson here is to remember how big things can grow when you plant.

And down.

Careful with that bobcat, Carl!

Puppy on a barren landscape.

With the fence down and everything leveled, I could take a shot from the sidewalk. Our neighbor Al, an original owner, said this is kind of what the neighborhood looked like when he moved in, before all the fences and trees.

Up next, the new fence...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Master Bath Vanity

Before I get deep in it with a build out of kitchen cabinetry, I decided to test myself with a vanity for our master bath. Before this we had a pedestal sink, which was fine except it had no storage, and we are into storage these days.

I ordered the sink from ebay. It was the right size and shape for what I wanted to build. The legs are from trusty Ikea. The faucet is Hansgrohe. I used the 3/4" birch plywood for the cabinet and doors.

It starts with a plan. It was all in my head until I had the sink and legs in hand, then I could sketch out exact measurements. It was nice leaving the computer out of this project. Sorry computer.

Once again, the courtyard becomes the workshop.

You can see where I'm going here with the pulls. Doors both get a 45ยบ angle cut on the back side where they meet at the top. The panel above them gets one facing out that aligns with both the doors.

Put together. I drilled the holes for the legs before finishing it, so here's a leg test. Okay so far.

Then I dropped the sink in to make sure there wasn't a catastrophic mismeasurement. Still okay!

Now we finish. I've been working on replicating the look of aged lacquer on birch plywood. I've tried a few different things, tung oil, shellac, stains. Tung oil is okay, but seems to work better on solid woods where it can really soak in deeply. Shellac is nice, but a bit too orange. Stains have the same issue as tung oil, in that they just don't seem to penetrate or have enough effect. This time I used Minwax's Polyshades in Pecan, satin. My theory is that most of that warm amber glow on the vintage cabinetry I've seen in the neighborhood is the lacquer yellowing, not a stain or the color of the wood per say. This stuff actually has the color in the polyurethane, so the color sits on top of the wood. I like the way this took and will probably do the same thing again next time.

I used these hinges. They're full-overlay, fully concealed and flush mount. They were easy to install and close nicely.

Installed! The plumbing only took 2 trips to the hardware store. They guy helping me said it would probably take 3.

Sink and faucet.

While I had the table saw out, I ripped a couple matching shelves.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

11' x 21'

It's not a lot of space. Especially when you want the space to function as a designer's work room/laundry room/storage room/carpentry workshop. Here's the list of stuff that went in:

• 4' x 6' work table
• 4' long closet
• 7' long closet
• laundry with utility sink
• surfboard rack
• snowboard gear and other recreating supplies
• all cleaning supplies
• all the tools including the tablesaw
• essential clutter, cause it's gotta go somewhere

After sketching out several variations, it was decided that the work table going perpendicular to the room about 4' from the garage door was going to work best. This allowed the 2 closets that are on the same wall to be as long as possible. The short wall has all the laundry gear, and we went vertical with some shelving to get all the cleaning supplies in one space. It feels a little strange sharing this with the world, as it's not really showy-type stuff. But I thought it was worth sharing because when people ask "how do you live in a house with virtually no storage space?", well this is how. (This in conjunction w/ a massive drop at the goodwill).

The flooring is a coat of epoxy over a rough grind of the slab. This was done when the floors were polished. The lighting is the same track lighting as the Lanai.


Designer's side.

Closet construction was based off the original closets in the bedrooms.

Carpentry/storage/surf side. Painted pegboard is cool.

A utility sink from the local restaurant supply shop was only a bit more than the cheapo utility sink at the big box store, but way more solid. Pine boards with a quick coat of polyurethane are cheaper and feel better to me than particle board shelving.

This door still has it's original coral color paint. I couldn't bring myself to paint it.