Friday, January 28, 2011

Steady Progress

Back to our big renovation project. Great progress is being made, and the small details are being ironed out with the contracting team, the designer and the homeowner. Communication is always key in a project like this, and never more so than at this stage.

The front porch is really taking shape! The pergola-covered open area will make a much more inviting entrance to the beautiful home. The hefty upper beams used for the pergola are an appropriate weight and scale to go with the structure of the home, and the bead board ceiling in the covered portion of the porch is a wonderfully traditional treatment.

The stucco men have done a great job in renovated exterior areas of matching the heavy finish of the rest of the house.

LOTS of new duct work for the HVAC system. And the majority of the plumbing and electrical is tucked inside the walls.

It won't be long before we start to see drywall go up, and that's always a great leap-ahead day! The contractor is smiling at this job...gotta be a good sign!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cocktails on the Porch

Well, it's almost ready. A couple of details yet to clean up, but it looks and functions like a porch now!

There is so much to like about this project. A favorite detail is the curved steps between the stuccoed welcome-walls, and the way the pergola members overhead mirror the curve.

The choice for lighting is under consideration.

I like the form of this fixture, and the way the long narrow lines of it complement the long columns of the pergola

Once the stucco completely dries, the welcome walls and piers will be painted to match the deck skirting. Then it's time for the pavers and landscaping. Hey, make mine a gin and tonic....extra limes please!

Friday, January 14, 2011


As more framing goes into our major renovation we've been viewing in recent posts, the old design elements start to disappear, and the future shape takes on a little more form.

As you move through the newly framed rooms, you can imagine how the renovated spaces will flow once the sheetrock is on the walls. The rooms will be returned to more of a bungalow proportion and human scale.

To most homeowners, this stage can be a very tedious part of the process.

Real progress is being made, but much of it is "hidden", such as wiring in the walls and plumbing under the floors. But patience, patience! Good things come to those who wait, and I promise this is going to be good.

Friday, January 7, 2011

We Live In A Material World

Vinyl...plastic... These words may still carry a stigma when used in a construction context. But like it or not, their presence is expanding, and in my opinion for good reasons.

As mentioned in previous postings, some of the materials used on one of our recent projects are vinyl products from Certain Teed. Due to the fact that this homeowner works for the company, it was obviously good PR to use their products! But he was also very interested in using them for longevity and environmental reasons. Let's take a look.

The vinyl decking is textured and colored to resemble wood grain, and actually looks even better in person! It is installed using a "tongue and groove" method using clips that are attached to the floor joists, then the pieces actually snap onto the clips, leaving no exposed nails or screws to pop up as the porch weathers.

The fencing has enough detailing--including the lattice sections and trim--to make it a very attractive alternative to traditional wood fencing. And again, the sections all snap together into clips that come with the fence sections, so there is very little hardware or need for tools.

In addition to having recycled content and being fully recyclable, these materials never require painting, which also adds to their green impact.

There was a time when houses were built from mud and sticks. In the evolution of building methods and materials, perhaps this is the step where the 4-legged creatures started to walk upright!