Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exterior Walls Underway

Framing is underway on our little blue cottage.  The lower exterior walls are almost up.  You can see that the house hasn't yet been lowered down onto the perimeter.  That will happen after the sheathing is complete.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Project! Museum Quality English Tudor - Part 1: Exterior

Big day!  This is a great new project and we're just about to break ground.  It's a 1500 sqft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath tudor on a double lot.  The family who built the house had a daughter who lived her whole life here.  The house is virtually untouched since 1921.  The new owners have hired us to make room for their growing family by building an addition off to the left side that will add two bedrooms, three bathrooms, an expanded kitchen, and an attached garage all while preserving the architectural integrity of the original home.

The first task will be to demolish the detached garage and that little bumped out area of the main house.  We'll take all the stucco off this face of the house to tie in the new framing.  The new addition will be two stories high and come out to about the left corner of the existing garage.  I need get to work on the window order to make sure we'll have them here on time.  The windows and exterior doors will be Marvin Clad with clad stucco-mold trim.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Solid Foundation

The foundation is complete!  Woo-hoo!  The next challenge will be how we're going to frame this with all that cribbing in the way.  In normal home construction, you'd frame the floor and set the walls in on top of it. In this house, we'll have to frame the exterior walls first, then lower the house onto the exterior walls while leaving the cribbing in place.  Then we'll cut out the ceiling joists down the middle and install a huge beam that will support the center line of the house and turn into a cool architectural feature in the new kitchen and living room.  The new floor will have to hang from the exterior walls. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pour It

I love concrete pour day!  The engineer called for an aggregate mix that had to be revised to work for 4" hose.  Even that was so heavy it required 8 guys to get it into the back of the house from the pump truck parked on the street.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Form it

We wrapped the bases of the cribbing towers in plywood so they wouldn't topple if hit by a Bobcat.  The old foundation was demolished and the new foundation dug.  Here are the forms and rebar cages.  If you look up, the house is being supported by two huge steel beams that sit on top of the cribbing.  It's hard now to envision that this area will soon be a new kitchen and bathroom, but that transformation is what makes home remodeling so interesting to me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Raise the Roof!

Porch stays on the ground, house jumps... what?!?  All the new door and window openings were framed while the house was still on the ground to save on scaffolding... genius, I know.  We cut the framing free from the foundation and slowly raised it up, 3" at a time over two days.  It's being supported by six columns of lincoln-log-like cribbing.  This is quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Demo Complete

After removing all the items that could be salvaged for re-use, we demolished all interior finishes: lath and plaster, hardwood floors, and tile.  On the exterior, an old chimney came down and all the siding was stripped.  The roof, rafter tails, corbels, and front porch trim remain as a tribute to the original architecture of the home. 

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Here we have a little one story, two bedroom one bath bungalow. Cute!  The plan is to raise it up and build a new first story underneath, remodel the entire house, and blog about the home design, construction, and architecture.  The first floor will be a new kitchen, living room, dining room, guest bedroom, and full bath.  The existing house will become the second floor and will be remodeled to include three bedrooms and two full bathrooms for a growing family.  Follow the process and pick up some great home design ideas along the way!