Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

the planking edition

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Ruefully late to the meme, our remodel is finally the site of a planking…

david planking




















No, not that planking. This planking…

box of cork planks












Destined for the floor and ceiling, boxes and boxes of cork planks (Edipo from DuroDesign) have been waiting patiently since last summer…

boxes of cork












David and Joe started under the stairs — an out of the way place to practice installing these for the first time. First there was adhesive…

joe applies adhesive




















Then the planks went on, staggered…

corks goes on staggered




















Almost done…

cork almost done under the stairs




















Sorry, it’s a little dim under there and the shots aren’t so great. It looks nice, take my word for it.

The reason we chose the Edipo was for its linear strips…

edipo cork plank from duro design




















We want those strips to run the length of the house rather than the width, because upstairs the angled ceiling that runs front to back is a feature we want to accentuate. Downstairs, the ceiling is flat rather than angled, of course, but it makes sense to be consistent with what we’re planning for upstairs. To that end, the tiling began with a long reference line to keep the planks straight…

reference line




















The first plank went up and then the boys worked their way down the hall…

first cork plank goes up in the big room




















You really have to like the guy you’re working with to do this job…

david and joe




















And so the planking continues…

planking continues




















Moving pretty quickly now. This could be done some time tomorrow… well, hopefully.

view down the hallway




















Very happy with the cork thus far, I must say. How happy? Dancing on the ceiling happy!


the deck: where we left off

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Let’s see, what’s been going on at the homestead since I last had time to share?

Removing the siding on the inside of the deck surround…

removing the siding




















removing the siding 2












Turns out the wall on the west side of the deck was completely soggy to the point of rotting…

soggy siding




















It absolutely reeks of mildew and was covered in slimy goo. Gross. The wood on that side is not salvageable, unfortunately. Especially once you add in the carpenter ant damage…

signs of old carpenter ants




















They love wood that’s been softened up by poor drainage. Luckily we got rid of the ants right after we moved in.

So where does that leave us? The walls are temporarily covered in housewrap to keep out the spring rains…

deck walls with housewrap




















And now there’s a slight pause in the rebuild of the deck while we wait for the engineer to chime in. On what, you ask? Biggify this and check out the deck as the architect imagined it in 1970…

architectural rendering of our house, circa ’70 | Haynes and Associates










Cantilevered. No supports.

Compare that to how it actually got built a year later…

view from the corner, post-construction | Haynes and Associates











A single post stuck in the middle. Well, not exactly the middle — slightly off-center so that it wouldn’t interfere with coming and going through the lower slider. Weird.

Compare that to how it looks now…

finished wall, February 2010












At some point, posts were added to either end in addition to the one in the center. David and I think this looks a little clunky and have always imagined we’d try to go back to Irving Hayne’s original vision if possible. Next week, Eric over at Structures Workshop should come back to us with drawings and we’ll find out if we can make it happen. Good man. We’ve tapped him more than once for this remodel.



what’s up?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Yeah, that. Well, last week I was swamped with work so there were no updates. Sorry about that. Hope to get back to normality this week.

let there be sun!

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Progress, people! On the front of the house, Joe and David made and added the flashing to the upstairs windows and slider to match what they did on the lower level…

new flashing around upstairs windows and slider




















And now the siding is done, top to bottom…

siding finished




















Wait, is that SUNSHINE reflected in the upstairs window? IT IS!

The blue tarp that’s been up since well before Thanksgiving finally came down!


blue tarp being removed





















blue tarp coming off




















Three! No more tarp!

no more tarp




















I can’t tell you how happy I am to no longer be in the abyss!

Next: the soffit will get closed up…

getting ready to close up the soffit




















After that, David and Joe will turn their attention back to the downstairs. They’re going to install the cork on the floor and ceiling. Then it will be time to rebuild the deck.

I still can’t get over being able to see the view…


hey look, the sky!




















Just in time for spring!


and the siding?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Painting is done — shall attempt better shots. Siding is still in progress but the bottom floor is just about done. Yay!…

siding in progress




















That black mesh in the shot above goes beneath the siding…

closeup of cedar breather




















Called Cedar Breather, it creates a 1/4″ air space between the house wrap and the back of the siding so that moisture can’t build up there. After all, it’s water that encourages paint and stain peel off the wood, causes rot and mold, and invites insects to dine. Better not to give it a chance.

Around the slider, Joe and David created and installed aluminum flashing to match what they did around the window

installing the flashing




















So instead of the bulkier wood trim that used to surround the windows and doors, now we have a nice, clean metal edge…

closeup of flashing




















Looks fantastic, boys!

finished wall of siding




















Really loving how the dark stain worked out!


sneak peek

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Downstairs painting is coming along nicely! Yesterday the tinted primer went on…

primer coat goes on




















And today the first coat went on…

first coat goes on




















Actually, it’s still going on right now. It’s so strange to have someone painting for me. This is usually my job. But look how much quicker its going!

this just in!

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Not only are David and Joe outside putting up siding, but there are two other crews working inside. That makes this the biggest remodel population our house has seen yet!

The plumber is here working in the dark…





















His partner in crime is on the right, happily breathing the dust being made by the guy on the left…

partner in crime




















Yep, the paint crew is here to prep the walls for painting…

wall prep




















more wall prep




















I can’t believe they’re not stumbling over each other down there. Go, team, fight!

exciting siding

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The boys are out in the freezing cold today nailing up the siding…

joe nails up the siding




















Details later. Thanks, Joe!

okay, vacation’s over

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Back to work!

david and joe at work




















So David and Joe have been getting the un-sided end of the house ready to close up while the plasterers finish up downstairs. David can update us on the proceedings thus far.


Now that the siding is all stained and had a chance to dry, we can get ready to install it. First up: flashing the sides and tops of the door and window openings.

Here, a side piece was carefully mitered onto the existing sill flashing that went in when the window was installed…

window flashing with mitre




















Next, the side flashing got nailed to the house and then taped to the house wrap. The joint between it and the sill flashing, as well as the joint between it and the window frame, will be caulked with the same low-VOC grey caulk we used between the windows and the house…

next step on the flashing




















The top flashing rests on the two side pieces of flashing and was also mitered. It extends up through a slit in the house wrap and was nailed in place…

yet more flashing detail












The corner junction of the top and side flashings was taped and then the house wrap taped down to the top flashing. The goal is to shed water out as it goes down, never allowing it entry to the house.

That piece of pressure-treated wood with the big bolt in it and the nice piece of flashing under make up the the deck ledger…

hoping to shed water




















The ledger board had to go in before the siding, but that story deserves a post all its own. Here’s a sneak peek of the newly stained siding installed around the big downstairs window…

newly stained siding and window flashing




















Hot. Love how clean it looks — no more clunky trim! Don’t worry, the blue strip above the siding is just the blue of the overhead tarp captured in the shiny new flashing.

fun with gadgets

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Welcome back to GadgetTime with David! In today’s installment, he shows us how to avoid what could be a big project.


This looks like a regular light switch…

light switch




















But underneath it hides a secret: It’s actually a wireless switch that can be added anywhere you want to control a light but don’t want to go to the trouble or expense of running wires in the walls. Take a peek under the faceplate…

light switch with a secret




















Just replace an existing switch with this special receiver  switch and Bob’s your uncle…





















In my case, I wanted to be able to switch the garage lights on and off when coming and going via the roll-up doors, but the only switch was across the garage by the door into the house. After installation, the two switches are now about 18′ apart with lots of metal stuff between them. I had to unwrap that black wire that loops around the toggle above (it’s an antenna) in order for them to communicate better. That little switch to the right of the toggle turns the receiver on and off, if for some reason you don’t want the remote switch to control the light.

The receiver and remote switch are available as a set, and additional remote switches and outlets are available. There are several channels to choose from (my switches both use channel E) — you can use accessories on the same channel and control them all with one switch or choose different channels to control several things independently in the same room.

This one is a Zenith model 6133. It works with fluorescent tube lights but not with compact fluorescents, not sure why. It does buzz a bit (maybe that will go away over time). A pretty cool system that only took 15 minutes to install vs. an hour or two of cutting drying, running wires inside the wall and then patching the drywall. You know I love that.