Posts Tagged ‘wood’

scenes from the woodshop

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

David sends us progress updates from Tim’s woodshop.

The walnut, cut and labeled…

scenes from the woodshop: walnut cut and pieces labeled




















Pieces selected for the office area built-ins…

scenes from the woodshop: for the office area built-ins




















And pieces for the bathroom cabinet…

scenes from the woodshop: for the bathroom cabinet




















More news as it comes in!

making sawdust

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

walnut plywood




















The walnut has arrived for the built-ins in the bathroom.

And now David gets to put his mad woodworking skillz to work…

the cutting has begun




















Stay tuned. Thanks, Tim, for the use of your woodshop!

mystery solved

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Back to the deck. The other day, it was taken apart. And the findings? Tell us all about it, David…


So. Exploratory surgery has exposed the truth about the deck…

the deck wall has been removed




















Some is ugly… well, all of it is ugly. But we kind of knew that going in.

Insects had their way with the original deck and it’s apparent that in the early ’80s the deck was rebuilt. Unfortunately not by craftspeople, or in fact by carpenters. In any event, we will now repair what’s there as well as build it to the original ’70s design, as intended by architect Irving Haynes (click to biggify)…

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










Cantilevered. Which means we’ll be taking out the three spindly support posts currently there.

Our engineer provided us with drawings of an ideal situation (click to biggify)…

engineering drawing | deck, 04/02/12











The plan:

  • A pair of LVL beams (same as we used to support the living room floor/downstairs ceiling) will carry the deck load across the front of the house.
  • Two steel corners will tie all the wood together at the outside corners.
  • Two long steel straps bolted to each framing member they cross will support the outside corners by spreading the load across the sides of the house.
  • And with slight modification of the steel corner, we will proceed. After the building department gives us a permit, that is.


Once the framing is all sorted we’ll add some nice new decking, an affordable teak alternative called Garapa Gold. But that’s a story for another day.

In the meantime, everyone can see us from the street…

please don’t go out on the deck


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Finished just yesterday, the floor downstairs has to dry for 10 days, which makes this the perfect time to re-deck the undeck.

As you may recall, the rotting deck was pulled out on November 15 and its replacement has been on hold since the end of March while we waited for our engineer to get back to us. So we’ve been living with a harrowing two-story step from the upstairs slider for the last 5 and a half months…

that first step’s a doozy!




















In all that time, nobody tried to step out onto the deck. Good thing.

Today Joe and his nephew Josh started dismantling the exterior of the deck…

first boards coming off












coming along nicely




















The plan is to do some spelunking on the inside of that wall in order to see what the structure detail is.

The engineer drew up a concept for supporting the deck without the posts, which David says he’ll share with you tomorrow… The question is how much rejiggering will the current structure need in order to accommodate the engineer’s design. A little? Or a lot?

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.



the dust is flying

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Literally. Flying. Before I go any further, let me note that February 1 was the one-year anniversary of the permit that gave us the green light on our remodel…





















We’re running out of window space.

So, about the dust. Two crews working today. David and Joe are prepping for the install of the deck ledger board

david and joe prepping for the deck ledger board




















That should be done sometime after lunch and perhaps the siding will start to go up? Drilling holes through the insulation and into the wood behind it is definitely dusty.

Now that the walls are closed up downstairs, a plastering crew is busy making them look absolutely impeccable. Installing corner bead, taping, lathering on the drywall compound…

prepping the walls




















Oh, and sanding. Dusty.

More on the progress of both crews later.

drumroll plz… the color choices

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Well, the day is here — the day we commit to colors. Here’s how it went down.

David decided that once he finishes adding insulation to the outside of the house there won’t be enough of our existing redwood to go around the enlarged envelope, so he ordered cedar. How will we deal with the natural color differences in two kinds of wood on a single house? Easy. The existing redwood will get pulled from all the inset areas and get used on the main envelope. The new cedar will go on the insets.

And how will that look? Well, I went back to my initial color exploration and got out the colored pencils.

How lo-fi.

And approximate.

Some of you liked the bold color approach, so I tried this… Grey on the outside and a plant-inspired gold-green on the inside. Would take some courage but I kinda dig it…

grey and color












Not a neon green but a green with a Dijon-y tone to it. Along these lines…

goldy green paint swatches




















Grey on the outside and brown (natural wood color) on the inside. Safer but not loving it…

grey and brown












I always pictured the house as grey, but another option was brown (natural wood color) on the outside and dark, dark grey on the inside. I liked this better…

brown and grey












Bix, of course, lobbied for his choice…

yellow and red candy-striped












At this point we thought we might want to see the grain of the redwood through whatever shade we chose for the main body. So David planed the paint off a few of the boards that were removed from the deck-end of the house to see what shape the wood is in…

paint removal




















Then off we went to Adler’s paint department with 40-year-old redwood and new cedar in hand to try out stains. Here’s what the first color tests looked like…

color tests on redwood and cedar




















New cedar on the left. Original redwood on the right. The dark grey at the bottom is too dark for the exterior. We don’t want to live in a black box. The lighter grey is okay. But how about the way that clear stain really brings out the richness and character of the redwood? Why hide that?

Sidetrack… Just for yucks I tried the gold-green against the wood color to see if that might still work for the insets…

wood and gold green


Okay, my sweater’s way too bright in the sun but you get the idea. David, however, was not convinced. So gold-green was eliminated. (I’ll be resurrecting some version of it as an interior paint color.)

There’s a modern house on my running route that’s a decent example of a real wood-look exterior…

another modern in providence












Don’t love the off-white as a contrast choice for us but what about dark, steely grey or even black? It’s a little more dramatic without being show-offy…

Walden Residence by House + House Architects |

Walden Residence by House + House Architects |


Once you add grey/black, white works nicely (perhaps for our foundation if we can’t figure out how to take it back to its original concrete-grey)…

Casa Ro by Elias Rizo Arquitectos |

Casa Ro by Elias Rizo Arquitectos |


So I guess that’s it then.

On the main body, glorious redwood — stained clear to show its awesomeness.

A dark, almost black stain on the insets.

And white at the base assuming (and it’s a pretty good assumption) that we can’t bring it back to a bare concrete state.


up to our knees in cedar

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Liberty Cedar arrived today and dropped a load…

delivery from liberty cedar












… of cedar.

This means that siding the still tarped-over deck-end of the house is imminent. Which also means we need a final decision on exterior color. Like now. Argh.

exterior color inspiration

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

We won’t get to the full exterior of the house this year, obviously. But because the deck-end siding had to come off to add the new windows, we should think about color before we re-side. I’ve always imagined that once the paint is planed off of the redwood that we’d go dark grey, setting off the insets with a natural (brown) wood shade — stain, not paint, so we can still see the wood grain.

But what if we took a quick look at a few color possibilities?


When I say “insets,” I’m referring to the cutouts in the outer envelope — around the front door + the full height of the deck-end…

minty 1972, corner view











And around the back door…
minty 1972, back view












house 2011












Now let’s try to picture a few possibilities…



Probably too dramatic for our house but it sure does look cool…

pull house, taylor and miller architecture and design |

pull house, taylor and miller architecture and design |

los feliz residence, warren techentin architecture |

los feliz residence, warren techentin architecture |

I know, the color is only on the window frames (our new frames are all silver aluminum), but you get the idea.

park residence, MACK architecs |

park residence, MACK architecs |



scape house, andrew simpson architects |

scape house, andrew simpson architects |

humbug, kebbel daish architects ltd. |

humbug, kebbel daish architects ltd. |

zen garden house, david jay wiener architect | architectural record

zen garden house, david jay wiener architect | architectural record



private house, weinstein vaadia architects |

private house, weinstein vaadia architects |



minimum house, scheidt kasprusch architekten |

minimum house, scheidt kasprusch architekten |

richmond house, rachcoff vella architecture |

richmond house, rachcoff vella architecture |



kerr ritchie house, kerr ritchie architects |

kerr ritchie house, kerr ritchie architects |

(I am also including this shot from the interior, because the shape of the inset is almost exactly like ours…)

kerr ritchie house, kerr ritchie architects |

kerr ritchie house, kerr ritchie architects |

rubber house, cityforster |

rubber house, cityforster |



texas hill road residence, incorporated architecture and design |

texas hill road residence, incorporated architecture and design |

genolier house, lrs architects |

genolier house, lrs architects |



dorsey residence, coates design architects |

dorsey residence, coates design architects |


Off to look at stains later today!

loving the way this looks!

Friday, September 16th, 2011

wall appreciation

Just wait until the wood turns a lovely silvery grey. Perfect.