Friday, January 24, 2014

Fresh Pave

The driveway project is on it's way!
It took several days to dig the old driveway up:

 The new drive is now formed (bad nighttime pic from this evening) and ready to pour:

We have decided to spend the extra cash to tint the color of the new concrete:

We were just looking for a richer gray, but there's a whole world of color out there...
Stalking the neighbor's driveway – whose gray color we love!
For comparison, another neighbor with a newer UN-tinted driveway –
we are looking for something less stark in brightness than this.
The tinting is a bit of an investment and I find that most people don't think it worth the spend— you see a tinted drive much less frequently than the regular pour. I think the richer color adds a lot to the overall landscape and am looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Figuring out what to tint is another story! The sidewalk running in the front of the house is old, and dull gray in color. The sidewalk used to run breaking through the driveway horizontally, then the bottom of the driveway continued down to meet the street.

We have decided to go with Option "B" here which will run the tinted drive
all the way in a single line down to the street. There won't be sidewalk running
through it, however there will be 2 small patches of sidewalk on the left and right
that were dug up thus need to be poured, likely in the untinted color. It will mean dirty
old sidewalk next to bright new sidewalk, which I dislike, but not much we can do about that.
Around back of the house, the driveway continues.


And with forms

Right up against the house we have also pulled off the worn old painted brick steps and torn up a bunch of old red brick paving that led up to the house. Red brick isn't really my thing so I've been itching to get rid of it and now was the perfect time.

The steps to the backdoor will be replaced (obviously) and
to the left and right of the steps we will create 2 planting beds
in lieu of hardscaping.
For the stairs themselves, we toyed with an unique approach like this one:

Slab stairs sitting on top of inset risers. This particular set is staggered
although ours would have been the traditional centered set up.
But – at the end of the day we went back to the regular stairs. We will pour them in concrete and then top each step with a single slab of bluestone.

The bluestone slabs will connect to those in the front of the house
Given that it was in the 20's today (brrr!), we will pour the new driveway on Monday.
Till then! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week in Pictures - Updates

So this Garage Project will happen in 3 phases:

1) Phase 1 consists of structural, framing, new windows, doors siding, and roof... electrical and plumbing, burying the power lines outside and repaving the driveway, and exterior lighting. We are in the thick of this now!
2) Phase 2 consists of drywall, stair and railing finishes, additional interior lighting, and interior finishes — carpet (upstairs), epoxy (downstairs), kitchenette tiling, counters, cabinets and appliances...and bathroom tiling, toilet/vanity. We will complete this as soon as we're able after Phase 1.
3) Phase 3 consists of furnishings. We will also complete the cabinets and organization in the true garage portion in Phase 3.

Here's this week:

House wrapped, new roof and trim are up, and we're ready for siding 
This view shows the galley windows down the side – as well as the really low-hanging
power lines in front --- that won't be around for long!
It's been a long process to find the right corrugated metal product for siding...
The inside is newly framed – the stairs, the bathroom will be in the back through the door,
and the kitchenette will be down the right side of the photo 
Despite 3 dumpsters and all the work so far, no one has had the guts to remove the old toilet!
Pretty funny...
This is the "before" shot of the upstairs
We have now raised the ceiling up 1.5', still keeping the existing roofline, which will make
for a more open feeling space, especially once dry-walled

This is the "before" of the driveway and surrounding hardscaping around back, and down the side
Things have gone quick and the driveway is being demo-ed already
so that plumbing and electrical can be run, and the power line you saw above can be buried
Fun with mud. (Not really)

They only got halfway down the driveway on Friday, so the other half will happen tomorrow.

We've parked on the street for one day and our neighbor already backed into Mike's car :) Nothing that can't be fixed....

Monday, January 6, 2014

Moving Along

Who's ready for today's dose of beauty?

Here's where we are – new windows are in, doors are off!
Framing has begin on the inside - that's the future (and current) bathroom you're looking at there.
And the ladder is where the stairs used to be.
The pile of needles on the floor is from an animal's nest we found in the roof!
(Sans actual animals). And there's the old toilet – still hanging in there.
This is the front part of the garage, which has turned into a saw station.
Now onto the really pretty stuff. As the stairs are being rebuilt, I started looking around to see what you could do to make a really cool staircase. Unfortunately we can't do most of this given the existing structure, but thought I'd share these beauties anyway!

Dark wood stairs, glass panels as railing
Regular drywall stairs with ebony covering
Love these floating stairs with glass railing –
they require more engineering and structure than I have available
More floating pretties
Drywall with walnut on top, and a glass or plexi side
How cool are these for a more rustic space?
Dark modern railing
So many things I love here - the floating stairs, and the stainless cable railing
So what will we do? Remains to be decided, but one of the simpler drywall setups has to be the way it goes. Hoping for tight tolerances (no overhangs/lip on each stair) and to cover the top in a walnut or ebony wood. Maybe a plexi or glass railing, or a railing like the last 2 photos.

Who knew stairs could be so fun! (Yeah, well, it's Monday, after all...)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Doors, Windows, and Corrugated Metal

We affectionately call our garage the "barn" because, well, it looks like a big white barn! Given that I love pretty much nothing barn-like, it's not the shape we'd keep if we were building our dream garage, but the traditional shape does fit well with our neighborhood. We were looking for a way to keep the existing roofline and structure for our garage, mainly for budget reasons but also to have less of a mess on our hands. Plus, "location, location, new construction" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?!

I got excited about our structure and how to modernize it for the first time when I visited Cornerstone Sonoma (modern art + gardens) while out in Sonoma this past summer for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's wedding. Cornerstone Sonoma had several structures there that are similar to ours, that were cladded in corrugated metal. I'd never considered corrugated metal before, but Mike always liked it as an accent material on modern California-type structures. So we were sold.

Take a look at the structures below:

Same structure/roofline as our garage but in corrugated metal
A closeup on the corrugated metal (no, I don't know this guy)
A closeup on the metal pattern
More metal here on the left of this photo
This darker gray is the color I want to go with for our garage.
Our house is light gray with charcoal trim, and the garage color
will pick up on the trim color from the house.
Cool side view with a door similar to ours
Pretty sure this is a different material than corrugated, but I liked the pic
Again the darker gray, and showing the idea of wood doors paired with it
More wood + metal
So corrugated metal cladding is the plan. We know we want the charcoal color and we are running it up and down lengthwise, like the first pic on the page. Now we are just finalizing the pattern of the metal, which is a whole other story.

As far as windows go, we decided to match the windows on our house, which are original from the 50s. Eventually we'll replace the windows on the house, but will keep the same frame style as shown. 

Garage will have 2 single windows on the front face that will get the same
horizontal frame pattern as shown here

And for the doors....

We have 3 doors on the back of the house, near where the garage is. They are all a 5-pane style like the below picture, so we thought this would be a good design cue to take forward into the garage. We have a side door entrance on the garage, so we'll have this same door made for that.

New side door entrance to garage will be the same door.
For those of you that remember how important the front door of the house was to me, you won't be surprised that the big front garage door has also been a search for an original :)

Front door of house
We decided to do one big garage door, versus the two smaller doors we have now. Seems to be the trend these days. Even more reason to have a good door!

After a good bit of searching, we found a place that would make a custom door as shown below.
It will be wood, marine grade to withstand the weather. The gray boxes shown are windows, again taking a cue from the 5-pane doors on the back of the house. These windows will get the same frosted glass as the sidelites flanking the front door of the house.

Check out Carriage House doors if you are interested in a custom door

I can't wait to see this new door!!! I am hoping it's the best after-Christmas present yet.

Happy Thursday and more later!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Garage – Here we go

Happy New Year to everyone!

In keeping with a fresh start to the year, we are finally starting on our garage renovation.

Here are the before ("now") pictures – I love looking at these after the fact!

Right when we moved in. 

Last month – notice how we painted the front when we moved in, but not the sides?
Classy move, I know, haha. We knew we'd be doing this reno soon so it would be a waste of $.
However as you can see, the front doors were enough of an eyesore that we needed to paint them
just to get us through temporarily!

This is upstairs. It's basically a large open room. Really disgusting and dirty.
This will eventually be a rec room/potential bedroom.
This is as you are coming up the stairs on the landing of the large open room.
Debris on the roof outside of the back
This is downstairs, as you walk in the side door to the back part of the garage.
This will become a kitchenette eventually
This is also downstairs, as you walk in the side door to the back part of the garage and see the
staircase upstairs is to your left. This will become a kitchenette eventually and there is a
bath in the back, that will update and expand.
This is the inside of the bathroom. To be honest this is as close as I was getting to take this picture.
You know Mike and I can stomach a lot with a reno, but it's pretty gross in there.
This is the front part of the garage that is and will be the true "garage" part of the garage.
Eventually we'll have shelving, hooks, hopefully a workstation in here.
Another view of of the front part of the garage.
Another view of of the front part of the garage and you can see the door that connects
the front part to the back part.
And here are the plans. You can see the changes to the exterior, and the layout on the
upstairs and downstairs, front and back portions. More about materials selections
and our layout choices, soon.

The old siding got ripped off today:

And so it begins!