Archive for April, 2007
After several rounds of discussions with my designer Ricardo Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org) we came up with a layout that seems to work pretty well. In this design drawing the room addition on the back of the house is centered on the main structure. The kitchen remodel opens up the back of the house which will include an eating area and family room. (The area on the drawing labeled Family Room is actually the Dining Room) I will be posting the elevations next week.
After doing a few walls myself I decided I needed to get some help. The demo work isn’t difficult, but the dirt and dust really take a toll on the sinuses. Here is a picture of kitchen with the demolition completed.
Demolition on this scale makes a house unlivable. The dust gets into everything and keeps settling for several days.
After removing the plaster, I went to the city to pull the permits for removing the walls and moving the plumbing. I thought removing the walls would be simple, but the city planner disabused me of this idea. The rule of thumb for taking out structural support walls is your header needs an inch of depth for every foot of span. In my case I have two spans to cover; one 12ft and one 8ft. The 12ft span requires a 14in header (it was a little over 12ft). This is problematic because the required headers would divide the space — which defeats the purpose of removing the walls.
Despite being disappointed about the news from the city planner, I’m glad I checked before removing the walls – disaster averted.
The windows present another challenge for my kitchen remodel. You’ll notice in the photo below that the headers are not to current code. As a result, moving and reconfiguring the placement of the windows will require a significant amount of work.
This week I rented a dumpster, I have lots of stuff demo work to do so I can start putting the house back together. This weekend I worked on taking the plaster off the walls so I can later remove them and open up the back of the house.
The previous owners had put plaster board over the old lath and plaster; making the demo work twice as difficult. Look at the bright orange paint — how pretty.
By the end of the day I had removed the plaster from three walls.
It’s getting pretty tiring living in a half functional home. Last weekend instead of continuing to just contemplate getting the house into living order I started to take action — with a screw driver, pry bar, and hammer.
The result is no more kitchen — I know, I know, I said I was going to make the house functional. Well sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. The game plan is to remove the walls that divided the back 1/4 of the house into 3 small rooms — a half bedroom, a laundry area, and kitchen. After removing the walls I will make a larger kitchen and small family area — probably too small to call it a family room.
So here are the before and after pictures:
Here are pictures of the sink area before and after
It appears that the kitchen walls were orginally covered with tounge and grove beadboard.
This is solid douglas fir. I am very disappointed that one of the previous owners decided it would be a good ideas to rip it out and replace it with sheet rock (plaster board). The good news is at least now I have some idea how the original kitchen was finished. I will echo this theme in my cabinetry selection. I may also use some of the salvaged material to build a window seat for this wall.
Over the last couple months of going back-and-forth with my architect, my plans for adding to California Bungalow have morphed dramatically. With each iteration the plans have become simpler and less costly.
My orginal idea was to add a two story addition to the back of the house. The addition would have added a ~1,400 sq ft to the house. This approach would have given me an large family room, and master suite in the second floor. Unfortutnately the foundation would require significant re-enforcment to support the second floor. Essentially, I would be required to tear down the back 1/3 of the house to accomodate the addition. Connecting with a building contractor brought the realization that my orginal plan would cost ~$280K @ 200/sq ft. — ouch
My architect Ricardo was more pragmatic. He recommended a simple single story addition to the back of the house. This plan gives me a smaller but functional master suite. Ricardo kept the total addition under 500 sq ft which has two important benefits. First building cost are lower; second staying under 500 sq ft allows me to avoid Monrovia’s school tax assessment.
Second, from an investment POV limiting the scale of the expansion makes a lot of sense too. A quick check on Zillow.com shows the selling prices for my neighborhood range between 500-$650K, so it’s probably not a smart idea to go too crazy with additions.
04/07/07 — I went to CV Tile & Stone to buy the tile for my bathroom. I decided to go with a 4′ hex tile in white for the field and 3’x6′ tiles in gray for the boarder and a black sizzle strip. While the 1′ or 2′ hex tile may been more common in the early 1900’s there are plenty of examples of the 4′ tile in older homes as well. The 4′ tile means less grout and a cleaner look.
The book Bungalow Bathrooms was quite helpful in finding design ideas.
My bathroom is 7”x7.5” and the cost of the tile was $601. I wanted to add tile on the walls but the materials were an additional $1000. I figured beadboard would still look very period but would save me a considerable amount of money.
While I was at CV tile I noticed a cool floor heating system that you install under the tile. I comes with a thermostat which allows you to control the temp — what a great idea. It would cost ~$500 to intall this in my bathroom — I am very tempted.
To make the house somewhat liveable I had the floors refinished. I wasn’t 100% sure that refinishing would work because as the before photos show the floors were in bad shape. Mike the Hardwood Floor Guy assured me that he could bring them back to life. A co-worker told me this guy was the hardwood floor Hosana.
I decided to take the chance. Mikes bid was $2500 for the job. Some floor boards needed to be replaced, so we added a couple hundred to the final price. Overall, the price came out to about $4 per sq ft, 700 sq ft of flooring was refinished, which is about half the price of laminate flooring.
I think the floors turned out to be quite beautiful; however they are still old and have some imperfections like cracks between some boards, exposed nails, etc. I think this gives them character. What do you think