Construction continued despite the wet weather this Spring (but, we need the rain!). The second floor of the house took shape quickly, with the new rooms sitting over the expanded first floor. A couple shots of the on-site studs. On the left is the view when you walk in the front door, looking up to an overlook balcony, and the kitchen will sit below. The right photo is the master bathroom with an angled wall that follows the property line. 2 views at the front of the house a few weeks apart. New french doors and sidelights were installed in the new master bedroom. The view from the bedroom doors is pretty sweet, down through the bay to the city. The vaulted ceilings of the house have spray-foam insulation, letting us avoid a tricky venting requirement at the eaves and ridges for the long roof runs. A view across the rear part of the house past the stairs to the new family room with multi-slide doors. Here’s a view of NormaJean the volvo looking up at the two projects we’ve done, side-by-side. Two photos taken at the rear yard several weeks apart. The shingles are being installed and they really make the house look finished. Tina’s crew at Builder Girl is doing a really great job.The large steel window at the staircase is from Torrance. The steel window will be a dramatic statement at the staircase, seen from everywhere on the lower floor and yard, and from the bedroom hallway above. The master bathroom, in two directions. The shower with its round window facing the street – the bottom half obscured for privacy of course. The other end of the room has a skylight above to bring light down along the wall, to the spot where the bath tub will be. Really exciting to see finishes coming along! Kress Jack is working alongside us on the finishes, and it seems like the finish line is in sight – though distant still. Stay tuned for more!
Is it too late to say happy new year? I say no since this is my first 2016 post. This is a cute 1940s house set on a cul-de-sac, 2 bedroom / 2 bath. Not nearly enough room for a family of now 4 who entertain and occasionally work from home. The program is to add a second floor and push the house out in the rear yard to get more space on the first floor. New total will be 4 bed, 4 bath. One really cool thing about its location on a south-facing hill is a surprisingly direct view back to the city across the bay. Otherwise it is standard suburban rancho from another era…ready for an update!At some point the living room was expanded and the ceiling was vaulted with exposed beams – a really nice look that we’re maintaining and improving upon in the new design. The kitchen is workable, but feels a little cramped. A low-ceiling breakfast nook is hidden away in the distance.
In the early stages we studied the possible massing for the top floor addition. We initially settled on the gable roof with an overhang at the front. BUT: heed my advice, and get a professional lot survey! It was discovered that the house sat within the front yard setback so we had to redesign and push the second floor back. Silver lining is that they will have a walk-out balcony at the front (the windows have become doors now..) and a circular window to the side gains a city view as well. Storypoles were installed to demonstrate the extent of the new addition. Demo happens quickly… The back wall of the house was removed to accommodate the expansion. It almost looks like a stage / bandshell. The rear deck was removed to make way for the addition and pushing the land back a little for a new deck. All this while preserving the persimmon tree in the upper left of the photo!Here is a photo after concrete and during initial framing from last Fall. The ground floor is mostly framed, and the second floor is just starting. Steel beams are seen on the left, awaiting install, and a narrow Simpson Strong Wall on the left of the house. We’re already far ahead of this phase – stay tuned for more!
At this house (top floor addition: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) we’re further along with finish materials and details. It’s exciting to watch the transformation, sometimes it seems to take forever, other times change happens quickly. Tile is about 75% installed in the bathrooms – Heath Ceramics’ Modern Basics ‘Heron Blue‘ covers the walls of the 2nd bathroom.
The master vanity is a cool grey-blue to pick up on the darker veins of the marble tiles. Cabinet by Bartlett Cabinetry via KnockKnock.
It took some drafting skill to lay out the grid in the way that made the most sense. Not all squares are equal, but generally about 20″x20″. We had to work between wall, window, door and floor constraints. Once painted a solid color, any variations will be undetectable. Bedroom flooring on the right.
The flooring has had its first staining and sanding. It’s an antiqued dark brown finish. In the corner is the built-in desk; walls and cabinetry will be Sherwin Williams ‘Muddled Basil’.
The black steel railing pickets on the left, ready to be attached at each tread on the new stair. On the right at the bottom of the stairs is a round newel post that I designed to complement the existing curling railing. The post will sit on top of the bottom step, as yet to be extended in the photo, and the existing railing on the right will be continued over to meet the newel.
The newel at the top of the staircase, the handrail and guard rail along the hallway. Guardrails are 42″ per code so the top newel is just over 4′ tall. It has minimal detailing – a base, and a cap, with rounded edges.
When in the field and you’re designing as you go – plywood works as well as a sketchbook! Above is a section for the cornice at the front and rear facade of the new top floor.
Stay tuned, more to come!
Yeah, it’s been a while since I posted on progress! I’ve been running from project to project and have a million photos to upload and share… always be sure to check out the Instagram page for more current blips on construction site day-to-day stuff…but be warned the account is peppered with other random, ‘colorful’, not work-related photography. I’ll leave it at that.
Here we are back at the Pacific Heights House, Part Deux. As of today tile has begun install. Since May the crew has motored through the last bit of framing, through rough plumbing and electric, gyp board and radiant heat install.
Above are two photos of the front room of the house. We’re adding new shear / plywood to the perimeter walls because of the heavy addition above. In 2009 we didn’t get into these walls much, hence the old plaster & lathe came out and it’s ready for ply now. We’ll match the ‘cove’ ceiling when the wall is replaced.
Walking through, the open walls are a jumble of new plumbing and wiring. Locating switches, outlets, faucet heights, etc. and slight revisions and decisions while we have the chance. It all has to happen before the walls are enclosed with sheetrock.
Insulation is installed. Sheetrock delivered and ready for install.
Above, the crew mocked up what the slope of the shower might be if we rise the core-required full 2″ from the low point of the infinity drain. It seemed a bit steep to stand on sideways so we came up with the idea of dropping the infinity drain downward 1″ so the shower only has to slope 1″ down..
Radiant heating “Quik Trak” is being installed next, throughout the new floor level. A less costly alternative to Warmboards and others. In the old project we had to install the tubes from below because we did not want to reduce the ceiling height.
A corner of the room with the pre-routed grid of the Quik Trak in place. Below, I had a little assistant on the site one day and asked her to take notes during my ‘meeting’, hence the pad & pencil. I could have gotten a better photo! She enjoyed touring the construction site with Uncle Tom and then was down the stairs and ready to go home…but I can’t quit at 2pm!
Stay tuned, more to come! (I will try more frequently!!)
It’s always a treat to return to a house and start the second phase of a project you designed a master plan for. In this case I worked on an interior to-the-studs remodel of this house back in 2009 – see it here in our portfolio and here on the blog as it was ripped apart. This was a fun collaboration with Ian Stallings Design. Above you see an aerial view of the house as it was recently, with a low pitched roof and attic above the main living space. I was thrilled when the new owners contacted me and expressed that they now want to add the top floor.
We worked off the old plans and made some modifications for the new owners. See renderings of the proposed top floor addition – an elegant, flat roof structure with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office space and large outdoor decks that will tie right in with the existing house. The front deck is largest since here in SF you’re encouraged to set back top additions so they’re not competing with the original facade… like it or not! Below is a view of the rear of the house, with the new intimate master bedroom deck overlooking the existing courtyard space below.
We’re working with Cook Construction for this project – a team we’re very happy with. The demolition of the old roof, its 5 layers of asphalt shingles plus original wood shingles, went pretty swiftly. Above, looking toward the front of the house, below, the rear.
A view from within the front part of the attic looking back – you can see all the recessed lighting, wiring, and ducting from the 2009 project.
At the very front of the house, you see the old boards of the cornice / parapet. The views open up in this direction.
Above left – the opening for the new staircase. On the right, the only part of the new roof that is sloped is over the master closet, a result of negotiating with neighbors who were concerned by potential impacts to light. They’ve since moved away.
Lastly, the beautiful view from the office / hallway area, between two adjacent buildings to the hills beyond. Stay tuned – this one’s moving fast!
I thought I’d start with this image although taken some time ago, is a little indicative of my daily work experience. i.e. balancing my workload high above everyone’s heads with imminent danger (drama) looming, sometimes in my sperry top-siders and members-only jacket, but usually in plaid. It takes stains better. yuk yuk yuk We’re on one of two steel c-channels that form the ‘bridge’ in this house.
A few weeks later it looked like this once all the sheetrock was in place, looking toward the back of the house. We’re all really excited about this element / focal point of the home, and as mentioned in an earlier post we reused attic redwood framing to make the walkway of the bridge.
A view looking in the opposite direction at the kitchen, some cabinetry installed, and the front door off to the left. At the right side of the kitchen is the light shaft with a skylight at the top, and will have a glass panel to close it off but let light through.
Here’s a look at the main stair that connects all 3 levels. After we shifted the rooms around the old walnut floor border had to be redone to make sense in the new spaces.
The lower stair was at first enclosed below but we decided to open up the triangle of space to let some light through as you walk down that lower run. The steel railing is in place in the photo but the wood hand grip isn’t in yet.
On the left I’m holding up old wood casing against two windows that meet in the corner…clearly we couldn’t use this 6″ wide trim – we went with a flat stock. On the right is a steel post, part of a moment frame at the front of the building that we left exposed right next to the original wood window trim. We like the contrast! I was thrilled that these clients were as excited as I was to leave the unfinished steel exposed. I’ve tried to work this into a few projects but it’s often been covered up. Who doesn’t want a hulking steel beam in their house to brag about?
Fast forward a few weeks, this is a view looking up at the bridge and loft, with a nice round barn light in the foreground.
Here’s a view looking out along the bridge once the owners have moved in. The guard rails were custom-built by a local fabricator, with 1/4″ x 1/4″ solid square pickets. The pendant lights along the bridge hallway were powered off to one side, so we wouldn’t have to run wiring through the center ridge beam. The lights are just swagged over and hung off the beam by a hook.
And a view looking over the edge past a barn light down to the dining table. Below is a partial exterior view; nothing much changed at this facade since it is ‘potentially historic’. The one change we did manage to sneak in was to replace a missing wood ‘flower’ ornament that the owner noticed upon moving in! See in the red circle – it’s back in place! I encouraged the owners to go with a monochrome paint color; originally tried to get them to do black or dark grey but I’m happy with the sugar-cube look as well. Stay tuned, portfolio shots coming soon!
WE’RE IN DWELL! I was flipping through the pages of the latest issue only to see a photo I submitted of our office via Instagram… Yep, our rinky-dink little office storefront with the turned-sideways door numbers here among the sexy modern lines of international designs … it’s in the “Your Rooms We Love” special issue. That means even if you already subscribe to the magazine, you won’t receive this – so you all have to run out and buy it. Once I was able to actually turn my new favorite page, looking further through I spotted a photo I submitted of my friend’s front door entry near Ocean Beach.
Wow, 2-for-1 publishing / free promo! This will lead to great things……It certainly doesn’t count as my big publication in Dwell, which will happen sometime in the future…stay tuned. After all, this isn’t technically one of our projects, though we did ‘design’ the storefront display and door numbers.
Now for some gratitude:
Thank you to the person who kicked in the glass of our office front door last year and tried to break in. (they didn’t make it inside) If not for their mischief, we never would have boarded up the door, painted it black, and added the oversize, rotated numbers on it. The perfect silver lining!
Thanks to Randy for collaborating on the storefront tools.
Thanks to FJ for painting her entry alcove an obnoxious lime green that I love (keep saying No to the person who wants to change it!) I believe I encouraged this color so I’ll take some credit – and I still think you should paint the front door lime as well. Colorblocking is all the rage.
Thanks Dwell! You can publish more of me anytime!