Tag Archives: remodel

boomerang farmhouse update

farmhouse front door

A belated update on our Calistoga ‘boomerang’ (-shaped) farmhouse remodel. During the recent devastating wildfires in this and other areas, our clients were evacuated. With luck, the property was spared as the fire was contained to the west of town.  Our hearts go out to others whose lives were forever changed. wood sidingcedar sidingThe entrance above with sidelights is reflected in a door on the back of the house, creating a see-through effect. This is the transitional ‘knuckle’ of the house, and is clad in wood vs painted board & batten or siding. calistoga farmhouseThese photos are from earlier this year, and much progress has been made since. spray foam insulationWhile the exterior was painted, the interior was insulated. Spray-foam insulation solidified the vaulted ceiling spaces, batt insulation in walls elsewhere. vaulted ceilingFast forward to the walls and ceiling being enclosed! 🙂 The cabinets are seen being installed in this photo; kitchen on the left and bar on the right. The ceiling is painted v-groove 1x6s. The rafters are 4x6s; they are non-structural and were installed below the v-groove boards, which run continuously above the rafters. tongue and groove ceilingexposed raftersOther views in the main great room as walls and ceiling were being painted, and a ‘landlocked’ bathroom with new skylight above the shower. board and batten sidingWe will be sure to keep things updated a little more regularly – stay tuned!

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san francisco magazine

a huge thanks to our photographer Melissa Kaseman for pitching our project to San Francisco magazine. They picked up the story and it’s in the November issue.

flip through their entire online issue here, or check it out in images below. Or better yet buy a hard copy, cut those pages out and put them on your wall for inspiration 🙂 and call us when you’re ready to do your own to the studs remodel!

this project was a fun collaboration with really great clients. we can’t thank them enough for being open to 99% of our design ideas. they wanted a sense of whimsy in the house and I think we achieved that feeling.

we like to think of this house as a bright, inviting, energetic series of spaces with bold patterns and textures. it has plentiful windows to grab distant views out the front and a 17ft wide multi-panel sliding door to connect to a cozy garden in the back.

take a look ———–>

san-francisco-magazine-glen-park-remodel_page_1san-francisco-magazine-glen-park-remodel_page_2

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castro corner house

 

castro-streethere’s a house at the bottom of a steep block, built in 1940, slathered in stucco with red tile accents. below are some interior views while it was for sale. it’s not unlike my own apartment: a house of redundant doors, disconnected rooms, box by box by box.hallwaysliving-room my friend andrew, a realtor, introduced me to the new owners and we discussed a two-phase, or a minimal-change remodel. “let’s keep the kitchen cabinets” “we don’t want to do the downstairs until a couple of years from now”… these initial ideas have a funny way of mushrooming, and next thing you know we’re doing the entire project at once, down to the studs! ugly-kitchenold-bathroomthe more they opened and closed the flimsy cabinets, and stared at the corner toilet (I don’t think I’ve seen that before..) they realized it all had to go. closed-off rooms is not the way most people prefer to live now; the majority of our clients want connected spaces to spend more time together. it’s less formal, but also a factor of our lives being so busy that when we’re at home we want to see each other and connect! or, watch tv while cooking spaghetti. cellar-stairsbelow is the first floor garage / basement, all one huge space with no rooms or use other than laundry and storage. a narrow winding staircase connected the two levels. garageit was convenient to see the framing, plumbing, etc exposed on this level; for making structural estimates and knowing where everything is running. time for demo!plaster-and-latheto-the-studskitchen-demoin san francisco where codes and rules are as plentiful and convoluted as the hazy hash smoke wafting through the streets, we have to be careful about how much of the house we demo – even inside. when I try to explain this to people they give me the most confused reactions and a huge WHY? I share their wonder – I understand the desire to retain some worthy building exteriors, but inside, homeowners should be able to live and revise how they want to. excavationwe’re excavating at the first floor because the ceiling wasn’t high enough for living spaces (bedrooms). we’re going down a total of about 24″. the hulking wood posts & beams, original to the house, will be reused somehow inside – barn door? shelving? check this out below, found under the slab in the dirt: WHAT IS IT??artifactit’s made of leather, feathers, some paint. it looks so well-preserved it’s hard to imagine it was in the dirt since 1940 when the house was built. it’s about 24″ long x 13″ at the widest. a mask, or a shield? indian, or african? we also found a red rubber bouncy ball. weird. I love when we find stuff in the walls or below in the dirt – this is certainly unique. one friend suggested it may indicate burial and that we could find bones if we dug deeper; but I can’t imagine that this block of comparatively young houses for this neighborhood, is atop a burial ground unknown at the time of construction. any ideas? more to come!

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noe valley victorian bridge

roof framing

Once the 2×4 flimsy roof was ripped off, the new roof was framed back up pretty quickly. The top floor will have new rooms so we needed to take advantage of dormer space, and as much height as possible.  The view above is looking toward the street. old shingles

On the right is a close-up of the layers of shingles, starting with the original cedar shakes from late 1800s and a series of asphalt shingles right on top.  Note there is no waterproofing in the old roofing system! On the left is an old coffee coffee can that was found during demolition.

dormer framing

Here is a view looking toward the back of the house; the roof is a tricky series of angles and shapes. At the very back is the square ‘box’ addition from sometime in the ’80s or ’90s.

remodel

A view from the inside of the new bedroom at the former attic level. It’s a double-ridge dormer. The neighbor’s house is just outside – tight urban living! new dormerFrom the street you barely notice the dormers. There’s my Volvo out front 🙂 dormerThe same view a few weeks later after the plywood sheathing has been installed on walls and roof. triangle windowAnother few weeks and the windows are installed – this is the corner facing the street and Twin Peaks beyond, so we thought it important to have a window along the slope where the dormer meets the roof. Uncommon, but I was able to dig some examples up online. footbridgeThe ‘great room’ will occupy the area at the back of the house on the middle level. There I am crouched on the old attic 2×4 framing, which we repurposed as a bridge walkway to connect the areas of the new top floor.  The photo below was taken sometime between the two photos above, once the attic floor was taken out but before the bridge steel was installed. steel framingI am SO excited to have this steel exposed in the house; it will be a nice mix of Victorian and modern together, and tell a story of the old framing that was reused to build it.  bridge walkwayA view below the bridge toward the rear wall.  bridge sketchA sketch when we were figuring out how the bridge would meet the floor on each side, which were at different heights! lincrustaAbove is a detail of the existing lincrusta wall covering featuring birds (Swallows?) original to the house. Most of it was removed but will be replaced.  Next to that is the rectangle of a closed window found behind the refrigerator. Much of the work at the upper two levels happened while the new concrete footing was being poured around the perimeter of the house at the ground level. Groundwater was discovered during excavation which set the progress at the ground floor back a few weeks.

More to come!

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shingle bungalow

A lot has happened since my last update!  On this house, and for the business: we’ve moved to a new office, and the dust is still settling… This is a mighty heap of scrap – mostly unusable – taken from the house and placed into the rear yard.  The rear yard here is/was a beautifully overgrown mass of decades-old flowering plants and trees.  To get taller living space on the first level we removed the floor to get up to 24″ of additional height to work with:

As you can see the walls were all sorts of patched together = need to be rebuilt.  Then we had to excavate into the hill to maintain this lofty new ceiling.This retaining wall represents the line between the garage that will maintain the original low height of approx. 7′, and the new living space that will have approx. 10′ ceilings.

The new stairs came down (‘bombs awaaay!’) just in time as the new 3′ addition extended the house into the rear yard. Upstairs, the back portion of the house was removed.  This was a multi-layer addition from the 1940s-70s, and insufficient to support the third floor addition.  Braces hold up the side property line walls.  We left the existing side windows in so we can replace them in-kind without having to be fire-rated (which can run about $2500 for a 3’x4′ window!)

The charming master bedroom dormer is seen here.  

Above views are from the second floor looking through the newly opened wall.  The photo below is looking up at the back of the house. The first floor is framed in, and the new deck is cantilevered 5′ beyond the wall.

Where’s Waldo? There’s a guy in all that mess, if you look hard enough.  

This is me trying to photograph a steel beam, standing on the open edge of the house!

More to come! 

 

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walnut, tile, etc

The kitchen cabinetry is being installed – custom walnut built by a carpenter here in San Francisco.  I prefer the ‘true’ brown tone that walnut has over other woods.  Not too yellow, not too red, so it won’t compete with the greenish floor tiles – or art, furniture, etc.

The island with space for stools sits opposite the counter at the wall.  There will be open shelves in front of the windows (no real view out them so it’s OK); the only upper cabinets are to the side above the refrigerator.  A range and hood will sit in between the windows.. can’t wait to see it.

The space for the refrigerator and surrounding cabinetry.  The penny-round tiles (almost the color of old pennies!) are in the hall bathroom outside the kitchen.  More penny rounds – white – in a guest bathroom seen below.   Shown next to the entry steps clad in the same slate as the kitchen/family room.

The built-in bookcases in the Dining Rm are of MDF and poplar, built into 3 sides of the room.

We’re waiting on a fire-rated window in the Dining Rm. . a little snafu with the paint color. .

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1950s bathroom [and fireplace] updated

That dim ’50s bathroom in pale yellow and brick-red tile?  Not so tired anymore – refreshed with a modern look but keeping close to the midcentury lines of the house that first attracted its owners.

A wall of glass mosaic tiles gives energy to the small room while the simple arrangement of components keeps a sense of order.  Given the new vanity’s storage capacity (plus a new wall-hung cabinet above the toilet) we decided to forego the traditional recessed medicine cabinet.  The shower stall ceiling was raised to full height, and the entire width opened to the room with a frameless glass door from Empire Shower Doors.  We decided to use the mosaic tile again in the shampoo niche.

The opening of the cramped shower makes the room appear larger.  The new glass door, glass 3×6 tile on the walls, 12×12 porcelain tiles on the floor and chrome fixtures mix together to create a soothing feel.

City Cabinetmakers made the flat-front, clean and simple vanity in makore veneer.  The warm cabinetry color picks up the reddish-brown random tiles that appear in the mosaic backsplash.   The sparkly countertop slab that contains bits of mirror glass is ‘quartz reflections‘ from Caesarstone, which is from their recycled product line.  Chrome hardware ties the piece back in to room.

In the living room, here is the fireplace with new stone tile, slab hearth and mantel.

Ann Sacks “luxor grey” limestone tile and “topo azul” slab and a wood mantel painted in a similar grey give the fireplace a subtle presence in the room, toned down from the stark white it was previously.

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