Tag Archives: victorian remodel

pacific heights part deux update

remodel

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. stair framing

Above is a view up the new stair to the new top floor. Two more views below. new staircase

We’re talking to metal fabricators for a new railing to continue up. We may maintain the existing style or depart from it…victorian remodel victorian mantel

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. rough plumbing

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

Insulation is installed. Sheetrock delivered and ready for install.

infinity drain

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..sheetrock

Just like that, the sheetrock is up! Windows have arrived are being installed right now as well. We’re using Sierra Pacific to match the windows we used on the floor below in 2009. level 5 smooth

Level 5 smooth….. and a note I made about a thermostat location. toilet room

Above, we’re taping out to see if the swinging door will hit the front edge of the toilet. It looks like it will clear! One person at a time 🙂 radiant heating

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. quik trak

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! assistant

Stay tuned, more to come! (I will try more frequently!!)

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bridge to somewhere

STEEL BEAM

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. RECLAIMED REDWOOD

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.SHAKER STYLE KITCHEN

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. STAIRCASE

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.

STEEL RAILING

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.

VICTORIAN TRIM

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?BARN LIGHT

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.

BRIDGE

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.

DINING TABLE

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!  WHITE PAINTED HOUSE

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noe valley victorian

noe valley victorianHere is a typical ‘railroad flat’ Victorian house in Noe Valley.  The house is nestled among a tight old neighborhood with close neighbors and a narrow, 20′ wide lot. As seen below, the house had a full, unfinished attic – and good views of Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower in the distance. twin peakstwin peaks noe valleyCheck out the spooky, dark attic. So much potential. The photo below was taken after the chimney was removed so there is some light coming in, but the first few times we went up it was pitch. Always a gamble what you may find…animals? bodies? box of money? atticAt the back of the house was a tiny flat-roof room addition housing a pink-painted kid’s room.  Not many windows in the box, creating a huge blank wall above the rear garden. san francisco houseOtherwise the house was in a limbo retaining some Victorian elements and halfway decent updates. bay windowold kitchenThat’s possibly the world’s smallest island in the kitchen!  Aww.  I met the new owners the day after Thanksgiving last year and learned of their quick timeline. A full, to-the-studs remodel was in order!brick foundationSomething else I should point out is the existing brick foundation, on which the house was sitting but was not actually connected to in any way other than gravity!  Yes, the house was not bolted to the foundation at all. It could hop right off in a sharp earthquake. In order to create new living spaces at the basement level, we would have to replace the brick with concrete – a huge ticket item, something not immediately visible and would take up a lot of the budget. tothestudsThe permit was obtained quickly by avoiding the dreaded, 9-12 month ‘neighborhood notification’ process.  We could add dormers and expand into the attic and basement but no major additions.  Demo began as soon as we had a permit. demolitionThe house started to open up. leaded glassWe’ll keep this small leaded window. It’s painted shut but it’s a cute relic.  remodelThe house feels spacious now with the attic and ceiling opened up.  In order to achieve living space within the former attic, we planned to drop the entire ceiling (since we had a generous 10′ height) of the main level. attic remodelAnd just like that the roof is GONE! Except for the front 15′ feet. The contractor said the neighbors were looking out their windows wide-eyed. Seems so bright and spacious up here. Initially the owners wanted to create a small deck up there but I encouraged them to actually use the attic footprint for living space – it will be uniquely shaped with the angled roof but worth it.3d modelA rendering of the house (on the right with mirror twin on the left) showing the new dormers at the roof level. Stay tuned – more to come!

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duboce triangle remodel

This dull old building is in full-swing demo phase, to the studs!   This was only the second project I took on although it’s just starting now in 2011.  It’s composed of a double-wide lot, almost entirely covered by building with a 4′ back yard.  We are remodeling it to have dwelling units and a commercial space at the street.  The history of the building is long and somewhat spotty; old plans from the early 1900s show meeting rooms and commercial spaces.  It was most recently used by a church congregation because it has a huge 50’x50′ room at the back.  The current building is an ersatz version of the original, whose large-scale window shapes can be seen as the stucco is removed.Here are some early 1900s items found in the crawlspace when the floor was taken up.  Prince Albert in a can!  There was a mountain of bottle caps, sardine cans, some glass bottles, and other junk probably from the crew who built it originally. Most of the ‘junk’ was found just under this staircase in the dirt.  Old lobby arches amidst a mountain of debris.  We donated much of the large, intact redwood framing pieces to a scrap / reuse business Building Resources here in SF.  I plan to have some of the salvaged wood used as interior siding.  More salvaged plumbing fixtures seen below.  (they’d make cool planters or garden sculptures..)Here’s the main room formerly used for church and the arched altar space. This stair was tucked inside some walls, and was probably originally open.  We’ll carefully take this apart and donate all its pieces as well.  A large (heavenly?) skylight above the old church space.  The gabled roof is being dismantled and a flat roof put in its place – the inadequate trusses are sagging and would be too complex to retain.   A lot of wood to salvage!   More to come –

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laurel heights

The back wall was totally removed leaving a carved-out view into the back of this house.  In the right image the framing seems to make giant heart ♥  These photos are a few weeks old, now much of the new framing has been put up.  There’s the owner and contractor on the right, making important decisions I’m sure! Inside it’s all down to the studs.  Here are the old cove framing half-moons.  We’re raising the living room and kitchen ceilings, because there was about 24″ of scuttle-attic space above. The area on the left now has a new staircase framed in it, from the kitchen down to the first floor rooms, sort of like below:  

This was a quick Sketchup rendering to figure out the stairs, which duck down behind the counter on the left.  The lower window was to look into the stair, and the upper window out to the sky.  It’s been modified partly by codes (amount of window allowed within 5′ of property line) and partly by the owner.

This is an old bay window that was removed – it looks like a typical SF foggy view.  It was covered in plastic which was making thunderous noises in the wind, and the neighbors wanted it taken down….Here’s the raised, angled ceiling framing over the kitchen.  The ceiling drops flat over the Dining Rm, then raises again in the Living Rm beyond.  more to come~

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victorian remodel interior continued. .

We’re in crunch mode here moving along with all the finishes.  New flooring and stair treads are going in right now, tile and interior trim has almost been completed, interior painting has begun.  The first photo is the second floor which already had hardwood floor over the original softwood which has become the subfloor.  We’re patching in new to match there.

floorboards

We looked through various grays from ICI low VOC paint.  It’s always amazing how a color changes when viewed on a wall; and how much of other colors you can see – from blue to green to tan – in different grays.  We were looking for a ‘warm’ gray so we chose the one with the blue tape over it, far right:

wall paint

More tile from Heath Ceramics on the bathroom floors and shower surround:

herringbonemaster bath

Original casing put back around new windows – (to be painted of course!)

old casing

We chose this simple 5-1/2″ profile for the new casing throughout where there wasn’t enough to reuse.  It’s the right scale without being too busy or fussy.

casing1casing2

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victorian remodel: storefront exposed

We peeled off the uninviting plywood and exposed the storefront windows with old ads on them.  From what neighbors tell us these were covered in the early 1980s.  We’ll be cleaning this up and making a more transparent ground level here.  We had to replace some missing plate glass along the left side; the right side were intact.

storefrontsign1sign2sign3sign4old transom 2

I guess the whiskey was a big seller!

Sidewalk landscaping:  remove the concrete, plant some vegetation.  A simple idea with a big impact, from increased permeability to aesthetically pleasing.   I’m very excited about this area we will plant . . and add some green in front of the building.

sidewalk

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