Category Archives: Construction

Landscaping

I hate the idea of spending a bunch of money on landscaping and I’m appalled by how much it costs to put a bunch of grass, stone & plants in your yard. It is amazing to me. Yet, when faced with weekends of schleping away in the hot sun doing something that I really don’t know how to do, that price tag becomes a bit more palatable.

We made the decision recently to hire Don Hall to do our landscaping. Don is a classic, old school kind of guy who has been doing really nice work in the Bay Area forever. The picture to the right is his back yard. Don lives up the street from us and Holly and I have really gotten to like him and his family a lot.

While I don’t think that our yard will be a master piece like his, I do think that he will make a really good looking yard that the kids can play football in. He is also doing a lot of stone work for us and tying it all in to the overall fit of the house. I know that it will look great.

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Waiting

“The waiting is the hardest part” – Tom Petty – The Waiting

Dude, he wasn’t kidding.  I feel like a kid during the first week December when he knows Santa is bringing a new bike.  I knew that the finish work took a long time, but the thing that I didn’t realize was how invisible it is to the naked eye.  Holly assures me that there is always a crew at the house, but when I go by, it seems like minimal progress has been made.

I have pictures to upload at some point, but have been kind of lazy.  The yard is torn up now and being prepped for landscaping.  Stone started to go on the outside of the house.  We had some real problems with our stone.  The exact stone that we wanted wasn’t available, so rather than waiting a couple of weeks, we acquiesced and picked something close.  Painting is done on the interior, but a ton of touch-ups need to be made.  For example, there was a lot of over spray in our laundry room, so that whole room will need a new coat of paint.   I suppose that now that major painting is finished, tile can go in the back splash and flooring can begin.  If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you know that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  If I were to build a house, it would fall down immediately.

I’ll try to get pictures soon.

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D’oh, Wrong Color

There is not much weirder than pulling up to your house and having it be a.) A different color and b.) Not quite the right color.

This is partially our fault.  One of the things that we’ve discovered in this process is that we have some unusual neighbors.  One of whom is very particular about his house color.  It is unique, we love it and he guards the color like it was the Colonel’s  Secret Recipe.  I took a bunch of pictures of the house and tried to match it using P-Shop, but and then printed out a 4×6 sample of that color.  Unfortunately, glossy paper screws up the color matching system at Benjamen Moore and our house came out battleship gray.  It isn’t too bad, but I’m trying to keep our block from looking like a Naval Yard.

Oddly, most of our friends just loved it.  The problem is that it, and it is hard to tell in this picture, is more blue than gray.  We are planning on doing white trim with a red front door and you can see where this is going.  Star spangled Scott’s House.

Fortunately, Craig’s guy, Les, is a solid guy and he came out today and changed the color.  It is now ‘Whale Gray’ and anyone who wants it can have it.

As for the rest of the project, these guys are in hyper-drive.   Marco, Craig’s finish carpenter is a total stud (not a carpentry joke) and is blazing through getting the trim up.  He has cased all of the windows and doors.  They poured our driveway, much to our crazy neighbors dismay (more on her in a future post), and they are progressing really quickly.  We can’t wait until they paint the inside.

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Stilt Walking is Rad

I think that stilt walking is pretty cool. When I see these guys, I think of that episode of the X-Files where the drywall guy was killing people, but showing up in their pictures before hand.   I know, it’s dorky, but these guys are amazing in their agility and skill to do their jobs, step over and around things and get the job done.   As you can see, taping is done and the mudding is coming along.

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Garage Days Re-Revisited

Since Metallica were such a bunch of bastards about the whole Napster thing, I’m stealing one of their titles for my post.

I spoke with Sig at Morgan Hill Garage Door Company today.  It was a pretty simple process of picking out our garage door.  He said go to the website, pick out a door and I’ll come and measure next week’.  Wow, that was painless.

Before I continue, as I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not a very good decorator.  Holly has given me the opportunity to pick out a door, but reserves the right to veto my decision.

The above pick is my choice, though we might go with another version that is more craftsmany.   We went with paint grade wood.  I’m of the opinion that garage doors are about as exciting as watching paint grade wood dry.  There isn’t a whole lot more to say about it.  If you need a door, Sig is your guy.

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2 Months of Progress

When we started this project, we were told that it would be 6 – 8 months depending on the rain.  We’ve lucked out (sorry farmers) and have had little to no rain this season.  Since we’ve had no down days, I’ll go with the 6 months.  Here is a quick progression of pictures once per month.  We are 4 months into the project.

Pre-Demolition – Seems like so long ago.

After 1 month – Most of the house is gone.  New foundation is poured.  Neighbor is doing her best Margaret Hamilton (jk).

After 2 months – Flooring is in as are hardy planks.  Garage is framed and up.

After 3 Months – Most noticeable difference this project has seen.  Roof is on.  House is framed.

After 4 Months – Siding and roof are on, windows are in.  We could squat here if we had too.
Hopefully, fingers crossed, we are at the 2/3 mark.  No commitments, but we still seem way ahead of the game at this point.  We’ve are running out of things to pick out.  The damn range hood is still driving me nuts.  I haven’t talked about it yet because we still haven’t figured it out.  It will be the thing that I point to in 10 years and be reminded how much time we spent discussing what to do with our exhaust vents.  The dryer has the same issue.

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Bay Custom Cabinets

We’ve been having a bunch of conversations with Dan O’Bannon of Bay Custom Cabinets lately.  Dan is going to be doing our kitchen, laundry & bathroom cabinets.  So far, we really like him a lot and the designs as outlined above are coming along nicely.

If you’ve seen the pictures of our soon to be kitchen, you know that we are trying to keep things as open and airy as possible.  We are going to be going with a paint grade, but distressed looking white cabinet with a dark gray granite.  We want lots of open shelves and glass cabinet faces.  Possibly something like this, without the island on wheels (dangerous during an earthquake).

Suffice to say, we are really looking forward to Dan’s designs.

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