Saturday, August 25, 2007


hey blog fans. short post this week. most of the plywood sheathing is up. this not only protects the house from weather, but is actually structural as well, taking much of the shear loads. well, whatever's left that isn't dealt with by our many metal shear wall panels that the engineer specified. next week walter will begin framing on the roof. i think that will be a bit shocking, as i've gotten quite used to our low-profile flat box.

above is a collaged view of the main space from the kitchen toward the fireplace wall. we're installing a vent-free gas fireplace, so no chimney required. as such, it will be surrounded by glass.

above is the view from the driveway approaching the garage.

above is the garage, which is under the den and entry hall, which is under the covered roof deck. you can see that the land is still a few feet shy of reaching the front door. we're still working out the details for the front steps.

above, the view from the backyard.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

our first night at the house

hello friends and family. this week the first image goes to our new friend arthur. arthur is the resident fowl at clinton vineyards, a highlight among local stanford-area attractions. this past weekend, billy and i, along with our dear friends carey and justine (actually we just met justine, but after a few rounds of lawn bocce and some kumbaya 'round the fire, i feel like we're the oldest of gal pals) set up camp in our future backyard and got to know our new home. the weather was perfect, in fact refreshingly chilly at night, which was a welcome change from the recent oppressive august heat. we visited a few vineyards, played some bocce, and roasted some marshmallows, and didn't actually sing kumbaya. but there was a fire. and the pure silence was bliss come bedtime. it was all really nice until my peaceful slumber was disrupted by a vicious man-eating wildebeest and its epic blood fest featuring a giant grizzly bear right outside my tent. or, it was a gentle deer. eating a leaf. either way, there may have been a grand total of two hours of real sleep for me. but hey, my mind goes to dark places sometimes. needless to say, i'll be very happy when this house has central ac, a shower, and light. lots of glorious, artificial light.

so, here's the house. doesn't look all that different from last week, but now there's backfill around the foundation, so the house doesn't actually look like it's three storeys tall. and the interior framing on the second floor is pretty much done. this week, walter's going to begin framing out the roof.

c'est tout.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

second floor

this week, the exterior walls on the second floor were framed out. "rub-r-wall" was also applied to the foundation for waterproofing. what you see around most of the foundation in the picture above is actually insulating foam. this should help to prevent any heat loss through the basement walls.

walter also started backfilling the area around the foundation, although this picture isn't the best evidence.

at the far end of the photo, you'll notice that there are no walls on the second floor - this will be the outdoor living room, complete with ipe floors and ceiling and a cable railing.

in this shot from the backyard, you can see the window openings on the second floor. we used a standard 3' wide by 4' tall window unit in all the upstairs rooms. here's the layout, from the left...
  • first set of double windows is in the master bedroom
  • second set of double windows is in the master bathroom
  • the next two single windows are in one of the guest rooms
  • the final set of double windows is in the other guest room
the stairs to the second level will be just to the left of the outdoor living room.

this shot shows the front of the house from across the driveway (the white trailer is in the driveway). again, the insulating foam is visible. additional fill will be brought in such that all of the insulation is covered.

hi walter.

we'll update again next weekend, when we hope to have the interior walls on the second floor framed.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

first floor

hello friends and family. as you see above, we have our first floor all framed out. there isn't much interior wall since the majority of the first floor is one large space. the three big openings you see on the eastern wall are where our floor-to-ceiling windows/doors will be - this is the kitchen/dining/living space. the big opening on the short wall is where our fireplace will be - there's an old rendering of the interior of that wall in an earlier post below. the layout has been refined a bit since the rendering was made, but the windows will look the same. in the foreground, an extra floor joist serves as a scary plank to get over an 11 foot deep hole.

this is looking at the house from the backyard/pool area. again, that's our kitchen/dining/living space. there will be a stone patio off that room, possibly with an integrated herb/vegetable garden. to the right of the large window bays is a bathroom, stairs to the second level, the entry space and a TV room.

above is our main living space, as viewed through the fireplace wall. the windows on the western (left) wall are much smaller and serve to frame pretty views of the oak and pine trees. the smaller windows will also help minimize the effects of the hot afternoon sun. if you zoom in, you can see the wall where our refrigerator and wall cabinets will go. there will be a kitchen island that is the same width as that wall (13 feet), with plenty of stools. on either side of the kitchen wall is a hallway - check out the floorplans in this old post for more detail.

above is a shot of the tv room. this room will also have floor-to-ceiling windows on the eastern wall and the smaller windows on the western wall. the tv will go against the wall on the left, and the sofa will go on the wall on the right. at the very left of the photo, you can see an opening in the ceiling - this is for our stairs to the second level. turning left at the top of those stairs will take you down a hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms. on the right will be a door to a covered outdoor living space. if you zoom in, you can actually see how the subfloor of this space is sloped down to the north (right) to allow any water to drain properly. the floor itself will be level, as the ipe planks will be attached to sleepers that are angled to negate the slope of the subfloor.

and finally, this is a shot of the front elevation. you can see the garage to the left. above is the tv room, then the front door, then the hallway, then the kitchen/dining/living space. we'll eventually bring in fill, such that there is level earth from the front door to the southern (far) end of the house. there will be stone stairs from our driveway to the front door, and the exposed foundation above the stairs and around the garage door will be clad in ledgestone.

join us next week, when we hope to post photos of the second floor framing.