Monday, November 30, 2009

Porch to Foyer Project Day 4

I felt bad, still, today. So I stayed home from work. I decided to get out of the house and drive over to one of the big box stores and see if they had any lighting on sale this afternoon, and on my way stop by my house and take pictures, but I just wasn't up to it. I drove by and then came home.

After I ate something and waited a few hours, I did make it out, but only to the house. And probably only because I was too curious to see what New Guy and his crew were working on today.

At first I wasn't sure what they'd been doing...

And then I realized they were piecing in the siding around the new front door. They'd begun using the new siding last week, but didn't get very much up. And I see they took that little bit down and used the original siding they'd taken off what is now the interior of the Foyer.

And that little detail will make a big difference, reusing the original siding here, since this is the face of the house. It will help it blend in even more and not seem like such an addition.

Here you can see where they measured how the original siding was put up and wrote down the measurements on the door frame. They matched up the boards to the other side of the front porch. If you can zoom in, you'll see each board is actually faced a little differently, not all completely uniform.

This part... concerns me a bit. Not the difference in the original siding and the new, because my house its on a narrow lot and once painted out, will be fine, but rather... this board. That runs along the porch post.

It does stick out. And is obvious. But I'm not going to rush to any conclusions here. Maybe it's a temporary thing, used to get this awkward angle of the narrowing post and the straight, new wall figured out. New Guy won't leave this like this, I'm sure. His other work is too meticulous and perfect, even when its 'imperfect', like matching the siding around the door.

The little bedroom's window. They started replacing the broken or damaged glass and also the glazing (I believe, is the right terminology), which appears white.

The big bedroom's windows.

The single window in the Living Area of the Great Room.

The double windows in the Dining Area of the Great Room.

They also resurfaced the concrete on the back porch.
Which looks much, much better and more uniform.

Inside the Foyer, they began rebuilding the interior walls, which used to be the exterior walls. And they obviously have just started, but this didn't seem quite up to par with New Guy's work, either.

The end product has always been very satisfactory, so I'll wait and see where this is going.

They also put down the second layer of sub-floor in the Foyer. It looks a little off to me, but this was built on a porch. And it may be perfectly level, I don't know. Look at the base of the new wall, how the left side is higher than the floor, but the right is almost level with the new sub-floor.

I'll ask New Guy about these things tomorrow. I didn't catch him down there today, partly because I didn't know if I was still contagious or not. And it is an old house. Once finished out, it may all be fine. I have confidence in his work so far.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paint Quest 2nd Attempt

I guess I need to nail down an exterior color scheme since the windows need to be painted before the storms go up.

Here she is as of Wednesday:

My default "will be" colors right now are a gray siding, white trim, and deep cranberry or purple for the sashes.

I found a scheme from Benjamin Moore that I don't mind either, but it's green based. And there are a lot of green houses on my street:

I wouldn't paint my brick columns, but you get the idea. The colors are all Benjamin Moore:

Sea Pine
Antique White
Horizon Gray
Autumn Brown

I'd use the Antique White as the trim, and the Horizon Gray as the siding color. The sashes would probably be Sea Pine, though they may be Autumn brown. More likely, though, I could do the porch floor Autumn Brown. My door will stay the stained mahogany that it currently is. The columns would be antique white, like the trim.

Let me state again that these images and paint colors are all copied from Benjamin Moore's website, , as to not get into any legal issues.

What do you think about those colors? Should it matter that so many houses on my street are already green? and this shade of green and my idea of gray are so close that they'd read the same anyway.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Porch to Foyer Project Day 3

These pictures were actually taken on Wednesday afternoon. I got off of work early and headed over to my house to document the progress in daylight, this time. Thanksgiving and a stomach virus have delayed my posting.

The front of the house and porch in daylight. True, the porch
is smaller, but still, I have quite a decent sized porch. And the Foyer addition fits the house, as does the height of the door. And I also now have a back porch, too, which is more private and will probably be used more than this one.

My huge, over-sized door. It makes
me happy.

I still can't believe that all of this can continue to come out of my house, with everything else that has been demo'ed the past 2 years. But at least this will be firewood for the workers instead of going into a landfill or dump.

A view down the side of the house, the side that faces the neighbor's backyard. Notice the siding on the new Foyer.

And here is where we closed in the bottom part of the window in the small bedroom.

And where we removed the side door that had been 'fixed' into place all these years.

The siding under the big bedroom's windows.

And where the original window was removed from the closet and put into the kitchen. I've been told that there is a better way of doing siding, but it involves removing almost all of the siding in the area and staggering the joints so that the area replaced is less noticeable. Quite frankly, this looks fine to me, will look even better once painted out, and is probably a lot cheaper than going the other route. I am on a budget after all. And in the end, I will have the same weatherproof, air-tight, result.

Looking back down the side of the house towards the front.

This picture almost makes me as happy as my front door. To remember what was here- a rotting bathroom and small porch full of hot water heaters and junk- to being a nice, big, open, airy porch.

They still are going to resurface the concrete before they're done, and finish the last bit of siding at the bottom and pull the wooden forms from around the concrete. I want to have this closed in to be a screened in porch.

And here's the new kitchen window, borrowed from the closet. Looks like it belongs here.

This is where the kitchen window was.

Here are the double windows in the big bedroom. They may look a little funky, but once the drywall is up and they are trimmed out, they will be perfect. I'm about 6'3'' and the bottom of the windows come up to my shoulder. Perfect privacy and security.

Where the side door was in the house, all patched in now. A bathtub unit will be here along this wall.

The closed in window in the little bedroom. This room will gain the most from having the extra wall space below it, to put a dresser or a bed, or a desk. Still plenty of natural light and the prettiest part of the windows.

They removed the exterior siding from what was the porch, and so now just the studs are up between the great room and the Foyer.

Here's looking into the Foyer from the great room. We opted not to put a window in this wall, partly because there's nothing to look at, and partly because the glass in the door is so big that it lets in plenty of light. And it allows more room for a entry table or mirror or hall tree or coat rack or whatever. Plenty of options.

Here is the double wall area I was talking about in the Foyer, the same wall we were just looking at. This is below what was the porch's header. It will be double filled with insulation. And the walls will all be flush inside the foyer, with no weirdness.

Looking out the front door. It seems dark because it's so bright, which most of my pictures seem to be. My little house is full of light and the camera has a hard time compensating for that, so they all come out dark, mostly.

I'm still weak today from the stomach virus, but am looking forward to tomorrow and work starting on the house again. The guys were off Thursday and Friday and the weekend for Thanksgiving.

Most of this next week's work will be finishing up the details of the foyer, like the siding on the outside and the sub-floor on the inside. And hopefully the other main focus will be the windows, fixing them all into place, repairing them, replacing the glass, and painting them in order to put up the storm windows.

Porch to Foyer Project Day 2

This picture was taken about 2 years ago.

And this one was taken about two days ago.

There's not a lot of difference between the two pictures, which pleases me. I have brought the front door forward about 9 feet. And replaced it.

I also created a Foyer where there was none, inside. And it all still fits the house perfectly, adding more character and beauty, if anything, rather than taking away from the house or making it seem like it was a glaring addition or change.

I LOVE this door.

And see how the new wall is set back just enough to include the column while creating a slight recess which draws more attention to the front door? And it all seems just right.

And the column and post are still there.

Even the side of the house, where open air and porch railing used to be, looks okay.

This kind of work takes true talent. Aesthetics is a gift that you can't teach. And New Guy not only knows how to construct homes correctly, but also how to make them look right, too.

And everything about this just looks right to me.


They also moved the window from the closet to the kitchen.

Ignore what seems to be two small open air squares on either side of the window. It's just missing siding.

It may look low to the ground, but it's not. Plenty of room below for kitchen cabinets and a counter top. And this is actually a big window, too. Not as big as the rest of them in my house, but still, not tiny.

This is where the window was.

And in what may seem to be a controversial thing, I have decided to remove the lower sashes from the bedroom windows. You could literally open the window here and step into the house. Plus the house next to me is a tri-plex on a corner lot, which faces the other street. So I look into their backyard. And it's nothing pretty.

So by removing the lower sashes and having fixed uppers, I keep the light in the space, I keep the beautiful part of my windows, I add privacy and security, and in small rooms, I add more wall space for furniture placement. Wait until it's trimmed out inside before deciding if you like it or not.

Something has really been running through my mind lately when it comes to my house decisions, it's the Frank Lloyd Wright school of thought that form follows function. I want a livable house that makes sense to me and my life.

And I've been quite happy to find that it makes it beautiful to me, too.

Haha. Not that this is beautiful, but this is where the side door was in the house. They removed it on this work day and closed in the area with siding. A bath rub unit will sit on this wall.


And back up to the front of the house, the star of this story is the Foyer.
This is its ceiling. The original porch ceiling. I'm only missing one board (it came down with moulding when they removed it).

I could drywall over it, but I think I'm just going to clean it up and paint it a fun color.

I think this Foyer project has been the most fun and interesting because it's the only thing, besides removing the jungle from the back yard and roof, that you can actually see that I've done. And it is a true physical exterior alteration.