Monday, July 25, 2005

Hang Doors & Weep Screed & Wrap

With the roof done, Steve decided to hang the doors - glass door leading to patio, bedroom door, and pocket door for the bathroom.

The glass door was the hardest as it is very heavy. We salvaged this door or I should say were given this door by Liseanne and Peter who live on Meier Street. They are almost finished with a totall remodel and addition to their house. Anyway, they couldn't use this great door, so we got it. A big thanks to Liseanne and Peter.
Anyway, the door was awkward and heavy, so instead of building a frame around the door and jockeying it into the space, Steve built the frame and with the help of shims and me (yeah, I helped), got the door to hang correctly.

On July 21, Steve nailed in the weep screed. The weep screed is a moisture barrier to help keep water away from the wood and walls of the house. The views of weep screed are from the back side of the house and also the bedroom window side.

Wrapping the house is tedious, but not hard. First, you staple on black paper with 1/2" staples. (Later stucco will cover the outside of the house.)Here are some shots of wrapping the house.

Shot of side wall of house where Steve is on the ladder faces east and the shot of wall of black paper faces north.

By the end of the day, the layer of the black paper was on the house. Then came the stucco lath (paper with chicken wire on it). Steve didn't want to buy another nail gun to use for the furring nails so he decided, he'd have to use a plain old hammer to hammer in all the furring nails which are placed in the studs only. Hammering slowed him down a bit, but saved money on not buying another type of nail gun. Besides, it is only on the tv show "This Old House," that a person can own every type of tool in the world, right?

So as the sun begins fall lower in the sky, we leave the completion of the stucco lath until tomorrow.
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fascia & Torch Down Roof

First off, a few friends have said that I was visibly missing from the blog. Okay, so here's a picture of me and Dylan Thomas at the front door. As you can see I have on work clothes! Actually, Steve took another picture of me painting the fascia boards, but it was a staged picture as there was no way I was going to climb up a ladder with a paint can and a brush. I need both hands to climb a ladder.

Before putting on the new roof. The fascia boards had to go up and the metal flashing - this all matches the rest of the house. I did help with the milling of the fascia boards on the table saw. No picture because I needed two hands to hold the boards. Here are some pictures of the fascia boards going up.

Once the fascia and metal flashing were in place. Steve started the roof. We used what is called "a torch down," roof. This is a modified bitumen roof or torch down which is a newer type of roofing material. It goes down like a blanket and then is hit with an open flame to get it to adhere to the roof. I believe it is best used on new roofs or roofs where the all the old material has been removed. (You can read about this type of roof on where they have a forum dealing with building materials.)

It took Steve a day and a half to do the roof. Luckily, by being near the coast the mornings were overcast, but the afternoon blazed and working with a torch on the roof was a hard, hot job. 540 square feet of roof including the soffits.

Well, I've almost caught this blog up to date with the work going on. Tomorrow. Hanging some doors.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rough-in Plumbing, Electrical & The Inspector

I forgot to put in some of the final pictures of the sheathing of the house from the last post so I've added them . The second shot is a view from inside the new bedroom window facing out to the back yard. I think it will be so peaceful to wake up and see all the lush greenery.

I didn't take any pictures when Josh was here helping Steve do the rough-in plumbing. Josh was a big help. When Josh was a little boy and visiting his aunt next door, he decided to do me a favor and cut all the lower limbs on my newly planted Jacaranda Tree (of course, this was a surprise for me.) I remember at the time, admiring his handiwork, then coming in the house and raging about how awful my tree now looked! So now, I find it charming that the little boy is all grown up and instead of trimming plants, he's learned a trade.

Steve had already run the copper piping for the bathrooms which you can see in the next two shots.

While Josh rigged the plumbing, Steve started on the electrical - running wire and setting up outlets. We have a second power box in the garage which is nice because I was able to work in the house on the computer without the electrical being shut off in the old house. When we put a new roof on the old house a year ago, we set up the second electrical box in the garage in case we got around to adding an addition. Thinking ahead! We are using indirect lights in the family room, the bathroom and in the master bedrooom there will be an overhead light like in the original bedroom with outlets on either side of the bed for lamps. Here are some shots of the wiring and walls.

In the shot of the glass door, you can see the kitchen door and side window. Eventually, this whole unit of glass and door will move over across the slab and become the door to the side of the house and kitchen will open into the family room.

When the inspector from Building and Safety arrived, he was very happy with all the work. He complimented us on the neatness of the job. He also complimented Steve by saying, "he wished more jobs were as precise and well done as ours." Steve was really happy as he'd been doing most all the work by himself and sometimes learning as he went along. (He is a licensed landscape contractor so he did already know electrical and building). Anyway, the inspector is a great guy and he had only a few things he wanted completed. 1. We needed to get Simpson A35 brackets and install them between the blocking and top plate of rafters. 2. Also, he wanted Steve to fill the plumbing pipes so that when he returned the next day, he could check for leaks.

The next day, the inspector returned and he checked the brackets and also the rough-in plumbing. Again, he was pleased and signed off on rough-in plumbing and rough electrical. Now we could proceed with the next stage - the roof and wrapping the house. Dylan approved too, but he needed to take a rest, too much excitement for one day.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Rafters and Sheathing

By Wednesday, the 29th of June, we'd started hammering in the roof rafters. Again, the nail gun made the work go quickly. The door you see at the end of the picture leads into a garage.

The rafters took a day and on Thursday we started to sheath the house with 5/8" by 4' x8' structural Grade 1 plywood. Now the house was beginning to take shape.

During this time we were too cheap to buy saw horses (can you believe it?) so here is Steve working on his makeshift table which consisted of the arms of a large wheelbarrow! Since this time, I borrowed a set of saw horses, but he hasn't used them yet as they are new and he doesn't want to rough them up.

Below, another shot of Steve looking annoyed at me taking his picture. But like I said in an earlier post, that's my job. He may look like he's smiling, but that is a grimace meaning - "hurry up."

So that's about three days for roof rafters and sheathing. Then came the framing of the master bathroom. Anchor bolts and epoxy. This addition is so well bolted, anchored, nailed that I don't think even a hurricane could lift the wood from the slab. Well, maybe a hurricane 10, but even the inspector said it was solid and that it wasn't going anywhere. Overbuilt? Well, those are California codes and if there's an earthquake, I'm sure we'll all be glad we have those codes. The last picture is of Steve cleaning out the holes he has drilled for the anchor blots.

When Gregory Ain built this housing tract in Mar Vista, he set up a milling plant up near what is now Centinela Boulevard. They milled the doors, walls, moldings etc. - similar to how they make manufactured homes today. Originally, each house in the tract was identical with the same floor plan, size and shape. I think part of the genius of Gregory Ain was that he turned the identical houses on the lots so that some front doors face the street and some entrances are facing the house next door which gives the illusion that the houses are different. In doing our addition, we have chosen to keep the original architectual lines of Ain's design. The windows in the bedroom replicate the windows in the original bedroom, as do the windows in the bath and family room. We are also doing the soffit so the original flat roof keeps the same line. Next to come - rough-in plumbing, electrical and the INSPECTOR!

A few places of interest on the web you might want to visit regarding mid-century homes and Gregory Ain - which is the Los Angeles Conservancy; the Los Angeles Forum for Achitecture and Urban Design; Archpedia the Architectural Encyclopedia.