Monday, October 10, 2005

Details - Big and Small

All the windows in our addition are made of wood. In an ealier blog, I showed some windows that were already finished. Those got glass and then the windows that open needed to be made. Steve made the windows using a pattern from the original house windows. I actually helped with the sawing of the wood. I stood at one end of the table saw and held the wood as it came across the saw. Not terribly creative or rewarding work, but not easy either. If I lifted up on my end of the wood or moved it to one side when my attention wandered, the blade made a horrible, grinding, screeching sound. This sound in turn caused Steve to yell, "Don't move or lift up your end," or, well you get the picture. Guiding the wood, made me tense - very, very tense. A much easier task was cleaning up all the sawdust. The window that opens in the master bedroom was made twice. The first window was too small - which reminds me of the old axiom - measure twice and cut once. Steve thought I should just leave this part about the window out, but hey, remember when I got very tense. Actually, Steve hadn't taken into account the small rail inside the window which had to be routed out later. So it was back to the lumber yard for more redwood. Ouch! Have you priced top grade redwood lately? The wood for the frame cost about $68. Luckily for us, we were able to salvage the long hinges that go on the sides of the window to make it open. The hinges came from another Ain house original window. They had put in a stationary window and didn't want the hardware.

In the picture of the smaller transom windows, Steve is painting trim. These windows in the master bedroom and family room will get glass this week. The latches, we had to order. We wanted to stick with hardware that was the same or matched closely the hardware used in the original house. I found on-line a hardware company that makes transom latches that match ours. The company is called "House of Antique Hardware." Their prices were a lot cheaper than Restoration Hardware and some of the other companies. So if you need special hardware, look around for the best price as a lot of hardware is being reproduced for restoration projects.

We looked all over for a closet that we could just drop into the master bedroom. They were all awful - plastic, pressed board and so on. We decided to make the closet. And luckily, we found original doors from a neighbor down the street who'd remodeled. What is really nice about this neighborhood is that everyone is interested in preserving the Gregory Ain tract. So when someone is redoing the interior of their house and they don't want a cabinet or doors or windows, someone on our HPOZ board hauls the original pieces to their yard for storage for anyone who might want to use the orignal pieces. (Unfortunately, no one has ever given up the window latches - we checked.)

Here are some of the original closet doors that we will use in the closet. The closets in the old house have two sliding doors, but we are using three so the new closet will be bigger.

When Steve was building the closet, we had to find tracks for the closet doors. Checked all the usual places like Home Depot, lumber yards and hardware stores. Finally, we found this great place downtown L.A. called E. B. Bradley Co. which is a specialty hardware and surfacing products company. This is a great place for finding things you might need in redoing a mid-century modern house or any house for that matter. We found the closet tracks and went away with a huge catalogue and color laminate chips laced together on a chain. (If you're doing a kitchen - this place has so many pulls and cabinet surfaces etc., it's unbelievable.) Okay, I guess I've done a commerical for E. B. Bradley, but it is so exciting to find a new place that doesn't carry the same old boring stuff.

The bathroom is partially tiled in 2" glossy white tiles. At first, I wanted color, but decided on a clean white look. As you can see there are areas missing tile. After we build the vanity and the cover the top counter with the same tiles, Steve will rent a tile cutter to finish all the places that need cut tile. Then we will use white grout.

The fixtures will go in last. As you can see we used a sort of pink VCT on the bathroom floor which is the same color VCT used in the older house. We used the color scheme from the original house of pinks, plum and white so the house has a continuity. I realize there are some who won't like these colors, but I figure whoever buys this house can repaint, retile the floors and lay down different carpets. Everything on the inside of the house can be changed as the HPOZ (Historic Preservation Designation) doesn't control interior spaces only the outside. The carpet will go in this Thursday which will really pull everything together.

Another detail that was finished this week was the fitting for the gas meter - an earthquake shut off valve. Isn't that exciting? Well, we are doing everything up to code and passing our inspections with flying colors. More to come, so stay tuned.



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