In this blog I will do my best to describe the process I went through in turning my 1957 Ranch-style house into a 2006 Craftsman house as inspired by the Gamble House in Pasadena. Please feel free to comment on anything I write and ask questions as it is the only way we learn.

Note: Since completion of the house I have also decided to allow guest bloggers to post articles related to remodeling. This continues the education process.

Architect Selection - December 2002 through January 2003
Getting a Permit - January 2003 through November 2004
Construction - November 2004 through September 2006
Post Construction - October 2006 through ???

Foundation Snag

Major issues today. The city building inspector came by and said that we can't build a second story on a foundation wall that is only 6" wide (six inches is standard for one-story houses here). So he decided to stop the concrete pour before we started. Rich had to run to the city engineer to have all of the calculations reverified per the city. That apparently was not good enough so luckily we got the engineer to come out to the house and visually inspect the footings. Everything was OK and we got to pour on Monday. That cost us a few days.
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Windows and Doors Ordered

Loewen windows and doors were ordered today. They will be push-out, french casements in a cranberry color.

On a completely unrelated note, I was told that the concrete for the foundation under the house will be poured on Friday, 1/21/05.
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Foundations and Rain

The first stretch of dry weather is finally here. The last 2 1/2 weeks have been nothing but rain, about 10 inches worth. The outside trenches have water in them but on the other hand, the demo guys are having a field day. There are now 10 guys working on the site. Five of them are under the house digging a massive trench for the foundation reinforcement. Things should happen quickly now.
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Structural Engineer Needs to Redesign to Save Tree

No footing here. The tree will die.
We ran into a little snag today. A footing (~8 ft. deep) can't be put in because it is adjacent to the date palm tree. The contractor called me over to the house and by 9AM he was on the phone with the structural engineer for a redesign. Since we can't put the footing in (kill the tree) or move the tree (block the view), we are going to put in a 22 ft steel beam (1200 pounds) to cantilever the upper deck.

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Next Page

Be sure to browse the 2,000 picture Photo Gallery for more step-by-step construction details.