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.


TIMELINE
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 ???



Gamble House Lights, Floor Issue, Fireplaces, Ebony Plugs, Kitchen Tile

I have finally caught up with the pictures! I have been taking more than I could annotate and finally caught up today. I am adding about another 500 pictures from the last few months. So let me give you all the rundown.
• I created the stained glass for the light in the December 18th blog post only to find out that half of them were too small. After another week of stained glass work, I finished and my fingertips were raw. I brought the glass panels to Old California Lantern Company for installation and received the lights about 2 weeks ago. They are absolutely stunning!

Gamble House replica light with my own stained glass


• The floors are installed. Lesson learned - make sure the installers verify that the door still opens before the whole thing is laid!!!
• The kitchen, laundry room, and master bathroom American cherry cabinets have been stained with Jel'd Stain Red Mahogany by Wood Kote.

The kitchen cabinets were stained with Jel'd Stain Red Mahogany.

• The walk-in closet cabinets are almost complete.
The walk-in closet cabinets are almost complete


• The master bedroom fireplace is covered with a beautiful Batchelder tile from Mission Tile West in Santa Monica.

Master bedroom fireplace covered in Batchelder tile.

• The living room entertainment center is built and ready for finishing.
The unfinished entertatinment center is ready for stain.


• Dave Barlow is installing the ebony plugs in the scarf joints around the house.



• The living room fireplace is having Moonlight flagstone installed right now. It's a very slow process as each piece is being chiseled to the right dimensions. Look on the left part of the mantel and you can see my sugar cube mockup of the stone corner. I made this to make sure they understood how I wanted the 45-degree angles handled.

The Moonlight flagstone is being installed on the living room fireplace.

• The appliances will be installed tomorrow.
• Clear-coating of the mahogany will start in about 2 weeks followed by painting the walls and ceiling.
• Glass tile from Mission Tile West has been installed in the kitchen. It looks amazing!

Glass tile installed in the Craftsman kitchen.

Well, I'm going to start uploading the pictures now and then I'm off to Kauai for my 40th birthday.

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Soapstone Counter Installation

The soapstone countertops were installed in the kitchen and laundry rooms today. The templates were made on Tuesday and the countertop was installed on Thursday. Soapstone West has great service!
Below is a play-by-play of the installation.


These guys drove in from Arizona, and within 2 days measured, fabricated, and installed the soapstone countertops.

These guys drove in from Arizona, and within 2 days measured, fabricated, and installed the soapstone countertops.

These slabs are HEAVY at 20 lbs/sq ft.

These slabs are heavy!

There is a 3/8" overlap of the sink. The holes for the faucet, soap, drinking water, and vent are drilled.

Kitchen soapstone is being installed around the sink.

Black epoxy is mixed up to join the soapstone pieces and fill in any voids.

Black epoxy is mixed up to join the soapstone pieces and fill in any voids.

A ding is repaired with the special epoxy. After it dries you can't even see it.

A ding is repaired with the special epoxy

Even through the talcum powder layer you can see the caramel vein showing through.

The soapstone counter pieces are being bonded together.

Soapstone installation is messy work.

Sanding soapstone is messy work.

Soapstone is much denser than granite and can't be stained. However, it is soft enough so that hand sanding can be accomplished to smooth the edges.

Soapstone is much denser than granite and can't be stained. However, it is soft enough so that hand sanding can be accomplished to smooth the edges.

This kitchen corner's soapstone installation is complete.

This looks gray now but wait until it's oiled.

Kitchen soapstone is installed

The range will slide in between these two pieces.

I oiled the soapstone with mineral oil. It's shiny because it's still wet. When dry, it will have a matte finish.

Freshly oiled soapstone in kitchen is shiny.

The counter looks great! The door to the laundry room has a "Delta" pattern in it.

Craftsman kitchen with freshly oiled soapstone

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The Finishes are Going In

Lately, I have been overwhelmed with the number of things going on at the house and though I have been taking pictures, I have not had time to annotate and post them. They will arrive, just a little patience.
• The master bathroom has been tiled and looks great!

Master bathroom is tiled in glass, slate, and seagrass limestone.


• Cherry cabinets have been installed in the kitchen, master bath, and laundry room. Unfortunately, the kitchen sink cabinet was 3/4" off center from the window. The cabinet had to be shortened by 3/4" on both ends to keep it symmetric and centered on the window.

Kitchen sink cabinet is off center.


• I have purchased the soapstone slabs for the kitchen and laundry room from Soapstone West in Escondido, CA.
• Brazilian Cherry floors have been ordered from Dutko Hardwood Floors in Lawndale, CA and will be installed the first week of December. Talk about a backlog.
• The fireplace mantel has been installed and stained. Plaster will go above it and Moonlight flagstone will go below. It will be cut into manicured blocks of varying size.

Craftsman Mahogany Fireplace Mantel


• Actual work has started on the staircase. There was a lot of planning to get to this point.
• The hot tub has been delivered. We're just waiting for power now.

The hot tub has been slid into place


• The Golden Busckskin flagstone has been installed on the front and back patios.

Golden Bucksking Flagstone has been installed on the patio


• The green slate has been installed on the balconies.
• Paint samples are all over the walls. I hear they will start within 2 weeks with the paint.

Paint samples are on the walls


• Interior doors are installed and stained.

Interior Craftsman door with Delta glass

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Camera Broken, Drywall Taped and Sanded, Starting Staircase, Siding Complete

• Bad news. I took a trip and my camera got some dirt in it. It now doesn't work so no pictures. The new camera should be coming in a few days.
• Drywall is sanded and just about ready for primer.

Drywall is taped and sanded. Ready for primer.


• Dave Barlow is working the staircase and will be doing other fine carpentry in the house. He is creating mockups of everything out of MDF (fiberboard) prior to cutting the real wood.

MDF Craftsman staircase mockup


• All shingle and stone siding is installed.

Craftsman shingle and stone siding is installed.

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Low Voltage Wiring, Electrical, Plumbing, Garage Door Ordered, Issues in the Kitchen

• Still working on updating the pictures. They should be coming within the week.
• There is still quite a bit to do before inspection. We had a telecom installer come out and install phone (Cat 5), cable TV (RG6), and Ethernet (Cat 6). There was about 1700 feet of ethernet wiring installed. It's easier to put it in now than later. For example, it's behind TVs, in the kitchen, etc. I won't be using it but in 10 years or so it may be needed for home automation purposes. It's also a good selling point if I ever go down that path.
• Wall sconces have been wired.
• Plumbing is almost complete. Just finishing up the gas lines.
• The garage door has been ordered from Designer Doors. This is going to be really nice!
• Issues continue to test my patience in the kitchen. There are so many wires, pipes, and ducts running through the ceiling that we are having trouble figuring out how to get a 10" duct from the range hood over about 10" off center to fit between two joists and vent out the wall.
• The ceiling beam patterns are a challenge since we decided to add the kitchen into the remodeling mix. We decided to stop the ceiling beams at the boundary between the kitchen and dining room so the living and dining rooms only have beams. Kitchen ceiling is TBD.
• The remaining part of the block wall on the rear patio was cut down yesterday.
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Next Page

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