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 ???
Painting Lesson Learned, Stairs Almost Done, Landscaping Going Well
• We are still painting rooms. Probably for another 3 weeks. The problem is that all wall and ceiling surfaces need to be skim-coated. My GC was trying to keep the costs down by spot patching the walls and in hindsight it looks like it ended up costing me quite a bit more because it takes forever to spot fix these walls with all of the wood trim everywhere.
A MAJOR Lesson Learned here is plaster the whole house or go in with the plan to skim coat over ALL drywall surfaces. The bottom line is drywall may be faster and cheaper if your building a bunch of condos but it ends up costing a lot more if you are trying to do a good quality job. About half of the screws popped out with all of the hammering due to woodwork finishing.
• Dave Barlow has finished the stairs and wainscoting and is now working on the staircase railing. After that, he should be done. He's been with us 1 year now, did all of the interior woodwork, and was only hired to do the stairs. Unbelievable!
• Landscaping is going pretty well. The front driveway is complete, the front pathway is just about done, sprinkler valves are in, final grading and irrigation starts next week, and the waterfall/pond will finally start next week.
Stairwell Wainscot, Concrete Poured, Work Stopped, Gone Surfing
• We are laying out the stairwell wainscoting. It will be Honduran Mahogany with 6 distinct layers to give it a depth effect. Just wait and see...
• Drainage was put in on the North side of the house.
• Concrete was poured on the North side so we can now build the block wall for the planter.
• Two carpenters and the electrician are surfing and camping at Big Sur for the last two days. My GC is sick with food poisoning and Dave, the finish carpenter is on another job for 2 days. In other words, NO WORK FOR THE LAST 2 DAYS IN THE HOUSE. How in the world will we finish in time when things like this happen?
Camera Broken, Drywall Taped and Sanded, Starting Staircase, Siding Complete
• Drywall is sanded and just about 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.
• All shingle and stone siding is installed.
Staircase Design a No Go
Architect Selection Criteria
We had certain criteria that we wanted met when we started to interview for an architect. They are, not necessarily in this order:
- Must be local in case here are problems and we need to meet.
- Must be intimately familiar with the Palos Verdes Estates Art Jury and Planning Commission processes as the requirements and hoops to jump through are very complex for the novice.
- Must be able to understand what I want and run with it. I can describe only so much of the feel and expect the architect to elaborate on it and interject original ideas. For example, take a look at Olympia Greer's vision of a Craftsman staircase railing.
Be sure to browse the 2,000 picture Photo Gallery for more step-by-step construction details.