One of the first things we did when we bought the house was to plan the wired house network prior to putting on the foam roof. This was a good move in a number of ways and we've gotten a lot of use out of it.
We wired each room (8 runs total) with cat-6 (data), cat-3 (phone) and RJ6 (cable) and installed plates in each room. We plumbed everything into a central wiring box that handles the distribution along with hubs to handle each of the cable runs and clusters. We were even able to get some speaker runs (back/surround) in place before the foam went on. Although not terribly complex or costly (comparatively... all-in, i think it was $500), it's a pretty robust system and definitely something to plan if you're putting on a new roof... along with some new electrical for exterior lighting. This was one of the things we liked when working with Rick at Abril roofing. He worked with us to separate the "scrape" from the "foam and coat" which allowed for this to happen.
(One of the things about writing this post is that it reminded me that I ran cat-6 instead of cat-5e wire... yay, me!)
Lindsey and Jeff are great new neighbors with a formerly terrible purple leaded-glass, paneled front door. Now they have an awesome new magenta door. I did this one a week before Wilson and Nicola's but have been busy... installing doors.
Wilson dropped me a note a few weeks back. He and his wife Nicola recently bought a house in Marin that really needed a new front door.
We've done a few in the area, but never one that opened into the house directly — most Eichler doors open into an atrium. This presented a bit of a challenge as the door needed to not only be good looking, but also weatherproof, which required weatherstripping, a solid threshold and a better attention to fit as everything needs to seal up nicely.
A few emails later and a trip up to get the door for matching, I was back on site fitting the new door, threshold and weatherstripping. The results were quite nice.
"Hey Hunter. It’s the best door ever, no question." – Nicola
(Before and after // Thanks to Wison and Nicola for the photos)
When the exterior slabs in our home were poured, they used redwood spacers — and left them there for effect (and a nice control joint)... which is nice until they degrade. Most folks tear the wood out and replace with gravel or other hardscape material and we had done the same. However, years of sweeping pea gravel out of the atrium became tedious.
I've wanted to replace the redwood for years and this weekend we did. I wish we had done it years ago. It's pretty simple:
Rip out the old redwood
File down the original nails
Cut new strips to size
Using construction adhesive, re-set the redwood strips and let dry
We're running another batch of "Deluxe" stencil sets in white polypropylene. If you're interested, find us on FaceBook (click here), find the post about the stencils and follow the instructions from there. If you miss out on this batch, we might not make another one for six more years, so get them while you can. The process might seem odd, but we'll be making an exact-number and want to ensure we have an accurate list.
Each set should be good for about 5 uses and the paint last for about 5-7 years.
The deadline to get on the list is July 18th.
I don't do much shilling here on RedneckModern, but for those that are interested in the curb stencils, check these out. These are laser-cut polypropylene and available in the "Deluxe" set which includes the Eichler frame and the requisite numbers. (Edit: In the prototyping phase, we made two sets, "Simple" and "Deluxe" and the latter worked out better.)
One of the things that continues to amaze me is how tightly knit the design (and architecture) community is. Our friends Michael and Iris called a few weeks back and told me they were going to be in town and were visiting a pre-fab home by Connect Homes in my neck of the woods... they had met and become friends with the owners of Connect Homes and are contemplating it as a vacation home option. They connected Michael to their clients at the Orinda site.
We arrived met the new owner of the home, Ben, at the site who was gracious enough to give three strangers a tour... It turns out Ben's wife not only works with one of Michael's friends (and fellow Eichler owner) at a design studio in SF, but with one of my former students... and Ben and his wife are working with Ken Fox who has become a fast friend here in Rancho Del Diablo. Okay, maybe this is only interesting to me, so let's get on to the photos of the Connect Home under construction.
One of the most interesting things is how the units come together... All of the bits were pre-fab — even the cabinet and tile installation — and all arrived intact with just a few cracks in the drywall.
Ben also sent a link to a video of the assembly... check it out.
Our friends Glen and Molly are moving... while this makes us sad, hopefully we'll pick up some neighbors as cool as they are. And, as expected, Ken Fox has done a great job with helping to prepare and to market the property. Check it out... and check out the open house July 11th and 12th.
This means today was spent securing these frames to the wall and it seemed like a good time for a DIY-tutorial... especially for folks in earthquake country.
I seem to recall seeing a securing system like this at an art gallery years ago, but I've never seen anything commercially available that is as simple. There are many more complex systems, but a security point at the bottom of the frame keeps it nice and secure to the wall... and in order to remove the frame, you have to unscrew the tab. A mending plate might work, but I wanted something a bit thinner and more discreet.
Combined with my favorite way to hang pictures — a french cleat — it provides for a rock solid mounting solution.
Today, I made my own securing tabs from some mirror handing hardware ($3) and some pin-nails.
1: Bend the hanger back at the first bend -- turning it from a J to an L ...
2: Mark the center of the bottom of your frame.
3: Drill a small hole for a pin nail to secure the tab to the frame... You might skip this and use glue, but a hard-connection is best.
4: Attach tab to frame.
5: Hang and level picture and secure tab to wall (you might need to use an anchor depending on your wall).
We've affectionately begun to refer to the MicroEichler as the "Poolhouse" partly because it sounds impossibly posh and partially because, well, it's adjacent to the pool. In the end, it will be an all-purpose room and part-time office (and part time nap-space) and we broke it in this weekend. Yes, naps here are indeed nice.
We got all of the furnishings in — and, although it doesn't have a lived-in look yet (and it still has that "new sofa" smell), I thought I'd take some photos. There's obviously still some work to do around the pool deck, but that'll be later in the summer.