Archive for ‘House Reno’

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Builders Trading Co.

Builders Trading Company right next to Leucadia Surf Shop and the tiny post office on PCH, safe to say we are friends! There are so many good deals there, the inventory’s always changing, some old remnants and new stuff too, high quality brands at a good price. This is where we found a pretty set of salvaged accordian doors that we designed our 500sq ft. guest house around, hands down the best feature of the simple design.

Lee delivers fancy at bargain prices, in our most recent case, Albertinid! We just installed a pair of  salvaged front and side mahogany doors that were taken out of an older home, they run a bit more traditional than what we’d ideally want but the price was just too right to pass up on the quality and workmanship. My father-in-law custom-built and stained the door frames to match, out of African Mahogany that we got from Saroyan Lumber in San Marcos. One less thing off of our neverending checklist.

Our stone order has been delivered, we passed our building inspection last week with flying colors, heat/duct work is ok, insulation is up this week, mangaris soffit looks real pretty, and stone and drywall to follow.

Friday, August 5, 2011

chimney, drainage, furnace stuff

Chimney for the wood burning stove is up, drainage pipe is in place and water will now feed the garden, plants and trees on the lower level of the yard.

The furnace and heating ducts and what not stuff are done too, the guys banged it out in 4 days.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The house entirely wrapped in black paper, chicken wired where it needs to be for the stonework, and a morning spent doing concrete

tools of the trade

ta da!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Eating sweet summer lychees and look Dave, your mom’s tiny orchid has new blooms! My friend, Dave moved his mom out of her home to a nursing home with 24hr care in Northern California this past spring and I became the new caretaker to some of her houseplants. I love how organized she is, some plants came with care instructions and their own plant food too. I’ve never met Dave’s mom but I think of her every time I look at her plants and I’m thrilled they’re thriving.

It seems to be that we’re the rescue drop-off for indoor and outdoor plants, trees and shrubs, thanks to our friends and neighbors! With our long list of house renos they just know that plants and flowers aren’t on the budget so it’s nice to live in SoCal where I can step outside my door year round, pick buds off of the new plants in the yard and when they look weak, well there’s always my neighbor, Paige’s yard which is pretty much a flower shop across the street, her mom always shares a rose bud or two with me, very sweet!

Above: the rescue collection is growing. Below: rescued cacti need to be put in the ground soon

Beekeeper Stu came by the other morning with a bright green dragonfruit plant

and just some of the rescued queen palms that have been planted.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

roof done!


Our Hawaiian neighbors helped us bang the roof out in no time, very nice!

Friday, July 22, 2011


The custom wood paneled garage doors were delivered and installed this week by Garage Doors Unlimited out of San Diego and we couldn’t be happier with them. We did some research on finding the right hardwood for our decking, facia, soffit and for the garage panels, the most obvious pick was Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood that everyone’s been using for many years now. Weary over the cost we did some looking and stumbled upon Indonesian Mahogany (Mangaris) at J.W. Lumber in Escondido, a hardwood with similar qualities and color to Ipe and it was 30% cheaper too, the choice was obvious. So with some back and forth negotiating on the price we settled on Mangaris. We also found that having the boards milled for the garage doors, oiling them ourselves and delivering them to Garage Doors Unlimited to get built was a cheaper option, a bit of work on our end but the savings was worth it. Oil the wood once over and let dry for a day, the deep, rich color you get looks great. Now we’re recycling and re-purposing the old lumber from the demo of the house to make a work desk and shelves for inside the garage, lots of sanding, cutting and building this weekend.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

house update

The garage roof has been shingled, hung the drywall for the garage today, all the facia is up, most of the windows and the matching 12 ft sliding doors have been installed, we’re close to picking some stone we can live with and now we decide on smooth stucco or siding, which will it be? Cost will be the deciding factor, we’ll see.

Up on the roof helping out and I was a bit mesmerized with the roof nails, had no idea they packaged them so nicely, pretty, huh?

View from the side door entrance, the table is where the kitchen island will be and the sliding doors to a side deck just off of where the dining room table will sit.

Picture windows are in place and so are the sliding doors to a 5 ft balcony off of the living room/kitchen great room overlooking the backyard, progress to date.

The aluminum clad windows and sliding doors with wood trim on the inside by Jeld-Wen turned out great, so far, so good.

Cleaned up, feet up, eating blueberries and sweet mango, love summertime!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We are at the finishings stretch of our house renos, pressure’s on, find something nice and affordable on a very tight budget. This week we’re searching for stone. Here are some pics I found for inspiration, crossing my fingers I’ll be able to find something similar for a good price. It may be wishful thinking but I’m gonna try.

The Oswald’s Mill house in Pennsylvania featured on Remodelista last week.

Simon Brown Oxfordshire pool house via Remodelista

and a couple more pics I bookmarked over the years.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Artistic Freedom Designs

My friend Pete is a highly skilled designer, his company is Artistic Freedom Designs and his cabinetry/workmanship is real pretty. We met up with him this past weekend at a house he did all the cabinetry for and we left sold on rift-cut white oak for kitchen cabinets and maybe teak for the bathroom cabinets. It’s so nice to have that decision out of the way, one less worry.

The house we met up at was very impressive, 1491 Neptune, it’s the second home in San Diego to be rewarded Platinum L.E.E.D. Certified. The drought tolerant landscaping will definitely work for us too. The no baseboards is an interesting idea…possibly? Definitely will be doing the darker tiles on the shower floors against lighter tiles up the walls as dark tiles will hide any gungey dirt that tends to build up on shower floors, practical!

Check out Pete’s work at the Donia residence too. See more pics here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

my folks

My parents were just here visiting and they sure kept themselves busy. I miss hearing them every morning at 7am cleaning the yard, pulling weeds. They tackled the old lumber we salvaged when we demo’d the house too, removing all the old nails and stacking the wood all nice so they won’t get too warped baking in the sun. They entertained themselves with simple things, they cook and meet with their friends and the neighbors, they water plants and hang hammocks and windchimes. Sweet!