Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hall Tree #3 - Complete

The final thing I needed to do on the hall tree was put on the hardware - hangers and shelf brackets:

The oak-leaf hangers are what inspired us to do the hall tree in the first place. They are cast iron and painted flat black. We bought them at a local building materials reuse place, which I am happy to promote. They have wide variety of stuff, prices are great, and they are very friendly.

For you Oregonians (or those visiting), here is the list of reuse and recycling centers. I try to build as much as I can from materials these centers provide. It's good for the environment, my wallet and the local economy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hall Tree #2

I was able to get the hall tree stained, sealed and installed over the weekend. It fit nicely into the alcove...

I  made it in four pieces: the bottom cabinet, the seat, the middle section, and the top shelf. I kept the bench a bottom cabinet in two pieces, so I could fit the bench in snugly.

Here is alcove before installation. My DW pained the side walls and ceiling the day before installation. I glued and nailed a few 1/2" x 4" OSB strips across the back wall to give a good surface for mounting with 18 gage finish nails.

Once the four main pieces were in place I shimmed them to an exact fit and nailed them off. This made the hall tree look like one single unit. Here are the trim pieces...

I made the seat with the best boards I had - a couple of them had knots which I wanted to show for a more rustic look. I sanded the corners along the edges of the boards before assembling them, again to make the bench look more rustic.

The middle section took the most work. The 1/4" cherry plywood makes the base, with the battens and trim attached. I put 1/2" OSB on the sides to give them rigidity.

Building the base cabinet for shoes was pretty straightforward, holding two pair of shoes on each shelf.. 

I need to let the finish cure for a day or so, then mount the hardware.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Living Room Windows #2

My DW was able to get the textured paint on the remodeled window wall this week, which I think looks great. I am looking forward to getting these trimmed out, so they look like a single large unit.

Why did we pick these size windows, as opposed to 4 slightly smaller ones?
  • If we chose 4 windows, they would have been very close to the end windows, which would have made nice pattern. 
  • We could have done two long windows with a single center post, which would have maximized the glass and cost less. 
  • We chose three because windows are traditionally grouped in odd numbers, so you get a clear center view as a focal point. Five windows would have had too many posts and a broken-up view.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Living Room Windows

Catching up on the blog: We put new windows into the living room about 3 weekends ago. This involved pulling out out the old 8' wide windows, removing the short wall between the two windows, adding in posts, and filling in the left-side corner. Unfortunately the old windows had broken seals and frames, and were only fit to go to the landfill.

The first picture is "before" and the second is "after"...

While the original layout was OK, I think the entire wall of windows is better. It brings the full view of the outdoors into living room, except for two posts.

I cut back the two existing headers, put posts in, and added a third header in the center. The posts are made of three 2x4's glued and nailed together - two jack studs and one king stud. These are sandwiched on the inside and outside with 1/2 plywood that is glued and nailed as well. This makes very strong posts that shouldn't have any problem holding up the headers, trusses and roof.

The sheetrock is back in place, taped, mudded and textured. Once my DW does the painting, I'll re-trim everything out and call it done.

Improving our Entry with an Alcove and Hall Tree

The entry to our house is fairly small and is typical for a house built in the 1970's. We have a nice covered porch area, but once you are inside the entry is about 4 feet wide and 7 feet long. The location of the stairs and utilities don't allow for much expansion without a major remodel project - which we are not willing to do.

To help make the area feel larger and more up-to-date - and keep the cost down - we created an alcove to hold a hall tree. This picture shows the progress so far: the alcove is done (needs painting) and the hall tree parts are fabricated (no trim, stain or sealer yet)...

I made the hall tree out of "rustic" cherry (some knots and minor defect), which cost $4 / b.f., which was about 1/2 the cost of regular cherry. It also gave me the the right look for our house, which is not formal.

Here is a picture of the floor plan changes we made. We "stole" about 8 square feet from my office (read bedroom for my son in college) where the closet used to be, and moved it down as shown.

I am going to add a set of built-in bookshelves to the office that back up to the alcove (3 ft wide x 7 ft high). I think the room will feel almost a spacious with these installed, instead of just a plane wall. Also, the hall tree does not need to be any deeper than 20" on the entry side to get the effect of more space.

A few year ago, I read a remodeling / design article that suggested if possible you should select a non-vital room to "steal" space from for improvements. This is what we decided to do with the office. I started out at a 12' x 10' 6" room plus a six-foot closet. We gave part of the room to the guest bath, and now a bit to the entry. This has left us with a 12' x 8' 6" footprint, plus a 4' closet, which is fine for an office / guest room in the long run.

Hopefully, this weekend I can get the shelves for shoes and face trim done, and have everything stained and sealed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clerestory Windows

I haven't been blogging - or working on projects - for most of the winter (too much skiing!)

I bought a couple of boxes of 6" glass block at Home Depot that were on the clearance pile. I have been planning for a while to make clerestory windows for our bedroom wall, and this gave me the boost to do it.

I built separate frames for each set of 4 glass blocks, which ended up being 13 1/2" wide. These fit between the 16" O.C. studs with shims and blocking, so no header needed. Once I applied the trim, the set of windows look like a single unit.

I set the height of the windows so the top trim would be even with both the French doors and maintain clean lines.

Since this is a south-facing wall, we are hoping to get a lot of additional light during the winter months when the sun is low.

- Glass block:  $60
- Glass block spacer bars: $12
- Grout: $5
- Frame wood and 2x4 supports: $10
- Trim: $15

Total: $100 approx.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The large tree in our backyard is turning yellow. It's one of my favorite sites in fall. I "staged" this picture a little bit with the Adirondack chairs and the fire pit...

I spent part of the weekend replacing the doors in our basement. They were the typical flat-slab 1970's doors. These six-panel doors are nothing special, but they were very cheap, and at least look more up-to-date. I did the work on the back porch, giving me a nice view.

These doors needed to be cut to size, drilled for the knobs and routed for the hinges. I basically took each old door and used it as a pattern for the new one. The picture shows the stop-blocks clamped in place for routing the hinge pockets.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Making a $10 Bench

I came up with a simple bench design that you can make from a 1x12 pine board that's 8' long - which costs $10 right now (in Oregon). You could also make this from a 2x12. Here is a picture of one that I distressed and stained...

It needs another coat of stain and then a couple applications of sealer.

Here is the simple "cut diagram":

- The top is on the left at 32"
- The legs in the center at 16"
- The apron and bottom stretcher are cut out of the right piece at 29 wide.

This design allows for a little bit of scrap, which I use to attach the top.

I made 4 of these today to go into our home theater:

Here they are with the first coat of stain.

These are obviously not fine furniture, but will be great for holding food, books, etc. They can also be used for sitting when we have a bunch of people over.

See my article library on eHow...