Monday, September 10, 2012

Construction July and August 2012

So much of what is happening on the house now can only be appreciated by someone who builds homes.  When these photos were taken, much of the work was structural.  This blog is an archive for us and it will soon be beneficial to others who are interested specifically in the Greene and Greene style as we begin to delve into the finishes over the next year.  (though already there are some posts on furniture and lighting etc.)

Our home is much smaller in scale than most of the homes built by Greene and Greene but it gives us a taste of how complicated their work must have been using simpler tools and having multiple projects in process simultaneously.

The speed with which they built homes is due in part to the large numbers of people working on any one project.

On the day our basement floor was poured I was ecstatic to see more than two people working on our house at one time!!  We now have a crew onsite of 3-4 people most days and we hope to be weathered in by mid-October.

The challenges of living on a sloped lot
Because we are on the side of a hill with a sloping front yard there are many challenges, for me the biggest one is the fact that the basement has no windows so I don't imagine I will spend much time down there at all.  The good news is there is plenty of storage. 

We do have to walk up a lot of stairs to get to the front door BUT there is a sidewalk ramp on the south side of the house so we can be wheeled into the main level of the house if we are ever wheelchair bound.  (no kidding, in these parts a level entry home can garner a higher than market price especially if all living areas and at least one bedroom are on the main floor)

We have big ugly retaining walls in the front yard (a common occurance for homes with sloped front yards) but we will minimize all that with plants to make it less imposing at street level.  Other homes in the neighborhood have concrete walls and neighbors complain, initially, that they are eyesores.  When a landscape architect is hired, the end result is well-planned and beautiful. Our goal is to wisely plant for seasonal color, wall coverage, and street appeal.

The Basement floor
The room in the back left side of this photo is a wine cellar.  As many of you know I have been learning much about the world of wine.  This room will be stocked full but it won't be a place we bring any guests so I am relieved of having to decorate a wine cellar.  You may remember we recyled every piece of the original house and kept the front door which was commissioned in 1961 ---we may use it for the wine cellar door--it will certainly go in the basement somewhere (even though it doesn't match the G & G style it has to stay in the house). There is a short hallway to the cellar and a few steps down to make you feel like you are going into a "cellar". 

wine cellar, back left

Costco would be impressed that we have a room to store the Kirkland brand---straight down the back stairs from the kitchen, oh and don't forget about that Kirkland Chateauneuf du Pape! Good thing the storage room and wine cellar are nearby.

It used to be that the back stairs were for the help...well that would be me.  I cook a meal every night and do all the cleaning so I guess this is my wing.  Once you come up the steps the kitchen will be straight ahead  and the laundry room is to the left.  I had to argue for a laundry room on the main floor and am very happy that I won out (especially once I spent a year working on fall prevention for older adults we learned how important being able to live on one level can be).
stairs down from kitchen to our Costco room
The end of this long dark garage is a workshop but it also doubles as a two car garage for parking inside when on vacation.

main floor with a peek at Puget Sound in the distance
The rest of these photos are various shots of the basement (part of our archive)

metal support beams under entry

chimney platform

Just in case you are wondering about the two plastic chairs in many photos....they are there for the guys who congregate on the site at the end of the day.   Someone invariably stops by or the guys hang out after a long day.  It has become such a guy hang out I am wondering if we will ever get to move back in someday.