Salvage your next tree cutting for a beautiful dining table. Salvaged cypress with stainless steel legs by Pazzo Verde
Let's see here...I'll start where I left off.
Digging new footings in a basement is dirty, dirty, dusty, dusty work and thank God I had another big burly nephew to help me out here. This big burly nephew is Tim Flanagan, ANOTHER ONE OF MY FAVORITES! Tim helped me cut, dig, and haul out chunks of concrete. Lots of heavy bucket loads.
Footings in basement.
According to my mechanical drawings I needed about 8sq/ft. of new footings, so here we go...
I used a rented concrete saw and small jackhammer to cut the concrete to the proper dimensions. I wanted nice straight lines cut into the concrete so when I jackhammered this out there wouldn’t be any traveling cracks. Tim was my main muscle and we took the chunks to ready them for recycling. I had to shovel and dig out the dirt (two holes, about 3ft by 3ft wide and a foot deep.) I laid in rebar in an 'H' pattern, and called for inspection.
After I passed, I mixed and poured my new footings.
Just a word on my nephews...
These guys rock, and I loved working with them! I have 23 nephews and nieces and I have always wanted to work with them. Jackson and Tim were the first two, and now that I'm on the east side of the States again I'm gonna try and put them all to work (and still remain #1 uncle!) I wonder if this is why they won't come visit?
Quick!! Someone give me a concrete saw, a jackhammer, and a willing nephew or two!"
(Jackson Paterno, take your bow now.)
All too often light is overlooked as part of the design. I wanted to fill this space with light. The wall separating the stairwell from the living room made the place feel smaller than it was was. It cut right down the middle of the house. Why was that wall even there? Supposedly, it was thought to be load bearing back in the day, but the layout was all wrong for that. I dont know. Anyhow, it had to go, but I wanted to do it safely. I went to some engineering experts, Silman Associates. Victor Dragonoff helped me transform my vision into reality with the calculations and permit drawings to execute my post and beam solution.
Enter Jackson Paterno...ONE OF...my favorite nephews. There are 15 of them, by the way.
Plaster is removed to expose the lath.
Removing plaster is a dirty, dirty, dusty, dusty job. Wear a respirator, eye protection, and it also helps to have a big burly nephew help you out. My big burly nephew is Jackson Paterno. He was in town visiting friends, which was a GREAT opportunity for me. We used a hammer drill on the "chisel" setting and I ratt-a-tatted down the lenghth of the walls. I felt like I was holding a shake-weight all day, for four or five days straight. Removing the plaster with the chisel allowed me to expose the lath, and I’ve got some plans for lath, so we'll save it. FYI, Lath is strips of pine that are nailed to the wall studs. Plaster is then skimmed over the lath to form the wall.
Lath is saved for surprise future use...stay tuned!
We removed the lath "carefully" and set it aside for use at a later date. After this job was done, you could already see the light filter through. Then, I used some scrap 2x4 material to build a false wall to temporarily hold up the ceiling joists.
Now for the footings...and another favorite nephew.
As soon as I walk into a space, I start designing. Usually, I start with the "If I had a million dollars approach." Then, reality sets in. This place was no different. I have known what I wanted to do to this house generally, since I walked in, but to execute this I need permits and plans.
New to the area, with no connections, I was starting from piont zero. My advice here is...do what I did. Ask everyone. I ask friends and family. I stop workers on the street. I knock on doors of people having work done on thier homes. I am 'that guy' and it has served me well. Trust your gut, but ask and check references and try and go physically see their work if possible. Through this process I found a gem of the industry, Second Phoenix LLC. www.2pllc.com
Charles and Denise run Second Phoenix, LLC and they are a great team. They took the time to speak with me about my ideas and design. They offered their own ideas and opinions about what might work in the space. They gave me quick, professional, and quality drawings, AND they offered permit expedition services, meaning they went to the DCRN to obtain the necessary permits to get things rolling, NOT me.
It’s tough to find people you trust, and you hear a lot of horror stories, but this isn’t one of them. And when I find someone good, I want to pay it forward and tell everyone. For those of you who are interested, Charles and Denise provide project management services as well as reccomendations for workers to get stuff done. They are open to new, eco-friendly design options and had thier own experience with certain aspects of green design.
I am glad to have found them and honored to have them on the side of Pazzo Verde.
TRANSFORMATIONS of Montgomery County, MD has asked me to speak at their second annual fundraiser. This is a wonderful non-profit looking to improve lives through design. You can learn more at their website, http://transformationsinteriors.org.
I will be speaking about some of the health benefits of green design, and some of my favorite products, methods and secrets. See you there on Friday, June 29th... 9613 Overlea Dr. Rockville, MD 20850 6-9pm
RSVP through their site.
I woke up to a great surprise this morning! Another article in the Washington Post. For those of you who missed the live chat last week, tons of Post readers asked some great questions about green design and green living. Today's article has some excerpts from the chat. Also, feel free to post any and all questions on the blog or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.