The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 6

Posted 24 May 2017 at 8:04 PM | Comments (0)

Today we’re closing up the eaves with soffits, as you can see. We’re also removing the chimney and patching the brickwork.

Closing up the soffits was one of the things I did not want to do, because I wanted the rafters exposed, but the only way around that was to spend more money that we don’t have. Oh well, it certainly doesn’t look bad. It looks quite clean.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 6

The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 5

Posted 23 May 2017 at 8:40 PM | Comments (0)

Fascia boards! Sheathing! Holy moly, we might be getting somewhere!

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 5

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 5

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 5

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 5

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 5

The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 4

Posted 10 May 2017 at 9:57 AM | Comments (0)

The old fascia boards are gone, and new ones are taking shape.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 4

The fascia boards were actually the catalyst for a lesson I learned this week; a lesson which I’m not too happy to accept, but I know I have to try:

Sometimes, the thing you want can only be achieved by throwing more money at it. If there is very little money to throw at it—like maybe you only have a handful of pennies left, which is pretty much the case—then you have to accept that what you want is not possible.

Aspects of this project are not going exactly the way that I wanted. I wanted a more horizontal window, but that meant adding more supports. I wanted a metal roof that is neither brown nor gray, but that meant sourcing materials from out of town. I didn’t want to have to trim the entire house with a horizontal “stripe” along the top of the brick while getting rid of the boxed eaves, but that is the only way we can level the roof and keep the underside of the eaves consistent (long story). I wasn’t expecting any of these changes to my plan, but I felt like I could live with them. However, the one I’m having trouble with is the fascia boards. I wanted them to be slimmer, like you see in this Austin, Texas ranch house:

French Place Cottage in Austin, Texas by Rick & Cindy Black Architects

The only way to achieve slimmer fascia boards throughout is to replace all of the rafters, and we just can’t afford to do that. I’m pretty bummed. I may have cried a tiny bit. I may have even kicked someone. You will never know.

The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 3

Posted 9 May 2017 at 9:17 PM | Comments (0)

Work continues on the gables and eaves, this time on the other side of the house.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 3

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 3

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 3

The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 2

Posted 8 May 2017 at 9:02 PM | Comments (0)

Well, here we go, getting rid of the worst exterior offenders:

Goodbye, gables that lean forward unnecessarily!

Goodbye, eaves that were flush with the gables!

Goodbye, old gutters!

Man, it’s like I was born to write a children’s book about remodeling a 1950s ranch house.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 2

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 2

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 2

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 2

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 2

The Lake House Renovation: Exterior, Day 1

Posted 7 May 2017 at 8:31 PM | Comments (0)

We haven’t been making progress on the house for one reason, and one reason only.

Cost.

Back in January, after some seriously heavy rainfall, our roof was still leaking—even after a roofer patched it TWICE. It became clear that we had to replace the entire roof.

Well, unlucky for us, we weren’t exactly planning for a roof replacement anytime soon, and we needed some time to figure out how we were going to pay for it. We finally decided to take out a loan, which is now in process.

Work on the roof begins this week.

Sooo, allow me to take you for a little walk around our house, since this is THE LAST TIME it’s going to look like this.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Exterior, Renovation Day 1

The Lake House Renovation: Our Bedroom, Day 6

Posted 6 February 2017 at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Aaand we have a sliding glass door!

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Our Bedroom, Renovation Day 6

And maybe someday, a deck?

(In case you missed it, this was the situation before glass door.)

The Lake House Renovation: Kids’ Bedroom, Day 5

Posted 5 February 2017 at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

We’re moving along slowly, but this has to be the most exciting bit of progress made so far. Remember how Matt the mason was cutting into our brick facade? It was to make way for this beautiful new window.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

Let’s compare to the original, shall we? Here is a photo I took of the house just after we bought it. The kids’ bedroom window was high and horizontal—very characteristic of ranch houses. We knew we had to enlarge the window to comply with egress codes, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the 1950’s ranch aesthetic.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

I did a ton of research. (I now know more about the architecture of ranch homes than I ever cared to know.) While it would have been more authentic to keep the window horizontal, it would have cost more money to make the window wider, since it would have required structural changes. So we could only enlarge downward.

Disappointed that we couldn’t keep the horizontal format, I went full steam ahead with an alternate detail that is characteristic of ranch houses—the casement window in the center with the horizontal grid lines on either side. It allowed me to keep some horizontal emphasis even though I couldn’t keep it all.

Then, Matt the mason used the original bricks to lay the sill.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

Doesn’t it look great?

The window is from the Andersen 100 series in a color called Terratone. It complies with egress codes, adds more character, and looks smashing against the brick. This felt like a huge step forward in our renovation. Drywall next.

The Lake House Renovation: Our Bedroom, Day 5

Posted 21 December 2016 at 9:05 PM | Comments (0)

It’s mighty hard to believe that not everyone is in support of the sliding glass door. They fought hard, but I fought harder.

But Matt the mason understands me. He agrees with my dream of stepping straight from my bedroom onto a deck someday. It is possible that he is just trying his best to placate me, but that is probably the right thing to do, given the circumstances.

And by “circumstances,” I mean about fifty sketches of my future off-bedroom deck, where the only thing missing is an image of me in my bathrobe.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Our Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Our Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

The Lake House Renovation: Kids’ Bedroom, Day 4

Posted 21 December 2016 at 8:38 PM | Comments (0)

It wasn’t easy to find a mason. With so few brick houses in this town, all we could find were masons who worked on chimneys. Even our contractor, with something like thirty years of local experience, didn’t know a mason.

Eventually we found one, and I think he is legitimate because the house is still standing. We affectionately call him Matt the mason. If the house collapses, I will call him Matt the marauder.

With that… our kids are ready for their egress window.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 4

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 4