Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Back Nook

It's been challenging to show ya'll what we've been doing because we are in the midst of "many" projects and none are really the "after" picture I was hoping for.  Nonetheless, I always feel encouraged when a friend walks through who hasn't seen the place in a while and they can't believe the progress.  I hope you can appreciate it too.

Over the past few months, we've been working tirelessly on making the rooms "livable".  By livable I mean, better insulated, supported and safe.  We started with the back nook, moved to the office area and have been focused on the finishing touches in the bathroom and kitchen - - namely the tile work and hood.

Unfortunately, we (i.e. "Ang") miscalculated the amount of tile we were going to need for a kitchen and the new eating nook and we were on a four month hold to wait for the tile to be shipped from China!  In my defense, we did have enough tile but I thought the grey would go great in our entryway too and that is where I messed up.  How was I supposed to know the tile store would sell out!

In any event, our house is odd and the property records are sparse.  We've hunted through property records and the city has different records from the county and then the tax assessor has even different records. What we do know is that the house is permitted for four bathrooms and anywhere between 2-3 units, depending on your resource.  At one point in time, we imagine that the house was much like a box with a covered porch off to the side (the side closest to the driveway).  Sometime in the 50's or 60's the owners added the big white box of stucco onto the front of the house, which looks less than stellar in our opinion.  We actually just found out on July 4th that this area was indeed permitted so this is great news!

The back of the house has a little pop-out addition as well but we have no idea when it was built?  The previous owners actually used this space as their cooking kitchen complete with a stove.  It seemed odd to us because it's not in the actual kitchen, it was porrly insulated and suffered some serious wear and tear over the years.  After some discussion with friends and family as to how to best utilize this space, we decided to create a casual dining room out of the area.  It makes sense because it's closest to the back yard, which is great for evenings we want to use the back patio and it has incredible views of the Los Angeles skyline.  We will now use the old "dining room" complete with box beams for a more casual family room and this will flow nicely into the more formal living room space which is adjacent and runs along the front of the house.

Here are some pics of our progress:

The back nook before -!

We actually installed just one 4 x 4 window but it didn't maximize the view so we reinstalled two

We had to reinforce this whole back nook with timbers and strengthen the floor joists -the white paper around the windows is actually flashing to keep out moisture.  Generally, the walls are composed of  2x4's, insulation, plywood, tyvek paper (the black stuff hanging) then siding - she's solid now.

Checking out the floor joists

We picked a very similar color to the existing house with just a touch more grey in it. Obviously, the upstairs windows are a work in progress.  The upper right side will eventually be the rooftop deck and below it is the office - our bedroom(s) are on the left side of the house.  Right now, we're living upstairs. Oh, and there is still a little trim for the windows to finish yet so don't hold this against us ;) 

Pretty snazzy right?


  1. Looks so great! I'm impressed as well. I don't think I'd even know where to start on something like this, but you have a great eye for it! Nice work!

  2. Yeah, as we continue to muck around with our basement remodel, its impressive to see all the work coming along with your house! Keep inspiring us!

  3. The back of your house is looking great! You two amaze me.

  4. I heard a rumor your home is going to be on HGTV ... if it's true, please keep us updated so we won't miss it!

  5. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?