Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seamless Gutter Installation

Today I had the guys from Great NW Gutters out to put new rain gutters on the house. (Thanks to Dawn at Bungalowcious for the referral)  I'm quite happy with the results. 
Porch Roof Gutter
 I chose the steel gutters with the plain white baked on enamel finish, in the 4" K style.  The rafter tails were already notched for this size gutter, so the installation was pretty straight forward.  I had them use straps instead of spikes to mount the gutters, not wanting to put any more holes in the rafter tails.

There were no gutter guards on the old plastic cheapo-gutters.  They had more flora and fauna living in them than my yard!  They were PVC gutters with leaky seams and clogged downspouts.

This is a downspout funnel on the front porch going into the drain.  This should hopefully help reduce the amount of slimy green stuff growing on the porch, making it teflonesque during the rainy months.
You can see the guys did a great job of structuring the downspouts in the back.  Both of these lead into a funnel and into the drain.  I was going to disconnect these from the drain, but their proximity to the future egress window made me think twice.

Friday, May 13, 2011

3rd Annual Bungalow Blog Tour

Rare Archival Footage Unearthed!

I was able to find and upload a walkthrough of the 'Ol 1916 Portland Bungalow that our Realtor shot for us before we moved in.  I was able to come out to Portland from Houston, but my wife was not, so this video is the only thing she saw of the house before we bought it!

It's kinda long, but I thought you might enjoy it.  I can't believe how many things I see in the video that I totally forgot I had ripped out long ago (crappy old mailbox, toilet, dining room light fixture, etc.)

Next Tour Stop:

Previous Tour Stop:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

OKeefe & Merritt Rebuild Begins

Disassembled O'Keefe & Merritt Gas Stove
I started disassembling our O'Keefe & Merritt antique gas stove so all of the mechanical parts can be refurbished.  I'm going to send the burner heads, burner valves, thermostat, and other stuff to Antique Gas Stoves in California, where they will re-porcelain, rebuild, and rechrome all the pieces to make them as good as new.

Old gas burner heads, burner tubes, and the manifold with the valves and thermostat

After I get the stove working like new, I'll use it for a while to see how I like cooking on a vintage stove.  If I still like it, I'll probably do a more thorough restoration and have all of the chrome redone as well replacing a few missing odds and ends.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Electrical Panel Location

Location of the New Main Electrical Panel

My latest basement sub-project is to get the wall ready for the new electrical service upgrade that is going to be done soon.  The old panel will act as a junction box and all of the circuits will be moved to the other side of the basement door where the new 200A panel will be located.  I need to frame the wall so the electrician can install the panel.

What's proving to be the most difficult thing is to find a 6' door to replace the hacked-up one that is currently in use.  If a some PO hadn't cut a doggie door in it, I could have probably reused it.  My search through The Rebuilding Center came up with one door that will work, but it doesn't have a window, which I've grown accustomed to.  I'll keep looking around, but I may have to settle for the door sans light.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Neighborhood is OFFICIALLY Badass!

Don't believe me? See for yourself:

Rose City Park ranks 31st overall, with a badass-ness score of 41.61, putting us right between Irvinton and Sellwood (not a bad place to be, actually!). This makes my neighborhood solidly Badass, which is slightly better than "Rad", but not quite up to "Super Badass" standards. Maybe if they open another strip club...

You can see more on the video.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Basement Roadmap

Now that I've got the budget for it, I'm getting a plan together for what I'm going to do in the basement this summer.  I've got to get some bids, figure out the permitting process, and then see how much of it I will be able to afford.

I hope to have the basement in a semi-finished state by the end of the summer.  That will make it "usable", if not "livable".
  • Upgrade Electrical Service
    • I plan on also moving the panel to the other side of the basement door so it won't be near water sources.
  • New Windows
    • Four small awning windows around the perimeter
    • One egress window in the new guest room
  • Plumbing Fixes
    • Fix the wonky drain pipe coming from the kitchen sink
    • Fix the plumbing in the basement bathroom
    • Run PEX everywhere
  • Add a winder stair
    • I should be able to get more headroom at the bottom of the stairwell if I add a winder at the top.
  • New walls and insulation
    • I need to frame new walls around the perimeter and insulate them.
  • Seismic Retrofit
    • Since I'll have access to the sill plates in the entire basement, now's the time to make it a little more earthquake resistant.
I'm sure that's more than I will be able to get done this summer, but it's a good goal to shoot for.  Wish me luck, and stay tuned!

Tour of the Basement

I've been keeping Flannery's drop box service in business again.  Last week I rented and filled another 10 yard dumpster with more basement debris.  There's still a little more left to demo, but I think the rest will fit in the back of the pickup.  Since things are going gangbusters on the basement, I thought I'd give y'all a tour!  Here are all of the areas.  I stood in the middle of the basement and rotated counter-clockwise for each picture.

Family Room
Family Room
This quarter of the basement will become the family room where we'll have a sectional and a big TV on the wall to the right.  The open space measures a whopping 13'x18', which will make it the biggest room in the house. We're planning on decorating it in an art-deco old Hollywood motif.

Play Room / Homework Area
Poker Room Homework Area
This section is about the same size as the family room.  It will have a card table and be used for games and homework.  I'll probably put a computer in there somewhere too.  The two posts will have a bar-top built between them.  I'm hoping for a soapstone top, with the columns being trimmed out in proper proportion to the arts & crafts aesthetic.

Basement Bathroom Location
The bathroom in the basement will occupy the same place it did before, but will be about 2 feet wider in each direction.  We're thinking of a standup shower and a separate soaking tub.

Guest Room
Future Basement Guest Room
This area still needs some demo work done, but it will be our guest room when completed.  The little panelboard rectangle on the right is covering a broken window, which will be replaced by a code-compliant egress window.

Laundry Room
Laundry Room
The laundry room has a door to the outside, a utility sink, and our washer and dryer.  I plan on having the electrical service upgraded, and the panel moved to the other side of the door.  I might even put a dog-washing area next to the sink.

Mechanical Room
Mechanical Room
I will build a small room around the furnace and the on-demand hot water heater.  It will also house the main panel for all of the communications and the plumbing manifold.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Side Project Comes Alive

I've been working on another website off-and-on for quite some time.  Over the last few weeks I've been spending all of my free time getting it in shape and Ready for Prime Time.  Well, I think it finally is. is going to be a site containing all kinds of resources for people looking to decorate and remodel (respectfully, of course) their classic American homes.  For now, it only has one featured home, which happens to be one of my favorite examples of how to remodel a bungalow, Portland's own Bungalowcious.  I have also added a directory of artisan lighting, ceramics, and textiles.
If you own a home that is at or near the end of a remodel and would like it considered for a feature on the site, drop me a line.  I'm also open to any thoughts or suggestions about the site.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stanley 2 Gallon Wet-Dry Vac Giveaway

Update: We have a winner!  Congratulations Aidan, I hope this little guy proves useful.

Once again, I have been provided with a great prize to give away to one of my readers. This time, CSN Stores told me I could give away a Stanley 2-Gallon Wet/Dry vac. It looks like a great little portable unit that can be used to cleanup after those small projects that seem to crop up all the time, like cleaning up all that dog hair that accumulates in the corners or under your home office furniture.

I'll make the rules the same as when I gave away the mailbox.

On March 11, 2011, I will randomly choose one person from my list of followers.  To add yourself to the list, just click the "Follow" button in the right sidebar of this page.  Do it now! The winner will be responsible for paying any taxes or fees that might apply (like, for instance if you live in Canada).  Shipping is free, so don't worry about that.  Good luck!