Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Installing the Finishes

In the past couple of weeks, most of the tile and slabwork has been installed and the rough- cabinet boxes are in place - the photo shows the dining room-kitchen areas with the bookshelf and the pantry-fridge cabinet in the back. On the left, a small piece of the high bar counter can be seen- we're using Eurostone's Lido, a quartz-resin man made material with small sea shells cast in. The backsplash is a glass tile in random brick pattern and the kitchen floor consists of 16" square polished Absolute Black granite tiles. The cabinetry in the kitchen and the dining room is clear vertical grain Douglas fir- a beautiful material (matching the doors), but very soft and not cheap. In some other parts of the house we are using grade "A" rift cut oak which matches the flooring ( a glimpse of it can be seen in the bottom right corner- unfinished, though) and has a similar appearance but is much harder and less expensive. Something to consider for future jobs.
On the bottom right shelf you can see a sample piece of the Mangaris Diamond Decking we have to use on the exterior deck- Being in a wildfire zone means, that only ignition resistant materials can be used on the outside- and this includes the decking material. Originally, we had a 5/4" thickness spec'd out, but one of the swing doors got installed too low and was likely not to open when the deck was wet and soaked with water after a rain. Consequently we had to change to a 3/4" thick plank. With that, we could not use the concealed fasteners orginally selected any more but had to go with stainless steel screws- a pity, but that's not the first time we had to change things- It's simply part of the reality of construction.

Monday, January 3, 2011


During the last week of 2010, the first area of the rainscreen facade went up.
The photo shows the different stages of the assembly:
First, the vertical battens that will provide the airspace for the circulation of air behind the rainscreen are installed and shimmed as required. Then, the horizontal aluminum hat channels are installed and straightened to provide a level and true substrate for the Abet Laminati facade panels that are being put up last. We expect the rainscreen facade to significantly reduce the cooling load of the building during summer. The photo shows also the solar hot water panels on the rooftop and the aluminum garage door.