Did I mention the driveway is steep? Building these walls has been an education and is, in fact, an engineering marvel. They are finished for all intents and purposes. We are developing a planting plan to minimize the height and soften the profile. After we are completely finished moving the dirt, we can install trees and shrubbery.
The completion of the upper wall means that we can begin building the garage building. The permits are ready and now we just need the weather to cooperate so that we can dig footers and pour the concrete slab. Within the next two weeks I hope we can begin to frame the new structure.
The lower wall is holding most of the site’s excavated dirt. It will also extend the usable yard and allow for a pool to be built nearer to the house. The old pool has been filled in and that site may make a good future location for a sports court. There are still a good number of dirt piles around the site but they are substantially diminished. And a good thing because the new California Redwood shingle is scheduled to arrive from Oregon next week. We really wanted to preserve the original shingle because redwood is rare especially on the East Coast. Unfortunately over the years repairs had been made to the wood on the house using pressure treated pine. We made the discovery after stripping several layers of paint from portions of the exterior. So the exterior has to be dismantled and replaced. One advantage is that the crew is able to add insulation on several places that were previously uninsulated.
While the exterior work and garage addition have been delayed due to the weather, a lot has been happening inside the house. In fact, we should be ready for paint very soon. In keeping with the theme of the house, all of the wood used in the house to rebuild the windows, frames, built ins and trim is either Douglas fir or ash. With some ingenious and diligent carpentry work, Kevin and Carter were able to install beautiful wood-paneled ceilings in the master bedroom and bathroom using the salvaged redwood. Not an easy task picking the best pieces, planing down every board and making them fit in such a stunning array. It’s really special.
Interior doors have been hung, new floors installed and things are really taking shape. It’s beginning to look like a house again!
It’s so exciting to see how everything is coming together. It’s going to be a busy spring and summer on Syme Hill!