Holiday Delays but Still Pushing

We are still making progress on the Modern Bungalow trying to wrap this house up, but with the holidays its been hard to keep up the pace. Since my last update inside we got the central air conditioning installed, hot water heater, red oak stair treads and risers, and all the electrical trim and fixtures. The fire sprinkler guy came back and trimmed out too, installing all the sprinkler heads and bell box. There’s nothing left inside except for the tile setting while I wait for another week for the cabinets to arrive and get installed. The countertop fabricator is on standby to come right in after the cabinets, then its only hardwood floor refinishing and carpet in the 2 bedrooms. Garage door is also on order. I could have had it wrapped inside by now if I would have ordered cabinets before the drywall went up.

The new tile contractor I hired is done now with mud floating all the walls and getting into tile setting with his wife. This is the second husband and wife team we’ve had on this job, my exterior painters’ wife also was a painter. These ladies know what they are doing too, they are not just sweeping up! Instead of Hardi backer we opted for the mud float method where you do moisture barrier paper, metal lathe and then float out the walls with spec mix. The City comes and inspects paper and lath before you can start floating the walls. It gives a perfectly flat and plumb surface but definitely more work, he spent 4 days floating the walls when I could have put up backerboard in a few hours. The tile I went with in the master is a modern 12 x 24 light grey designer porcelain and I stacked it square to give a more clean minimalist and contemporary look. In the hall bath I went with the 3×6 ceramic but also opted not do do a subway pattern so it will be more of a clean look with a period material, working well with our home design. Both bathrooms got great niches in the wall for soap and shampoo bottles.

I thought by now I would have been done with the house but things always drag out at then end, time is on my side with Christmas and New Years coming up now so we’ll move in after the holidays.

The San Diego real estate market is still very hot. No signs of slowing even through the typically slow Fall season. With only a little over 2 months inventory it is a sellers market again and we are seeing bidding wars and multiple offers in all price tiers. I don’t see things changing through 2013 because interest rates will stay low and there’s no more huge waves of foreclosures coming as all the adjustable loans have reset already. Banks will continue to trickle out a few REO’s here and there, but even short sale volume is dropping fast. House flippers in San Diego will have a tough time competing with large, well funded buy and hold groups investing for appreciation. Some flippers are moving up the price range and flipping million dollar homes where there is less competition. There’s a lot of investor and first time buyer activity and prices are being affected by it, October was up 13% from last year and in some areas have reached 2005 peak home price levels again.

Color Me Mod

The exterior paint got finished last weekend, here are some pics that show how it came out. Its vivid and bold, definitely not predictable colors from the Craftsman era but leaning more modern. The bronze aluminum windows also really give it a sort of commercial modern look and contrast well with the light trim. The stained overhangs and individually painted rafter tails are really a surprise detail not to be overlooked.

On the front porch, I went with a bronze standing seam metal roof, it ties into the  windows and the main roof color. I feel that I got a really good deal at 700 bucks and my sub contractor hand made it on site. The cedar porch posts and beam were also stained to match the eaves. The visible T&G under the porch is also stained to match the eaves, I’ll show this detail later with a better pic.

While the house was getting painted outside, I was inside trimming it out. I went with the Craftsman style 3-panel doors this time. Its the first time I’ve used them and they are pretty swell, especially the 8 foot high ones and the parlor doors on the bedroom closets. Even the water closet pocket doors are the same style. I used 8″ baseboards and 4″ door casings. There are only 2 bedrooms that will get carpet, you can see I left the baseboards up 1/2″ off the floor in those rooms.

Here is the order I do interiors in: 1. Hang Drywall 2. Install Hardwood floors 3. Trim out 4. Spray Ceilings 5. Spray trims 6. Paint walls 7. Tile 8. Install Millworks 9. Refinish Hardwoods 10. Carpet.  When painting ceilings and walls I love coming with a roller behind the sprayer, your coat comes out way nicer and the roller pushed the paint into the new drywall. I also use PVA drywall primer on the new drywall. Everything always gets 2 coats as well. There are other methods that work too, I’ve seen guys actually put the wall color on before trimming out the house and hanging doors. Then they come back and just paint the trim. For me I think it causes too much touch up later and the dust inside the house when you are cutting all the MDF trim gets everywhere.

You can see the guys spraying the ceiling and back rolling while still wet. I’m trying a lot of new things on this project with the interior paint colors and finishes and reversing lights and darks in a way most people don’t see. Its always more work to try new ideas but challenging and rewarding to keep progressing.

I am doing a fully custom millworks package (cabinets) for the whole house. Its on order and getting built, should arrive around the end of this month. After the interior paint we will move into the tile jobs inside and the concrete driveway, small retaining wall and flatwork outside.

South Park Sneak Peak

Here’s a sneak peak of the exterior paint job on our Modern Bungalow. You can see the color choices are bold and edgy, playing into our contemporary design twist and coming out just as I planned. I didn’t pull the window trim color all around the house to the corners and smaller areas intentionally to give it a more mod feel, it worked well as there is enough detail already in the siding design without the extra coloring. For me the stained eaves and dark rafter tails really do it. Paint colors are all satin and as follows: Body SW Wheat Grass, Shingles SW Edgy Gold, Trim SW Ionic Ivory, Rafters and tails Cromwell Grey, Eaves Behr semi-transparent Natural Cedartone. Next, we are moving inside to the interior paint and tile.

Ready For Paint

My South Park Modern Bungalow new build is finally ready for paint, take one last look because the next time you see her she’ll have 3 shades of green, grey rafter tails and cedar stained eaves. It took me and a helper just over 3 weeks to do all the siding, knee braces and corbels but it was worth it.

The Hardi staggered shingle is very labor intensive but it paid off. It gives some great depth and adds texture while defining the pop out shed dormer too. You can see I separated the siding styles with a Hardi Trim 1×8.

We kept the corbels very simple to match the knee braces. I used Douglas Fir 4×8 and had it re-sawn at my local lumber yard. They will get a cedar stain to match the tongue and groove eaves and porch posts and beam. I’m really liking the big overhang look and all the open rafter tails, cant wait to see them individually painted.

I left the roof off the porch until after paint so I didn’t mess it up by walking on it. It’s going to be a Bronze standing seam metal roof that will be close in color to my aluminum windows. The reveal for the 3 small bathroom fixed windows was quite challenging to pull off but it looks very organic. You’ll notice the angle changes from the top as you go down. We used aluminum corners made especially for the Hardi staggered shingle to hide the edge seams and protect it from moisture.

Here are the 4 colors we picked for the house, The body is 2 shades of green, Edgy Gold and Wheat Grass by Sherwin Williams. The trim is a very light green that almost looks white, its Ionic Ivory. The rafter tails, barge rafters and knee braces will be Benjamin Moore Cromwell Grey. All the tongue and groove eaves, corbels and porch post and beam will get that cedar stain.  This is the first time we’ve stained the eaves on top of painted rafter tails so I’m pretty excited to see the results.

Wet Paint

It was time to give the exterior of our MCM project some love this week to catch it up to the inside. We spent a day prepping the wood trim and then I sprayed it with primer and finally 2 shades of grey paint. Most of the house is stucco except for the t&g eaves and wood trim around the front windows and garage, its nice to see all of the old colors go away. I wanted to paint everything first before the stucco color coat so there would be no possibility of over spraying it and minimize taping stuff off. This house was in really good shape and with all the wood we replaced it really was a breeze to prep for paint.

The stucco guys came on Friday right behind us and color coated the whole house. I decided against the white stucco and want to stay with modern shades of grey so I picked Cloud Grey stucco color. After it dried, it ended up being a little too close to the rest of my trim colors so I think next week we’ll go back with a darker grey to accent the beams and rafter tails which will give me more dimension. Since we are painting ourselves its really no big deal to make changes on the fly, its sometimes really hard to get it right without putting colors up to see how they look together. I had big plans on getting the kitchen put together now then jumping outside and doing the fence while we waited for our countertops to get fabricated, but Ikea is having a 20% off sale that starts Friday so I’ll be saving $1,000 by waiting until Friday morning to buy the cabinets. It looks like now we’ll stay outside all week and do the fence, weather permitting. The garage door gets installed Tuesday and we’ll probably put the front door on right after that too, to get the full new frosted affect. My electrician is also coming back this week to put in all the fixtures and trim everything out. A little change in the order of doing things but as long as we keep busy knocking out big stuff we’ll get there soon.

Victorian House Colors

Of course its not done yet but we’re 90% there on our Victorian paint job and its really looking good. The steps and front porch will be green and all the windows are still missing the plum color but if you look closely you can see we put it up on one of the porch windows to get a visual. I still have to figure out which color I’ll bring down to the front door, the decorative brackets as well as the two-toned porch railing I’m still going to make. The last 2 remaining big aluminum windows on the front of the house are also getting changed out this week which will complete the package. I’ve got a guy hand making 2 custom big wood frame plate glass windows with mullions on the top. I honestly thought this color scheme might be too crazy but once it went up it didn’t look that loud at all. They are all rich tones and together work perfectly. The missing plum on the windows is really going to give it the finishing accent it needs. I love the way the sunburst, scalloped shingles and gingerbread all contrast on the green body and trim colors and the light blue front porch ceiling looks great with the greens as well. All the little details I fixed are really standing out now. Here are the 6 colors I used, all from Sherwin Williams Victorian House palette:

1. Body: Renwick Olive SW2815

2. Trim: Rookwood Dark Green SW2816

3. Accent 1 (gable shingles, front door) Rookwood Amber SW2817

4. Accent 2 (sunburst, brackets, porch, rosettes, porch detail) Rookwood Terra Cotta SW 2803

5. Accent 3 (windows) Rookwood dark Red SW 2801

6. Accent 3 (porch ceiling) Bluebird

EDIT 11/2011 If you want to see how the finished house looks here’s a link     http://tomtarrant.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/painted-lady1-1024×751.jpg

I bought the floors this week as well, they will be delivered Thursday and we’ll start installing them. I’m doing something different this time and mixing it up. I went with a more modern 5″ wide hand-scraped and distressed hardwood, kinda Jeff Lewis style from Flipping Out, and on my wall color I’m going to keep it white and clean, just softened up enough to make the white trim contrast. With the smooth hand troweled wall texture its going to look really modern and high end. I think that with the size of the rooms and the abundance of light coming in that these floors are going to be killer even though normally they are reserved for Tuscan or Old World interior designs. Your typical Red Oak flooring with the expansiveness of the space just wouldn’t have given me what I’m looking for.  And, at $2.60 / s.f. its more budget friendly compared to unfinished Red Oak at $1.99 plus another $2.00 to finish it. After all, the name of the game is to keep the exterior historic but have the inside modern and up to date. What do you guys think of the colors?

Paint on the Lady

The painters I hired for The Lady turned out to be a little in over their heads. Throughout the week I found myself initially letting some poor prep slide, then finally by the end of the week I was actually showing them how I wanted things done and had my hourly helper doing their work. Since we had agreed on a contract price and not hourly, I told them it just wasn’t working out and I wanted to break up. The straw that broke the camels back is when I had my guy re-sand a whole wall because they didn’t prep it good enough and then before we could even put some primer on it, they sprayed color right over the raw wood. I feel much better now after letting them go, me and my guy will probably just finish it off ourselves. The paint job is real important on this house and as you know its all in the prep, but even though I had not planned nor budgeted for the caliber of work we’ve done in the past, it still needed to be better than what I was getting.  This is the first sub contractor who hasn’t worked out so I’ve been really lucky getting back here to San Diego and having to build a new team and at least the error is on something I can fix. I am super excited with my colors, the first one we put up after primer is the dark green on the big eaves. Victorian color schemes are known for dark eaves and trim and lighter body colors. The pictures are large format again so make sure and click on them if you want to zoom in: )

The second color we sprayed was on the gable shingles. This accent color will also be carried down to a few other spots later. Notice the ornamental rosette discs I found online to replace what must have been there originally. When we pulled the siding off last month I noticed these circle marks and figured out what had been there years ago. These little details are going to pop after all the colors are up. I’ve got one more period detail big surprise with the front porch handrail, the house is looking really good now but only half way to the impact I’ve got planned!

The drywall crew is doing a great job and should be finished in a few more days. The hand troweled smooth texture is coming out perfect so that’s my good news for the week. Here are a few pics before the texturing went on, the huge tray ceilings are really dramatic. I also went with the new style “mini-bullnose” for the corners, its smaller than your typical rounded corner but very sharp and clean and usually reserved for high end custom homes. My plan is to keep pushing on the exterior so we can get all the colors up before coming back inside to do window trim, interior paint and flooring. We had a good home sale a few blocks over, its another historic 2 story rehab, 500 square feet smaller and only a 2 bedroom went pending after only 5 days on the market for $425k. We’ll have to see what it closes for but I’m sure they didn’t take too much less with that short market time.

Drywall and Exterior Prep

After having 6-7 drywall contractors bid the Painted Lady I finally pulled the trigger. With the lack of new housing starts in this town a lot of the high volume big specialty crews are not around anymore. Of course there are drywall “companies” here but they all charge more than I want to pay. Any handyman can hang your drywall so it can be tricky to get a good price yet also get a good job, its one of the most important things to get right in order to have a nice finished product.  We always say you can only get 2 out of 3;  fast, good and cheap. It might get done fast and be cheap but it wont be good. It might be good and cheap but it wont be fast. Lastly, it might get done fast and good but it certainly wont be cheap!

In searching for drywall sub contractors I relied on referrals primarily. In our business we always break costs down to price per square foot on anything in order to budget for things. In Texas everyone used a labor price per sheet which was around 11.00. Here in San Diego all the contractors are using price per square foot and quoting .45 to .65 cents for labor which includes hanging, tape an float and texture. Out of all the rehabbers and other investors I spoke to nobody knew how much they were paying but just agreeing on one price.  Things they take into consideration are the ceiling height and any other details that might slow them down. Our house has 11 foot ceilings with trays downstairs and coves upstairs so it adds a lot of time to the job. While a lot of bids came in at .59 cents I ended up getting it finally from a highly recommended guy for .40 cents. Another thing that’s driving my price up is because I am going with a smooth finish texture to replicate the old plaster found in these homes originally. A quick light orange peel spray job would have been way cheaper but I couldn’t do that to this house. At 10,000 s.f. of drywall I’m paying $4k for labor. I’m pretty happy, the hanging crew is done now after 2.5 days with 5 guys and we have the inspection on Monday for screw spacing then Tuesday we can start taping.

On the outside of the house I stayed busy with recreating some more of the missing details that make this house so cool while the painters started prepping. The biggest thing was that the sunburst under the front gable was broken so we had to scale a 32 foot ladder and take it down to copy it. I made a sweet new one and got it back up there in place, its weird to think that the last person who touched this was over 100 years ago and nobody will touch what we did for probably another hundred years. I’m putting in a little extra effort to make sure the front of this house and all its historical little ornaments are intact. We installed the TM Cobb Victorian front door with stained glass window and rebuilt the original transom as well. I also hand made some cool brackets for under the front porch. Since the original ones were missing I used the mini gable facia for inspiration and came up with a heart-Celtic-clover design, they came out cool and are now in place. Its neat when the sun hits the front of this house all these details create shadows on the siding. I also made some fake scalloped shingles for the top of the mini gable that were missing. I cut them out of 1/4 plywood and even put grooves in them to make them look real, another small detail that will pay off. We are getting color on the outside this week, stay tuned to see some Lady paint.

Painted Lady has a New Hat

This is the craziest roof I’ve ever done and it didn’t help that my roofer only saw it necessary to bring one helper. The pitch is a very steep 12′ on 10′ so it makes walking on it humanly impossible. Not to mention that there were 3 layers including the original wood cedar shake shingle that needed to be removed before we could even install the new roof decking made this an all consuming  job. It was slow going all week due to the steep pitch, they even had to hand carry the individual shingles up the 32′ ladder as we couldn’t load the bundles anywhere on the roof. It’s always good to pick your roof color to go with what exterior paint colors you’ve got planned, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen rehabbers make this crucial mistake, like a brown roof with a green house. I usually use the Owens Corning 30-Year Estate Grey but this time I went with something new its the Lifetime GAF shingle in the color called Slate. It’s mostly grey but with a hint of blueish green to make it look like slate on an old house. I think its going to tie in nicely with my paint color scheme. The roof on this house is real important to get right because its so visible. I took this opportunity to remake the historic scalloped decorative facia board also on the mini front gable and it came out sweet.

I also picked up my new wood historic style double-hung sashed windows by TM Cobb this week. These windows are so cool I wish I could replace all of them but the budget just doesn’t permit it. I’m putting in 8 new ones that are either unsavable or someone had already replaced with aluminum and refurbishing the rest of the original windows per the historic board guidelines. I cant put them in until I pass framing inspection. The electrician finished up this week so I’m now finally ready to call for rough-in inspections on framing, electrical, plumbing and hvac all at once. I think I’ve got 7 killer historic colors nailed down for the exterior, they are from the Sherman Williams Victorian House color collection. If the Historic Board approves it, I’ll be using a lighter green body, dark green trim, burnt orange accent on the sunburst, plum windows, medium orange for some accents, and light blue for the porch ceiling. There will also be a grey wood front porch to keep it period correct. These are some heavy colors but I think the Lady will hold them well as long as I use the accents sparingly and in the right places.

Exterior Painting Complete

It was a humid sweltering week with temps near 100 and a heat index closer to 110 but we finally got the outside finished. I know it probably seems like it took a long time to paint this house, in fact it did. This was the most intensive exterior coloring I’ve ever done but after all the work I have to say it was worth it. Out of the 7 colors we only got to spray 3 with the airless so the rest was all brush work. There are so many details on the house and with each individual rafter tail getting painted as well as the 1×4 trim in between them a different color and with everything getting 2 coats you can image how much cutting in we did this week. The dark green rafter tails against the cream eaves is really neat and adds a lot of dimension. Thanks to Morgan Penix at DeWitt Architects, she came through for us again with this great color scheme. This week I was also able to get all the miscellaneous trim done that I never finished. I made vents, access doors for the crawl space and finished the skirt siding around the room addition. The rear porch still didn’t have its decking so I laid down some original style long leaf pine to match whats up front, I’m really happy with the way this back covered porch came out, another great historic style detail in our design. The icing on the cake had to be hanging the original window screens Saturday, they made such an impact.  I won’t stretch the frames with mesh as my new dual pane windows come with screens, they are only there for the cosmetic appeal and historic correctness plus they cover the modern energy efficient windows that lurk beneath. I was excited this house still had the screens in place, on the last 2 projects I actually had to hand make frames to get the historic look I needed. I think that everyone visiting our house flipping blog will see that we aren’t doing your average rehabs here, there’s a lot of intensive labor that goes into saving one of these historic homes, especially in the condition that we find them. It’s our mission to do these projects correctly and thoughtfully so these great old homes will serve the needs of todays buyers and be around another 100 years.

Ultimate Craftsman 7-Color Paint Job

After all that hard work prepping the house we finally started putting some colors up this week. It’s really an honor to get to spray it after all those hours of sanding. We squeezed 117  tubes of Alex Plus 35-year caulk into every crack known to man, my finger tip might never recover. And of course I had paint samples visible, so the unsolicited comments from neighbors started flying.  It’s amazing how people aren’t shy to tell you they don’t like something.  On a previous house we did, my wife and I had about 10 samples up on the front trying to decide what looked good. This was back in the day before we used a professional to guide us. Upon arriving the next morning I found that all the neighbors had “voted” in chalk on the sidewalk. What the heck, I mean they are the ones who’ll have to live with it after I’m long gone but mind your own business people! I learned long ago when house flipping don’t piss off the neighbors so I try and bite my tongue now. You can see here we’ve got 5 of the 7 colors up already. I know it sounds like a lot of colors but really its only various shades of brown and green. These historic homes can handle a lot of color easily as well but most homeowners would be frightened by the thought of using that many. I think when you see the finished product you wont even realize there’s 7 colors. The last color is going to be the most dramatic so I’ll show you guys as soon as it’s done. It’s going on the knee braces, barge rafters and each individual rafter tail will also be hand painted. A lot of work but it’s going to be crazy when it’s done. I also have the original 1923 window screens that I’ll be painting and hanging back over my new windows, this always gives such a killer detail in the color blocking. In the pic here the columns and porch railings are still in primer. The ceiling for the porches on historic homes are always painted light blue. This keeps wasps from building nests and it really works!

I’ve switched helpers now, my last guy who helped with all the prep started to look  like he was going to pass out. After going home last week at lunch from being too tired I decided it was time for the second shift. My new guy is super pro, he’s been painting for 30 years and I’ve used him before.  After we are done with the outside this week we’ll roll straight inside and start catching the interior up. I’m still trying to pick granite and tile colors but for sure I’ll be going white shaker style on the cabinets.

Priming The CA Pump

The hard part of this paint job is done. After 9.5 days of grinding and sanding we broke out the sprayer and put up 35 gallons of Kilz2 latex primer in a matter of hours. For a historical paint job on 117 siding I always get the house to primer first so any cracks and holes become visible and then start caulking and dialing it in getting ready for the colors. I estimate about 4-5 days of caulking now and then we’ll be ready for the 7 color paint job.  Every piece of siding will get caulked so there’s no seams and the tiny holes from the trim nailer all get filled as well. A paint job like this goes against any typical house flip theory but then again we aren’t doing your average flips either. This paint job will pay off. 

While the paint job is a huge undertaking for only 2 guys, myself and a hired gun, I’ve also been busy on the home front with more important issues. We’ve been spending alot of time getting our personal house ready to put on the market and after finally getting all the odds and ends completed we put it in MLS last weekend and it sold for full price in 3 days!  My wife and I have decided that its time to take our real estate investing show on the road and head home to sunny San Diego, Americas Finest City, and the first step we determined is to sell our primary residence. This way we can get into a rental house and be able to leave at the end of any rehab. We came to San Antonio in October 2006 after the real estate market crashed in California. I had done alot of research at the time and we picked SA due to the growth rate, affordability and strong local economy. Our guess worked out great, we’ve had tons of success here but now its time to take on a new challenge, we’ll be returning to ground zero for the real estate bubble. Remember, the markets that crashed first will be the first to recover. SD has now seen 11 straight months of price appreciation. California unlike Texas has wild swings in home prices, the largest transfer of wealth in our lifetime is taking place right now and we want to get in at the bottom again.  We’ll miss San Antone as there have been alot of fond memories created here, namely the birth of our beautiful baby boy! Thank you Texas!

All Paint jobs Are Not Created Equal

 

90 man hours and $400 bucks in sandpaper and we haven’t even started shooting the primer or caulking yet. A good paint job is all in the prep, as you can see here we’ve been giving this grand old lady some love this week. You cant just paint over 90 years of multiple peeling paint jobs on one of these historic houses and a scraper wont faze it. I’ve seen people pay $18-20k for a paint job like this, stay tuned we’ve got 7 great colors going up playing off the colors in the original stained glass windows still present. Oddly enough after first picking the colors we found that our trim choice was exactly the same as what was underneath all those layers of paint. I guess the builder had the same idea about matching the windows.

Still Painting and San Antonio Ranks #1 Strongest Metro Economy

Even though we were plagued with more rainout days this week, I still managed to get the exterior paint 95% complete. This is probably the most labor-intensive paint job I’ve done as it’s 6 colors and it entailed a lot of detail brushwork on the trims. So far I’ve put up over 60 gallons on the exterior! Keep in mind there’s a big 2-story guesthouse in the rear and I also sprayed 2 coats of everything including primer. As you read in my last post, I picked up a guy from Lowe’s parking lot to help me paint so it’s gone really fast. This guy is actually a great painter, he was making fun of me for using economy brushes so I broke down and bought a Purdy brush, man this thing practically paints by itself. Well worth the $14 bucks.

Front

Because I was so happy with my historic craftsman style replica window screens on the last project, Hat Trick House, I decided to make them again for this house. I changed the design a bit so they wouldn’t look exactly the same, especially since the other house is right next door. I designed the center mullion placement to minimize the visability of the white vinyl and this new design came out great. I won’t stretch them with screen, although the future owner can if desired. My new double pane windows have screens already so these frames are basically just a cosmetic design feature that also plays an important part in the color blocking of our paint job. The historic replica screen hangers are also still available from Stanley. This extra little finishing touch really gives the house the historic look that I need for our neighborhood.

Front

There was a new BusinessWeek article this week that ranked San Antonio #1 for the top National economy. The measurements used were job growth, economic growth, employment and home prices. Texas seems to be the clear winner with San Antonio in the lead and five other metros in the top 10. While we are still seeing signs of the recession here and I’m always quick to say we are late to the party, this study shows that we are still fairing extremely well compared to the rest of the country. We’ve seen the housing market here drastically slow down in the last 2 years, but homes are still selling and people are still moving here everyday from other states so we have to be thankful that when coming from California, we picked a winner with San Antonio.

In Living Color

Things finally started to dry out after all the rain we had, so I got the texture crew in last weekend and as luck would have it, pouring rain again all day. Geesh. It took 3 days for the texture to dry with 90% humidity. It finally dried and looks incredible so I proceeded with spraying a good primer coat and ceiling paint throughout. I was at Lowe’s buying the exterior primer and met this guy in the parking lot asking for work, I’ve had him helping me everyday to speed things up and he’s actually turning out to be a great helper. We spent 4 days just caulking, scraping and filling holes on the house in preparation for the paint job. The weather cooperated at weeks end so we made a huge impact with spraying the entire house in a day. We got 2 coats on the soffits and body of the house, accounting for 2 of the 6 colors planned. I still have all the time consuming trim brushwork to do, which is really going to be the important part of this color scheme. Our façade designer for this project Morgan Penix at DeWitt Architects really picked some unique colors, which I initially had a hard time grasping, but now I’m finally starting to see her vision and am loving how it’s looking. The dark rich columns with rust accents will make a bold statement against the soothing earth tones on the body of the house, all done in historically correct flavor.

Exterior

Arch

The 9th Annual Mahncke Park Home Tour was today so my wife and I had the chance to mingle with some neighbors and enjoy a diverse mix of 6 inspirational and eclectic residences. We saw some great gardens, tons of personality and very cool historic craftsman bungalows. Adorned with unique features, incorporated artwork, bright colors and highly personalized, these homes offered something we never get to do in our designs with resale in mind. We saw green painted hardwood floors, claw foot tubs, blooming esperanzas, purple staircases, garden borders made from Skyy Vodka bottles and mosaic tile galore. Three of these unique homes belong to artists and included studios, fun workshops and galleries. The tour was a great success and Mahncke Park proved again why it’s THE coolest and most hip place to live in San Antonio for the artistic urbanite.

Flower

Interestingly though all of the homes on the tour this year are currently for sale where in past years it was not allowed for any of the participating homeowners to use the tour to promote the sale of their homes. Is this a sign of the times or what? Seems even in our small niche neighborhood we are not immune to the higher inventory levels and general real estate market slow down that finally caught up with San Antonio last year. At any given time last summer in Mahncke Park there were only 2-3 homes for sale and now there are currently 10 on the market.