MCM Mechanicals

We are staying pretty much on track at the Mid Century Modern renovation, this week we updated and changed around the mechanicals of the house to fit our new design. After my old plumber didn’t show up, I moved on and hired a new guy which really handled business. To prep the exterior for the new stucco job we also had the house sand blasted. You cant put new stucco over paint. I always find it best to do this before you put your new windows in if possible so you don’t accidentally blast them too! Next up for this week is put the new windows and rear sliders in, patch all the drywall and then we’ll be ready for interior paint and tile. We’ve had several interested buyers already stopping by, just wait until they see the dramatic change that will soon take place!

Real First Week MCM

Real First Week MCM

This was the real first week inside our MCM renovation now that the concrete guys are out of the way. The first thing I did was to get my roofer started, it turned out to be a little larger job than anticipated, 3 layers of tear off instead of what I thought was only 2. I put a GAF lifetime roof on and used a lighter color, Birchwood this time. Its going to go well with my grey tones on the exterior. While the roof was getting done we also finally did the demo inside.

During the week I also did some minor framing changes as previously discussed. An opening between the kitchen and living room was the most dramatic but from a functional standpoint the bathroom changes were probably more important. Both bath doors got enlarged and moved over to accommodate larger vanities and I ended up vaulting the hall bath lid to give a larger feel. The wall between the hall bath and the utility room also got moved over 6 inches to make enough room for the tub with the new door opening location. I also changed all the rotten sub floors in the wet locations. All this is stuff that you’ll never see but its really more important than the nice stuff that covers it up. The electrician and plumber also got started roughing in the new mechanical upgrades, a new 200 amp service and the water heater relocation to the garage to make more room for the kitchen cabinetry.

Primarily, to get the ceilings ready for my new stain I had my sandblasting guy, who normally does exteriors for stucco prep, come and blast the tongue and groove cedar and exposed beams. They came out killer now as you can see. I’m still pretty sure I’m going to go with a transparent green stain but I’ll do a test area and see how it looks. Its so clean now even just a clear coat would be cool but it might look too “rustic mountain cabin” for my taste..

Over in South Park we had the big time survey done by Mike Curren for the site plan. This survey measures your lot by satellites down to the fraction of the inch and he marks the property lines. He also established the benchmark for grade for use on the building plan elevations. This way there is no question when we go to submit plans to the City. After playing with several floorplan options this week it became apparent we have to go 2-story to get the square footage I need as well as a garage. We also got the necessary Soils Report performed this week. I had to have a hole dug 2’x3′ and 4′ deep. Then we hired Soiltesters to come out and do the test. I was worried that because of the canyon location and slope of the lot that we could have had fill in some areas which would cause us to use deeper footings, but as it turns out the fill is only 18″ deep. The soil report will call for the new footing to be at least 12″ into native soils, which are the sandstone that is redish in appearance. You can see in the hole I dug where the soil changes color about 18″ down. This guy looks like a soil tester doesn’t he? We are still working on the floorplan, I’ll share the preliminary version as soon as we get close. Finally we get to build a house for ourselves! Thanks for following!

Mid Century Modern Concrete

Well I wish I had some images of cool flat panel cabinets, modern fixtures, new hardwood floors, glass tile back-splashes and shiny new objects but first things first. Normally, I do the concrete flat work last but since its part of the structural scope of this job I wanted to get it out of the way so when I get inside and start patching I know nothing is going to move.

We removed the entire garage floor, driveway and even part of the City sidewalk due to the Pepper tree roots. Once the floor was out we fixed 6 cracks in the stem wall and then removed 6″ of soil to make room for the new thicker slab. First we laid down plastic sheeting for moisture and then 6″ of clean sand to prevent possible expanding soils to pop up the new floor later. Finally we doweled #4 rebar into the existing house foundation, stem wall and all perimeter concrete flat work securing it with epoxy. It took 25 yards of the best 2500 psi big rock concrete you can buy and 6 finishers but we completed the pour in one day.

The big exterior load bearing beam was also rotten from water damage. Looking around the neighborhood at the same floor plan houses, a lot of homeowners just added a post and cut the long beam off. I wanted to really retain the original look of the house so we rebuilt it as it was originally done. I’m probably the only one on the block that has it back correctly now. This beam was a 4″x12″x26′ and weighed 400 pounds. It only cost 200 bucks and was easy to replace once we broke the stucco and supported the roof with a temporary wall. Windows, exterior doors and garage door are all on special order. The new roof is coming next, believe it or not I haven’t even done demo yet inside, stay tuned we’ll eventually get to the shiny new objects!

Ready for Blast Off!

Ready for Blast Off!

Here’s the house design I came up with for my new Mid-Century Modern project. As you can see I’m breathing some modern life into the great house while leaving the original lines untouched. All these materials I’m adding really play well with the space-age architecture of the 1960’s and should hit a young, hip & sophisticated buyer perfectly.

I love this style house, American culture was obsessed with space travel in the 1960’s and it showed through in a lot of house and furniture design. Some of the interior fixtures like the Sputnik Light I’m considering look like something out of George Jetson’s house. My big change to the facade is the tongue and groove Cedar siding that I’m strategically placing in the center, the stained Cedar warms up the stark white modern stucco and sterile aluminum windows and garage door, while still following the horizontal planes of the original architecture.

I’m going frosted glass on the front door with a little more matching wood on the frame to tie it in. The house numbers and front porch lights will also be brushed aluminum to add a nice finishing modern touch.

I did a walk through video also to show the scope of work. Evidently we’ve started to develop a little bit of a following here in San Diego for our home remodeling, 2 interested parties have already emerged and showed interest in buying this home when its completed. As we get in the home stretch anyone is welcome to come see it before it hits the market. Demo started today on the garage floor and driveway, stay tuned and follow along as we get into some Mid-Century Modern fun for 2012. Happy New Year and We Buy Houses also! Call for a cash Offer (619) 438-0234.

New Mid-Century Modern Project

New Mid-Century Modern Project







Here we go again with another San Diego house flip, I picked up this killer house right in our neighborhood of Bay Park this week. It’s a 1962 4 bedroom, 2 bath 1650 s.f. with attached 2 car garage. It’s literally less than a mile from my house and untouched nor updated, the architecture is perfect for a Mid-Century Modern renovation.

M.C.M. is becoming very popular and you don’t see many people doing them, so its going to be fun as well breaking out from our normal material choices and trying a whole new look for this project. The house is in a great area and on a culdesac, the only negative is that there is a huge private school & play ground right over the rear fence. I’m just going to have to find that buyer who works all day and loves the house so much they look past it.

Some of the ideas I have so far are all new aluminum windows and rear sliders from Milgard, they actually look real modern and I’ll use a mix of casement and awning windows where egress permits. Kinda funny, this will be the first time I actually put aluminum windows in, and don’t take them out. The front door will be frosted glass and the main facade feature will be an Amarr aluminum commercial style garage door with frosted glass panels as well.

Both bathrooms will get fully gutted and have floating vanities. In the all new kitchen I’ll be opening the wall with a peninsula between the living room, for a long bar top and the new sink and dishwasher location.  That back wall where the sink is now, will be a clean wall of sleek euro style cabinets with a gas range in the middle and stainless vent hood, with no visible microwave.

I’m seeing the frosted glass backslash looking killer here as well, as much as I dislike glass accent tile. Besides opening the wall up between the kitchen and living room and taking off a few interior doors, there’s not really any big floor plan changes as I want to also stay in period and these gems have wide open spaces and great flow anyway. I’m thinking an under mount sink, possibly something other than granite for the counters, and bamboo floors throughout the whole house with no carpet.

I’ll probably keep the walls white inside and do another dark warm color on the beams, really similar to how it currently looks. Outside I’m thinking of sophisticated shades of gray with a light body color. I’m doing all of this on a pretty tight budget so I cant get too crazy. The kitchen will be flipped from my usual style, with warm wood cabinets and light counter tops.

The architecture of mid-century modern is marked by discipline. The house has such killer style, I’ll play off the original architectural theme of continuous planes of materials and keep everything clean and minimalist. The wide open spaces, big overhangs, exposed beams and tongue and groove ceilings are really going to look neat once its got all new cosmetics. The driveway and garage floor have severe cracks from the nearby Pepper tree so I’ll have to cut it down and re-pour the entire garage floor and part of the driveway and it’s also time for a new roof as well.

Call us if you want to sell your San Diego house. Escrow closes before New Years so stay tuned for some fun Mid-Century Modern fun!