Friday, August 9, 2013

the front and what we changed there

When we bought this house almost two years ago, I loved it's simplicity and knew we could make it our own by just tweaking a few things (so I thought).  That was before the snowball effect, which started with something as simple as just wanting to change the garage door opening from the front and center when you drive up off to the side, and making the front door a focal point.  

But of course, unbeknownst to us that led to a lot of other changes on the front of the house.

Since Dave and I are going for more of a contemporary look, we opted to get rid of the turret in the front.  

And we planned to have the master extend more into the front than the side so that it would be more visually appealing when you drive up to it.  Here's the cement freshly laid to get that effect going.

Here's how it looked from the street when they started framing that part:

The framers did this whole front gradually so as not to have the whole house open to anyone who wanted to walk through.  They started with this:

...and this (this is inside that third garage where they would eventually get rid of that wall on the left and it would become half of our living room):
 They were getting ready to lay more cement to make it the same height as the other cement for the living room.

Here it is after they took out that middle wall...opened up to make way for the wall of windows we wanted to put on the front of the living room.

 Side view: 

Garage moved from the front, not cut yet out of the side since we had to move that electrical panel there below:

Looking a little more finished off here:

 The view our neighbors get to see each day:
I know.  Lucky them.

The addition kind of coming together:
Those trusses were a big headache...they didn't come forever and put off progress for a week or two.

View head-on from the front:
 That plywood thing there on the right is going to be a kind of contemporary statement with rock...something to break up the front a little bit modeled to be a mix of this:

and this:
(pictures from Houzz)

Here it is with the trusses added:

Adding the rock structure. 
 At first I wanted it to be narrow like this:
 But it didn't quite look beefy enough.

So we made it die into the roofline:
Much better.

I was out of town when they put in the windows.  Dave sent me these pictures:
  It made me so happy to see what we had worked on for so long come to fruition.  

Some things you get something completely different from what you envisioned.  Some things you get exactly want you want.

This was one of those.  

We love them. 

We want the finished product on that awning to kind of look like this:
Hopefully we can get the materials to make it happen.

Finally they cut out the side garage and finished framing the roof.

There's Dave up there on the roof.  Although we do have a builder, Dave is really the go-to guy.  He is good at this stuff.

They got the garages the wrong height and had to do some fixing up to match them back up.

At this point there were so many contractors over there at once they were practically on top of each other.  We loved getting so much done at once but they weren't too happy about sharing the space.  The front yard looked like this for a couple months with so many people coming and going:
 Trying to roof things up before monsoon season hits:

 What a difference a few months makes.

Ever so gradually (even though it seems that we are working our tails off every single day!) it is coming together.


  1. This is so awesome! I can't wait to see more! Those windows are really amazing and the contemporary vibe is going to be stunning. I love that it is not the typical suburban dwelling and you are really pushing for an exciting/thoughtful design. Keep these posts coming.

  2. THANK YOU for sharing this journey even after people gave you havoc! I'm LOVING reading about this and can't wait to see more finished pics and before/after views of the same spot. I totally want to build a house or do a complete overhaul remodel and I know I'll HATE myself in the process but I swear i'll love the end result. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly...I hope you can find time in your busy life to post about it often...adding this to my feed. Congrats on getting so close to done =)

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  4. This was so fun to read and look at as it progressed! What an amazing house you will have for your family to (continue) growing up in!!!

  5. I love this! Can you post a before picture of the house? Before you started ripping off the outside and what not. I love the idea of overhauling a whole house like that, and love the contemporary style too. Good luck!

  6. You would love my brothers' home - his home and he were featured in dwell. talk about natural light. He owns a poliform company - have you heard of them? AMAZING kitchens, closets, furniture... Italian....modern.