Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shiny Things

I'm back with a new update. We've continued to work on the house. Every weekend. Continuously.

Our house is going to be part of a Bay Area "Green House" tour on October 4th. The tour is a joint project with Build It Green and KTVU (a local TV station). Here's a link to the project page on the tour website. Our house is in the process (being powered by Libby's sheer force of will) of becoming "green point rated" with Build It Green. We didn't set out to achieve that "gold star" on this project - mainly we just wanted to do things "right" wherever we could. In the end, it looks like we will probably be eligible for about 130 "green points" which is really quite excellent. Many of the other projects are in the 50-80 point range, while only a couple have achieved more.

What this means is that we'll likely have a few hundred complete strangers (with tickets to control the crowds, thankfully) wandering through our place in a few weeks. It's only one day, luckily.

Because of that, however, we are scrambling to finish many, many projects - at least as far as we can get. The big one is actually the front landscaping - we gave Keith our landscaper the go-ahead yesterday to start the major construction, but it's going to be a close shave on that one.

In other news, we finally got our glass shower surround installed yesterday, as well as the mirrors in the master bath and a few full-length custom ones on the exercise room door and the hall bath downstairs.

Here's the master vanity, all shiny-shiny. The plant is compliments of Ana & Libby. It's nice to have an actual mirror now.

The shower surround looks great too (ignoring the duct tape holding the seams together while the Silicone cures):

All we need are some towel bars and toilet paper holder and I think this room could be called "done". We've been searching high and low (DWR anyone?) for the right towel bars, but we haven't found the perfect ones yet, so we continue to live with a $5 drying rack for now. As usual, I'm getting awfully tempted to make them myself...

Last weekend (all of it) was spent framing the landing at the mudroom/side door. It's not a normal landing, naturally. It turns out that during the foundation work, a huge cavity was created at the door - it's about 2'x2'x7' - which seems like an ideal place to store garden hoses, carwash supplies, buckets, and/or Jimmy Hoffa. So instead of just filling it in with concrete (the original plan), I decided that what it needed was a deck lid that would hinge upward. Well, it sounds simple enough, but it's turned out to be quite a project.

I've been going back and forth between CAD and framing to get it all to work out. Here's the "plan":



and here's how far I've gotten so far:

You can see the storage area below:

So, in my spare time the other night, I installed some hacked firmware (called CHDK) onto my Canon SD500 digicam. It provides a ton of extra functionality like RAW picture formats, and complete control over shutter and aperture - enabling really long exposure times.

So, I took it out for a test drive and got some pretty nice shots of the house - mostly as an experiment:

and some more:

These were taken with between 8 and 15 second exposures - pretty fun. I'll have to make some adjustments and take some more at some point.

Also, as one other amusement, I also put together something of a crude time-lapse of the project as seen from one vantage point in the front yard.

Here's the link to the Picasa web-album page:

From Pope St Time Lapse

I've tried to embed it here directly, but Blogger will only take 100Meg files and this one is ~150Megs.


Blogger Alexandria said...

We were in Oslo this past weekend, and there were so many beautiful modern houses up on the hillsides. Your house would have fit right in!

September 2, 2009 1:11 AM  
Blogger Libby Raab said...

You have been busy Bruce...looks great! Love the plant in the bathroom :)

September 3, 2009 4:08 PM  

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