It's time for Part 2 of the Bob Project. (Click here to see Part 1) As you may remember, my friend Bob is building a classic, modern home inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. At this stage, the brickwork is now complete. A razor cut brick was chosen which is smooth and clean, most in line with the home's aesthetic.
The ceiling beneath the eaves is an exterior dry wall - a Temple Inland Green Glass product, fiberglass faced, that like the brick, offers a smooth, finished look. Bob's architect, Ute Banse, chose a cast stone for the sills and finishing of some of the brickwork. It's not as weighty looking as a slab of cement as it simulates natural cut stone and can be molded into any cut you wish.
Instead of just placing cement down for the porch floor and walkway, they added a complementary dye to the cement and a mix of pebbles. When it's first applied, you can't see the pebbles through the cement and as Bob said, "You feel like you just got ripped off." But...patience is a virtue as the next day, after they power washed the cement, the pebbles shined through, revealing its texture and personality.
One cost cutting measure was to ditch the idea of a full cemented driveway in exchange for just two treads. With a patch of pretty green grass added, this made the normally gray and mundane, much more interesting.
Bob's galvanized steel railings are now installed on the back porch. What I love is that Bob, his contractor and designer came up with the idea of varying the size of the odd numbered steel poles. This made the look less symmetrical and ultimately, more aesthetically pleasing.
All of the interior drywall is now up along with the hardwood flooring. When I visited the site last, the cabinets had just been installed. Bob suggested treating your kitchen island like a piece of furniture- so be free to give it a different color and look than the actual kitchen cabinets. He also suggests being at the home when they ask you to approve the plans for the cabinetry so you can physically double check all the measurements- just one mistake can be costly and very aggravating.
The street is higher than Bob's home so the landscape architect suggested creating a retaining wall out of stone that could allow for a garden and soften the transition from the street to the house. The front yard faces west so will get a ton of sun in the hot southern summer so native, low maintenance, heat tolerant plants were a must.
One cool tip from Bob entails wood chips. His back lot is large and after clearing out some of the land, they realized there was quite a bit of exposed clay. If you call your local landscaper/arborist in the neighborhood- the ones that use a woodchipper, they will often drop off their chips at your house for free, as it costs them money to dump them on their own, (this is often true for mulch and compost as well.) Bob ended up with a ton of pretty red oak wood chips at no cost.
The next phase will include the interior painting, plumbing and electrical. Stay tuned for Part 3 and thanks again for the helpful tips Bob.
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach