Rumor has it…

Rumor has it we may be able to start moving forward again with construction soon.  Sorry for the slow posts lately as I am really waiting for construction to kick in again and then there will be regular postings with lots of photos.  In the mean time, I thought I would work on some interior renders to give a better sense of the interior spaces.  Look for those soon.

*I thought I would throw in a few posters at the end…just some good, inspirational stuff, off-topic…but I think they’re cool.

Holstee Manifesto Poster

PUP I Have an Idea Poster



The second prominent material on the exterior following the fiber cement is cor-ten steel.  Cor-ten steel is a weathering steel which has, in recent years, become part of progressive architecture’s material palette.

Cor-ten steel was developed to eliminate the need for finishing or painting.  The material develops a thin outer layer of rust upon interaction with the elements which, in turn, protects the remainder of the material from erosion.  This is what is so great about the material.  Over the first few years, you get to actually witness the process of rusting occur.  You see the material develop this outer layer of protection, which becomes a beautiful rust color.

The use of cor-ten as a cladding material has become popular in recent years, with many prominent projects using it as well as a number of residential projects.  Here are a few just to give you a sense of its finished appearance.

Delta Shelter, Olson Kundig Architects

School of Art, University of Iowa, Steven Holl

Here is an image before and after the rusting process  from the Parish Church of Santa Monica by Vicens & Ramos:

Parish Church of Santa Monica, before

Parish Church of Santa Monica, after

You may also be familiar with cor-ten through the work of Richard Serra:

Richard Serra

Olympic Sculpture Park, Richard Serra

In the design, there are primarily two zones which will be clad in the cor-ten.  Two sections on the west wall and the dining box on the east side of the house.  Both allow you to experience the material up close, from the patio out back, on the west balcony, and at the entry on the northwest.  As you enter the front of the house, you will move past the polycarbonate on your right and the fiber cement on the left and the cor-ten surrounds the entry door.  You experience virtually all cladding materials in that small sequence, in a good way.


Recently, we gained access to some free pavers…and couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  So, we’ve decided to start to conceptualize on what the back patio and landscape might begin to look like.  Here is the area we are talking about:

The pavers are a nice gray color and are 5.75″ x 11.75″.  They should make for a really nice patio surface and make for a nice floor transition from interior to exterior.

I don’t yet have any drawings of the specifics of the landscape but we will in the future. We are, however, imagining a rectangular firepit with some built in seating as part of the patio.

Further, we will be doing a full out landscape plan for the entire property which will include various native plantings and a series of raised garden beds.  We have enlisted the help of local landscape architect Karen Hartlep to help us with this process…though we have a ways to go before we are ready to do any plantings.


The largest portion of the exterior is clad in fiber cement.

We are using a 12″ lap siding by CertainTeed but using it in a slightly unconventional manner.

We are planning to run the lap boards vertically as opposed to the traditional horizontal manner.  Further, the joints will not be lapped but will be open with a very small reveal between each of the boards.

The complete system is designed in the fashion of a vented rainscreen.  Essentially what this means is there is a small gap between the exterior siding material and the sheathing behind.  This gaps serves a couple functions but the key function is the ability for water to move through this opening.  In a traditional siding application, the material is fastened directly to the sheathing, with no gap.  If water reaches this point, it has no where to go and simply sits on the surface.  While there is a weather barrier in place, you can still imagine that this is not good for the system.  In a rainscreen application, the water has a way out.  It no longer sits on the surface, but is allowed to move down the length of the wall and out the base.  The rainscreen increases the life of both the exterior cladding and its subsurface.

To achieve this small gap, we are running furring strips a 12″ on center at each joint of the vertical fiber cement boards.  We are using a metal product called Furring Master. These are 22 gauge galvanized steel which ensures they will not warp or degrade over time.  Further, they are designed with an almost u-shaped profile, creating a hollow channel, allowing for water to escape in the rare event that it would actually get behind the furring strip itself.

Again, thanks to the folks at Postgreen for all the great posts details much of the process they went through.  While I have been familiar with rainscreen systems for some time, they have used the Furring Master product in the past with great results.  Here is an image of their Skinny Project with the furring strips installed: