our English Tudor remodel: getting all decked out


I believe our contractor was hoping to have the deck completed by now, but once they started working on “refreshing” the framing after pulling off all of those warped Redwood boards they found quite a mess.  That seems to be a common theme with this remodel!  Older houses are always full of surprises and unexpected challenges.

So, last week was spent reinforcing the deck and doing whatever it is that contractors do to make it square and level.  Many of the joists were “floating” and not even attached to the side of the house.  And, extra joists were added to support the Trexx decking which requires support every 12 inches I’m told.  We are super excited about the Trexx!  We could’ve gone with Redwood again, but as we have experienced firsthand, that is not always a great choice.  Especially for busy families.  Previous owners had installed the deck and it was obvious when we purchased the house a few years ago that the deck had not been maintained.  I get it.  You have to reseal a Redwood deck fairly often and with a busy family life that sort of thing can be put on the back burner and easily forgotten.  And, out here with our extreme high desert temps (colder winters and boiling hot and dry summers), wood just doesn’t fare well.  In the end, I think the Trexx will be the better choice despite the extra initial cost.  If you consider the cost of building and maintaining a wooden deck versus a Trexx, I think its a wash and really about an even cost in the long run.  Our Sprouts, of course, don’t really care about all of that.  They’re just excited that they will be able to  walk barefoot on the new deck and not get splinters!

our English Tudor remodel: the backside


With the exception of new photos, there isn’t much to share regarding the progress being made with the stucco.  Its been a long road for the crew, but they are almost done!  Yesterday, the owner of the stucco company dropped by to check on the progress being made and she good naturedly informed me that our project had been quite a nightmare.  We had a good laugh over that one and I had to agree.  In comparison to new construction, remodeling an older house is always an adventure.  Walls are never square and, in addition, are often warped as ours were.  Well, at least this “nightmare” is almost over for everyone involved.   All in all, we are pleased with the improved aesthetic as it seems to fit better into our high desert region while still honoring the original architectural intent.  The final phase of the remodel begins tomorrow as the deck gets some much needed additional support and a Trexx facelift!


our English Tudor remodel: it keeps getting better!


The crew finished the stucco on the front facade yesterday and I have to say that we are more than pleased!  Once the major work is done, we’ll be going back and painting the fence and figuring out how to clean up the brick.  There really isn’t more to say than that, so I’ll leave you with the latest photos.  They’ll finish the sides of the house today and hopefully a good portion of the mammoth backside as well.



our English Tudor remodel: stucco part II


We were delighted the evening before the Fourth to see a pallet full of the stucco color component delivered to our little construction area.  And, yesterday was the day!  The crew braved our current heat wave and started applying the more exciting stucco layer….color!

You might be surprised that not a lot of time or even effort went into selecting these exterior hues.  The first consideration was definitely not “what color do we want our house to be?”  Continue reading

while waiting


While we are waiting for the gray stucco to “cure”, I decided it might be a good idea to finish a little project I started back in April!  Life just happened, as it does, and my painting project stalled.  How did it get to be July anyways?

We’ve had this little vintage “telephone cabinet” for over a decade.  Back in the day, a rotary phone would be placed on top and the phone book, etc. placed on the open shelf.  The drawers were for miscellaneous doo-dads I suppose.  This piece has been a sheet music cabinet for us, an awkward bedside table, and most recently has sat in our entryway.  As most folks know, its just nice to have a surface in the entryway so there is a place for packages, a guest’s purse, etc.  Or flowers are always nice too. Continue reading

our English Tudor remodel: waiting


The stucco crew finished applying the initial gray layer yesterday and now all we are doing is waiting.  Waiting for the gray to “cure”. It should take about a week, maybe less, so stay tuned for our next and even more exciting stage…color!   In the meantime, we’ll be addressing more minor projects…..

our English Tudor remodel: stucco part 1


When we arrived home from our trip earlier this week, it was a kick to see the house partially covered in styrofoam and “chicken wire” as well as the initial gray stucco layer. Besides eliminating the house’s perforated state (as I mentioned before, it had lots of holes!), the main design idea behind the remodel is to eliminate the older traditional Tudor aesthetic and replace it with a more contemporary look that still hints at the Tudor style.  One way we are hopefully accomplishing this is through stucco bumpouts with a “cottage” look that will frame the windows as well as with the larger bumpouts that will run horizontally along the exterior walls.  There won’t be any vertical bumpouts since those just come across as too traditional. Continue reading