Anne and Gary's
Mid-Century Modern Home

Archive for the 'Construction Issues' Category

Kitchen and bath update.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Kitchen Sink

The rennovation is coming right along;  we are so excited!

As you can see in this picture of the kitchen, the cabinet boxes are in.    You can also see the edges of the new laminate countertops.

Also notice the new can lights in the ceiling.    We are really excited about those.    The lighting in the old kitchen was always a problem.

This picture is of the vanity in the new master bathroom.    No drawers and cabinet doors yet, but it’s looking good.

This final picture is of one of the two new built-in closets in the new master bath.    We are particularly excited about those.

That's it for now.

Stay tuned for future updates.

The kitchen installation begins.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Kitchen from hall picture

As you can see, the installation of the kitchen has begun.

This picture was taken from the hall.    The big box structure to the right is the new enclosure the refrigerator will go into.

The basic structure of the cabinets are in place.

We will have more pictures to share with you soon.

A new home for the refrigerator.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Sheetrock Progress Report

In the previous post we showed a picture shot from the hall of the framed box the refrigerator would be moved to.    This is is a picture of that box from inside the kitchen.

The refrigerator was in the space now occupied by the cabinets with the green drawers.    It will now go in the built in space you see here.

As you can see, there will be a cupboard above the refrigerator. Since Gary is six foot three, he will be the one taking stuff up and down from there.

Where the new stove will be.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

stove wall

This is the wall where the stove will go.   The stove will slide in between the two cabinets.

You saw the cabinet to the right in the previous picture that showed where the refrigerator would go.   As you can see, the refrigerator will go the directly to the right of these cabinets.

The space were the refrigerator used to be will now be cabinets and counter space.    it will be wonderful to have counter space between the range and the refrigerator.

It will be very handy having the refrigerator directly to the right of the cooking area.

The kitchen sink.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Kitchen Sink

Not much to say about this one.    This is where the new kitchen sink will go, which is exactly where it was before.

Progress Report: The Shower Tile is Laid.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

The Shower Tile is Laid
Here is a quick update of the installation of the new shower in the remodeled master bath.

John Mueller, our remodeling contractor and an artist, has been working away on the project.

The picture on to the left shows the new tile that is now completely laid.    The grout still needs to be applied, which John will do next.

That's it for for now.

We’ll keep you informed as things develop.

Progress Report: The Sheetrock is Up

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Sheetrock Progress Report

We figured it was time to give you a quick update on the progress of our midcentury home remodel.

John Mueller, our remodeling contractor and an artist, has been working away on the project.

The picture on the top shows the new doorway into the bathroom from the now enlarged bedroom.

The space beyond that door is where Anne's closet and the stackable washer/dryer will go.    The door to the right is the original one that leads from the bedroom into the hallway.

The bottom picture is of Gary's closet space, the shower, and the enclosed toilet area.

Notice the open space above the toilet area (farthest away).    This is going to be filled with textured glass to allow natural light into the space.

On the far wall you can see part of the window we had built by Versatile Sash.    It is now installed and we love it.

John is preparing the shower for tiling and plans to write about that soon.

Stay tuned.

Guest Blogger, Artist/Contractor John Mueller.

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Place Setting

This week we are delighted to have John Mueller, from John Mueller Construction , as our guest blogger.

John, who is the contractor for our Mid Century home remodel, is pictured on the left.

John is not only a remodeling contractor but an artist as well.    To see his art go to

Here is what John has to say about our projects.

I have been working as a carpenter for 19 years, and I am in the 13th year of operating my own remodeling business in La Grande, Oregon.

La Grande is a small town, and it seems as if there is not a street that I can drive down without spotting a house that I have worked on.

The houses in most neighborhoods have structural and architectural similarities based upon their period of development, so it is usually easy for me to assess the general construction methods and materials of any given house at a glance.

However, I recently began working on a true architectural anomaly tucked away at the dead end of a little street that scales the hill at the west end of town.

The owners, Anne and Gary Olson, contacted me through a mutual friend of my mothers in Portland.   I am glad to have met Anne and Gary.   They are easy to get along with and are very detail oriented and engaged in the project.

I could go on at great length about the journey we have patiently taken together to sift through all of the minutia of the design, function and intent of their vision for the project, but this first contribution of mine to the blog is about an interesting structural situation that I discovered midstream in the master bedroom/bath remodel.

Place Setting

The living room is an open beam construction, with floor to ceiling glazing on the East side (Image One).

Place Setting

The beams penetrate the interior and exterior spaces and are a prominent feature of the architecture and feel of the house (Image Two).

In the area of the master bedroom/ bath remodel, there is a ceiling rather than the open beam design of the living area.

Place Setting

Structurally, it appeared from the exterior that beams had been used to carry the roof load here as well (Beam ends creating the eaves in Image Three).

Based on that, I concluded that the ceiling was a drop ceiling and that moving walls around would be structurally irrelevant.

The Olson's plan did, in fact, involve moving a North to South wall between the bedroom and bathroom and the installation of a pocket door (these create rather large opening spans).

Again, based on my structural conclusions, I thought, no problem!

Then came the surprise.

The decision was made to take down the existing ceiling in the bathroom area.   It was only 3/8 drywall that had suffered damage from a past leak.

When I started the demolition, I was surprised to find that above the drop ceiling joists were 2×12 rafters, not beams.

Place Setting

The beam ends making up the eaves were short pieces scabbed on to the 2x12s. (Image 4).

Place Setting

The problem was that the rafters were spliced mid-span, directly over the wall that was to be moved (image 5).

That was the roof load.

Additionally, when I first looked things over, I could see that the seams and nail lines of the "drop ceiling" were running North to South, which led me to believe that the "drop ceiling" was framed North to South as well.

As it turned out, the framing was East to west and had been furred out with 1×3 in the North to South.   So the framing was spliced mid span over the same wall.

There was the ceiling load.

Fortunately, the laps of the splices for both the roof and ceiling members were quite long, and the planned location of the new wall fell within them.

Place Setting

The major change in my plan involved constructing a substantial 2×10 header for the pocket door opening, (Image Six) sistering the floor joist that carried the load, and having to have all the new framing in place before removing the existing wall.

It all worked out, and I learned some new things about a very unusual house.