It has been a while since my last blog post and I wish I was better about keeping up on it but work and life happen! We have been steaming right through this "Winter" and we are looking forward to an awesome deck season! First deck up....the Reno Spring Home and Garden Show Trex display deck. For this blog I wanted to take the opportunity to express my appreciation for the businesses that have sponsored us for this year's Reno Spring Home and Garden Show March 20th -23rd; TRUCKEE TAHOE LUMBER, CALIFORNIA CASCADE, and TREX DECKING.
Truckee Tahoe Lumber is a family owned and operated business that supplies lumber, building materials, doors, and hardware to the Northern Sierra region. They have been around since 1931, and have recently opened their newest lumber-yard right here in Sparks, Nevada! (www.ttlco.com)
California Cascade has been in business since 1974 and manufactures and distributes premium building materials to retailers throughout the Western United States, including Truckee Tahoe Lumber. (www.californiacascade.com)
One of the many products that Truckee Tahoe Lumber carries is Trex decking. Since 1996 Trex has invented and perfected composite decking; they are the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking products and it is made right down the road in Fernley, Nevada! (www.trex.com)
We, at A HOME TO ENVY sincerely thank you for all of the material you have provided and for helping us create a home show booth that showcases what we love to do – that is, building beautiful decks and patio covers for our customers!
#renohomeshow #truckeetahoelumber #trexdecking#californiacascadeindustries
Today's blog post is a quickie on replacing a slider, kind of a how-to/how-we-do. This shows how we replace windows or doors on a home with wood siding. I wish I would have taken more photos of all the steps but I am a much better contractor than I am a blogger so I was working more than documenting. I will do my best to describe what we did though.
Step one: Removing the door.
We cut all the caulk around the interior and exterior trim and remove it all with a flat bar. If it is in nice shape, we try our best to save it but, most times, we end up replacing all of it. Next we take the skilsaw with the blade adjusted to the depth of the siding and cut around the exterior of the door, make sure you pull any nails in your path with your cat's paw before you waste a blade. The saw we use on our jobsites is the Skil Mag77, it has an 1 1/2" table on the left side of the blade which usually works out as a perfect guide for cutting out your siding. The reason for cutting the siding out 1.5" around your door is to expose the flange on your old door, don't forget to save the strips of siding, we will use them again later. Once exposed, pull all the nails in the flange and remove the door. This is a good time to break out the shop vac and do a little cleaning, make sure to get the entire rough opening.
Step two: Flashing the sill and unpacking the door.
If your sill is in good shape this is the next step.....about half the time, the sill is rotting away and the next step is some surgery. After the sill is nice and clean, we install a rubberized flashing that is cut in the corners and run up the trimmers 6" on each side. We then take another scrap of flashing to cover the corners where we cut.(hard to explain but makes perfect sense in my head!) Next we run a nice bead of caulk over the entire sill for a little added protection. Now is time to unpack your new door and follow the manufacturer's instructions for getting it ready for install.
Step three: Slap in the door.
Just before installing the door, we run a bead of caulk around the door flange which will attach to the trimmers and header that were all exposed by cutting around the old door with the skilsaw. Now we set the door in place and center it in the rough opening using a flat bar from the inside. Take a level to each side of the door to ensure it is sitting nicely.(It should be if the rough opening was nice and plumb/level to begin with which I forgot to mention after we removed the old door.) Once it looks perfect using shims where needed, start nailing off the flange....we actually use stainless steel screws.
Once you are nailed off, it's time to tuck your flashing, inspect the siding a few inches around the door for nails and remove as needed. Next, install flashing up each side of the door using a flat bar to pry out the siding while tucking the flashing behind the siding overlapping the door flange. After the sides are done, repeat for the top making sure to overlap the sides. Now we re-install those strips that we cut out over the flange and nail off the siding wherever needed with 8d galvanized nails.
Step four: Trim it out and touch up paint.
Last step is making it look nice with trim. We simply match the exterior trim to what's existing on the house or change it up to whatever the homeowner would like. We used LP Smartrim for this install attached with galvanized nails then caulked everything. After touching up the paint and cleaning up everything we are done with the outside.
On to the interior, we updated the '70's casing with some nice 3 1/4" colonial trim. We had to rip down 1" strips of trim to case out the door flush with the existing drywall and then installed the trim overlapping the casing about halfway all the way around. Keeping this reveal uniform all the way around is extremely important if you are like me and will see nothing but that slight imperfection until you finally rip it off and redo it! Now we just caulk, putty and paint, time to enjoy the energy savings, and great new looks of your door or window!
This was simply a writeup on how we install windows and sliders, it is a pretty big project and could lead to longterm water damage or a drafty house if done incorrectly. Also, power tools can be extremely dangerous, I recommend hiring a licensed contractor to do the job unless you really know what you are doing. Stay safe and protect your biggest investment.
Well, we made our deadline, had the treehouse and yard done for Brooky's party and it's safe to say we are going to keep it! We have already had a few camp outs in it and there are many more to come! The party was great...except for the weather, it had been 75 degrees everyday for three weeks until party day when it was rainy and cold. It proved interesting fitting 80+ people in our house instead of scattered through the yard but turned out to be a great time anyway.
Party dress posing for a picture in the treehouse right after we surprised her with it.
I will keep this blog post short and sweet, please enjoy the pictures of the finished product!
Thank you to Matt Theilen of Theilen Photography for the photos!!!
Well, Cru is one month old and still big, healthy and perfect! He will definitely be able to enjoy the treehouse by his big sister's birthday, it's just about done! When we last left off, we had just completed the wiring, drywall, trim, paint, and loft. After that came the floor......my favorite part!
For the flooring, I took a trip up to my old stomping grounds in Southern Oregon, just across the Nevada/Oregon border to tear down a 100 year old sheep barn. Out of all the awesome barnwood we salvaged, we took the wood from the pens, squared up the ends, and slapped them down raw. We didn't even sand anything so the floors are super rustic and SUPER AWESOME!!! Everywhere you look there are splotches of paint from the 100 years of sheep brands. We are up to 4 coats of polyurethane and plan on putting down at least two more.
I searched and searched for some reclaimed decking but just couldn't find anything so I called up Meeks and had them drop a load of redwood in the driveway. The deck is done and looks great, we routered all the edges of each board, and screwed them down. Nothing fancy, just a really nice redwood deck. For the handrail, we used all of the leftover/scrap framing materials painted with the brown color we concocted for the frame and ripped down scrap fence pickets for the uprights. We built a small staircase down to a flagstone landing and a few flagstone steps from there down to the new lawn. The deck and all the siding is stained with a water-based natural stain.
That's it for right now, between the landscaping, tree house, baby, and paying work, it's been CRAZY around here! I guess that's what happens every Spring.....except for the baby thing. I will post up again when it's completed and pick some new topics to keep you all in the loop as to my crew's shenanigans.
If you "Like" us on Facebook, you may know that my son, Cru, was born yesterday afternoon and we couldn't be happier! He is big, healthy, and perfect....and finally asleep so I have a few minutes sitting here in the hospital to do some blogging. It's appropriate since his big sister will have to share said tree house with him!
Where to start? As I said in the last post, we are insulated and drywalled but we are also wired. We have lights, plugs, and a 4 circuit breaker box. Everything is basically wired up like an RV and the entire house can be "plugged in" and powered up. I plan on going solar in the future but, for now, it can be run off a generator or plugged into an RV outlet.
After the drywall and one layer of tape, we trimmed everything out inside. Usually trim comes last but with a really thick hand texture, I figured it would be much easier to just texture to the trim. For the window casing, we ripped down cedar fence pickets from a gate we had to remove. The window trim is mostly the siding ripped down with some of the junk pile mixed in where applicable and the base board is the cedar siding ripped down with a decorative top cut by way of router.
Also after a layer of tape came the loft. It was framed using left over material from the deck framing. The beam was attached to the walls with angle brackets that took some customizing. I had to cut about an inch out of each one and drill new holes for the lags, no big deal, something we come across every day, making stuff work.
The hand texture came out AWESOME! We slopped it on everywhere, scraped it off the trim, and painted everything Navajo White(I had a bunch in my garage leftover from another project). I am hoping to put the redwood down on the deck on Friday(if we are out of here), build the handrail, build the steps, and find a slide. After that, it's some finishing touches, landscaping, and decorating. Enjoy the pictures and I will keep you posted!
We have made some great progress in the past few days of working on the tree house. I really need to update the blog more often so I can remember what we've done.... Let's see, where did we last part? It is completely dried in, roof is done, windows/doors are done, siding and trim are done, the deck is framed, it's completely insulated(better than my house) the ceiling is done in the same salvaged cedar siding, and the drywall is hung on all the walls.
The roof went as expected....a pain! An 11 in 12 pitch on a roof is gnarly, I realize it doesn't look that steep in the pictures but I assure you it is! We put ourselves in some pretty hairy predicaments often in this line of work but this roof was bad.
The windows and door all went as expected...easy! As long as your framing is good, windows and doors are easy! Our framing is always perfect so these went like a breeze. The toughest part was building a door frame for the full light door panel from Habitat for Humanity. The windows all look great, I especially like the two funky shaped ones on the front wall seen in the picture. I can't believe I got these brand new, high end windows for $200 total! That includes a 7-0x4-0 wood framed, crank out, the two funky ones on the front, a 3-0x3-0 on the other side, and two more of the funky ones that I will be donating back to Habitat still brand new.(Just couldn't fit them)
Siding and trim was really fun, this is where it really starts looking sweet! Siding goes quick, even using old, dirty, mangled lap siding. Along with the siding came a pile of janky randomness, it consisted of some mis-cuts from mills and just your basic scrap pile finds. We broke out the table saw and went to town cleaning it up. All of the trim around the windows and door came from this pile and ended up looking nice. Some of the "mis-cuts" were pretty crazy with a thickness range of 1"-2.5" in an 8' board....if that doesn't make sense to you....it's weird and hard to work with. As for the corner trim, we ripped the fascia board cutoffs in half and had just enough....(well we ended up about 4' short but were able to fill that piece in with something from our scrap pile)
We framed up the deck, it wraps around two sides and has a tree growing up through it. I am currently on the hunt for some sort of salvaged or reclaimed decking but I am thinking I may just buy some redwood so it's done. Framing this deck took about two minutes, we are the best in the business when it comes to decks and it is where we truly shine. I am not trying to "toot" my crew's horn or anything, just stating facts! :) When completed, there will be a slide built into the handrail on the right side by the two funky windows and a set of stairs on the left side that tie into a flagstone landing and natural stone steps.
On to the interior, ceiling and walls are completely insulated and covered up. We used the cedar lap on the ceiling and drywall on the walls. We will be doing a thick, old-world swirl hand texture on the walls and ripping down cedar lap siding for interior trim......Interior pictures to follow.
Thanks for reading, I will try to be more diligent with the updates even when we aren't working on it!
All I did today was collect material, siding and a front door. I scored some sweet salvaged cedar lap siding with a great patina and some nice graying. I'm planning on installing it as is, giving it a quick once over with the pressure washer and then just putting a clear finish on it so it keeps the weathered look. I scored the front door from Habitat for Humanity, it's a solid wood full light door that has been painted a bunch of times on one side giving that side a nice, "shabby chic" look. I built a jamb for it and made the painted side the inside, the outside is still a nice looking natural finish but I think I'm going to go bright red, forest green, or some sort of blue with it.....but, I have also been eyeing the giant pile of paint cans in my garage from the 45 years of my house's life. I think I will try to burn up as many of those as possible on this project so we will see what I find. I'll try to post a picture of the door later.
Just so proud of my guys for all the progress today! We finished the rafters, put corbels on each beam, sheered the whole thing, cut tails, installed fascia, sheeted the roof, and punched a bunch of little stuff off the list. Keep in mind that the roof is an 11 in 12 pitch, exposed beams, and funky windows....this was no small task but the boys kicked some serious tail! That is all for today, just excited for the progress. There won't be any progress until I find some siding or a cool idea for siding....I'm drooling looking over at the fence between the neighbor and I with the 12" wide redwood pickets that's 40 years old, I need a big wind in the next couple nights, it would make some sweet looking siding!!! I'm also tossing around the idea of repurposing pallets but that would be a nightmare...I don't know, I guess I'll know it when I see it. I'd love to hear your input, I'm always looking or different ideas.
This isn't going to be much of a blog post, I just couldn't wait to post a teaser picture so I thought I'd add a little description too. This tree house has been so much fun and we have only been on it for a day and a half. We are designing as we build and changing as needed. The big hang up on framing today was trying to incorporate the random window load I picked up from Habitat for Humanity. I purchased 6 high-end, funky windows that were all brand new, never installed (Someone was probably bummed with these mis-orders!) for $200....I'm guessing the total was about $2000 when they were originally ordered. We were able to fit four of them so, two are getting donated back.
Oh yeah, there were the three 6x8x16 beams we had to put up in the air...that was a bit of a hang up too, good thing I have a crew full of BEASTS! We now have the GoPro dialed in too, we had some problems with the wifi app and a dead battery but the time lapse should be pretty AWESOME when completed!!! Anyway, here's a teaser picture, I'm really excited about this one...stay tuned!
Well, it' a new year and we are very busy with projects, but one sticks out above all, so it shall be the topic of my next few blog posts. We have started the construction of my daughter Brooklyn's birthday surprise tree house! Since this is a side project, it will seem like it's taking us a long time to build, but just bear with us, it needs to be done by her March 29th birthday party. I will be keeping you posted as to the progress here in the blog, and will also try to do some sort of GoPro time lapse of the build.
Unfortunately, our yard doesn't have a great tree to use, so after a few days of back and forth, I found a spot for it. I have decided to place the house between two smaller trees on a small hillside and just give it the appearance of being in the trees. It will be built on an elevated, freestanding platform and will not be attached to the trees. I know, I'm cheating and it's technically not a tree house, but it will get the job done.
The plans are all in my head and will probably change quite a bit as needed. We have already had to rotate the layout, shrink it down a bit, and lower it. All of the changes so far have been to avoid hacking up the trees. All of the future changes will be because I would like to repurpose and reuse as much as possible on this one, not only to do my part, but also to give it that funky look.....and saving some dough will be a nice bonus! I will be taking trips to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse, hitting up my barn wood honey hole, scouring craigslist, picking through my junk pile that I use for furniture, and maybe incorporating some pallets. As soon as the floor is up and I find some windows and doors, I will have a better idea of what it's going to look like and will pass that info along.
Here is our progress so far......we have picked a spot, laid it all out, and poured the footings. I am hoping to have time between projects this week to get the floor built and maybe even stand some walls. I will chime back in as progress continues, but for now, here is one picture of the location and footings. As of now, it will be approximately 12' X 12' with an 8 in 12 pitched roof and wrap around deck. It will have vaulted ceilings and a small loft......stay tuned, this is going to be a sweet one!