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I CAN write something once a year

18 April 2013 in Uncategorized

This is just a quickie to tell you what’s coming. (That’s what she said)

Pictures of the job on Woodrow, finally, that were taken this week and will be on the site in a day or two.

Iron Thread Design is going to the national furniture market in Las Vegas baby July 29-August 2.  There are new fabrics to show and Facebook updates with some recent work.  There is also a new shop, Remixologie, owned by a good friend carrying IT Design.  Come see Sheri and I in Vegas if you are there and want something different from drinking, smoking, and slots.

New pictures of some other jobs that where recently completed.  Smaller scale but turned out well.

A new look for the web site.  A little farther off but the format is locked in and the work has begun.  It will be a little closer to being as beautiful as the wife’s site. (see Iron Thread link above)

Finally, trials from the city of Austin building department.  If you have not heard, the train has fallen from the rails and there is only talk of getting it back on and moving again.  Months of waiting and people who don’t care and can’t be fired is what awaits the unlucky contractor.

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Modern tour aftermath.

21 February 2012 in Modern Home tour

The Modern Home Tour is now a couple weeks in the past at it was a great experience and really wonderful to have 2500 people appreciate the work that went into this house.  I would like to send out an enormous thanks to the docents at my house that helped make the day a success.  THANKS TO: Dave and Molly who juggled their own kids around to help out (and brought me a coffee at just the right moment); Bill and Carolyn who came early and stayed late, put an after tour surprise in my fridge, and got to be a little of the proud parents that they so very much deserve. ( I would not be building things if it wasn’t for both of you.); Dini for leaving her child’s birthday party and hard selling my wife’s furniture;  Michelle who escaped in-laws, answered all the end of the day questions, and only once suggested that I put my bed in the wrong place.  And lastly my wife, Sheri, who tried to escape before the line at the door burst through at 11 sharp and instead stayed, talked up the house, and even took a few compliments about her furniture and art.  This house would not have been the same without you and I certainly wouldn’t have looked as cool as I did without your help in everything. (You are my favorite wife.)

Finally, I will leave you with a picture of possibly my favorite thing I saw on the tour.

893That is the multi-functional towel bar in the master shower at the house on Highland terrace. (The only house I saw)  I will admit that this picture was taken a few days after the tour but this Delta towel bar has the perfect place for not one, but two cool beverages.  And what is better then a cool drink in a hot shower?  Nothin’

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Modern Home Tour Austin

4 February 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello everybody and welcome back to the Square House Blog.

The Austin Modern Home tour was today and it featured my personal house that I just finished remodeling (pictures here)  It was great to meet a bunch of people today who appreciate houses and see the value in a modern but livable home.  This is just a quick note to say that very soon there will be a final wrap up of the Meriden House project and some quick coverage of projects since then.  Also, there are some ongoing projects that are coming along nicely and there will be pictures to prove it soon.

Finally, there  is a summertime-centric awesome something that will be announced soon.  It is exciting, different, and affordable and will make your house cooler then you thought possible.

Back with more soon.

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It is finally 94.8% finished

16 May 2010 in Meriden

So the Meriden house is just about done and thankfully, it has sold.  Sorry to all the other people who wanted it, you were not quick enough.  The pictures for the finished thing are Here.

The landscape was designed by Lisa with Chicks Dig!  It was an inspired design and well executed and you can find out more about them at CHICKSDIGAUSTIN.COM

My wife and furniture maker, Sheri, has also updated her site with pics of the new sofa and chair line and many more great ottomans and benches.  Make sure you check it out also at  IRONTHREADDESIGN.COM

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Waiting for the house to clear

8 December 2009 in Meriden

It has been raining off and on for the past week and a half and normally that would irritate me to a large degree. (It’s only a small degree now that the roof is on the Meriden house.)  I have been stopped from continuing to work by the city because of a McMansion tent incursion.  I had a very pleasant meeting with the West Austin Neighborhood Association last night where I laid out my case for the variance I am requesting next week.  The people there were nice and asked good questions and agreed not to oppose my request.  That was  topped off with me getting to take a fresh picked Meyers lemon home that someone brought in from their back yard.  It tasted great in the Dripping Springs vodka and tonic I had when I got home and relaxed.  Hopefully the Board of Adjustment hearing next Monday will go just as smoothly.

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The City of Austin

28 October 2009 in Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of spending a fair amount of quality time at the City of Austin Permit center yesterday and today.  What an easy to navigate system.  I only had to spend a couple of hours waiting to see a planning reviewer.  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  First I had a visit about my electrical needs form, at the ONE STOP SHOP.  This sets the tone for all dealings with the city.  They have the audacity to advertise their ONE STOP SHOP for permits.  To get a residential building permit I must visit at least three different floors (signing in and waiting on each one) and possibly, like today, another building down the street.  That does not even include the trip to the county tax office for a tax certificate and possibly to the county court house if they deem your lot illegal. (never mind that is has been sold multiple times and “illegal” since the 1930″s.)

Thank goodness they upgraded to the ONE STOP SHOP.

The permit I needed was to convert an existing garage to living space and add a carport.  All single story and in total, less then 20% of the lot.  Did I leave with a permit?  Not for another three weeks.  Why?  Because the house is NEAR a flood plain.  Not IN it.  But less then 125 ft from the 100 year flood plain.  Wait, not even the house but the property is too close.  Never mind the roughly 25 vertical feet the water would have to rise to see the house.  When we get that kind of rain, issues like the Capitol floating away will take precedent over if the city erred in letting you build a carport.

It doesn’t end there.  I have to get a variance to build the last 10 feet of the carport because the garage was built into the current rear setback ( ten feet now, five feet when it was built).  That is understandable, they change the rules over time.  The catch is that for the all the City of Austin, the Board of Adjustments takes 16 cases a month.  That seems totally reasonable for a city of close to a million people and based on my wait at the permit office there is not much building going on.  Or it could be that the next available time for me to ask for the variance is in TWO MONTHS.  And I was lucky to get that spot.

Hopefully I will only have to visit the city two more times to complete this permit.  I am sure they will have the process smoothed out by the next job.  Or not.  Or maybe I’ll just find a different career.

The rant is over.  More on the Meriden house progress soon.

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Insides and outsides

25 October 2009 in Meriden, Uncategorized

sweet tyvec suit

sweet tyvec suit

The house is very quiet now.  I love after the insulation is installed when it feels like your voice is sucked away as soon as you let it out.  All the walls and the roof deck got closed cell foam.  The floors got R-19 batts to save a little money but that gives me a complete envelope where the HVAC system is inside the conditioned space and does not have to work as hard.  The high efficiency system, 16 SEER and 90% furnace, get roughed in in the next few days.

whip cream explosion

whipped cream explosion

Now for the outside.  I am using a new product from James Hardie called Artisan siding.  It comes with trim boards to match for the windows and corners and really looks like the old clapboard siding you see more on the east coast.  It looks great installed and gives the house an appropriate bungalow feel.  It should be finished by the end of the week without threatening rain interruptions.

artisan on the front

artisan on the front

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Inside wall stuff

19 October 2009 in Meriden

Life has been pretty good lately so I haven’t been updating my blog.  My wife had her Launch party for the new Iron Thread Design furniture line at IF & D downtown. (ironthreaddesign.com to check out all the amazing pieces)  Food and drinks and about 300 very complimentary people made it a great time for Sheri.

round and long button bench and headboard

round and long button bench and headboard

I also have the best kids in the world, or at least two out of my three are at any one time, but I have found something that is a close second.  A plumber.  A plumber that I don’t want to strangle at first sight.  A normal guy who just happens to be a plumber.  His name is J……, wait, I can’t give out his name because I want him all to myself.

So the house is plumbed and the electric is roughed in and now on to the insulation.

washer/dryer connection wall

washer/dryer connection wall

waiting to stub the wires outside so nobody steals them

waiting to stub the wires outside so nobody steals them

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Rain on the roof

5 September 2009 in Meriden

Dried in and rain.  It’s like good and evil.  With good winning.  I finished putting the peel and seal roofing under-layment on the new roof Friday afternoon.  Long and miserably hot work in 100 degree heat.  Friday evening it rained more than an inch in some parts of Austin.  My house stayed dry and I stopped cursing the rain, for now.  Friday also brought being a day away from the end of framing.  The stairs were finished, much to the delight of my youngest son, and the carport was completed.  All we have left for next week is any miscellaneous blocking and the closets and door frames for the upstairs.  With the braces out of the downstairs you can really get a sense of the space, even with the windows still covered with sheathing.  It has a nice cozy yet spacious feel.  Tall enough ceilings without going overboard and open space without feeling cavernous.  My job site desk will look great in the living room.

Carport and hip roof finished

Carport and hip roof finished

Stairs and the powder bath door.

Stairs and the powder bath door.

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Closing in on the framing

2 September 2009 in Meriden

Today I said goodbye to half my framing team.  We got the house down in under two weeks like I promised the house lifters and the framers had another job they put off to help make mine happen.  I also relented and let them frame under the upstairs porch that had been flying out in space 8′ off the supporting wall.  It looked great sticking out there but wasn’t engineered to take a party from that front upstairs bedroom.  The roof also finished being decked with just the carport and front eave left to build.  Tomorrow should take care of that and hopefully be dried in in time for the rain Thursday night.  I had complained that I needed just a week when it rained last week so I can’t go back and revise that pleading.  Coming back from yet another Home Depot trip to find all the guys eating lunch and napping in the shade of the screen porch made the usefulness of that space jump out at me today.  A couple of ceiling fans for the summer and a propane heater for the winter and you got a real live outdoor room, Texas style.

Backside roof line and screen porch

Backside roof line and screen porch

New barge rafter tails cut to match originals

New barge rafter tails cut to match originals

All materials copyright 2009 Square House Building. Web Site by Websy Daisy.