Irvine Update: Bye Bye Beam and Loving the Purple

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in, which I guess is good and bad – good because we’re busy; bad because I haven’t been keeping you up do date.  Nevertheless, in case you were worried, rest assured we’ve been hard at work in Irvine and on a couple of other big projects (let’s face it, given a choice of sleep or blog, well, you get it).

Since my last Irvine update, we’ve had to secure a few more permits because we added a few more elements to the project.  More on that below.  Now we’re done with all the framing, the new plumbing and electricity are installed and good to go, and it’s time for drywall – and wait til you see the color (no, Sapir, we’re not leaving the house purple).

So where should we start?  How about the family room?

The big news here is that I succeeded in getting rid of that intrusive ceiling beam that divided the original family room from the addition.  This one.

Ceiling Beam

From the photos, it may not seem like a big deal, but believe me, it is. That beam divided the room and made the ceiling feel lower than it really was.  Plus, functionally, it made it hard for the room to work.  We needed a special permit to remove it, but it was well worth all the effort – even the inspector agreed.  With that beam gone, we’ve opened up the entire room, removing the artificial divider and making for a much more comfortable and functional living space.  And, there is a much more spacious feel to the entire room.

On the other side of the room, we finished the structure for the new office.  Have a look.

The city won’t let us install windows on the outside wall because the house sits on a zero lot line (I guess they don’t like neighbors playing peek-a-boo), so to bring in light, we installed five interior windows – four on the wall adjoining the family room and one over the door.  These will be filled with frosted glass that will let in light but maintain privacy on both sides.

  

Thinking about resale, this room could be used as a guest room, nanny’s room (since it’s downstairs, the family has privacy upstairs), or any other kind of bonus room. For now, it will be an office with a door that locks, keeping little hands away from important papers and expensive machines.

Outside the office, you can see the makings of the kitchen workspace.  We call it “Grand Central Station,” because that will become the functional center of the home in terms of the family and its activities.

Think desk organizers, a bulletin or white board, places for all the notes from school and activities, right off the kitchen where the family spends most of its time anyway.  Functionality with a capital “F.”

Here in the kitchen, you see that special drywall I was talking about.  Dig that color.  It’s very high quality and prevents mold and mildew- the Scarlet Letters of resale – from developing.  This is a great example of how thinking ahead can save $$$.

Upstairs, we’re finishing up the “behind the scenes” work in the two bathrooms.  Here’s the master.  Again, our lovely purple drywall, for obvious reasons.

Shower going in with jets on both sides.  Can’t see them under the plastic, but they’re installed and ready to go.

Dual vanity will go here.

And in the fourth bedroom, we’ve installed a pocket door for privacy in the bathroom.  That’s the framing for the closet you see below, with the bathroom on the other side.

   

So that’s where we are.  New windows and doors are coming this week.  Stay tuned.

Thinking about renovating?  Contact Doron at 949-228-5218 or doron@edenflooring.com for your complimentary, expert consultation. 

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Got Noise? Put a Cork on It.

Did you ever wonder why the floors in haunted houses creak so much?  Probably because they have no cork under them (and you thought they were just trying to scare you).  
 
If you’re thinking of installing hardwood or laminate flooring and don’t want your house to sound like Jason’s coming to get you, I urge you to put down  cork underlayment.  Cork is the absolute best choice for “acoustic control” (reducing noise, that is) – it prevents creaking from the floor boards themselves and, when installed on second floors or higher, it keeps the noise from below from coming through the floor.

How does it do that?  Millions of air-filled pockets inside the material create a cushiony surface that prevents sound waves from travelling through.  That’s why cork is commonly used in apartments buildings, hotels, museums and other high traffic venues where uncontrolled sound would kill the experience.
 
Cork can be used with laminate flooring and almost every hardwood flooring installation, whether you’re gluing, nailing or stapling down the wood.  It can also be used under ceramic tile or to build up a subfloor when there is a height difference in the floors between two rooms.
 
And here’s a few more great things about cork I’ll bet you didn’t know: it’s fire resistant and environmentally friendly.  Cork is stripped from the trunks of cork oak trees beginning when they are 25 years old. 

Those big guys live to be about 200, giving us an abundant supply of this renewable material – an important fact for those of us worried about our carbon footprint.
 
So what’s the downside (isn’t there’s always a downside)?  Price.  Cork adds about $2 per square foot to your cost, making it probably the most expensive of underlayment materials.  I always try to save my clients money wherever I can, but this is one item I say is well worth the additional expense.  There simply isn’t another material out there that controls noise as well, so unless you plan to tiptoe your way through life, I recommend bearing the price.
 
We recently installed a cork underlayment in a client’s Newport Coast home.  He installed hardwood on his second floor and was very concerned about noise from downstairs disturbing him while he’s working in his upstairs office or trying to catch a few winks.  

Here’s a photo of the prep.


 
For best installation, we glued the cork to the subfloor, then glued the wood on the cork. 


 
The wood you’re seeing is Midnight Oak, a beautiful, rich hardwood that never goes out of style.

 

Keep in mind the baseboards have yet to be installed, so we’ll show you the finished project once we’re done.  For now, you can see the beautiful hardwood floor with cork underlayment.  And listen….

Hear that?  No noise.  

Before I go, I’ve got another contest for all you trivia buffs.  What country produces the most amount of cork (hint – it’s not Ireland)?  Send your answers in the comments section or on Facebook.  Winner gets a free cork bulletin board courtesy of Eden Flooring and Construction, Inc.

Is noise in your home driving you mad?  Why not install new flooring with cork underlayment?  Contact Doron at 949-228-5218 or doron@edenflooring.com

Aging with Jets – Botox Sold Separately

Here in Southern California, age has become a bad word and fighting the aging process is pretty much a way of life. From Botox to plastic surgery to super foods and antioxidants, a whole lot of folks out here are obsessed with keeping the hands of time off their faces, and everywhere else for that matter.

Well, I’ve got bad news for you– it doesn’t work. We’re all aging. All that stuff we’re doing to make us look like time-warped versions of our former selves can’t keep our knees, backs and other internal fixtures from feeling the effects of our (I’m gonna say it) – age. I figured that out for myself on my family camping trip this weekend after two nights sleeping on an air mattress – my back sure ain’t what it used to be.

But I’ve got good news too. With 70 being the new 50 (or something like that), people are staying independent well into their twilight years and moving into assisted living or old age homes as late as possible, if ever. That means they’re living, and aging, at home much longer than the generation before them. To do that, though, today’s strong, healthy Baby Boomers are finding they need to modify their living space to accommodate their aging (eek, I said it again) bodies.

And here’s the even better news – it’s not all that bad. In fact, those wild Boomers are catching on fast to a luxurious little secret – spa-like showers are becoming a medical necessity.

What’s that, you say.  Well, as the Boomers are having a harder and harder time getting in and out of bathtubs, they’re getting rid of them and replacing them with beautiful, spa-like showers. And let me tell you, the old-timers sure know how to indulge because one of the hottest features in showers these days is dual shower heads and multiple, programmable body jets.

   

Whether it’s his and hers or double the fun (hey, they did bring us Woodstock, among other things), Boomers aren’t settling for just one shower head raining down on them. They, and many others, are creating the most relaxing, stimulating shower experience at home with water coming at them every which way.

Here’s a jet shower we built recently for our clients in Laguna Niguel. They went for a single, hand-held shower with double jet system. With these systems, we install a diverter, so the client can choose where the water comes from: the shower head, the jets, or both.

Here is one of the jets and the diverter closer up.

 

We also installed the tile in this shower, a soap niche and beautiful glass doors to finish off that spa look.  Nice.

Check in later this week for an update on Irvine, a beautiful, maple floor installed in the Hollywood Hills, and more.

Until next time, if you’re contemplating your 10,000 mile tune-up, don’t sweat it too much. Luxurious aging begins with jets.  Botox sold separately.

Want to create a luxurious, spa bathroom in your home? Contact Doron at 949-279-2011 or doron@edenflooring.com

“Cause you’ve got, functionality…”

Don’t remember that one by the great Lloyd Price?  Well, maybe it didn’t go exactly like that.  But everyone wants rooms with functionality (personality too, for that matter).  Funny thing is, we often don’t understand how unfunctional a home is until after we’ve lived in it for a while.  Yet with home values down throughout Southern California and much of the country, the last thing many homeowners want to do is sell their home because it’s not as functional as they thought.

That’s where I come in. With some creativity, a little faith in your loyal home remodeling expert and some great materials, I help clients reorganize a single room or an entire house to make it work better for them.

Case in point: my recent project in Laguna Niguel.  Overall, the clients liked the home and loved the location, but the rooms just weren’t meeting their needs.  We did a lot of cosmetic upgrades to the home, which I’ll show you another time, but the real challenge was transforming the kitchen and second bedroom into rooms that had, well, “functionality.”

Sorry I don’t have the before photos for this one – you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Let’s start with the kitchen.  The biggest problem was that the washing machine and dryer had been installed right there in the epicenter of home.  Not only did they cut down on the valued workspace, but they also broke up the flow of the room.

We got them out of there, and in the open space that was left, we built these great, functional cabinets and relocated the fridge to where the washer and dryer used to be.

 

Then we built a 21-inch pantry where the fridge used to be, and put in the microwave and oven with warming drawer underneath, and cabinets up top.

With the washer and dryer out and the fridge moved over, that left a big working space where we put in granite countertops.

 

That big hole there is where we put a cooktop.  I installed a hidden hood under the cabinet with a fan.  You can’t see it, which makes it all the more aesthetic.

The clients didn’t like having two small sinks, so we put in one large one.

And we built a large island for added workspace.  The island has a built-in trash receptacle and lots of cabinet space.

 

Here’s the granite.  Notice how we finished the edges.  That’s good craftmanship.

You see the big, open space between the sink and the post?

There was a wall there, but it made the kitchen feel closed up and kept the light out.  We took the wall out, giving a much more spacious feel and bringing the light in.  The pole is structural, so we had to leave it, so to give it a designer’s touch, we refaced it with wood paneling.  Here it is from another angle.

The backsplash is made from edged subway tile.

 

It comes in a lot of colors and finishes.

For even more  of a modern flair, we raised the ceiling and installed recessed lights.

 

The other room we remodeled was the second bedroom, which the clients wanted to use as an office.  That meant they didn’t need the closet anymore.  We took it out and replaced it with upper and lower shelves with pull-out drawers that will be used as filing cabinets.

On the other side of the closet, I put in an art niche with glass shelves and lights to showcase the art pieces the clients will put there.  An elegant touch, wouldn’t you
say?

 

 

And there you have it.  A kitchen and office that have a lot more functionality and style than before.

So what’s going on in Irvine?  Glad you asked.  Permits.  Often when we do major construction work, we have to get permits from the city to ensure that our building is up to code.  So that’s what we’re doing.  Building will continue next week.

Next time around I’ll try to come up with some more contemporary tunes – I may have to ask the kids about that.  Until then, stay tuned and stay functional.

Want a room with more functionality? Call Doron for great ideas and a free  estimate.  949-228-5218 or Doron@EdenFlooring.com

 

Beverly Hills Wine Cellar + Getting Framed in Irvine

I’ve always appreciated a fine bottle of wine now and then, so when my client in Beverly Hills asked me to install flooring in his newly built wine cellar, I grabbed a bottle and did a little bit of research first.  That’s because the climate inside a wine cellar is different from the rest of your home.  It’s a lot more humid and typically cooler, so the flooring needs to be able to withstand these conditions.  It also has to be able to bear the weight of the wine bottles and racks, which can easily get up to several tons. This was my first-ever wine cellar, and I had to get it right.

I suggested to my client choices that work well in wine cellars: cork, porcelain tile or stone, sealed cement and hardwood.  He decided to go with the strong, exotic look of Tigerwood, a Brazilian species known for its, well, tiger-like appearance.  Tigerwood is a dense, heavy wood that wears well, so it’s a good choice for the wine cellar environment.

We started off by sealing the cement, then putting down a moisture barrier.  After the wood acclimated for a week, we spread a layer of glue, put down plywood, another layer of glue and finally the Tigerwood.

Et voilà!

 

A beautiful wine cellar that would be the pride of any connoisseur.  Now all that’s needed is to sit back and enjoy a good glass of red.

But of course when you run your own business, you never really sit back and relax, so it’s back to Irvine and our full-home renovation.  Things are moving along right on schedule. We’re done the demo and are now into Phase II, the remodeling.  We’re starting in that big, fourth bedroom upstairs.  You remember, the former studio with the soaring ceilings.

   

The clients are really after maximizing space and value (aren’t we all?), and with only one full bath and one ¾ bath on an upper level with four bedrooms, we decided to turn that big room into a suite with a bathroom of its own.  Thanks to the sink in the room and another bathroom on the other side of the wall, the plumbing is already in place, which makes the construction easier and less expensive for the client.  Their preteen will be using that  room, but once it’s done, it will also make a perfect, private guest room, or a nanny’s room if they were to resell to a family that needs one.  Options, versatility, that’s the name of the game.

With the sink and wardrobe gone, what you see below is the framing for what will be the bathroom and the laundry room which will be built on the opposite side of the bathroom.

We decided to move the laundry room upstairs to make room for a first floor office.  Don’t worry, we’ll insulate the walls real well so Mr. Preteen doesn’t get woken up
to the sound of his socks drying.  But more about that later.

   

With such high ceilings in this room, we’re making a loft over the bathroom and
laundry room which will be a fun place for Junior to hang out and read, listen
to tunes, or simply daydream…

We’re also working on the framing for the new living room space, which, if you recall, will have an expanded kitchen and extended dining room.

Until next time, grab yourself a glass of vino and enjoy life.

By the way, speaking of wine cellars, do you know where the biggest wine cellar in the world is located?  Post your answer below (no cheating all you Google-holics).  Winner gets a bottle of wine compliments of Eden Flooring and Construction, Inc.

Cheers!

Have you ever considered a wine cellar of your own?  Contact Doron at 949-279-2011 or doron@edenflooring.com.