The Punch List Chronicles (Vol. 1) (or House Reflections)

As we transition between the final stages of the Riverbluff house and starting our next house, we are trying to cross off some outstanding punch list items from previous projects.  I thought it might be a good chance to look at some interesting elements from previous houses.

Today’s house: Montrose.  3 punch items:  1. handrail bracket had come loose going up the stairs (bracket wasn’t properly fastened into the stud).  2. Pocket door to bathroom was clanging against metal pocket door stud, which for some reason was slightly bowed inwards (a little bit of a pain, but we were able to pull the stud farther out without too much drywall repair). 3.The really nice induction stove was supposed to come with a set of pots and pans as a promotional item (still battling with Lowe’s rebate department on that one.)

So, the most dominant interior element of the house was the built in shelving unit that divides the large living room from the dining room, which is up a short set of stairs.  We needed something that broke up a wide open 1st floor and played with the change in floor heights. In terms of functionality, we wanted to balance the needs of storage for the kitchen and dining room with that of the enertainment zone for the living room.

Equally important, we wanted the built in to act as a natural divider between the kitchen/dining area and the larger living room/great room while still maintaining the overall openness and flow of the space.  To accomplish this, Tommy left pockets of the shelving open with no backing, so you could see all the way through and have that sense of transparency between rooms.  I also love on the the far left side how he left some ends open and allow the shelves to cantilever out and reach out to you as you climb the steps.  I also like how the homeowners didn’t actually put anything on those shelves, so you able to experience that.

In terms of process and materials, the skeleton was made up of 2×4 material, with the horizontal shelving clad in poplar and the vertical planes clad in plywood.  Tommy’s original idea was to have a nice strong contrast between the horizontal and vertical by having the vertical clad in a rougher metal finish, like corten or steel plate, to really allow the poplar shelving to pop. Sad to say, I put the kabosh on that one because of cost and we went with plywood.  Originally we stained the plywood a dark grey, but our application looked too faux amateurish.  Too cheesy.

Tommy’s solution: to burn the plywood to different degrees with a blow torch and then seal with polyurethane.  Maybe a little too leopardy for my tastes, but still a cool effect.  I will say the homeowners picked up on that tone and have a lot different shades of brown furniture that plays off of it.

Overall, I like how when you are up in the kitchen, the top of the built in shelving acts as a great place to lean up against, rest your drink and look down on the expansive living room.



Project: Montrose Avenue · Comments Off on The Punch List Chronicles (Vol. 1) (or House Reflections)

Jetson Green: Warm Modern Montrose House in Virginia

Jetson Green: March 8, 2011

Jetson Green featured the Montrose Avenue home on their blog yesterday. Nice detailed coverage of the energy efficient features.

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Abode: Inner Space. In Belmont, The Great Room Goes Modern

Abode: March 2011

Latitude 38 Montrose Avenue home featured in March Abode. Erika Howsare has written a nice article about the homeowners and how they came to live in their new home.

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Open House Party

You are invited to attend a party to celebrate the completion of our new website and another Latitude 38 house before we pass it off to the homeowners…

Tuesday, August 3, 5-8pm
817 Montrose Avenue

Beer, wine, a few snacks, and fun people to chat with
Children welcome
Please consider walking, biking, or carpooling

Our new site was designed + built by Paul and Cameron at BA21, these guys have been great to work with. Please check it out and see some of our other homes and subscribe to our blog.

Hope to see you there!

Project: Montrose Avenue · Comments Off on Open House Party

Montrose Framed Up

Things are moving along at 817 Montrose Avenue, as we got the house under roof last week and put in most of the windows. You’ll note that they are different from the original rendering posted, but we think the vertical casements are a better fit. We have also started to install the hardi-panel siding, and have just ordered larch wood for some accent siding.

Here you can see the hardi-panel size. We will come back and paint after all the installation is complete. Color TBD. Making final decisions once we are building is one of the enjoyable aspects of building on a small scale with no client, where we wait to see what works for the site. You can also see here that we are installing the siding on vertical battens to help water drain behind the siding rather than sit and be absorbed into the material.

This shot shows the back of the house, where you can see the double slider will lead out to a deck / patio area. We’re deciding right now what will look the best on the site and be lower maintenance longer term. You can also see that we are wrapping the house in Dow 1″ foam board, an R5.5 (insulation value) product that reduces thermal loss due to the wood studs that are a break in the interior insulation. The walls are 6″ stud walls built on 24″ centers taking advantage of value-engineered framing techniques. The crawl space is poured concrete ICFs (insulated concrete foundation), which give a continuous insulation and create a conditioned crawl space for reduced moisture build-up.

One of the great things about this site is the views of Carter’s Mountain. Here are a couple of shots I took from the middle bedroom looking west.

Stairs were just put in and interior walls are being framed up, so we will try to get some more shots up soon. Feel free to stop by the site and take a look as well.

Project: Montrose Avenue · Comments Off on Montrose Framed Up

New Home Under Construction!

We have started to break ground at 817 Montrose Avenue. This will be an EarthCraft certified home with the following features:

  • Insulated Concrete Form Foundation System
  • Entire house is wrapped in 1” thick rigid foam board insulation
  • 2 x 6 construction with value framing
  • Blown cellulose insulation in walls, open cell spray foam insulation in band boards and roof
  • At least a 17 SEER electric pump with dual zoning
  • Energy Recovery Ventilator to address indoor air quality and humidity issues
  • Low E Argon gas filled Pella windows
  • Stainless steel energy star appliances including an induction range (new technology)
  • Heat Pump Hot water heater (over twice as efficient as conventional heater)
  • No VOC paints
  • Galvalume metal roof
  • IKEA kitchen cabinets

Note that this photo is a preliminary rendering.

Check out the MLS listing 474440 or call Tom Raney at Nest Realty at (434) 981-2608 for more info.

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