Sunday, November 26, 2017

Buttoning Things Up Outside, Part 1

Fall has arrived in full force in Portland, the weather is rainy and cooler, the days are shorter and I’ve had the urge to start projects inside. But, before I talked Scott into tackling walls and ceilings in the living and dining rooms we had to button up our outdoor projects.

When we moved into the retro ranch we found the Medallion Home Live Better Electrically medallion, about 3 inches in diameter and made of brass. You can read more about it here. We wanted to find a way to display the medallion on the front of the house, but didn’t want to just screw it into the brick. Enter the Internet! Atlas Signs and Plaques fabricates custom house number plaques in many styles and finishes. I worked with them via email and over the phone to create a plaque with our address that could accommodate our fabulous medallion.

And if you remember Santa delivered the MCM goods last Christmas, but we hadn’t yet installed the doorbell or door viewer because there was painting and painting and bathrooms, etc to do. Well, we didn’t get the front door stained or painted this year, but Scott was able to tackle the patio after the bathroom project wrapped up. He two coated the patio ceiling and gave the patio walls and trim one coat. Enough for us to install the Live Better Electrically door bell by the back sliding door - yes, we have a door bell on the patio - and we also installed the door viewer in the front door (note how easily the paint pulled away around the viewer...bodes well for staining the door!)

Homes built in the 1960s in Portland aren’t known for their insulative qualities, ours not having a lick of insulation in the walls or crawlspace. And the attic insulation rates a value of about R4. But our front doors (double door entry) have a interesting metal trim that seats the doors together and inside the frame to seal out wind and cold. The fault in the system was at the threshold where the trim on the door had separated and left a gap you could literally see daylight through.

Enter Anderson Doors, a family owned company in Portland. The guy knew his stuff and knew our particular door system. He took both doors down, cleaned out all the old weatherstripping used to fill the gap, and installed the correct trim saving us the expense of a whole new threshold.

Next up pine needles, gutters and downspouts - oh my!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Bathroom Project – The Ultimate Retro Ranch Cliff-hanger

We hope that you haven’t been holding your breath since the eclipse to find out what has transpired on our bathroom renovation project. (If you have been, we truly apologize for the shade of blue you must be – you honorary Smurf you!)

Our contractors, Troy and Gordon from Northwest Home Concierge, did everything in their power to keep the job on schedule. We had functioning toilets, a bathtub and a shower as promised. The custom counters from a different contractor delayed installation of the sinks about a week. Gordon wasn’t happy with the trim in the hall bath so he sourced new moulding that looks like it came with the house. By the way, we found out that all the trim in the house is mahogany, doors too! We are thrilled with the end result and hope you like the look as well.

The hall bath - What was once pink, gray and tired is now bright, airy and fresh. The towel bars are original to the house and were saved from both the master and hall bathrooms. The medicine cabinet was sanded, repainted (it’s no longer pink) and repositioned in the new hall bath.



The master bath - When we moved into the Retro Ranch, Scott avoided this bathroom. We finally cleaned out the debris in the non-functioning shower and had a glorified half-bath off the master bedroom. This was the area that had most of the structural damage under it. Beth’s vision and design elements, and a glass shower enclosure with a sliding door make a smallish bathroom seem bigger than it is.



The second bedroom - You would never know that about half of the wall and the studs behind it were replaced.



We welcome guests and visitors now that renovations to the hall bath and second bedroom are complete. Scott’s twin brother, Angel Dorantes, was our first official post-renovation guest. He and Scott rode the Banks / Vernonia bike trail some 42 miles last Saturday.

At times it seemed like this project would never get done. In retrospect, the two months passed with minimal glitches and only a few smacks of a cold shower curtain catching both the breeze and your back-side. We love our general contractors and will engage them again next year to add a 1/2 bath to the laundry room. Now if Scott can just figure out where to store the spare rolls of toilet paper in the renovated bathroom...