Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Photo of the Day: Grocery Cart Conclave

I was driving around town and found this beautiful photo opportunity.

It turns out that grocery carts are social creatures that live in herds in the wild. They also have a pecking order. Yet, they are easily domesticated by man.

Monday, July 29, 2013

JUST SOLD! Updated Turn of the Century Bungalow

I just sold this cute little bungalow home in Ogden.

We listed the home on May 20th for $79,900.  The owner had just finished remodeling the home and making it ready to show.  Two weeks later we received an offer for $83,000 and asking for $2,800 in closing costs.  We quickly accepted.

The buyers were using an FHA loan and we had to make a couple minor appraisal required repairs.  We closed the transaction on time and my sellers were able to move on to their next adventure.

If you are thinking of selling your home, CONTACT ME, and lets see what your home is worth in today's market.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photo of the Day: Bungled Bathrooms

I was out shopping with a client today and stumbled upon this basement bathroom:

So, technically I would say it serves its purpose but to me it seems like a bathroom in a hallway.  Also, carpet is always a tough sell in bathrooms.  Blue fuzzy mats don't help either.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Edifice in Embryo: Utah's Territorial Capitol

The family and I took a trip to St. George recently.  While on the way home, we stopped for a meal in Fillmore and decided to take a stroll around the old Territorial Capitol building.  It was an interesting experience.

There is a remarkable feeling of irony in Fillmore.  The great plans of it being the grand central Capitol of the State of Deseret lay unrealized.  The town is sleepy with broad streets and quite turn of the century cottages.  There is a great sense of 'what could have been'.  In the center of town, surrounded by weathered homes and a roof damaged public rec center is Utah's Territorial Capitol.

The edifice itself speaks to the failed dreams of territorial glory.  The Capitol Building is only one wing of a planned four wing structure.  On the north side, the concrete shows the curve of the planned rotunda that would act as the center point of the separate wings.  Instead, today it is an open air plaza.

Here is what was originally planned.

The politics and acrimony that existed between the Territorial Legislature and the Federally appointed Territorial Governor make for very interesting reading.  Had the relationship been better between Utah and the U.S Government, Utah's history and geography would have turned out much different.  In a way, Utah is still bristling from its rough treatment up to its entrance into the Union.

Nevertheless, the embryonic Territorial Capitol speaks to the dramatic impact that changes in use of space can have on our communities and skylines.  When state business and influence shifted from Fillmore to Salt Lake City, the dreams of a grand Capitol simply faded into the history books.  Fillmore has never been the same since.    

Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Build a Pergola

I recently completed construction of our long anticipated pergola in our back yard.  Many folks have expressed interest in the project so I thought I would share the how-to part of the process to help inspire everyone.

The process began on a piece of quad paper where a I drew out the design.  We had a couple obstacles to overcome:

1.  We didn't have a concrete pad poured already.
2.  Since we are on bench, our yard slopes at a steady incline

To overcome these problems, we decided to approach the issue with a suspended deck that would could build to float over the sloping yard and then build the cover once that was finished.

So, I went to work constructing the deck structure.  I want this structure to last for 50 years so I double checked the spacing requirements for different spans and thicknesses of lumber.  I settled on treated 4x6 beams as the bottom support spaced 4 feet apart and treated 2x8 floor joists spaced about 18 inches apart.

The trick though was getting the beams level on post bases sitting in concrete.  I wasn't sure when I started how to pour concrete first and then level the beam.  So, I reversed the process.  I placed the first beam on bricks and shims and leveled it.  I also preattached the post bases to the beam so they dangled in the air in the hole I had dug for the concrete.  Once everything was level, I mixed and poured the concrete in the holes and let it set around the post base. I repeated the step for the next beam making sure it was level with the first.  I used string and a string level to accomplish this.

Next, I installed the deck joists.  Keep in mind that I wanted my finished product to be 12x12 so that meant cutting about 3 inches off the end of each 12 foot board to make room for the decorative redwood skirt that would ultimately go around the exterior.

To keep the deck joists from tipping or wobbling, I installed center bracing to act as a support. I used metal brackets to tie the beams to the joists.

After the structure for the deck was finished, I began work on the decorative upper structure of the pergola.  The design required four posts to support the structure.  However, these posts has to be nearly level in height with one another and they had to sit in concrete.  I followed my previous pattern by creating a 'jig' for the post base and suspended it in the air over a hole and then poured concrete around it.

The jig was made to hold the post base in a predetermined fixed position below the joists.  Since the joists were level, this resulted in the posts bases being level with one another.

Work then began on the upper structure.  The upper structure called for paired 2x8 redwood beams running perpendicular to 2x6 rafters.  The posts were 10' tall.  I installed the posts in the post bases and also secured them to adjacent deck joists for additional stability.

Since I was building this alone, I had to figure out how to get the beams to the top of the posts.  It was just me and a ladder.  After some trial and error, I settled on screwing scrap pieces of 2x6 on the top part of the beam where it would attach to the posts.  Then I hoisted the beam up and let it hang by the scrap pieces which sat on top of the post.  This allowed me to make sure the post and beam were level.  I attached a screw to the beam at each post and repeated the step for the rest of the beams.  Screws do not hold a shear force well and will break, so I drilled 1/2" holes through both beams and the post and secured them with bolts instead.

Then came the part of installing the rafters.  They are spaced 14 inches apart and held in place with screws.  They won't be carrying any load other some some light snow so these screws should be all that is needed.        

Finally, the redwood 2x12 skirt was installed around the exterior of the deck structure.

We nailed cedar lattice to the interior as a barrier to keep out cats and other animals.

 Then we used 2x6 redwood planks for decking.

Finally, a coat of natural redwood stain was applied to the entire structure.  We used just over one gallon.

The entire structure cost approximately $1,500 and took me about 5 full days of labor (spread out over several weekends) to complete.

Photo of the Day: DIY Danger

I was recently shopping with some buyers in Roy.  We found a house that looked great in the photos but underwhelmed us when we saw the actual home.  One thing caught my eye on the back porch where the owner had installed a roof over the back porch.

See anything wrong with this picture?  This beam spans about 16 feet and carries the middle load for the roof.  There is a 4x4 post holding up the other end.  Where is the post at this end?  The flimsy screws and L-brackets will only carry the snow load for so long.  The bottom bracket is already showing the signs of stress.  Beneath this beam is a sliding door to the bedroom.  If this isn't fixed properly, the next owner of this home will risk personal injury and a view of the top of the porch roof when if finally collapses.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

FOR SALE: Updated Mid-Century Cottage

We recently finished a complete remodel of this cute Mid-Century cottage at 2982 Madison Ave. in Ogden, Utah. The home has a new roof, custom cherry wood kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, tile floors, two tone interior paint, and a complete staineless kitchen appliance package.  We are also including a stackable washer and dryer setup.

The home is 1776 SQFT and has a 1 car garage.  The back yard is fully fenced and has mature trees with lots of shade.

Here is a video tour:

If you would like to view this property, CONTACT ME, or give me a call at 801-390-1480.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

VIDEO: Skyscrapers Made of Wood

Architects are always looking at new ways to construct buildings based on the latest construction materials.  Frank Lloyd Wright pushed the design envelope with his work.

Well I recently watched this TED talk about efforts to build skyscrapers out of old-school wood rather than today's steel and concrete. It is a fascinating topic:

Interestingly, an Ogden developer is constructing new buildings in the city using a wood component-type construction method similar to what is seen in this video.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

FOR SALE: Ogden East Bench Rambler

I recently listed this cute home located just yards from Ogden's mountain trail system.

This home was built in 1952 and has an open floorplan unique to that era.   The home also has a fireplace, hardwood floors, bay windows, and great mountain views.  Living is all on one level and appliances are included.

Here is a video of the home:

If you are interested viewing this property, CONTACT ME for an appointment.