Category Archives: construction

Custom Design: Wood Shed

Wood sheds are a perfect example of functional + practical design. They are made for one purpose: storing wood.

   japanese woodshed

It’s simple, right? Not exactly. When SBaird Design was put in charge of designing a modern wood shed we had to think about all the design parameters that this structure had to follow:

  1. Hold a Cord of wood.  The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood in the United States and Canada. It is the amount of wood that, when “ranked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3). This corresponds to a well stacked woodpile 4 feet (122 cm) high, 8 feet (244 cm) long, and 4 feet (122 cm) deep; or any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields the same volume. 
  2. Provide Ventilation. Stacking the firewood in a shed with good ventilation lets the wood dry out without rotting so it will be ready for burning. In fact, stacking is so important that you do it ASAP.  If your wood is left in a large heap it will absorb ground moisture, attract insects, and start to rot.  Stacking firewood helps accelerate the drying process. The stacking pattern you choose can also increase the amount of ventilation your woodpile is exposed to.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the space between each log should be “large enough for a mouse to run through, but tight enough to prevent a cat from chasing it.”  
  3. Give Protection. It might seem like a given but it is quite an important factor to consider. Wood is cellular, and will reabsorb water like a sponge. Here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, if you take dry, seasoned fuel wood and stack it without proper protection, it can soak up enough water to revert to its original water content in just a matter of hours.

Now that we had the 3 necessary functions defined, SBaird Design also had to meet the needs of our client:

  1. Public Storage. The wood shed is on a property that will be a vacation rental. There needed to be an area to store items that renters can access, like patio tables and grilling items.
  2. Private Storage. Although the property is a rental, it is the home base for the client when they are in town. They wanted a separate compartment to store their beach belongings, like sand buckets, clamming guns and beach chairs.
  3. Contain the Containers. The property is next to a public beach access point. The client wanted to eliminate strangers trespassing on the property to throw away their debris and trash in the private bins. The wood shed needed to be able to hide the trash bins and keep them locked up.

Armed with these needs and functions, we started thinking about the design. Modern. Mimic the main house. Simple beauty.

At one of SBaird Real Estate’s listings, we found this wood shed in the back yard. It was the inspiration and jump-off point for our design.photo 4

Our craftsman on the job is a god send and gave us some great information on the layout and parameters to stick with:

  1. The highest point of the wood shed can not exceed 7′. It needs to be aligned with the existing roof structure of the main house to create one continuous line.
  2. The slope of the wood shed needs to be 1:12 to match the host home.
  3. The maximum footprint is a 15′x5′ rectangle made of 8″ CMU block.

Here is SBaird Design’s initial mock-up of the wood shed. Top bay and largest bay to the right add up to hold a volume of 130 cubic feet. Enough room to stack a cod of wood and easily access it. Wood will be kept secure with locking doors made of open metal grating. Center bay will hold the garbage bins, while the bay to the left is for the owner’s private use. The large full size access will be the public/rental storage equipped with shelving and still have enough space to store the patio furniture. The exterior will be clad with Ipe to match the main house.

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It will be finessed and design changes will be made but it is a good start.

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Manzanita project update

We are in our 9th month of the extensive remodel of a 1969 home on the ocean in Manzanita, Oregon.

The very slightly pitched flat membrane roof is on, Kolbe CVG fir interior and clad exterior windows were installed, the ipe soffits are up, copper flashing is on, wood burning rais fireplace is in, electrical, sound system wiring, rough in plumbing, insulation is done, the radiant floor heat is being installed, the deck framing is up, sauna and outdoor shower has been framed out and the ipe siding is about to commence. The home is starting to take shape in it’s appearance. An absolute jewel box it will be.

P1050004_5_6_7_8 P1050009_10_11_12_13 P1050019_20_21_22_23_tonemapped P1050057_58_59_60_61

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Kitchen and 3 bath remodels SW Portland SBaird Design

SBaird Design just completed this kitchen and 3 baths for a home in SW Portland. New oak floors, wall colors, cabinets, counters, lighting and opened kitchen to dining room. New tile, plumbing fixtures and cabinets in baths.

P1040078-Edit P1040081-Edit-Edit P1040106 P1040113-Edit Shannon at work

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wild colors for a brave client

two new tiny homes on a corner lot in n. portland near n. mississippi to be rented for short term stays

 

 

 

 

colors to be used citronella, kashmir green, bright yellow, hot lips and pretty pink

 

 

in the process of paint, finished homes will be shown soon

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update on manzanita project

sign on property for precision home and hardscape – general contractor and my company

 

the roof has been taking off, rain has intruded, the hole in the floor is where the old chimney was, the blue tape is the size of the new windows that will be installed soon.

 

we started sanding the beams so that we could see what happened when the stain was removed

all of the siding is removed now

 

the original tile floor in the entry which we intend to keep

 

 

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Walnut bed design with Delaney Kelly as co designer/builder

Initial drawings that Delaney and I came up with for a custom bed, constructed of walnut slabs for a client.

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and the finished design. Very simple.

the oregon black walnut chosen to fabricate the bed from

final pieces coming together

detail of headboard

detail of rails

installed

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Alameda Remodel is Complete!

After six months of schematic design, design development, demolition, framing, rough-ins, drywall, cabinetry, painting, and finish work, our Alameda kitchen remodel & master bath addition is complete.

Keeping the kitchen update in line with the architectural and historical integrity of this 1928 home was paramount. To reconcile the owners’ desire for an open kitchen – a relatively contemporary concept – an arched opening was added, the radius of which matched the arch between the dining and living rooms.

The custom cabinetry and peninsula turned out beautifully – I love the elegance of the inset doors and exposed hinges. The sophisticated Eureka Calacatta marble counters add to a refined touch and the warm brown tones in the marble coordinate well with the reclaimed oak floors. Lastly, the period flushmount light fixture and pendant lights unify the kitchen to the house.

The color palette for the main floor consists of warm and inviting historical colors. Repainting the foyer, entry, hall, living room, dining room, and sunroom/office helped to marry the remodeled kitchen to the rest of the house. Likewise, refinishing the existing oak hardwoods when the new kitchen floor was laid, allowed for a seamless flow between rooms.

In contrast to the warm palette on the main floor, the colors chosen for the upper level are calming and cool. Walking into the master bedroom, one instantly feels a wave of serenity.

In order to accommodate the master bath addition, some space was taken away from the master bedroom and the existing closet and built-in dresser at the knee wall were taken out. A window and an etched glass pocket door allow for more natural light in the master suite. The large shower with white subway tile and a marble accent band is lovely. The custom vanity, medicine cabinets, and cabinets in the WC look so elegant with the marble counters.

This home has such a sophisticated, warm, welcoming feel after the graceful transformations of the kitchen remodel and master bath addition. The homeowners are thrilled with the results. And I am so grateful to have worked with such genuinely kind clients.

kitchen detail with arch to match existing elsewhere in home, reconfigured doorways

marble counters, fisher paykel dishwasher on left, under mount sink, new hardwood floors in kitchen

new kitchen opened up to dining room, cabinet faced refrigerator, gas stove, custom cabinetry

new living room color

new office/sunroom wall color

vanity in master bath with marble counter, under mount sink and new window

water closet with storage

walk in shower with bench, two shower heads, subway tile with marble detail

master bedroom with entrance to new bath, new wall color

detail of pocket door to master bath with frosted glass

new master bedroom drapes

detail of foyer color

details of stairwell and entry color

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Going back to school

I have been waiting for this moment for years literally, both a little scared and very excited to be going to Oregon College of Arts and Crafts this weekend and next, for a four days hands on wood working class, specifically geared towards backyard structure building. Yes, I have always wanted to know how to build anything, and often say that I wish that I were an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC contractor…as all of that is infinitely fascinating to me. Then I could build a house, from bottom up. Brendan Conaway is the instructor and his website is inspiring http://www.micro-structures.com/. We have a new house, a new yard and have inherited the perfect place for a backyard structure where an old garage used to be, the foundation is still there and the promise can be seen in the parameter of concrete.

From the instructor:

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to the Backyard Structures class !

This class is a great opportunity to put together a good tool belt, fill it with some tools, and get used to wearing it and using it. Here are the tools you’ll need:

Tool belt and bags – A “framers” set-up, with big bags for nails/screws, and smaller pockets for tools. Should have a loop for a hammer. Most are made of cordura nylon, which is pretty strong. Some have fixed bags, others are a component system, which allows you to add bags as needed. (I added a ‘holster’ for my drill, and that’s been very useful.) Get something you like and feels really comfortable.

Hammer – A ‘framing’ hammer which has a waffle face on the head, meaning that the surface which strikes the nail is NOT smooth, but has a rough surface. I use a 21 ounce hammer, but something a little lighter would also be OK. Get something that feels comfortable in your hand and that you can swing easily. Do NOT get a hammer with a metal shaft. Wood is better, absorbs shocks and saves your wrist, elbow, etc. The ‘Vaughn” 19  oz. ‘California Framer” was popular with the last class.

Tape measure -  25 feet long. Get one that locks well and is affordable to you. The cheap ones break sooner, but the expensive ones also break, or get dropped, lost, etc.

Speed square – This is a triangular piece of metal (or plastic) to draw perpendicular lines across the face of boards. Get the 6” version, and hopefully your tool belt will have a handy triangular pocket that fits it exactly.

Bear Claw – Also known as a Cat’s Paw, this is like a small sharp crowbar for removing nails. If you don’t make any mistakes, you won’t need one. (I use mine often…)

Gloves – I use those over-engineered, ergonomic, padded “framing” gloves that leave my thumb and first two fingers uncovered. They’re great, enabling me to get into my work, not worry too much about what I’m picking up, and save my skin from blisters, splinters, and cuts. They fit tightly and I don’t really notice I have them on. They’re a little pricey, and they don’t last forever, but I always use them.

Eye and ear protection.

Rain gear, extra pair of socks and work shoes. It looks like it’ll rain (a lot or a little) so please be prepared to work in the wet.


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Alameda Kitchen Remodel and Master Bath Addition

When our clients recently had their 1928 Alameda home on the market, the feedback from potential buyers’ consistently emphasized the need for a kitchen remodel and a master bath addition.  The clients’ realtor graciously referred them to SBaird Design and we are grateful for the referral.  SBaird Design went to work on the design of a historically appropriate kitchen remodel and master bath addition.  A design build firm was interviewed and hired as the contractor.

Demolition has now commenced at their 1928 Alameda home.  Fortunately, the homeowners are enjoying a vacation while their home is in disarray.

Before

Demolition Phase


Next steps:  framing, rough-in  plumbing, rough-in electrical, and rough-in HVAC

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Don Tankersley Construction visit

While I have watched Don through various design/build projects over a 15 year period, his work never ceases to amaze me. Commercial – Blue Hour restaurant in Portland, Oregon, or residential – Gordon Thompson’s at Davis street, Lair Hill condo’s, or Maclaey View house, his latest project, a private residence on the Oregon Coast near Arch Cape was stunning to see in the early construction phase late July 2010.

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