Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 3-12-17

Not a marathon today, but there are some interesting developments.

352 N. Summit Street

The story here this week is counters and lighting. In the foyer, these sconces have been installed. Not unsurprisingly, given that the builder is the same, they are the same style as the sconces in the living room and hall at 251 N. Bayview (Lorraine Architectural Railing Sconce from Restoration Hardware), though these have a different finish (Aged Steel rather than Rustic Iron). I see now, too, that they have (when complete) a shade, not just the exposed bulbs.

Here’s a close-up of the notice visible in the photo above, instructions for the placement of “dinner” switches (in some places where it wouldn’t have occurred to me that mood lighting would be desirable).

This pile of boxes in the dining room attests to the number of lights and fans that have been installed during the past week. I took close-up photos of many of them for reference, as an aid to finding the corresponding fixtures online.

Here’s one designated for the closet in Bedroom #2 (the center bedroom), which I didn’t think to check out.

In the kitchen, some of the granite countertop has been installed, and most of the light fixtures have been hung. The chandelier over the island (one of two to be installed) is a Morgan from Capital Lighting.

The island countertop has been marked for installation of the cooktop.

In the pantry, the second Morgan chandelier awaits installation. On the ceiling is the Heath Flushmount from Restoration Hardware.

In the sunroom, the two-blade Quorum Turner fan in Persian White, and a better glimpse of one of the pendant lights (with milk-glass shade) over the sink counter.

A Leddington single-light sconce by Feiss was designated for the half-bath (powder room). If it had been installed, I did not notice it; none of the other fixtures (pedestal sink, toilet) have been installed there.

It’s probably not too much of a stretch to guess that a king-size bed will be placed between these two pendant lights in the master bedroom. As can be seen in the close-up, they will hold two bulbs and presumably will be shaded, perhaps something like this.

In the master bath, another granite countertop, with an undermount Kohler sink that I believe is the Archer model. The light fixtures are the Sutton Grand Sconce from Restoration Hardware.

Upstairs, in the “break room,” another Heath Flushmount light fixture and a small stainless steel sink in the granite countertop.

The sconce in the break room is the same as these seen in the stairwell and hall: the Denton Narrow Sconce Tall from Restoration Hardware (with the Weathered Zinc finish).

In Bedroom #2 (the center bedroom), the Sundance fan from Minka Aire.

In Bedroom #4 (the back bedroom), the Rudolph fan from Minka Aire.

In Bedroom #3 (the front bedroom), the Hunter 1886 Limited Edition in Midas Black. All these rooms have recessed “can” lighting at the corners, so there will be no lights under the fans.

In the upstairs bath, a granite countertop and oval undermount sink, plus two more of the Leddington single sconces (I’m not sure what the mysterious markings indicate). There was also a box from a three-light Leddington sconce, which I did not see, but it occurred to me belatedly that I had completely forgotten to look in the en suite bath (adjacent to Bedroom #2), so perhaps it is there.

As I was leaving, I checked out these unopened boxes containing Palmetto Street lanterns from The Coppersmith designated for the front porch.

The specs indicate that it will be the gas rather than the electric model.

351 N. Summit Street

I was unable to get inside today, but I couldn’t see any noticeable changes. Outside, however, there was a development. Last week I said that “the two potted trees that I was worrying about seem to have disappeared.” I was worrying about them because it seemed like they’d sat around in pots for quite a long time without being planted. Today when I arrived, there they were, just where their pots had originally been placed (they were later moved to the driveway).

Had they been there last week and I missed them? That would be embarrassing. But no, as this photo of that location last week clearly shows, I hadn’t missed them because they weren’t there.

On the other hand, this photo from December 24 also clearly shows that the potted trees that had stood for months in the driveway are not the same ones that have been planted, so apparently there was a change of plan.

59 N. Summit Street

The front porch has been framed with concrete blocks.

Progress has been made on the addition, and the gutting of the interior is complete (staircase and loft removed).

In the back, the frame for another porch, patio, or addition.

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 3-5-17

Buckle your seatbelt and hang onto your hat because it’s going to be a wild ride! I took over 100 photos this week, and, although I won’t be using all of them, there will be quite a few!

352 N. Summit Street

Not a lot of change here. Outside, the front porch columns have been boxed in.

Inside, the only discernible note of progress downstairs was the appearance of stone or stone-look tiles on the floor of the laundry room.

Upstairs, the space in the tub enclosure has been filled with glass tile.

351 N. Summit Street

I really hit the jackpot here because I found the house accessible for a change and was able to take a lot of photos inside. But first, outside, landscape lighting has been added: lights on either side of the parking area (circled), beside the front porch, on the patio, and in the breezeway.

The front garden, as seen from the screened porch, is looking quite finished, with more plantings and additional gravel.

The two potted trees that I was worrying about seem to have disappeared, but other plants still remain to be placed.

Inside, I was able to get a shot of the kitchen from the back, with the French doors to the screen porch to the left. Note how the sink counter and adjoining cabinets are framed by molded walls.

The cabinets to the left and right of the sink counter are pull-outs for pots and pans.

At the back of the kitchen there are four openings. From left to right, they are the passageway leading to the powder room, a refrigerator alcove, the pantry, and the stairs.

To the left of the refrigerator alcove is another narrow cupboard, this one with a conventional door and shelves.

The walk-in pantry provides ample food storage.

There is additional storage in the passageway to the powder room.

The floor in the powder room is partially paved with the same kind of “wood bricks” used in the foyer.

Here’s a better photo of the foyer floor.

The living room alcove is now filled with a built-in cabinet.

Longtime readers will recall discussion of the “secret compartments” in my September 18 post. These are concealed in the wall between the living room and dining room. Here we see the interior of both shallow and deep ones, along with the doors, waiting to be installed. They will have “push-to-open” latches, so the doors will be flush and hidden in the cased opening.

This shot in the stairwell shows the dark stain used on much of the kitchen woodwork.

Upstairs, the stair opening has not yet been railed, but the ladder has been restored to its rightful position.

The loft appears unchanged except for the addition of a louvered door to the mechanical room.

On the stair landing, the three doors seen in the photo above are (L–R) to the master bedroom, the laundry room, and the guest suite. The laundry room, like all the bathrooms, has marble flooring and baseboards.

The guest bath is partially complete, with tub, vanity, and toilet, plus a small linen closet. The tub fixtures are Delta’s Ashlyn Monitor, a discontinued model, so I assume these are salvage.

The flooring in the guest bedroom puzzled me at first: hardwood flooring around the perimeter but plywood in the center. Then it occurred to me that doubtless the plywood will be covered by a carpet.

The same treatment is evident in the master bedroom (as well as in the bonus room), and it doesn’t, of course, make sense to waste good flooring on an area that will always be covered.

This is the end of the master bedroom that looks out the back of the house. There are closets on either side of the window alcove (the one on the left concealed by the entry door from the stair landing).

There are two closets at the interior end of the room as well. The opening to the right leads to the bath suite.

Proceeding through that door and making an immediate left turn, we come to a built-in dressing table on the left. All the drawers in the dressing table (as well as in the vanities to come) use undermount push-to-open drawer slides.

Passing the dressing table, we come to the bathroom proper, with matching vanities left and right.

One of the four planned light fixtures has been installed.

Just this side of each vanity is the door to a walk-in closet. I’m guessing that this one on the right (which is smaller) is His and that the larger one is Hers (Hers also uses painted rather than stained wood).

Although the clothes rods have not yet been mounted in her closet, there is provision for two levels, as in his. They are on the back wall as you enter, with shelves on the front walls. Her closet extends to the bedroom wall, behind the dressing table, while his is cut off by the guest bath on the other side.

Between the vanities are the steps up to the bathtub, which sits in the window bay facing the street.

To the left of the tub is a spacious toilet room with its own window. One of the things I love about this house is the abundance of natural light. Although the generator should protect against power outages, it will still be nice to be able to use the closets and bathrooms in the daytime without having to turn on a light.

To the right of the tub is the shower room. There is no threshold, but the floor does slope down toward the drain.

The shower room also has a window, but this one is framed with marble instead of wood.

The fixtures in the shower are from the Siderna Collection by Brizo.

This intriguing device is mounted in the wall outside the shower.

Returning to the stair landing, we see the bridge to the “bonus room” over the garage.

These spotlights will illuminate the bridge at night (in the daytime, there is natural light from the window facing the back of the house).

This is a view of the back of the bonus room, with a large window looking out the back of the house. Note the small closets on either side.

At the other end of the room are the door to the bathroom (which has the window over the garage) and several more small closets.

Most of the closets just provide attic storage or access to plumbing…

…but this one offers a modicum of storage (currently it is filled with the drawers from the bathroom vanity).

The shower stall is completely floored and faced with marble. The faucet handle is again Ashlyn Monitor by Delta, but the shower head is a Speakman Anystream, obviously salvaged (it’s a bit rusty).

This thermostat is a reminder that the house has a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Under the sheet of plywood seen in a previous photo, the fold-down stair (which provides access from the garage) has been installed. Presumably it will be covered by some sort of trapdoor.

Finally we return to the main house via the breezeway bridge.

59 N. Summit Street

The existing front porch has been entirely removed, and footings have been poured for a new porch that will apparently span the front of the house.

In the back, footings have been poured for another addition of some sort.

160 Fels Avenue

This house is now also for sale. Readers who last saw the interior somewhat incomplete may be interested in the interior and exterior photos here.

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 2-26-17

Very little to report today, I’m afraid.

352 N. Summit Street

The staircase has been finished.

The space I identified as a “linen closet” in the hall bath upstairs now has this built-in.

Aside from those two changes, I could not identify anything else new in the house: the hearth was still in its crate; the oven and range have to await countertop; the tile in the bathrooms has not been grouted; no more flooring has been completed.

351 N. Summit Street

Cabinetry has been installed in the kitchen, along with the sink. Men were working in the living and dining rooms on some kind of finishing.

59 N. Summit Street

Men were at work toward the back of the house, but the staircase and loft, reportedly slated for demolition, are still in place.

Here’s the best shot I could get of the side addition (surrounding foliage makes photography difficult).

Work seems to be currently focused on the addition in back.

Shooting into the sun didn’t help this photo, but it gives a bit of an idea of the overall building.

111 Magnolia Avenue

This house is for sale. Readers who followed the progress of its construction may be interested in looking at exterior and interior photos of the finished house here.

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 2-19-17

Lots of interesting new developments this week!

352 N. Summit Street

The big story this week is cabinetry, but I’ll start with this photo that you may be able, with difficulty, to make out as the still-boxed stone hearth.

It will be laid in this space in front of the fireplace.

The kitchen has been transformed with the addition of an island and other cabinetwork. Although the row of windows provides welcome natural light, it does reduce the number of upper cabinets to just one above the refrigerator.

Presumably this dearth of cupboards will be compensated for by this generous pantry.

One of the cupboards is (I’m guessing) a pullout rack for a wastebasket. Just to the right of that is the sink, and to its right the dishwasher (see next photo).

The island will house the oven and stovetop. The latter will be the GE Café™ Series 36″ Built-In Gas Cooktop. Behind it will be the GE Universal 36″ Telescopic Downdraft System in lieu of an overhead range hood.

In the laundry room, the cabinet configuration indicates that washer and dryer will both be front-loaders. There is ample upper-cabinet storage here.

In the box on this cabinet in the laundry room is the Patras sink that will be installed there.

In the master bathroom, a double vanity is in place.

The master bedroom is providing door storage. I will be looking forward to seeing where the salvaged French doors end up.

There is no vanity in the powder room (it will be recalled that a pedestal lavatory is slated to go there), but the uninstalled stair treads have been moved here, along with tiles that may be intended for the laundry room floor.

Some of those treads, however, have been installed at the foot of the staircase. The rest of the risers are stacked up here.

Upstairs, a railing has finally been installed, reducing my concern about falling down the stairs on my way to the middle bedroom. Presumably the balusters downstairs will be the same.

At the top of the stairs is what I’m calling the “break room,” since the plans indicate it will contain a sink, a small fridge, and (above the fridge) a microwave oven.

In the en suite bathroom (adjacent to the center bedroom), a vanity has been installed.

This photo shows the upstairs hall, looking from the front bedroom toward the back bedroom. The door on the right is to the hall bath. At the end of the unfloored area is the landing (the newel post at the top of the stairs can be seen on the left), with the “break room” to the right and the short hallway to the center bedroom on the left. By next week perhaps flooring in the hallway and bedrooms will be complete.

The hall bathroom sports this attractive dresser-style vanity. Surprisingly, since it serves two bedrooms, it will have only one lavatory.

351 N. Summit Street

Screen framing has been added to the screened porch. Workers from Deas Millwork were at work inside, and a truck from T.J.’s Quality Painting had just left (T.J.’s Facebook page has photos of this house, with more promised soon).

59 N. Summit Street

During the week, some of the roof decking had been removed, but now it has been replaced and extended to cover the addition.

As this full dumpster implies, substantial demolition is going on. When I stopped by yesterday, I learned that the interior is being essentially gutted and entirely reconfigured; workers told me the staircase and second-floor loft would be torn down to make a two-story great room.

The Gate House

A fence has been added around a side service area.

In my previous photo of the side of the house, the garage door was up; here’s one with it down.

This attractive path leads from the side to the front of the house.

All four lanterns are in place now, with amber glass panels.

Although they appear to contain gas flames, the flickering lights are actually very realistic LEDs.

The house is now finished and available for rental through Mannich Real Estate. See here for details (with interior photos).

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 2-12-17

In which we bid farewell to one project but touch base on several others.

252 N. Bayview Street

The porch railing has been painted, the unwanted/unneeded railing on the steps has been removed, and there is a car in the carport. I think it’s time to stick a fork in this one.

352 N. Summit Street

The tile work that was under way last weekend was nearer completion today, but the first sight that greeted my eyes was flooring. Unable to open the front door, I used one of the French doors in the great room (which was standing ajar), and soon saw why the front door wouldn’t open.

The great room/dining room floor was in progress, as were other downstairs floors. Upstairs, the landing had been completed.

In the master bath, the shower stall awaits grout. I assume that the area above the half wall and seat will be part of a glass enclosure that includes the door.

The floor and shower stall in the upstairs hall bath have also been tiled. The decorative panel and shower floor are paved with actual pebbles that, even after grouting, will presumably provide a nubbly floor surface.

In the en suite bathroom, which is windowless, white subway tile and light-colored floor tile are a sensible choice.

351 N. Summit Street

In the kitchen, shapes hinting at cabinetry have appeared.

59 N. Summit Street

Although I promised a report, I really couldn’t see much today. Clearly, framing has begun on the extension. Driving by during the week, I had gotten a sense that work might also be under way on the second-story addition in back, but I couldn’t see any actual evidence of it.

The Gate House

Two of the (presumably) four lanterns have been installed on the posts, giving the porch a more finished look.

From the porch, I spotted this design in the neighbor’s front yard, created with fallen camellia and azalea blossoms.

Judging from the number of fallen blooms under this camellia, the creator may well be able to fill the heart by Valentine’s Day.

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 2-5-17

Very little to report this week, I’m afraid.

252 N. Bayview Street

Move-in has definitely begun. Although it doesn’t appear the owners are yet in residence, many furnishings (including a grand piano) have been moved into the downstairs rooms. This shot through the south side door shows new hanging light fixtures over the kitchen island.

Exterior work is also complete except for some painting.

Here’s a close-up of the balcony with the corrected posts.

These stepping stones from the carport to the back of the house are (relatively) new, I think.

352 N. Summit Street

What appeared to be a husband-and-wife team were at work both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday they were working on the tile in the master bathroom shower.

351 N. Summit Street

No apparent change outside. Inside, a detail I hadn’t previously noticed. Looking through one of the windows, I saw what looked like a brick floor in the foyer. Although this shot through the glass in the front door doesn’t show the floor clearly, what at first appeared to be bricks are actually blocks of wood laid in a diagonal pattern.

120 Kiefer Avenue

The steps have been completed and look very nice. Puzzlingly, the dumpster is gone, so perhaps work on the main house is not in progress after all.

59 N. Summit Street

Work seems to have resumed here. I’ll have a further report next week.

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Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 1-29-17

Not a lot to report this week on the three sites I’ve been monitoring regularly, but I do have another update on 120 Kiefer Avenue and a few more photos of the Gate House.

252 N. Bayview Street

Yesterday was moving day, at least partially. The items being moved in appeared to be newly purchased furniture from Restoration Hardware. In the photo below, you can see the ginormous (and very heavy) mirrored headboard (which had to go upstairs to the master bedroom) that was giving the movers a hard time.

As can be seen, painting is now almost complete. The balcony railing has not been painted because the posts are not right. When corrected, they will be the same size and style as the columns behind and the pilasters on the first floor. The stair rail beside the front steps is temporary (required by code) and will be removed to make way for planters. Both side entrances have railed steps, and there is a grade-level entrance to the back bedroom.

The copper lantern I speculated about last week has in fact been installed on the front porch. Over time, it will acquire a patina that will almost match the paint color.

I was not the only person observing the move-in. The American Ninja Warriors from next door were also keeping an eye on the process. I had a chance to speak to them the other day when they came to my door selling candy bars to raise money for their school library. It seems the education budget has been cut to the point that only $21 per classroom is allocated for library books!

352 N. Summit Street

The mantel has been installed, and stair treads lean against the wall, ready to be put in service.

In the master bathroom, construction of a shower stall, with two shower heads and a bench, has begun. A “garden tub” will be placed diagonally in the windowed corner.

351 N. Summit Street

No change.

120 Kiefer Avenue

The guesthouse steps are finally being completed and in fact will stretch across the front and around the side (my earlier speculation about flower beds was obviously incorrect).

This diagram shows exactly how they are to be laid.

The dumpster seemed fuller this week, so I can only assume work inside the main house is continuing as well.

The Gate House

Painting by Freedom Construction is complete, along with landscaping by Martiniere Landscaping. Although some details remain to be finished, the house will soon be available to rent through Mannich Real Estate (which now also had a sign in the yard).

Despite my best efforts to damp reflections, these shots through the glass are pretty bad, but you can get some idea of the finished interior.

I am told that Leslie Anne Tarabella will be visiting and writing about the house soon. Her photos will definitely be better than mine!

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