Podcast Episode 127 — “A Flipbook of Houses Coming Together”
Building homes in San Francisco; gables, gables, gables; and scribing, scribing, scribing.
Siding, patios, load-bearing walls, and beams are on the menu for this episode of the FHB Podcast, with our regulars Justin Fink, Rob Yagid, and Brian Pontolilo. But first, the guys talk about the state of residential construction in California, and specifically San Francisco. High construction costs and a love of New England architecture mean that Justin likes to visit, but wouldn’t live there! Brian loves those San Francisco Victorians. That leads to a discussion of Shaker styles and Victorian variations. See below for links to some SF row houses.
Brian also talked about a tour he took of production homes in the SF suburbs, where they pack units into development communities — that’s for “affordable” homes, i.e., those that start at about $1.0-1.2 million. Justin compares the production process to “a flipbook of houses coming together.”
Listener Tom asks about replacing window trim and painting his cedar siding. But would pre-painted fiber-cement siding be a better choice? Rob and Brian suggest keeping the cedar siding if it is still in decent shape. Justin thinks that a new paint job is probably the cheapest option. Brian brings up the environmental costs. Consensus: Paint your siding.
Matt, a general contractor, needs advice about installing a walk-out patio (pavers or stone) off a kitchen. How do you build a walkout patio above a basement? And how to do this and still maintain 6 in. of clearance from the ground to the wood framing and siding? Take a look at this photo Matt sent in:
The guys worry that his foam is too close to grade. Justin suggests stairs down to a patio. Overall, that 22-in. drop is too much. “It looks like a place for a deck,” says Brian.
For our last question of the episode, listener Pete asks about taking down a load-bearing wall between his living room and dining room. How about adding a beam? First, make sure this wall is or is not really load bearing. Then, check out the links below for an article and a video on exactly how to do this job. Finally, listen to the guys for skinning advice.
Turns out, Rob is planning a similar job: his new bathroom vanity is between two walls. Talking about scribing issues keeps the guys busy for a while and fills out the rest of today’s podcast.
This episode of the podcast is brought to you by our sponsors, Rockwool, BuildDirect, and Wasco Windows.
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The Fine Homebuilding Podcast embodies Fine Homebuilding magazine’s commitment to the preservation of craftsmanship and the advancement of home performance in residential construction. The show is an informal but vigorous conversation about the techniques and principles that allow listeners to master their design and building challenges.
San Francisco row houses — Victorians and others:
- A Victorian Re-imagined
- Best Remodel: Row House Recharged
- Modern Design Complements Victorian Neighborhood in San Francisco
- Tight Lot, Tighter Budget
Links for this episode:
- Marianne Cusato’s To Create a Clean Roofline, Design from the Roof Down.
- Video: How to Install a Load-Bearing Beam.
- Remove One Wall and Join Two Rooms.
- Basic Scribing Techniques.
- Video: Scribing Made Simple.
- A Pair of Built-in Hutches.
- All FHB podcast show notes: FineHomebuilding.com/podcast.
- #KeepCraftAlive tee-shirts support scholarships for building trades students. So go order some shirts at KeepCraftAlive.org.
- The direct link to the online store is here.
I've been reading "This Victorian Life", Brian is right - Victorians are awesome.
Did you know they got special ice for their freezers? It was cheap then too, but our ice today is 'soft' where theirs was 'hard' and would last several times longer.
Really we've been hanging off the coattails of the Victorians since the 1880s . They didn't have Twitter but they did have several mail deliveries per day in the cities and the pneumatic tube mail system could shoot a message over Paris or London or New York in 30 minutes.
You mentioned sanding the printing off OSB - what you might have seen was OSB that had been run through a planer. It's a great look, makes OSB into a luxurious finish.