Ranch Redux: A Ranch Done Wright

Woke Last Night to the Sound of Thunder | November 19, 2011

How far off I sat and wondered.  For the first time in a year the sound of rain did not put fear and loathing in my heart.  We no longer have canals filled with dirty water running through our house, threatening to overflow.  They are filled with a solid cement foundation.   Tim and I don’t have to battle the elements shaking our fists at the heavens chanting “please stop, please just stop!”  (It does no good anyway…) We now have a roof with effective and melodic roof drains.  The windows are in and I stand dry behind them watching the rain move in.

Finally, after four months we are roofed, and yet both Tim and I are antsy.  All day long last Saturday it rained and Tim and I went from room to room marveling that we didn’t have waterfalls streaming in the house.  Water was pooling outside, but only a tiny amount of seepage came through the bare, unplastered walls.  We just couldn’t trust that we were safe from the weather.  I guess it is just a minor form of post traumatic stress disorder.

A couple of weeks ago we had the roof installed.  We wanted to do one of those old timey, mid-century, big rock roofs, but unfortunately they do not install those roofs anymore.  It has something to do with cancerous materials or something.  Sometimes as I am driving around old neighborhoods and see a big rock roof I become green with envy, wishing to go back in time.  I doubt if I would like being a woman in the 1950’s, but I do love the roofs of that time.   So we had to compromise on a composite roof, small rock on the flat part and asphalt shingles on the pitched part of the roof.  It looks good. Tim was a little disappointed with the roofers’ detail work.  He had to go back and fix things to make the lines look right.  All in all, the roof is brand new, water tight, and sound; all very good things.

The framing is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably done!  In fact, it is not only merely done; it’s really most sincerely done.  I will miss Charlie and Chino, but I am so relieved to have such a large part of the project completed.  It looks really good.  J., Charlie, and Tim really built a pretty house.  Tim would tell you there are many things he would have done differently, and if you have a couple hours and a nice growler of “Revelations” from Pizza Port he could catalogue those things for you.   But all in all, it really looks nice, and he did a fabulous job running the framing.

We ordered a soaking tub and kitchen sink from Appliance Alley in San Diego.  If you ever need appliances, and live in the San Diego area, go to Appliance Alley and ask for Bill.  He is very good at gauging what you want and guiding you to the right appliance.  When it came to the kitchen sink, a Kholer stages, I already was sure about what I wanted.  There were some sketchy internet sites where I found the sink pretty cheap.  I told Bill what price I found and he matched it. They are local, deliver for a reasonable fee, and best of all, Bill doesn’t try to up sell you on things you don’t want.   We like being able to support local businesses, so it is a win-win.

Things are slowly starting to get back to normal. We started bringing things back from our storage unit and bringing back the semblance of a home.  We have a comfortable living room set up now.   We even had our annual Halloween party for Joey and his friends.  It is nice to get back to the routine that has been disrupted for a year.

When we started this whole project I thought I was an adventure scout and it would be pretty easy living in a minimalist way.  I thought I would be able to keep my sanity during this ordeal.   I had hoped I could make the spaces, such as they were, cozy.  Instead, we all have gritted our teeth and just endured it.  The only person who could have pulled off gracious living under these circumstances is my college roommate, Nancy.  She and her husband live in the mountains of Santa Cruz in a wonderfully wooded area.  When I visit them I feel like I have arrived at a combination retreat and spa.  Nancy always has had the ability to make a space homey.  She was a river guide in college and used to take people out on overnight trips.  Within minutes of beaching the rafts, Nancy created an oasis of organization and calm in the campsite she was in charge of.  I could have used Nancy’s expertise this past year.

There is just one thing holding up the show now: doors.    We found the front door of our dreams.  It is an eight foot, aluminum frame door with four obscured glass panels.  It is the front door of the groovy store “Solo” in Solano Beach.  We inspected the door, got the information we needed, found the company on the internet, and asked for a bid.  All day Monday I was imagining this beautiful door gracing the front of the house:

Reality set in when Tim got the bid.  One eight foot, aluminum frame door with four obscured glass panels costs $4700.00!  That is without installation.  Still, we could afford it if we did without little things like drywall or wiring.  I guess we are back to the drawing board when it comes to the front door.

This weekend it is supposed to rain again.  I know we are good, high and dry, but as the clouds amass my anxiety rises. Tim is putting up more Moist Stop up and inspecting the roof.  We act as if we are preparing for a battle.  Will I ever love the rain again? I hope so.



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We are embarking on an adventure turning a boring little ranch house into a modern style remodel.







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