Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Way Down

Just a quick post today before I go back to 12 hour shifts tomorrow. :(

This is where I left off with the exterior.

I've been pretty much firm on this setup for the exterior entry stairs for a good while now. But as I'm nearly ready to commence working out here now that the second floor is days away from being glued down, I've been contemplating another option.




I've always felt that the driveway should slope down. Because it seems to me that would be the norm in San Francisco and being on a hill street there should be some indication of that. So I'm contemplating some kind of graduated step path to the street, along the retaining wall, instead of a third flight of stairs. Perhaps I'll add the stairs to the back of the landing for easy access for the tenant. They would be more recessed than they are in this mock up because I would use the tread of the top stair as part of the landing.


 Or perhaps a sloping path with a couple of large steps at the end. Both versions would allow me to suggest a sloping driveway from the street, while still having enough space to park cars on the flat bit. :D


I popped a bit of trim on for fun. I'll be modifying this trim because I need to have railing out to the landing. I've seen someone else with a San Franciscan cut the railing portion of the trim away leaving the ornate arch. They then added standard store bought railing to the bottom... I think this would be a good solution for me too.. I just need to determine exactly where to cut it. Probably right where the curve meets the rail and I'll lop off that flat post top that is masquerading as a ball too!


I need to decide these things pretty quickly. When I finish the kitchen and install the internal stairs I'm moving to the landscaping board and porch before heading upstairs to the second floor. :D












20 comments:

  1. I think that your idea for a sloped driveway a la San Fran is a Terrific Idea, Sam!!! I like how you are mocking it up and I am glad that you are not using the 3rd set of steps in front of the tenant's front door as they appeared to crowd the entry.
    Are you planning to add some kind of support for under the porch landing- just curious.

    elizabeth

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth.. :) I'm a terrible decision maker so many mock-ups are required before I can commit to a final version.. lol.. It always seems as if there is a better option just around the corner of my imagination. haha. I hadn't planned to have a support.. But now that you mention it I will think on it. I'm not sure I wan't a pole to break up the view to the apartment but perhaps some other option. Or, maybe their is just some kind of crazy engineering in my made up world that just allows that landing to defy gravity. :)

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  2. It's so much fun to see the exterior and the tree again! Good luck getting decisions made and a direction to go in before the next marathon of work begins!
    I love the sloping sidewalk, and agree with Elizabeth about omitting the tenants stairs. He's probably rather park his bike or a barbecue there! :O)

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    1. Thanks Jodi.. I agree he would much rather use the space.. I'm thinking of getting him a mo-ped but a bicycle might be fun too. :) I'm now thinking maybe the stairs still but then the pathway goes up hill to the street... haha.. will I ever make up my mind???

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  3. I love the sidewalk sloping and your stairs are wonderful! I agree about the stairs in front of the tenant's door. My first thought was if the door would clear them if it opened outward. They make things look a bit crowded and really I think the driveway would end up being his 'path' more than the steps up and then down.

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    1. Thanks for the input Sheila.. I agree he would probably use the driveway to get to his apartment. The door opens inward so that's not an issue but it is a little crowded down there. I really wish I'd given him more outdoor space in front of his apartment.. I may need to do some slight modifications to the retaining wall. :D

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  4. Hi Sam, Just spent some time looking at “painted ladies” houses in San Francisco. A slightly sloped driveway would certainly enhance the SF effect but as Sheila intimated most tenants would walk down the driveway. The owner would park in the driveway and then walk up the stairs that are at right angle to where the car would be. Instead of the wide shallow steps along the wall on the left side it could be a garden, edged to the slope. That would soften the amount of hardscape and give you an opportunity to garden!
    The decorative work at the entrance is great. Yes take off the flat knob unless you want to replace it with a 3-dimensional one.

    Oh, it is fun to throw out ideas, so easy when it is in the imagination not reality! Thank you for offering us this exercise!
    Regards Janine

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    1. Hi Janine! Oooh. a garden is a good idea.. I'll think about how to incorporate one. I still need to have a third run of stairs to the street or the tenants apartment because the landscape board is not wide enough to incorporate a straight run of stairs to the driveway. The upstairs inhabitants would be constantly hitting them as they backed out of the garage.. :D I think after seeing the responses here though that I might stick to my original plan for the stairs and have a pathway that slopes up to the street. That is unless I change my mind again.. :D

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  5. Hi Sam, decisions, decisions...
    I really like the sloping path in the last photo. It is a really clever, and it is quite amazing how a little sloping path can soften so many otherwise straight angles. I agree that the tenant is much more likely to want to hang out with mates, cooking a BBQ than having convenient steps for upstairs. Besides, he looks pretty fit, so I am sure he will just jump that low wall if needs be.
    Anna x

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    1. Haha.. you are probably right Anna.. He doesn't need the steps... I'll keep thinking on this.. I may cut out a ledge at the top of the retaining wall for a garden with hanging plants to soften the wall. All to be determined as I go.. I can't seem to make a decision at the moment.. :) I like the look of the path sloping too.. but perhaps it will slope in the other direction. As is it does create a bit of a meandering way to the garage for anyone upstairs in this configuration. They need another way down! :)

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  6. Hello Sam,
    First of all, the pictures of the unfinished house are already beautiful. I think both options work really well, but I very much like the sloping path. For some reason it feels more finished. Keep up the amazing work.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac.. I like the look of the slope and large steps too.. but how do the upstairs inhabitants get to the garage? More thought required on this because I would like to do the path idea. :) Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts. Everyone's ideas and suggestions are very helpful.

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  7. I like your thought process and this mock-up allows you figure out the best route! I like the idea of a sloping driveway - it will look very realistic, especially for San Francisco. However, I have a sloped driveway in real life and hate it! Food for thought! Keep up the good work - Troy

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    1. Haha! Thanks Troy.. Thank goodness this isn't real life.. I would hate a sloped drive too.. luckily mine couldn't be flatter. :D

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  8. As soon as I saw this my mind went to SF! I saw a house just like near the Palace museum of art. Yours is awesome and pretty unique in miniature. Thanks for sharing and evoking memories.

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    1. Thanks so much.. I'm so glad my build evokes thoughts of San Francisco! That is the aim after all. :)

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  9. Hello, Sam - I love the look of the house with the trim added. I do like your idea of cutting away the existing railing and extending it out to the porch. You have some interesting driveway and stair options to choose from - those San Francisco hills can be challenging! I'm looking forward to learning what your final decision will be.
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks Marjorie.. Yes, I need a bit more realistic railing than the flat trim provided with the kit. In addition it needs to match the landing so I think changing at least the lower part is the solution. :) I have a lot of decisions to make (not my strong suit) but we will get there in the end. It may take a while though. :)

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  10. Staircases, I can't get my head around them. I love your idea of the illusion of a slope and I think it's going to look magnificent.

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    1. Thanks so much Megan. It’s in San Francisco. It had to be on a hill street. ;D

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