Project : The Williams Home

The Exterior Facelift:

The William’s project was a beautiful country home, sitting on a large wooded lot with a lake behind, owned by a professional couple, who truly enjoy the serenity of this location and the easy access to town. The home was purchased a few years back and underwent extensive interior updates and renovation. We were asked to help with the outdoor living spaces and give the home a facelift with a new coat of paint and exterior trim.

The CreativEye Design Solutions:

The wood siding and trim was in reasonably good shape for the age of the house. With some minor wood repairs and priming, the make ready went fairly quick. The color choices were crucial so this home would harmonize with the picturesque woodland setting. We kept the colors neutral and earthy, painting the body color with an earth tan, “Palomino” and accent woodwork with a dark but natural green that would complement the many pine trees around.

The Outdoor Living Spaces:

This home has a wonderful long covered front porch and a nice sized side deck for entertaining or just sitting and watching the wildlife. Both being great spaces but unfortunately neither very inviting. The font porch had a battleship grey painted concrete floor, the railing also had the same machine shop grey finish.

The ceiling was pretty uneven and just did not look finished and the side deck, well, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Not sure what all was going on here, but it had the warmth of a cattle ramp at the slaughter house. The previous owner had made some unsightly and questionable construction changes to this deck.

The CreativEye Design Solutions:

On the front porch we wanted to address the ceiling boards first and work from the top down. We wanted it to be less dominate but also feel a bit more finished than the painted plywood that showed seams. Several ideas were kicked around, from overlaying it with finished boards, to covering the joints with trim.
Overlaying it would have been nice but really push up the budget, and trimming over all the butt joints would have made the whole space way too busy.

We decided to create three large panels on the ceiling to draw your eye down the long corridor, and away from the panels them self. We caulked and eased the edges of the butt joints, mimicked the molding on the front door and carried that architectural detail out onto the ceiling. We gave everything a good coat of paint using the house color, which gave the ceiling a subtle but interesting feature at a fraction of the cost of the other approaches.

The hand railing solution was easy, simply match the color to the rest of the architectural features. The railing prep was a different story, being constructed of vinyl. With a thorough cleaning and a bonding primer applied, we then gave the entire rail system two coats of finish. Going over the rails three times is pretty time consuming and tedious but necessary to get a good bonded finish.

We wanted a finish on the floor that would be warm and inviting, and really set this space apart. We picked up colors from the surrounding landscape stone work, and gave the entire slab a faux stone finish. We modeled several glazes of rock color with some faint traces of tones from the house. We ended up with a very natural and harmonious illusion of a giant stone slab.

And around to the side deck, the first issue here was the structural integrity. Originally when this home was constructed the deck was probably just a walk around to the lower patio, but a previous owner had extended it. The biggest problem was that the deck joists were on 32” centers and carrying 2”x6” decking boards across this 26’ by 9’ deck at the second floor level. All this excessive weight and missing joists had caused a visible sag in the major support beam, and a some what unnerving bounce to the whole structure when walking across it.

Basically this deck was insanely under engineered and in other areas inanely over built. The deck bench looked more like a cattle ramp then seating and certainly added more than a few hundred pounds to this already overstressed structure. Besides, it took up so much room that the actual usable space was cut by a third and totally block the wonderful woodland view.

The goal here was to reclaim this space for the homeowner. To turn it into a usable, secure and visually pleasing space to entertain, have a cook out and just enjoy the view.

The first thing was to reverse engineer this hodgepodge and get down to the original supporting frame work. In a controlled demolition, we removed the 2”x6” decking and the “strange bench thingy” and strip down the rails. Once the weight was off the deck we jacked the main support beam level and reinforce that beam by sandwiching with a new beam, lag bolting them together. The original deck joists (from the walk around) tied into the second story floor joist nicely, certainly done by a professional framer in the correct manner. So to get our deck to standards, (16” on center) we inserted new joist between every existing joist lagging them into the house ledger and setting them into our new leveled header.

We wanted to salvage as much of the stair case framing as we could, but the step riser height (spacing) was uneven and too high. New custom cut stringers were made, adding an additional step to each run. Making for a more natural and comfortable transition from deck to landing to patio.

With the new beam in place, deck leveled and squared up, new joists on 16” center and secured to the ledger, staircase spacing addressed, the framing is complete. We then moved on to the easy work, laying the decking and finishing this outdoor living space.

We used standard 5/4” boards for the decking, on 16” centers to feel very stiff under foot and really reduce the weight on this structure. We staggered our seams and used the longest runs we could for a nice clean uniform look. We installed two 2”x6” boards to make up each tread on the upper and lower staircase and covered the landing with the same 5/4” decking boards as the main deck.

We ran our deck rail posts, lagged them to the joists, installed handrails and middle rail. There are no balusters on this deck, so that they can truly take in the view, but with this design they can easily added later if wished.

At this point we have a stable, usable deck, solving all our design problems.

We let the wood season in, and came back with two coats of semi transparent stain, in a nice natural wood tone for all the decking. Giving it just a bit of warmth and still letting the wood grain show. We primed all the bare wood and top coated it with the same green trim color we used through out, visually tying the front and back decks together.

This was a great project for CreativEye, the Williams were wonderful people to work with, good communicators of what they were looking for and liked, while being open to our recommendations and solutions. This combination equaled success and turned these spaces into inviting and comfortable outdoor living environments. With renovations projects like this you have to decide when to spend for new and were to salvage old, still getting the end vision desired and the most bang for your buck.

It’s a win win, when we exceed the client expectations and produce a product we’re proud of, the core of the CreativEye mission.