Monday, April 25, 2011

If A Tree Falls In The Forest.....

Guy is currently working on the architectural plans for the house so in the meantime we started right away on the trees. There are a ton of beautiful old oaks on the property and we want to keep as many as possible. Our arborist told us that approximately 3 trees had to be removed because they were dead or dying. The good news is that most of the oaks are in good shape but just haven't been trimmed in a long time. There are a lot of dead branches and offshoots which makes the rest of the tree unhealthy.

A crew came out on Friday from Britton Tree Service to start work on the trees in the front.

Pretty amazing that these guys swing from the trees!

Today, the crew started work on the trees in the back of the house. This tree was hollow inside and needed to come down as it was in danger of falling down.

This is the one tree we took down purely because it was in the way. Sorry tree.

But the removal of the dead tree as well as this tree sure improved the northwest view!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Measuring and more measuring.

I'm am now starting to grasp just how much and how many people are involved in a home remodel. On Wednesday we had a stream of people to meet with in and out of the house.

Guy Ayers is going to be our architect. Guy has a lot of experience with mid century homes and remodeling them in the SF Bay Area. And it turns out, he is a fellow Canadian! His website showcases some of his work and we were impressed by all of the remodels that look modern, yet without that cold feel I get from so many contemporary homes. They all look warm and inviting - exactly what we hope to accomplish with our home! DGuy Ayers website.
Guy spent the better part of Wednesday measuring the entire house. We tried to find the original house plans, but the former owners did not have them, nor did the city. It is still a mystery whom actually designed it. No original plans meant that before he drew up anything, Guy had to start from scratch. We wanted to get the architect going as soon as possible because the permit process will take some time.

We had a visit from a landscape contractor to talk about removing all of the dead branches and crap around the property. It is truly an overgrown jungle at the moment! 

We also met with a solar specialist. Richard O'Connell of OCS ENERGY is known as the 'off the grid guy'. Our south facing roof is perfect for solar so we are getting a quote on that.

We met with our arborist, Joe Borden of Britton Tree Service and went over the entire property. We are still looking for a landscape architect. We want a seamless flow from inside to outside with this home so a good landscape architect is key for that.

It's Ours

Finally! We just closed escrow this week. It's been a long couple of months during which Shawn wanted to back out at one point. But with some gentle screaming  coaxing from me we stuck with it.

The septic was much worse than we thought and as it would have taken months to go through the process to get on city water, we were happy to have the sellers pay for a new leach field with all new piping before we closed. Unfortunately we lost half of the lemon tree, but at least it could be partially saved.
I don't think it had actually hit us until we went to the house after the tenants had finally moved out. Without going into details, they were less than pleased about moving. The whole aura of the place was different. But they had left quite a lot of junk which we had hauled away that day.

Despite that....we're happy homeowners!!