We will move in this month, no matter what. At the end of August we will have owned the house
for a year and we will finally live in it. It won't be done, but it will be close enough. All we need is
a bathroom, a kitchen and three bedrooms. There will be a lot of details to finish afterward, but
at least we will be in it.

Note the dates on the photos. You'll see that we are working practically each and every day
until this is finished.


8.01.04 Taking a much needed break from the work. We stayed in South Lake Tahoe
for four days. We visited the Tallac Historic Estates on the west shore at the base of
Mt. Tallac. This area is what our new neighborhood back in Sac, Tallac Village and
Tahoe Park, is named after. We also took a hike to Eagle Lake above Emerald Bay.

8.05.04 Back to work... Steve and a new helper, Nimrod, work on the back fence. The
area between the back of the garage and the fence will be a paved concrete parking

8.07.04 Time to paint!! With a sprayer borrowed from my boss Gary and 25 gallons
white PVA primer paint, we're ready to get down to business.

Windows and other materials are taped in plastic for protection.

Diana vacuums up dust from around the walls. Don starts in the bedroom closet.

8.08.04 After one day, the boys' bedrooms, bathroom, hallway and living room
/ kitchen walls are primed...

... as well as the dormer and master suite.

8.09.04 Don Sr. sprays and rolls light grey paint ("Silver Screen") in the boys' room.

This is what happens when you spray in small spaces with no mask. The living
room, hall and kitchen now have two shades of blue. The walls are a pale greyish
blue and the hall and pantry closet outer walls are a darker version. Depending on
the lighting, it's sometimes impossible to tell the difference, which creates a very
cool 3-D effect as you move around and look from different angles.

8.10.04 Don Sr. assembles the very first kitchen cabinet. A couple hours later we
have most of the base cabinets in place.

Don Sr. cuts out holes in the back of the sink cabinet for pipes to go through. He
also floats out a leveling coat on the bathroom floor to prepare it for tile.

8.11.04 A family friend, Rich, joins the team for the next few weeks. His first job—
nail down the backerboard on the kitchen floor where the tile will go soon. Julian
rolls out his choice color in his bedroom. Both boys rooms are light grey with one
large color wall. Quinn chose red and Julian chose pink, which he will later paint
black checkers over!

8.12.04 Rich and Julian put the back on a master bedroom cabinet as Don Sr.
oversees the installation.

Electrician Jeremy starts hooking up outlets. A shot of stainless steel wallplates in
Julian's room. Note the red wall in the background of Quinn's room.

Jeremy installs a ceiling fan in Julian's room as Julian helps paint the main bath

8.13.04 John, the carpet installer starts laying down pads in the boys' rooms.

Julian and Diana work together to install master bedroom cabinet doors and Quinn's
new bunkbed.

John lays out the new "coconut white" carpet in the master bedroom. We've
discovered that we're missing two doors for our cabinets.

Don begins installing sheets of small tiles to the main shower wall.

8.14.04 Don worked alone until midnight on a Saturday to get all the kitchen doors,
drawers and shelves into place.

Some of the base and wall cabinets have these cool aluminum and frosted glass

8.15.04 Diana took a few days off from work to help out building cabinets and
furniture. Rich lays tile in the shower.

8.16.04 The DSI team arrives to build forms for the final pour of the patios, driveway
and planter wall footings. At right, foreman Rocky confers with DSI owner John
Kent, in the red hat. John's a cool, and very patient guy, who was willing to do some
work on trade for a new web site design. It's still a work in progress, but you can
check it out at:

8.17.04 A whole pack of trowelers descends on the just poured driveway.

Rocky mans the concrete shoot as it begins to pour the new front patio.

View from inside the house looking out at the truck gets ready to pour the new entry
pad and walkway. Notice the pipes on the ground. Those are inground lights that
will shine up from the entry patio.

All the concrete is poured and waiting for Captain Ron to do his "exposed agragate"

On both sides of the driveway, a one foot band of hand-seeded agregate is pressed
into place. Soon after, Ron carefully rinses the surface off to expose the "salt &
pepper" stones to match the patio and entry walk.

Ron sprays the surface off the front walk.

The whole DSI team at work.

8.20.04 Rich and Don Sr. lay the white 8-inch tiles on the main bathroom floor. The
boys' half bath now has black and white checkerboard tile.

Another new electrician, Roy, pulls wire in the kitchen. At right, the first real
panel of corrugated steel goes up on the ceiling next to a sheet of red formica. That's
right, man... the ceiling is metal and formica. You got a problem with that? Do ya?
There will be a strip of formica where ever there is recessed lighting, or in this case,
a ceiling fan.

8.23.04 A view of the front patios and entry walk after the wood forms were removed.

Front patios viewed from the side. The wood scaffolding below the dormer is finally
removed as the paint is finished. The plywood areas below the blue walls will be
covered with a dark brown wood veneer.

8.24.04 The bathroom tile is placed and the cabinets and sink are set in place. This
counter is only a temporary piece of stained plywood that will be replaced by a thick
hardwood slab after we move in.

Night shots of the living room and entry (with a temporary wall put up to provide
privacy to the master bedroom). We've cleared out the main living area for the
concrete cleaning and grinding guys tomorrow.

A slightly blurry night shot of the exterior. The front wall lights will have custom-
made steel sconce covers that will hide the fixtures and direct the light better. There
will also be four inground lights in the entry patio that will shoot up and reflect off
the bottom of the cantilevered entry overhang.

8.25.04 My buddy Scot comes over to help out with painting, while Rich works on
grouting the kitchen tile.

A huge generator arrives to provide power for the concrete floor guys. They bring
in a large trailer full of heavy equipment to clean and grind down the floor.

Steve spreads paint stripper on one of the old steel door frames as one of the guys
from Every Detail Concrete uses and edge grinder to clean the years of dirt, paint,
and old glue off the concrete floor.

A large shot blast machine is used to clean off the open areas of the floor. All the
machines are hooked up to a shop vac to suck up most of the dirt and debris, but
a lot of it still escapes. Diana stands in the kitchen and surveys the mess.

8.26.04 Day two of the floor prep. Now a grinder with a 200 grit diamond pad on it is
used to sand down the floor to a smoother finish.

8.27.04 Rich inserts the door shelves in the new fridge and Don uses the fridge to
hold it's very first left over pizza box!

8.29.04 Move in weekend!! Finally! The house still has a ton of things to finish,
including the kitchen cabinets, master bath, glass walls, interior doors, wood trims
and the metal ceiling, but we need to get out of our old house. So here we are;
living in a construction site!

What a mess! Boxes, junk, tools and construction materials all together. Diana is
not very happy about moving into the house in this condition, so we have Julian
remove the protective wrap around the steel V-posts to help the living room look
more "finished".

8.30.04 The Sacramento Bee runs a story on page 1 of the Metro section about us
and our house. The photo is of neighbor Dave Phillips telling the reporter that
I'm "certifiable" (as in crazy) for turning the old library into a house. Dave is the
same guy who looked at the entry dormer back in May and said "Bitchin, dude!"

You can read the story on by clicking on this line.

8.31.04 Here we are, one year to the week, after buying the house, finally living in it.
What a crazy adventure! If we had known it would have taken this long and cost
as much as it did, I doubt we would have ever done it. But, we're glad we didn't
know, because we love it and it's gonna be so incredible when the details and
landscape are finished.

Over the next week, we're so busy getting things unpacked, organized and finished
that we forget to shoot any photos. But a lot of the really unique design details that
will give the interior and exterior it's character are coming up in the next 6-8 weeks,
so the web diary will continue .

Check back soon for more...


Also visit Don's portfolio site: