Archive for the ‘Front Door’ Category

Taking Delivery of Our Red Front Door

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

It has been a very, very long time … we finally took delivery of our red front door today!  And, we have our LEED for Homes signage in place at the job site.

Taking Delivery of Our Red Front Door

Nathan Merrill, of American Ornamental Iron, started working on our red front door in late November 2010.  His smile was almost as big as Bryan’s smile when Nathan delivered the red front door and black frame safely today to the job site.

The door is 100% custom, and has a number of innovative features, including Aerogel’s Spaceloft insulation (R-36).  The door will have Valli & Valli hardware and Soss hinges.  The color will be the same as the original red front door.

Nathan took extreme care when fabricating the door.  He took the door to Spray Technology in Santa Clara to be powder coated.  The team at Spray Technology took several months to powder coat the frame and the door.  It looks spectacular!

Nathan, with a friend, picked up the red front door and frame using a trailer, drove carefully to our job site, and then backed the trailer into the garage.  Al, Nep and Bryan helped to unload the door and frame.  They secured the door and frame to the wall in the garage.

 

Our LEED for Homes signage, attached to the front of the house.

 

Our red front door and frame arrived on a trailer. Nathan backed into the project site so we could unload the door and frame easily (and not carry them very far!).

 

Nathan Merrill is smiling, knowing that the red front door and frame are inside the garage safely.

 

Seeing the Progress on Our Red Front Door

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Nathan Merrill is going on vacation to Canada and he called Bryan to go with him to see the progress on our red front door.

It is spectacular!

We will have to take some thermal images of the red front door to see the insulation quality.  Nathan took great care in designing the frame so eliminate internal thermal bridging and we used Aerogel’s Spaceloft insulation inside the door.  Spaceloft is R-30 per inch and we used three sheets that were 0.4 inches thick.

Nathan discussing the red door and frame with the owner of the shop that did the powder coating.

 

The door was covered with protective paper so we peeled it back to see the door.

 

The red door looks spectacular!

 

Nathan inspects the door and is delighted with the quality of the powder coating finish.

 

Nathan, wanting to see more, peels the rest of the paper back from the door.

The frame for the red door was also powder coated (black). There will be a sidelight on each side of the eight foot red door.

 

Our red front door, looking absolutely spectacular! The person in the photo did the sanding and powder coating on the door and the frame.

 

 

Reviewing Progress on Our Red Front Door

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

It was a full day today.

Al continued working on the roof, trying to stay in front of the forecasted rains for tomorrow (100% probability).  Bryan met with the City of Monte Sereno to review our preliminary lighting control plans, John Rider dropped by to see how the project is developing, Bryan and John met with Nathan Merrill to review the progress on our red front door, and Shane Lothrop provided instructions on how we could make an opening in one of our shear walls.

And our daughter, Kate, was on the winning team for her first AA baseball game with Los Gatos Little League (Kate plays hardball).

Reviewing Progress on Our Red Front Door

During John Rider’s quick walk-through of our project, Nathan Merrill called Bryan and asked if he could move the scheduled time of 2:00 pm forward to noon for Bryan to to review the progress Nathan was making on our red front door.  With John having to go back to his office, it was perfect!  John followed Bryan in his truck to Nathan’s shop on Dell Avenue.

John Rider has worked on our project since July 2008.  John is a LEED-accredited professional and is now accredited under the LEED for Homes program.  John dropped by to say that he wants to complete the preliminary rating review on our project and finalize the plans so we can proceed.  Darrel Kelly, our Green-rater under the LEED for homes program has been encouraging us to schedule another integrated project meeting to complete our preliminary rating.  John is with Jrider + Design.

Bryan introduced John to Nathan Merrill, of American Ornamental Iron and then Nathan took us into his shop.  Nathan had our door hanging from his shop forklift, so he could work on it. 

Nathan explained that he is planning to have the door powder coated and asked Bryan to sign off on the colors for the frame and the door.  Nathan has the original red front door in his shop and will take it to the powder coating firm so they can match the color.

John was impressed with the Valli & Valli hardware and Nathan showed John the details where he will not only be meeting the specifications and finish by Valli & Valli but exceeding them.  For example, Nathan is ensuring that all the edges of the door have the same rounding radius (.0625 inch) and that the stainless steel recessed machine bolts are brushed as per the Valli & Valli finish.  Detail is key …

Making an Opening in Our Shear Wall

The recent earthquake and resulting tsumani in Japan shocked us and underscored the importance of exceeding the local seismic requirements.  Since our objective is to live in this house for the next 15 years, we don’t want to meet code requirements – we must exceed those requirements.  We believe strongly that the San Francisco Bay Area will experience a 7.5 or greater earthquake in the next 15 years.

For our lighting control panels, Bryan reviewed locations in the house and then met with our Building Official at the City of Monte Sereno, Howard Bell, this morning to discuss our proposed locations.  Howard reviewed the alternatives with Bryan and recommended that we make an opening in our shear wall in the upper laundry room to do so.  If we go with that location then Howard requires us to review the opening with our Structural Engineer of Record, Shane Lothrop of Innovative Structural Engineering.

Shane reviewed the proposed location and then sent Bryan written instructions on where and how to make the opening.  Those instructions included requirements on the opening so it will maintain the structural integrity of the shear wall.

John Rider (right) and Nathan Merrill discuss our red front door (hanging from the forks of the forklift).

Nathan Merrill (left) and John Rider discuss our red front door (hanging from the forks of the forklift).

The door, including sidelights.  Nathan is fabricating the components around the door.  Note that the piece at the bottom of the door is a brace that will be removed before it is installed.

The door, including sidelights. Nathan is fabricating the components around the door. Note that the piece at the bottom of the door is a brace that will be removed before it is installed.

The door opens in, using four Soss hinges (invisible hinges).  Nathan explained that the door will need some cycles to get the hinges working smoothly (the door weighs 246 lbs).

The door opens in, using four Soss hinges (invisible hinges). Nathan explained that the door will need some cycles to get the hinges working smoothly (the door weighs 246 lbs).

Close up of the Valli & Valli hardware exterior hardware.

Close up of the Valli & Valli hardware exterior hardware.

Close up of the electrified mortise lockset.  The Valli & Valli logo on the inside door handle can be seen, just barely.

Close up of the electrified mortise lockset. The Valli & Valli logo on the inside door handle can be seen, just barely. Nathan's logo and the serial number will be on the top of the door.

Jig for making the wine racks.  There is a left and right jig as we will require 76 of the individual supports to be manufactured.

Jig for making the wine racks. There is a left and right jig as we will require 76 of the individual supports to be manufactured.

The other half of the jig.

The other half of the jig.

The first of some 24 vertical pieces in each of the three wine racks (left, center and right).

The first of some 24 vertical pieces in each of the three wine racks (left, center and right).

Alan holding the first component of the wine rack in the wine cellar.  Note the clearance at the top of the rack, by the ceiling where the radiant cooling will be installed.

Alan holding the first component of the wine rack in the wine cellar. Note the clearance at the top of the rack, by the ceiling where the radiant cooling will be installed.

Shear wall by Upper Laundry Room.  The framed area to the left is for one of three art niches; the stud bay to the right is where we would like the opening in the shear wall.

Shear wall by Upper Laundry Room. The framed area to the left is for one of three art niches; the stud bay to the right is where we would like the opening in the shear wall.

Shear wall from Upper Laundry Room, showing where we would like the opening for the lighting control system.

Shear wall from Upper Laundry Room, showing where we would like the opening for the lighting control system.

The electric cables for the lights in the ceiling will be run up these posts.  We will drill through each post to bring the electricity to the exterior fixtures that will light the underside of the upper flat roof.

The electric cables for the lights in the ceiling will be run up these posts. We will drill through each post to bring the electricity to the exterior fixtures that will light the underside of the upper flat roof.

In order to bring the electric circuits from the West side to the East side, we will have to drill eight holes through this beam.

In order to bring the electric circuits from the West side to the East side, we will have to drill eight holes through this beam.

 

Our daughter, Kate Mekechuk, in her first AA game catching in the second inning.  The Manager and coaching staff are by the fence, with photographers behind them.

Our daughter, Kate Mekechuk, in her first AA game catching in the second inning. The Manager and coaching staff are by the fence, with a photographer behind them.

Continuing with the Yellow Cedar Shakes

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

While Al continued with the yellow cedar shakes, we haven’t forgotten about our red front door.

We made progress on all fronts today.

Our Red Front Door

The last step in the fabrication of our red front door is to paint it (designing and fabricating the red front door has been quite a project in, and of, itself) .  We wanted the new door to match the color of the original red front door, exactly.  During the deconstruction of our house, we sold our red front door to another Eichler homeowner, who lived in Willow Glen.  That was fine as we had a tin of paint from when Bryan and his father, John, painted the red front door in 2002.  After moving between two rental homes, we can’t find the tin of red paint.

Bryan searched through his archive of e-mails and found the correspondence with the person that bought our original red front door in September 2008, including his telephone number.  Bryan called Brad and explained the need to match the color of the original red front door.  Brad said that he could get a paint chip from the door as it is in his garage, and hadn’t been installed yet (hey, it’s only been 2-1/2 years – we understand completely!).  Bryan asked if he could simply come by with the truck and ‘borrow’ the door for a while.  ‘No problem, come by anytime,’ said Brad.

After picking up the red front door, Bryan took it to American Ornamental Iron for Nathan Merrill to match the color with.  Nathan explained that he would take the door to the shop that will be powder-coating the steel door so they can get a perfect match.

Cool … way cool. 

That door is getting around.

Jerry Ditto Drops By

Our advisor, Jerry Ditto, dropped by unexpectedly today to check on our progress.  Jerry has been involved with our project since inception (he spoke at the public hearing for our Site Development Permit on July 16, 2008).  Jerry subscribes to our e-mail updates and had seen the recent postings on the roof.  Since he was in the area and had a couple minutes, he dropped by.  It is always good to see Jerry.

Jerry thought the roof looked fabulous.  He noted how prominent the yellow cedar shakes are from inside the house.  We have had a number of unsolicited positive comments on our yellow cedar shake roof, which is very visible to traffic going North on Winchester Boulevard.

Jerry did ask about the completion date …

The original red front door from our Eichler home, which was built in 1969.  Nathan will take the door to the firm doing the powder coating so they can get a perfect match on the paint.  It is, after all, a remodel ...

The original red front door from our Eichler home, which was built in 1969. Nathan will take the door to the firm doing the powder coating so they can get a perfect match on the paint. It is, after all, a remodel ...

The final row of yellow cedar shakes are going onto the West side of the East gable.  Note the standoffs for the solar photovoltaic panels.

The final row of yellow cedar shakes are going onto the West side of the East gable. Note the standoffs for the solar photovoltaic panels.

The remaining bundles of yellow cedar shakes in the garage - we will have sufficient shakes to complete the roof.

The remaining bundles of yellow cedar shakes in the garage - we will have sufficient shakes to complete the roof.

Insulating Our Red Front Door with SpaceLoft

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

We received an e-mail from Nathan Merrill today, including four photos showing the progress that American Ornamental Iron is making on fabricating our red front door.

Insulating Our Red Front Door

Nathan designed our front door and is fabricating it from steel.  As with our original red front door, the new red front door will make a statement.  Being made of steel, the door will be quite heavy so the frame and structural components must be very strong.  We want the door to look monolithic but be light to the touch.  And, of course, the frame and structural elements must be minimal but designed to last for 100 years (or so).

The door is fabricated with a metal frame, with two sheets of steel on the outside.  The cavity between the two sheets of metal will house the braces that are part of the frame, the Soss hinges and the electric mortise.  Importantly, the door must be insulated so it does not allow heat to go into the house nor to escape from the house.

With only a one-inch cavity, we decided to use Aerogel’s SpaceLoft insulation so we would have the maximum insulation for the door.  We obtained a roll of 0.4-inch thick SpaceLoft insulation, which is rated at R-10.3 per inch. 

Nathan used three sheets of SpaceLoft and cut the first two sheets so they would fit inside the diagonal metal braces that provide structural strength to the door.  The third sheet of SpaceLoft covered over the entire door frame assembly to prevent any thermal bridging inside the door.

To allow for the 24 volt DC electrical wires going to the mortise, Nathan designed a curved conduit that goes from the hinged part of the door to the mortise.  This small conduit is covered with the SpaceLoft insulation.

It is very exciting for us to see our red front door coming together so nicely.

Ovrrview of the door, showing the top layer of Aerogel SpaceLoft insulation.  Note the pockets on the left side for the Soss hinges.  Also, note the pocket on the right side for the electric mortise.  There are three layers of SpaceLoft in the door cavity, resulting in more than R-12 (not considering the structural components and thermal bridging).

Ovrrview of the door, showing the top layer of Aerogel SpaceLoft insulation. Note the pockets on the left side for the Soss hinges. Also, note the pocket on the right side for the electric mortise. There are three layers of SpaceLoft in the door cavity, resulting in more than R-12 (not considering the structural components and thermal bridging).

The three layers of SpaceLoft insulation, cut to fit inside the structural frame and the pockets for the Soss hinges.

The three layers of SpaceLoft insulation, cut to fit inside the structural frame and the pockets for the Soss hinges.

The pocket for the electric mortise.  Note the hole leading to the conduit for the electrical wires.

The pocket for the electric mortise. Note the hole leading to the conduit for the electrical wires.

Close up of the mini conduit that goes into the steel door frame.  This tube will protect the wires that go from the door frame to the electric mortise that will allow the door to be opened remotely.

Close up of the mini conduit that goes into the steel door frame. This tube will protect the wires that go from the door frame to the electric mortise that will allow the door to be opened remotely.

Evaluating Hardware for Our Red Front Door

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Yeah, the red front door hardware selection decision is taking too long.  Way too long.  Our cousin, Dean Grant, chided us for failing to make decisions. 

We need to order the hardware for our red front door.  This hardware includes the interior and exterior handles, the escutcheon plates (interior and exterior), the interior and exterior handles/levers, and the finish material (e.g., brushed stainless steel).

Our red front door is the entrance to our house, so we need to get it ‘right’.  Right?

Getting it wrong is not acceptable.

Insulating Our Red Front Door

We bought 598 sq ft of Aerogel’s SpaceLoft insulation.  It was delivered in a large roll and placed in our Garage.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ornamental Iron, needs the SpaceLoft insulation when he fabricates our red front door.  Nathan came to our job site this morning to pick up the Spaceloft insulation.  It was easy to load the entire roll in his truck, which he then took back to his shop.

Having the SpaceLoft insulation will allow Nathan to fabricate the door unimpeded.  He needs the shop drawings for the door hardware, which we need to select and order.

Selecting Door Hardware

Our choices for the door hardware include FSB and Valli&Valli.  While we like Valli&Valli, it has a long lead time.  The cost of the door hardware for either Valli&Valli or FSB is similar although Valli&Valli is higher.  Nathan warned us that there is a long lead time for door hardware and he explained that, once we selected the door hardware then we must obtain the shop drawings for that hardware so he can fabricate the door so the door hardware will fit.

The swinging glass door in the Kitchen has FSB hardware so we’d like the front door to match.  Today, we learned the difference between stainless steel and coated brass hardware.

Stainless Steel vs. Coated Brass

Most of the ‘smooth’ and rounded door hardware is made of brass, which is then coated with chrome and then brushed.  The finish of this hardware looks very similar to stainless steel. 

Stainless steel hardware is very angular and not as ‘soft’ as the brass hardware.  This is because stainless steel stock is cut and welded together, and then filed, brushed and polished.  Making round edges cannot be done easily with stainless steel.

Since we want stainless steel hardware, many of the alternatives that we like are not feasible.  If we want the rounded door hardware then it will be made of brass and have a brushed chrome finish.

Our roll of SpaceLoft insulation is loaded into the back of Nathan's truck.

Our roll of SpaceLoft insulation is loaded into the back of Nathan's truck.

We decided to move the entire roll of insulation to Nathan's shop so it would be easier and faster for Nathan to use when insulating the door and the door frame.

We decided to move the entire roll of insulation to Nathan's shop so it would be easier and faster for Nathan to insulate the door and the door frame.

The roll of SpaceLoft insulation next to the door, which is being fabricated by American Ornamental Iron.

The roll of SpaceLoft insulation next to the door, which is being fabricated by American Ornamental Iron.

Side view of the door, showing the four Soss hinges that will support the 260 lb door.

Side view of the door, showing the four Soss hinges that will support the 260 lb door.

Close up of the Soss hinge, in the open position.  Nathan made a pocket around each hinge so the SpaceLoft Insulation will not impede the hinge at all.  Note the additional bracing (gusset) to support the hinge.

Close up of the Soss hinge, in the open position. Nathan made a pocket around each hinge so the SpaceLoft Insulation will not impede the hinge at all. Note the additional bracing (gusset) to support the hinge.

Soss hinge in the closed position.  These hinges are invisible and will not be seen from the interior or exterior, providing a very clean and simple look for our red front door.

Soss hinge in the closed position. These hinges are invisible and will not be seen from the interior or exterior, providing a very clean and simple look for our red front door.

We ordered Maze nails from White Cap Construction Supply.  They arrived at the job site this morning.

We ordered Maze nails from White Cap Construction Supply. The nails were delivered to our job site this morning.

These nails will be used on our shake roof.  The fire treatment in the wood shakes is very corrossive so we decided to use stainless steel nails.

These nails will be used on our shake roof. The fire treatment in the wood shakes is very corrossive so we decided to use stainless steel nails.

FSB hardware on our swinging door in the Kitchen.

FSB hardware on our swinging door in the Kitchen.

Profile of the door handle, which we would like to match with the front door.

Profile of the door handle, which we would like to match with the front door.

This is the door handle in the FSB store display.

This is the door handle in the FSB store display.

Similar door handle offered by Valli&Valli (except with a polished chrome finish).

Similar door handle offered by Valli&Valli (except with a polished chrome finish).

Valli&Valli display rack.  Maybe we like Valli&Valli because of the bright red display, which matches our red front door?

Valli&Valli display rack. Maybe we like Valli&Valli because of the bright red display, which matches our red front door?

This is the interior door handle that we selected, as it is made with stainless steel.

This is the interior door handle that we selected, as it is made with stainless steel.