Archive for the 'Plans' Category

Concrete Trough Water Feature

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Our backyard water feature is still in progress, but here are the steps that got us to this point:



First sketches of a water trough and how it might tie into the retaining wall. We had to step down the wall and already had these notches where the level changes happened. It seemed one of those “aha” moments when the thought occurred to put a steel channel spout at the notch above the water trough.

Here’s my first sketch trying to work out how the water circulation would work.

I faxed the sketch to Teresa at Hill Country Water Gardens and she graciously fine tuned it and sent it back to me. I had thought to run the pvc inside the concrete but Teresa’s recommendation was to run it all on the surface for easy access. It definitely cuts down the “oops” factor — concrete is pretty permanent. I had also thought the pump could be behind the retaining wall but it turns out it has to be inside the water and also has an optional filter attached to it.

I especially like my note, “they have a lady who can come out and do this…”


Here are the guys pouring concrete.

On a different note, on the tv show “Bones” there was a great moment when someone refers to concrete as cement and Brennan corrects him, saying no, cement is a component of concrete.

I always want to correct people when they say cement but usually let it go because nobody cares. The guy’s response on the show is exactly what I would expect in real life — annoyance, bewilderment (like, why are you wasting my time) and disgust — well, maybe not that bad.

Patio Studies

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

We are looking at a couple of options for the Covered Patio. This area is directly outside of the Sunroom, and when you come out of the french doors down the steps you will be facing the outdoor fireplace. The question is what do we do on the ground?

*Here’s a link to an earlier sketch with more detail

Our first choice: all Leuders (Texas Limestone) in a stacked pattern – represented by all the beige areas in the sketch. It would look so pretty and with it all level like that we can definitely set up a ping pong table there!

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This sketch also shows another idea—to engage the back retaining wall with planters and a stone bench and also a set of steps going up to the shed.

Did I mention Leuders is expen$$ive? This will be about $20/sf. Ouch.

Okay, another idea (less expensive). Reduce the square footage of the paving and also install a border of concrete around the stone. Concrete is much less. Hmm, not so into that.

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The last thought was to put in a wood deck where the stone is shown in the first sketch. We can still have the planters and the bench and maybe some stone paving somewhere. We are definitely still thinking about this.

To Do and Do and Do…

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

I came across these To Do lists from when I was putting together the Permit Set and wow, it brings it all back. By the 2nd page I think I was taking tremendous joy in just blacking out each task as aggressively as possible. Each time was like a little reward for being the CAD monkey for a few more hours.
I want to look back on it 40 years from now and still remember all of it

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Landscape Plan v.1

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Now that the house plans & elevations, especially the window sizes and configurations, are settling down we are turning our attention to the landscaping – hardscape and plants.

This is our first pass and after looking at it, I think we will probably move the water feature to the other side, so that the papyrus and other water plants will be visible from the Living Room and the Patio and not tucked so out of the way.

The outdoor fireplace is still up for discussion – although Larry suggested we use the Isokern fireplace which will save us some money.


Bid Set is out!

Friday, August 18th, 2006

So we have picked a contractor (drumroll…) and it is Larry Anderson! We are very excited to work with him and really look forward to this thing getting off the ground!

I stayed up until 4 am last night (ah, brings me back to the good ol’ school days) but the Bid Set is done and out! Larry will be doing his part now and I have a little breathing room to pick up the odds and ends that have been floating – like the carport and the millwork package/schedule.

Here are the plans and some elevations. Note: the 2nd floor plan did change again, but for the better I think. Scott agrees.