Earthquakes in Southern California

Guest Post from:

PETER T. ERDELYI & ASSOCIATES, INC. • Architectural Engineering & Structural Design since 1974
1975 Sawtelle Blvd Ste 175 • Los Angeles, CA 90025

Peter Erdelyi


Hello There!

Here’s the next serving of our bite-sized engineering stories as they happened at Peter T. Erdelyi & Associates.


In light of the recent earthquakes I thought that sharing a few lesser known facts will help to understand what earthquakes are actually all about.

The earthquakes of California are caused by the movement of huge blocks, or plates, of the earth’s crust – the Pacific and North American plates. The Pacific plate is moving northwest, scraping horizontally past the North American plate at a rate of about 2 inches per year, which is about the rate your fingernails grow. (This maybe explains why my wife has to go to the manicurist so many times a year.:)) You can compare this movement to when you snap your fingers. Before the snap, you push your fingers together and sideways. Because you are pushing them together, friction keeps them from moving to the side. When you push sideways hard enough to overcome this friction, your fingers move suddenly, releasing energy in the form of sound waves that set the air vibrating and travel from your hand to your ear, and you hear the snap. The same process goes on in an earthquake. Slow movements in the earth’s outer layer push the sides of the faults together. The friction across the surface of the fault holds the rocks together so they do not slip immediately when pushed sideways. Eventually enough stress builds up and the rocks slip suddenly, releasing energy in waves that travel through the rock to cause the shaking that we feel during an earthquake. Continue reading “Earthquakes in Southern California”

Craftsman Kitchen Remodel – Santa Monica

by Otis Bradley

Project: Santa Monica – Craftsman Remodel

Architecture: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Builder: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Interior Design: Client with Otis Bradley Company, Inc.

Craftsman architecture is one of my favorites (I admit I have lots!).  I like the bold, strong, simple massing and the way the structural frame is exposed as finish detail.

Although the homes often look bold and strong, having been built at the turn of the Century, most Craftsman homes have inferior foundations.  Concrete was much different then – lacking metal reinforcement – and was typically much smaller than today’s foundations.   However this home had been completely lifted off its old foundation and a new one was installed underneath it !

The entire home was constructed of redwood – the good old stuff!  The 2×4’s, the mouldings and even the siding is all redwood.

Not a fancy craftsman home – I like to call this a “working craftsman.”  Good solid but basic detailing.

The home had also been “remuddled” over the years.  The kitchen cabinets were some kind of super cheap fiber board construction with no relationship to the style of the home.

After studying Craftsman furniture of the era like Stickley and others, we decided to go back to oak.  We installed new oak floors throughout the house and oak cabinets as well.  After looking at several different concept of Craftsman style ideas, we decided to go with a fairly straight forward wide frame and panel design.

Continue reading “Craftsman Kitchen Remodel – Santa Monica”

Brentwood Remodel – Building a new Bar

by Otis Bradley

Project: Brentwood, California Remodel

Architecture: Gerard Colcord
Interior Architecture:  Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Builder: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Interior Design: Bonesteel, Trout & Hall


Originally designed by Gerard Colcord in 1951, this American Colonial Revival style home has seen many changes.  In the 80’s, the new owner tracked down Mr. Colcord and had him design a second floor for the one story building!

During a whole house remodel, one of our projects was to design a new bar to take the place of an old cabinet,  Built of mahogany, which is used in the adjoining dining room, the new bar design is fancier but still relates to the classic architecture of the house.

  • Paneled sun room attached to the living room
  • Old book/stereo shelves
  • New custom designed bar



Otis Bradley Company, Inc. Feel free to copy, share or re post this article Kindly make sure to include this information Written by Otis Bradley, a Custom Home Builder, in Southern California Please see for more information on Custom Home Building

Stone Countertop Edge Detail

Granite, marble and manufactured stone counters make beautiful surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms.

Edge detail is an important consideration to customizing your home

Stone is usually cut into slabs that are 3/4″ thick – oftentimes the edge will be “doubled up” to create a thickened look

Not the 1 1/2″ Bullnose below


Home Construction – Design – Draw – Permit – Budget and Start !

by Otis Bradley

“Hi Otis, we finally found the house we’ve been searching for!  Its fantastic, amazing !  We bought it !  We want to fix it up (a few bathroom remodels, a kitchen remodel, pop out a little two story addition, replace the rotten foundation – etc etc).  We’ld love to have you help us.  How much will it cost and when can you do it !

Oh yeah we move in next month and we need it done right away cause we sold our old house and we are moving in !”


Click on above image for a larger version.

We love to get these calls !  Everybody is excited.  Things are happening.  Ideas are germinating.  And a whole new life is about to begin.  Often times it takes a while before everyone realizes that construction projects (like any project) do follow a logical path of planning – pricing – permitting – agreeing – and commencing. Continue reading “Home Construction – Design – Draw – Permit – Budget and Start !”