What you see in the video above is a new custom home we built in Ojai, California. The home, which has many special environmental features, is built on a concrete slab which is both the structural foundation of the home as well as the finish floor. The concrete is integrally colored, meaning we add pigment and mix it in the concrete, rather than add a stain or paint on top of the concrete. This particular rich chocolatey color actually lightens up quite a bit as the concrete cures.
It’s crucial to have enough skilled concrete finishers on the job. When concrete goes off (hardens) the troweling has to be done at just the right time. By scoring the concrete in just the right places and by trowelling the concrete smooth the end result is a luxurious finish floor. And the thick mass of the concrete keeps the house cool in the summer and with the radiant tubing – warm in the winter.
Its a hazy day in Ojai and a perfect 72 degrees for pouring the 2nd floor walls of this custom ICF home. ICF – or insulated concrete forms – have been used for many years but due to our lovely climate, they haven’t been that popular in Southern California. But ! they make sense for a number or reasons
Incredible insulation – not only super tight with an envelope of foam on the inside and the outside but the 8 inch concrete core provides dense thermal mass
Fireproof ? who knows what is actually fireproof but the military have bomb tested ICF buildings
Insects don’t like it – no food (cellulose ie wood)
Solid – this home sits at the top of a mountain overlooking the Pacific and 6500 foot mountains
In this photo you can see the boom pump we use to install the concrete into the walls.
The art of timber framing, also called “Post and Beam” or “Mortice and Tenon,” is still alive!
In today’s world of industrialized manufacturing, most builders have never touched anything other than dimensional lumber (meaning 2×4’s- which actually measure 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ – go figure!). But long before factories spit out 2x’s, wood buildings were created out of timbers. Trees were cut – timbers were shaped using adzes, draw knives and hand powered drills to create large frames out of timber – called bents – which could combined lengthwise as well as for a second story to create buildings. Continue reading “Timber Framing – the art of wood construction aka Post and Beam or Mortice and Tenon”
The exposed structural steel and beams are painted in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Cherokee Red.
Casa Verde, the two-acre Ojai spread that Otis Bradley and his family call home, is more than a play on words. Its name is a nod to the custom homebuilder’s passion for efficiency. The 3400-square-foot contemporary completed in 2008 is a result of Bradley’s determination to build an ecologically sound home, in keeping with his family’s laidback lifestyle.
Beautiful clay tile roofs are part of the history of California as well as much of Europe. In fact clay roof tiles date back thousands of years in China before spreading through Asia and to the Greeks and Romans.
Clay tiles come in many shapes and forms:
Barrel tile or two piece – is shaped like a 20 inch piece of pipe that was cut in half – only it is tapered – one piece lays on the roof facing up and the other faces down – covering a half of two pieces – something like the illustration below.
Clay tiles come in many “earthen” colors. Often the colors are “blended” using several colors to create different effects.