Wood Framing – New Home Construction – Pacific Palisades

By: Otis Bradley

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Mmm the sweet smell of wood!  According to the NAHB (National Assoc. of Homebuilders), 90% of houses are wood framed.

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When I was a kid I used to marvel at the guys walking the plate (walking on the top of a 2×4 wall – which is 3 1/2″ wide) with their 22 oz, framing hammers, nail bags and great tans. Framing was an art – there were no air guns. You had to be able to drive a 16d spike in a single blow (a big framing nail) or toe nail an 8d (using a shorter nail on an angle to pinch the 2×4 tightly to the plate) at the perfect angle.

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Wood !

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Many of today’s “carpenters” have never swung a hammer, don’t know how to “toenail.”  Wood has changed.  We use “engineered” wood – wood chips glued together to form beams of sheets of “plywood.”  But wood remains the material used to build most houses.

 

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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 OtisBradley.com for more information on Custom Home Building!

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.

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Corbels and Kneebraces – Patterns for Lumber – Framing Lumber

Typical Corbel Patterns available from Lumber Yards

These are the patterns that are typically available from most lumber yards.  These cuts can be made on the end of larger beams such as a 4×6 or 8×12. Many times, when larger (bigger than 2x)wood is used and left exposed, it can be nice to add a distinctive pattern on the ends.

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Typical Knee Brace Patterns available from Lumber Yards

Knee braces are used to brace a vertical post to a horizontal beam.  Much like the corbel patterns, these patterns can be cut at the limber yard and used as exposed lumber on the house.

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Ventana Magazine Features Ojai Custom Home Builder – Green Home

Contemporary Cool

The Ojai abode of green builder Otis Bradley.


By Andrea Kitay—Photography by Gaszton Gal


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.

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