Building a New House in Ojai and Ventura County

Building in the City of Ojai is a fairly straightforward process.  The town itself is quite small, only 4.4 miles, beyond those boundaries you are in the unincorporated area of  Ventura County – a bit more challenging building process.  Call us to help you navigate the building process.

Geography

Ojai is located at 34°26′57″N 119°14′48″W

The city is generally at 745 feet (227 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which only 0.35% is water, and the rest is land.

Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean coast.

Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment” occur as the sun is setting. The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs, over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level at the east end of the Ojai Valley. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet (910 m) in elevation. The Sulphur and Topatopa Mountains are part of the Transverse Ranges system.

The Ventura River flows through the Ventura River Valley, draining the mountains surrounding Ojai to the north and east and emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Ventura. The Ventura River was once known for its steelhead fishing before Matilija Dam and Lake Casitas were constructed, eliminating habitat for this trout species.

The climate of Ojai is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers, sometimes exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), and mild winters, with lows at night sometimes below freezing. As is typical for much of coastal southern California, most precipitation falls in the form of rain between the months of October and April, with intervening dry summers.

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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Timber Framing – the art of wood construction aka Post and Beam or Mortice and Tenon

By Otis Bradley

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”