current big project is the remodeling of the downstairs of
the loft. I have been contemplating this for a while and
decided to go with a Japanese style. I have liked Japanese
design for some time - its simplicity and elegance appeal to
me. I did most of the overall design myself, using a cool
product called SketchUp to create the various views you see
here. Click on the picture to the right to see more views of
the initial design (which has been tweaked a little since
these images were generated). In fact that was
version 4 of the design, and I have now uploaded some
version 7 (the numbering being fairly arbitrary).
I have hired Mike Secor and
Mike Kerschen of Team Development to work on the project.
Mike S is the architect and has worked with me to turn my
ideas into drawings that we can build from. Mike K is the
contractor and is managing all the construction.
We've now finished and it's worked out really well - for
the loft blog.
June 10, 2005
At the time of writing this (June 10, 2005), construction
has just begun: the downstairs has been sealed off
everything has been demolished, leaving an empty shell! For
ongoing updates on progress, check my
blog, and the pictures of
work in progress. See below for a few "before and after demolition"
You can try getting a live view of what is happening with
construction right now by checking the
webcam. You will need
to enter a user name of guest and a password of ebatty. To
get streaming video click on the "Java" button on the webcam
page. You will need a fast Internet connection for this. The
webcam also records video whenever it detects movement in
its view, so I will assemble a little video of the project
as it goes along. Unfortunately though I didn't get the
webcam installed in time to catch the demolition work, which
would have been fun to record!
The webcam is a little temperamental sometimes. The static
photo on the first page doesn't always load, but usually if
you refresh once or twice you will get an image. The
streaming video, which you get to via the "Java" button,
takes a minute or two to get started (I do have it set on
the large size). All this data is being served directly from
D-Link DCS-900 camera which I bought from Amazon for
about $90, so it's a pretty low end system - but not bad for
Here's a view from the camera as I'm writing this:
Someone pointed out that it was a little hard to tell what
this view was supposed to look like from the plans I had
posted previously, so I generated a couple of pictures from
SketchUp with roughly this view. The first one is in "X-ray
mode" which is rather groovy, if potentially confusing!
You can see that the low wall at the back will be hidden by
a new wall which will run from the wooden column towards the
left. There will also be a new wall immediately behind the
stairs, and parallel to them, which is harder to see from
the pictures. And then in the foreground there will be a new
wall for the bedroom, with sliding shoji doors to the closet
(on the right side of the picture), and a wooden frame for
the ranma carving and the shoji doors into the bedroom (on
the left side of the picture).
Here is the same view with X-ray mode turned off. This is
what things should look like by July 15 :) !!