Sunday, March 25, 2012

The light at the end of the tunnel…. Literally

Following up on the drama from the previous post, things are beginning to look up. Mother nature allowed some dry weather and Juan from Skylight Solutions took advantage of it over the beautiful weekend here in Dallas. As we patio hopped (cocktails in hand, of course), Juan and his crew began cutting holes in the dilapidated roof on Friday to house the curbs for the skylights… all 15 of them.

Chelsea (behind the lens), once again looking up to me...
... and me looking down on her : )

Once the 50 year-old pine ceiling dried out from the bad weather, the insulation was glued down. I decided to have the insulation glued down, rather than nailed down, for many reasons. The first being aesthetically, we wanted to make sure that you were unable to see any mechanical fasteners from the inside of the Studio. We also wanted to preserve the existing pinewood that was already there and the least amount of penetrations into the ceiling, the better.

Let there be light!
After the insulation was glued, a special cement/composite board was laid and the curbs for the skylights and roof access were put in. Finally, the TPO roof was added and skylights were set into place. Tada!!! New roof accomplished.

Making progress!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Construction begins… And so do the problems

The first step in turning this shell of a warehouse into a functional Studio space is replacing the roof and adding some skylights. The reason for the skylights is since we are in a warehouse; we have no windows and no natural sunlight. I ended up designing a space that would require15 skylights in all.  Nine for the Studio, six for the Loft, and one roof access door. We sought out our new neighbors in the design district, Skylight Solutions, to begin the first stages of construction.

Wednesday, March 14th, marked the first day. The skylight crew began measuring and installing the internal bracing for the skylights. Things were going smoothly for a whole 24 hours. On the 15th, all the materials needed for the job were loaded into the warehouse, completely filling both bays.  Of course, 30 minutes later, the forklift gets delivered but can’t be moved into the warehouse on account that there is 6000 square feet of roofing material and equipment in its way. It is a good thing that we hired our neighbors because they were able to drive the forklift over to their warehouse a couple blocks over. Crisis adverted.

6,000 sq feet of roofing materials in our loading bays

But wait... roofing then gets delayed due to inclement weather for a few days. The following Wednesday brought some better weather and I agreed to begin roofing to make up for the time lost due to weather. That same day, the shipment from Baileigh arrives with all the equipment. Now I have no roof, no space and no forklift to accommodate this delivery. I have to add the new equipment to the forklift in Robert’s warehouse, along with another surprise delivery of a massive compressor. Everybody’s patience has been officially tested.

The new Multi-Hammer in a warehouse down the street...

That same night after the roof was ripped off, a surprise storm makes its way through Dallas. It rains… and it rains a lot. The warehouse is flooded. By the time I arrived the next morning, the weather had cleared outside but it was still raining on the inside of the warehouse. Oh, and I forgot, the roof to the bathrooms caved in. Disaster is an understatement.

No quite what we had in mind...

Then another delivery arrives from a picker in Connecticut, I have to call on Robert, AGAIN. While tensions are high, I am grateful for the first forklift problem because none of the new equipment and materials were in the warehouse as it flooded.  We are crossing our fingers for dry skies and better luck so that we can get on with the roofing process.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ready to get Dirty!

Now that I have your attention... The concept of using upcycled and reclaimed materials presents quite a challenge. The prowl for materials that can be incorporated into functional designs began.  My designer and I have spent numerous hours, even days, looking for the best materials. We've been to auctions, flea markets, run down warehouses, salvage yards and much more. As a result, I have been covered head to toe in centuries old dust and grime. We can barely wait to repurpose these materials into something new and fresh. Enjoy some pictures of materials found.

Reclaimed flooring and beams (and Chelsea)
On the left, is 5000 square feet of South American wood that we saved from a warehouse. It had been twice laid and its last known use was in an automobile assembly plant in South America. It then sat in a warehouse for almost a half a century before we acquired it. It is dirty and full of nails but cleans up beautifully. On the right, is solid center cut pine beams taken out of an old grain mill.

Close up of the center-cut pine beams from an old grain mill

... and a collection of other random items that we have in our possession including pulleys, insulators, wheels, egg preservers, and much much more.

Chelsea and her cart of goodies

A rusty gift box