6125 Capri Court, Long Beach, California

by Rod Jeheber on March 5, 2011

6125 Capri Court, Long Beach, California

Janis C. Utz Interior Remodel

Besides designing and drafting plans for new homes and/or room additions we also provide design services for interior remodels to existing homes as well. The Utz home is located in Long beach and was built in 1987. It was very common for Architects back in the eighties to design homes with compartments, in other words every room was separated from each other with walls or partitions. Nowadays the “In thing” is an entirely open floor plan or “Great room” as we like to call them. Another thing that was very common to do in the kitchens was to drop the ceiling  six inches and add recessed fluorescent light fixtures behind a prismatic lens. In my opinion and most everyone else, this kind of light fixture is very ugly and outdated.  Sunken living rooms was another feature commonly used in the seventies and eighties. Of course all of these wonderful design items from the seventies and eighties are completely outdated which is why Janis hired Kathy of Kathy Pearson Interiors to redesign her entire downstairs floor plan. Kathy needed someone to provide design and drafting services, so she asked Tony from Total Maintenance Construction if he knew of anyone that could help out with this phase of the project and Tony referred Kathy to me for my services. Turns out we are a great team! I really enjoy working with both Tony and Kathy.

The following are a couple of before construction photographs. Notice the recessed fluorescent light fixture in the ceiling. Now at point in the past the owner had a contractor update her lighting fixture with wood trim to match her cabinets which worked for the time being.

6125 Capri Court

This is a view from the sunken living room looking towards the entry foyer.

 6125 Capri Court

 Standing in the same spot in the sunken living but looking to our left is the dining room with the kitchen behind the far wall. The idea was to remove the wall between the dining room and kitchen to create a more open floor plan. As it turns out, during construction Tony from Total Maintenance discovered that the floor joists ran the opposite direction then we had thought, so I had to modify the plans and send them back to the structural engineer for his approval. Because the floor joists were bearing on the wall between the kitchen and dining room, the wood beam the structural engineer had provided no longer worked. It was upgraded to a flush steel beam to carry the loads from the second floor above.

6125 Capri Court

Here you can see what the room looks like after the wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed. It already feels a lot more open then it did before.

6125 Capri Court

I had Brad Sims of B.A. Sims Engineering out of Long Beach, California design a flush support beam so that it would not drop down into the room. This eliminates that visual separation in the room. In other words I want the ceiling to be continuous through out. Having a beam beyond the ceiling line simply tells one that this was a remodel. I want you to come into your house and feel like it has always been this way. I never want someone to think or say “Oh this was a remodel or room addition”.

6125 Capri Court Tony did have to re-route some plumbing and electrical lines, but that is a very common practice when you are removing an existing partition within a dwelling. The picture below shows the right side of the steel beam to post connection. You can see the electrical lines bundled together and running along the side of the steel beam.

6125 Capri Court

This is a view from the kitchen area looking through the dining room towards the living room beyond. Notice that we have eliminated the sunken living room by filling in the cavity with pressure treated 2 x 6 floor joists and 3/4″ thick plywood sub-floor. By filling in the sunken floor this really makes the room feel so much bigger than it was before. Because the existing fireplace was at the lower floor level before the contractor also had to raise the opening as well. This was done by removing the old mantle and hearth and then opening was re-framed with concrete blocks to create the new opening.

6125 Capri Court

 Now that the framing is complete the project should really start taking on some steam! All of the proposed lighting and electrical is installed now. The contractor can now call for an inspection for rough framing, electrical and plumbing. If he passes then the next step is to install the drywall. Once the drywall phase of the project is complete, the kitchen cabinets are installed next. As always I will follow up with another progress report post.

If I can answer any questions about  how to obtain a building permit, or the process of building a new home or remodeling an existing home, please feel free to contact me at 949-723-4393 or  email me.

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