Construction can be a daunting task for even experienced contractors. From starter home to design/build consultations, we have the background, the assembled team and the expertise to keep your project moving smoothly.
Slope in one direction is relatively easy to address, but a lot with cross-slope presents additional challenges. There are some pretty sizable extra expenses that come from extra excavation, extra framing to fur walls inside tall foundation, walls which act to retain dirt on the outside, wider window and door trim material, extra retaining walls to create some flat outdoor living space. Our biggest cross-slope project was a 22′ difference from right rear corner to left front corner. Most of this difference was dealt within the footprint/design of the house, but still required 12′ retaining walls. This lot’s cross-slope is not that severe at a mere 6′.
Interested in having an Ikea kitchen unit installed? These pictures are from our 13th Ikea Kitchen we have installed. Contact Capital Builders today!
This custom shell we designed Prairie-style to fit the owners’ particular lot and needs.
The lot was one of the more difficult lots in the area with slope and cross slope, but the owners had gotten a great deal to offset the cost of the design. We started construction in late October, alternating our work with the owners’ work or sometimes working concurrently. We did foundation, framing, insulation, siding, windows, flatwork, drywall, decks, exterior doors, gutters and garage doors. The owners did their own excavation, plumbing, rain drains, damp proofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, deck handrails and interior finishes.
Could this particular project have gone better? Undoubtedly! The owner was three days late in finishing his initial excavation. Unfortunately, that was the three day window foundation for the subcontractor…and he was booked out another 3 weeks out. This put us both behind and squarely into three weeks of snow followed by the wettest winter on recent record.
Did the owner take on a little too much? Well, yes and no. He got it done, but there were a few smaller problems and it definitely took longer to do than if we had one of our Angie’s List A-rated subs there. Where electrical rough-in and plumbing rough-in should have taken 4 days maximum for us, our client was there plugging away for a while after work and on weekends for weeks. Did he save money, without a doubt! Would he do it again? I will ask him!
Will I do it again? Yes, but I think that next time, I would try to consolidate all of the owner activities into one solid block of time to prevent alternating schedules. Don’t get me wrong! We managed, but there were a few items where he took far too long, throwing a wrench into my schedule and then I unintentionally did the same thing to him. Even though he was a very accomplished heavy-equipment operator on a tractor, there are many excavation items which are very important to the overall well-being of the home: the ground that the footings are sitting on need to be firm ( there were a few soft spots that needed to be addressed), the pad needs to be level (it needed a little help there, too), there is damp-proofing the basement foundation (a thick coating of asphalt emulsion is the code requirement, but it is always better to do more), installation of rain drains and drywells, proper back-filling, etc. Also, our framer took far too long in finishing due to weather and employee setbacks
The good news is that we finished our final items (siding and gutters) before he had the interior items complete, but the best news is that we have a new homeowner who is as happy with us as he is happy to be moved in.
Capital Builders completed this house on Raymond Street in Portland in 2016. The house portion contains four bedrooms and two and a half baths with a separate apartment or attached ADU. The apartment is a studio apartment with it’s own bathroom, kitchen, closet and laundry. The apartment has utilities metered separately for easy management.
Friends of ours contacted us requesting we inspect their siding. Their home had an older, smart panel (oriented-strand board with one finished side), siding product for approximately 30 years. After inspecting the siding, we could see where it had failed around the meter main, due to lack of flashing and there were issues elsewhere: under certain trim boards, and at their deck ledger board. Having already paid for some repairs last year we recommended not throwing good money after bad. They love the look of their house, so with a focus on longevity they decided to replace the smart panel product with with Hardipanel.
To start this renovation, we tore everything off the lower levels, fixing dry rot and wrapping the house from the ground up, which included calling the utility company to disconnect power, pulling the meter main off the house and putting it all back together. The front flowerbed as dug up where dirt had piled up against the siding and we installed house wrap and aluminum (never rust) flashing. We replaced a door jam, replaced the exterior lighting and then began installing the 50 lb panels.
The project took longer than expected due to complications matching the new material with the previously installed material, but you can see results in the images below. The best part? Our old friends are still our friends!
Bella Vista Photos Before Renovations
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Damage and consequential damage from storms is no small thing. We do yard clean-ups, gutter replacement, roof repair, downed tree removal, and also do French drain installation and replacement all with your pocketbook in mind. One client asked us over to price a French drain to intercept water from the neighbor’s yard. After looking over the situation, we saved him over $3000 by making other recommendations. His final bill was $200 and was done in an afternoon. Contact Capital Builders and get a quote for any water or storm damage you may have experienced this winter season.
Knowing how buildings are put together can expedite the demolition process. We dismantled this 700 square foot houseboat and transported it to the moorage parking lot...by hand. The entire process took four days including leaving the dock, ramp and parking lot cleaner than when we arrived. We were so quick, polite and responsive that a special meeting called by concerned owners was canceled.
Portland style skinny houses
Portland style shotgun homes or skinny houses add density to Portland and limit sprawl. While Portland may have traffic jams, Portland traffic is still far better than what is seen these days in L.A. These skinny homes are part of the reason that we see Portland maintaining its svelte figure. They live large on the inside with minimal care on the outside, ideal for a busy modern lifestyle. Once inside, home owners see no difference between their homes and other homes on the block because all room sizes are standard. There are other advantages, too! With smaller lots, the monthly payment is lower. The tax payment is lower. Being a new home, there is less time spent on home maintenance. And with a smaller yard, there is also less time spent on yard maintenance. This all translates to more time for the owner to enjoy the weekends!
Originally, Portland embraced increased density and even ran a design competition to design aesthetically pleasing skinny houses. Amusing for the builders of these homes was the fact that the winning designs chosen by Portland City Council violated a great number of the planning codes. That didn’t stop the City Council from being approving them for immediate construction. As more and more of these houses have been built, there has been more and more controversy surrounding these homes. There are those that despise them; they are not for everyone. On the other hand, the market has spoken. There seems to be no end to those willing to buy them and for all these reasons, they are here to stay.