House for a Cabinetmaker
A narrow lot sloping gently away from the street. An existing gravel drive and small accessory dwelling unit (ADU) at the low end of the site were to remain.
A single family house with three bedrooms and two baths. The owner is a cabinetmaker acting as his own general contractor. Maximizing the use of wood products that he could fabricate and install himself was a major project requirement for both aesthetics and budget.
The house was conceived as a wood box placed over a concrete base. The box forms a simple container to be filled with the owner’s handiwork. The main floor has only two interior framed walls – for shear and plumbing runs. All other interior partitions and finishes are wood, and the only GWB is on the ceiling.
The interior is one big cabinet, all connected by a standard 3mm reveal line. Wall intersections, window openings, doors, base, and crown all work within this system. Rift cut white oak was used throughout, selected for its color, consistency, and unique straight grain. The veneers were laid up locally. Water based finishes were selected to let the beauty of the wood shine through with a natural look.
For rough framing, advanced framing practices were used and the roof trusses were formed to integrally include the parapet studs, saving labor time on site.
The exterior cedar siding was locally sourced from reclaimed “garbage” logs. It was milled at a small one-person sawmill, then further cut down to irregular sizing (width & thickness) on a small shop bandsaw. It was then given a flamed finish on site before being installed as a rainscreen system with stainless steel fasteners. Given the durability of the salvaged cedar and the extra protection of the burnt finish, no finish products were needed.
In addition to using salvaged lumber and minimizing exterior finishes, a pervious gravel driveway was selected to allow for water infiltration, and stormwater from the roof is collected in a cistern at the front of the house.
"Houses by Design"
General Contractor | Cabinetmaker
Quantum Consulting Engineers
Ken Gutmaker & E|FA