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Instructions to Builder

street view

Recent Changes

  • 2011-03-29:    Added a second picture of the kitchen island.
  • 2011-03-05:    Added vestibule tiles.
  • 2011-02-14:    Updated paint colors.
  • 2011-02-06:    Paint colors.
  • 2011-02-06:    Revise drawings of new bathroom to show medicine cabinet above toilet.
  • 2011-02-02:    Specify medicine cabinet for new bathroom
  • 2011-01-27:    New bathroom now shows towel rails, soap and toilet roll holders.
  • 2011-01-22:    New bathroom shortened to 117" inside tiles to reflect as-built construction; shower nozzle and control moved to east wall; specify shorter bathroom vanity
  • 2011-01-21:    Remove new bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet. Shower is wider than 32" as I was expecting so it now won't fit.
  • 2011-01-17:    Select medicine cabinet (actually cabinets) for new bathroom
  • 2011-01-16:
    1. Selection of new bathroom vanity and faucets (but still need to inquire about medicine cabinet to go with it so don't order just yet)
    2. Add white base tiles to new bathroom (so wall tile quantities change)
    3. Add white base and cap tiles to half-bathrooom (so wall tile quantities change)
    4. Change height of blue glass tile trim to 36" off the floor in both half bathroom and new bathroom
    5. Separated tiles into a new section on this page

Paint colors

We are being fairly bold with paint colors. All the codes below are Behr.

  • All door frames, window frames, base boards, cornices and ceilings in white.
  • Living room east, south and north walls: 220D-4 Southwest Stone (peach) with 200D-7 Rodeo Red (dark red) on the bulkhead carrying the ducts.
  • Living room west wall, upstairs hallway: 790E-2 Gentle Rain (grey).
  • Kitchen: 200D-7 Rodeo Red in semi-gloss (same as living room buldhead) with 310C-3 Warm Cacoon (yellow to match the bamboo floor) on the bulkhead.
  • Half-bathroom: 570D-4 Colorado Springs (blue)
  • Master bedroom: 570D-4 Colorado Springs (blue - same as half-bathroom)
  • Middle bedroom: 180C-2 Sandblast (yellow)
  • Original bathroom: 220D-4 Southwest Stone (peach - same as living room)
  • Back bedroom: 440F-4 Athenian Green (a strong green)

Ground level

The main change is to remove the interior walls that separate the living and dining rooms for the passageway and each other. A new half-bathroom is placed inside the existing kitchen space with the door opening towards the steps. The existing laundry is removed and a set of French doors are built into the back wall instead of the current single door that is off-center. The porch is rebuilt except that there will be steps down to a basement entrance.


Area is approximately 45" square. Use 12"x12" black and white tiles on a diagonal pattern with a metal highlight trim around the central square.

Tile pattern.

Tile trim.


Framing for downstairs.


It should look like this:

Some things to bear in mind:

  • We want a bamboo floor (pale color)
  • Cabinets from Ikea. I know some builders don't like dealing with Ikea but I'm prepared to spend a weekend assembling them. Our contract with the previous builder didn't include the cabinets since we hadn't decided on the layout and door finish at the time.
  • Similarly, our contract with the builder didn't include appliances leaving us free to choose our own. However, I wanted to use this rangehood from Fabyka and the installation details might be of interest.

I've experimented with a few different designs (not current – only to see the other options I've considered).

Half bathroom

View through door

The details are:

  • Toilet (same as new bathroom): Kohler Persuade, white, high-efficiency, elongated (Lowes item #: 89230, Kohler model #: 3654-0), $281.42.
  • Basin: ?
  • Basin faucet: Grohe Essence chrome 1-handle bathroom faucet,drain included, (Lowes item #: 191485, Grohe model #: 32216000), $197.42
  • Towel rail: ?
  • Mirror: ?

Total for half bathroom, excluding tiles: $478.84 + towel rail + mirror + basin ($150?) + tax


We always intended to carve a second bathroom out of the master bedroom but now that all the walls have been removed, we had greater freedom to revise the layout.

The new bathroom is now a full 10x5ft (actually it will be 9'8" by the time the outside wall is insulated) giving room for a bath and the laundry equipment is now moved next to the walk-in closet that is now on the outside wall. The stairs and the passageway are now wider allowing the door to the 3rd bedroom to be pushed further east so that there is now room along the west wall for a closet. The position on the original bathroom is unchanged.

Original bathroom

View from above (not the actual vanity unit)
Looking through the door

The details are:

  • Cast Iron Tub and Shower Package - 62-inch Slipper Bathtub - Randolph Morris: Item#: SAVINGSPACKAGE60-SH, $1,549.95
  • Toilet: Kohler Memoirs in white,
    base (Lowes item #: 89230, Kohler model #: 4294-0) $147.80 and
    tank (Lowes item #: 89230, Kohler model #: 4492-0) $157.25.
    Also seen as a package #119680 white for $328.
  • Vanity: Allen + Roth 40" Cherry Biscayne with top, (Lowes item #: 301393, A+R model #: 66278) 40" wide, 20.5" deep, $448.24.
  • Mirror: $0.00 (use the mirror that will come with the vanity for the other bathroom)
  • Basin faucet: Kohler Fairfax in chrome (Lowes item #: 54867, Kohler model #: R12181-DN-CP), $88.
  • Towel rail: ?

Total for original bathroom, excluding tiles: $2391.24 + towel rails + tax

New bathroom (off master bedroom)

View from above
View looking north toward shower (I'm hoping the towel rail can be glued to the glass)
View looking south toward toilet

The details are:

Total for new bathroom, excluding tiles: $3592.63 + towel rails + soap holder + toilet paper holder + medicine cabinet + tax

(Total for all bathrooms: $6462.71 + basin/mirror in half bathroom + towel rails + tax)


Kitchen (backsplash)

Details coming soon.

Original bathroom

Done in traditional style.

To calculate tile quantities, the bathroom is assumed to be 9'6" x 5'6" but measure and double-check my calculations!

Looking through the door

Floor tiles from Morris Tile.

Wall tiles from Home Depot (see picture). Assume 30 ft perimeter less the width of the door (say 2'6") so 27'6" at the bottom and at the top, less the width of the window (1'6") so 26'.

Type Size Part Price ea. Linear ft. Qty. Total
TOTAL $660.55
Floor (pinwheel) 3"x3" AOCH02 $3.98 sq.ft. 52 $206.96
Surface cap 2"x6" A792-470 $0.77 26 52 $40.04
Rope (2 rows) 7/8"x6" B388-056 $1.98 52 104 $102.96
Listel 3"x6" B517-617 $1.84 26 52 $95.68
Flat tile (12 rows) 3"x6" B467-241 $0.23 325.5* 651 $149.73
Cove base 4"x6" A883-034 $1.18 27.5 55 $64.90

* 27'6" x 9 rows + 26' x 3 rows = 325.5'

Half bathroom

Will be white tile with blue trim line on wall and on floor: view through door

To calculate tile quantities, the bathroom is assumed to be 37" x 5' with a 24" door with 3" trim but measure and double-check my calculations!

All the white tiles are from Morris Tile and style "Ice White" (same as new bathroom).
Blue glass tiles are Britto Elite Cielo from Lowes though I think Morris carried them too (same as new bathroom). I've shown them 36" (4 tiles + base) above the floor.

Type Size Part Price Linear ft. Qty. Total
TOTAL $343.49
Floor tiles 12"x12" AOSS 2012 $1.48/sq.ft. 15 sq.ft. $22.20
Blue glass 12"x12" Lowes item #: 294369
Model #: CHIGLABR206
$26.32/sq.ft. 26'9" 1 6.69 sq.ft. 2 $184.24
(7 sq.ft)
Cap (top edge) 2"x6" ? $0.70 ea 13'9" 3 28 $19.60
Walls 6"x8" AOMT2568 $1.79/sq.ft. 47 sq.ft. 4 $84.13
Base (bottom edge) 4"x6" AT-3410 $1.19 ea 13'9"3 28 $33.32
  1. 165" (13'9") around walls plus 156" (13') on floor makes 321" (26'9")
  2. Blue tiles are in 3" band so divide linear feet by 4 to get square feet.
  3. 165" (13'9") around the walls.
  4. The 6"x8" wall tiles are stacked 4 high (32").

New bathroom off master bedroom

Will be white tile with blue trim line on wall and on floor: view looking north toward shower. Wall tiles go all the way to the ceiling. Combine quantities with half-bathroom above.

To calculate tile quantities, the bathroom is assumed to be 10' x 5' with a 28" door with 3" trim and a 28" window with 3" trim but measure and double-check my calculations! Needs adjustment for 4" wider shower; 2" shorter room (118" between studs).

All the white tiles are from Morris Tile and style "Ice White".
Blue glass tiles are Britto Elite Cielo from Lowes though I think Morris carried them too. I've shown them 36" (4 tiles + base) above the floor.

Type Size Part Price Linear ft. Qty. Total
TOTAL $931.04
Floor tiles 12"x12" AOSS 2012 $1.48/sq.ft. 31 sq.ft. $45.88
Blue glass 12"x12" Lowes item #: 294369
Model #: CHIGLABR206
$26.32/sq.ft. 50'0" 1 12.5 sq.ft. 2 $342.16
(13 sq.ft.)
Shower 2"x2" AOA25 (?) $4.39/sq.ft. 15 sq.ft. $65.85
Walls 6"x8" AOMT2568 $1.79/sq.ft. 230 sq.ft. 3 $411.70
Base (bottom edge) 4"x6" AT-3410 $1.19 ea 27'2" 4 55 5 $65.45
  1. 168" (13') on main floor area (6'x4' inside the trim rectangle), 140" (11'8") inside the shower (16"x48" inside the trim rectangle) and 292" (16'0") around the wall) makes 600" total.
  2. Blue tiles are in 3" band so divide linear feet by 4 to get square feet.
  3. Wall tiles go all the way to the ceiling which I think is 9'6" high less the 4" base and 3" trim leaving 8'11" giving 267.5 sq.ft. before door and window are subtracted. If window is 28"x70" plus 3" trim on four sides then subtract 34"x76"/144 = 17.944 sq.ft. If door is 28"x80" with 3" trim on three sides then subtract 34"x83"/144 = 19.597 sq.ft. Total is 229.96 sq.ft. i.e. 230 sq.ft.
  4. 326" (27'2") around the walls at floor level.
  5. If there is a barrier between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, I guess add 20 (5 ft, two sides); not sure what goes on top – perhaps you cut 6"x8" tiles in half.

Total cost of tiles: $1347.53 + tax.


The Historic Preservation Review Board mandates that:

  • We keep basement steps entirely on our side of the property line, so move them as far as possible over to the western side so the back yard is unbroken. I've shown a 3ft door which I believe is the firecode requirement (and we can reuse the metal security door) and 3'6" square pad outside.
  • There are no basement windows on the front
  • The existing basement window on the side can be deepened and two new windows with wells added but window wells must be brick and rectangular rather than corrugated metal as would be used on new construction.
  • The grade level must not be lowered. Drawing A00 appears to show the grade has been lowered exposing the corrugated metal areaways which I agree would look dreadful and would also result in water accumulating inside the sidewalk. It isn't clear if "grade" line is existing or proposed but it was interpretted as proposed since it certainly doesn't look like that now. If anything, some dirt needs to be added so that rain drains away from the house.

Additionally, Nancy Metzker of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society expressed alarm at:

  • What she though were little metal columns holding up the porch roof. The side view of drawing A00 marks this as "additional 2x8". Please change the porch roof on any new drawing so that it looks like what was there before.
  • The mere mention of a 6ft sliding door. We would have been happy with but they prefer French doors but I don't want them opening inwards as they will make passage by the kithen island awkward and if they both open outwards, the one closest to the basement steps can only open 90°. Therefore, I think the best option is one hinged door opening outwards (the left door when seen looking from the back yard) and one fixed panel (on the right). Drawing A00 shows only a regular-sized back door whereas one of the others submitted with the excavation permit shows a 6ft wide door though it isn't explicitly noted.

I also want to add:

  • The window well at the front of the house should be big enough for emergency egress which I believe is 9 sq.ft. It appears that a 28" x 40" window is big enough so long as the whole thing opens.
  • Drawing A00 shows the porch roof removed over the basement steps. I don't understand why this was changed and prefer the roof goes full width as it did before.
  • I haven't drawn handrails on the basement steps or the porch but they do need to be shown on the drawing submitted for the permit. This was one of several deficiencies that held up the excavation permit.

So here are my renditions and original photo of the porch:

Jeff will not be finishing the basement for us (at least not now) but will be putting in piping for water supply and drains so it can later be fitted out as an independent living space.


  • Use Isonene spray insulation on the walls (4" downstairs and 2" upstairs) and the attic.
  • I wanted to install solar hot water panels on the roof but based in difficulties we've had already with the various historic organizations, I don't think we will be allowed since the roof is visible from 12th Place. However we might mount them vertically on the south wall of the garage and run insulated pipes under the back yard to the basement where I could install a hot water storage tank. Therefore, run the cold water supply to the tankless hot water heater in the attic in a dedicated pipe (no tees off to the bathrooms or washing machine) since I want to send it pre-heated water from the storage tank.

The 3-D Model

If you are familiar with Google's (free) SketchUp modeling software, you can download my model.