Category Archives: construction

Addition or Accessory Dwelling?

Have you found yourself in need of more space? Maybe a growing family, an aging loved one or the need for a home office has prompted you to look at your options. When faced with the need for more space most people think of adding on to their existing home. Additions are a good option if they fit the design of the home. Additions can help improve resale value and add to the overall flow and function of your home. But additions require a good design to keep from disrupting the existing features as well.

Have you considered adding an accessory dwelling? Rural properties have very few limitations regarding additions but more and more city codes are allowing a second living structure to be built on existing lots.  A properly planned and designed accessory dwelling can increase your overall value of your property and allow a multitude of options for your future.

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A detached game room can double as an office if you work from home. The same space an be used as a guest house for friends and family or even be used as an apartment for a child while attending college. The addition of a finished apartment can provide living space for a parent or loved one and become a rental unit in the future.

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Planning a space to be functional for today’s needs and flexible for tomorrow can add value to your life for years to come.

Kevin Catlett
C3 Contracting

Dog Proof Table

My wife recently asked for a table that our lovable, tail waggin’ Labrador wouldn’t knock over. It seems that her tail gets out of control and tends to knock over my wife’s drink, her phone, the entire table……. And she wants a drink holder that would fit her Yeti insulated cup.

Not a problem….. A trip to the bone yard and a new project is born……
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Recycled farm disk base, two horse shoes, 2″ flat bar, and a recycled 2 x 12 floor joist.  I used #1 horse shoes to fit the larger cup size. Tervis tumblers also are a great fit!

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And here it is ready to use! Satin black paint and tung oil on the wood and this table should last for years.

Need a custom piece for your oasis. I custom build all types of indoor and outdoor furniture. Have some used farm equipment, remnants or antiques you would like to up-cycle? Send me some pictures and let’s get started on your dream project.

And I have enough material for several more of these table. Contact me for pricing…..

Kevin C

If This Barn Could Talk!

Every so often a project that is really exciting comes along. Our Barndomimum/Game Room project is in need of some country character and finishing details. The customer just happens to have an old barn on the property that he thought we might be able to salvage some wood from. There is more than just “a little” wood to work with. Take a look at the gold mine we discovered today!

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Notice the old chicken coops and feed barn in the background. The noise of traffic can still be heard in the distance but it feels like I have stepped back in time and am miles from any city.

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Full length 1 inch thick planks surround the exterior.

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Let’s go inside and see what we have to work with.

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Is that a stairway to Heaven?

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Looking down from the Hay Loft. Look at all the shiplap planks. Full 1 inch thick by 8 inches wide.

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How many storms have those rafters withstood?

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It’s time to get to work and see if we can save some of this beautiful old wood. Thanks for the hard work today Cody.

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Treasures and memories are in every corner.

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Another view of the upper and lower decks in the hay loft.

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How long since you have seen 1″ thick planks that are over 20 feet long? We took out a few sample boards today.

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And the color is gorgeous! The board on the left is still covered with years of dirt and grim. The board on the right has only been cleaned with a little water, a clean towel and some elbow grease.

My helper asked what was wrong because of how excited I was. Some great material was uncovered today and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my customers current project. No telling where this material might be used in the future, but you can be guaranteed that as much as possible will be recycled and reused.

Keep following along for future updates. You never know what we might be doing tomorrow!

Kevin C – C3 Contracting
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

Game Room / Bardominium

Updated 03/22/16 – What is a Bardominium? Imagine a plain looking donut, filled with a delicious fruit filling! It’s kinda’ like that, but different…..

Take an average looking barn or metal building and build a modern space inside. This particular project is an 800 sq/ft game room with 10 ft ceilings built inside an existing 40′ x 50′ detached metal building. The design includes an 11ft kitchen area and a 7′ x 7’6″ bathroom that the customer will complete later.

So let’s get started framing! Here is a view of the blank space with the first walls going up.

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Doors and a window going in. The doors are recessed approx 10″ due to the metal building framing.

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Plenty of insulation will keep the space comfortable during our hot summers, R19 in the walls and R30 in the ceiling.

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Sheetrock – Ugh! But it’s starting to come together.

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A beautiful gray Sherwin Williams paint going on the walls. The ceiling and trim will all be pure white.

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Reclaimed barn wood door with a metal track. I built the door with wood from a barn on the property and I custom built the hangers and track in my shop.
{Read More About the Barn}

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Add some lights and furnishings and a huge TV and this space is almost ready. A few finishing touches are still going on: the surround sound system has been wired and should be installed soon.  And a multi-zone mini-split A/C system is going in.

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How can you have  game room without a pool table?

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And did you notice the floors? This is stained concrete! The original concrete was finished with a black and pewter stain with a high gloss finish. Gorgeous……..

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Kevin C -C3 Contracting
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

 

 

Compliments are Always Nice!

Compliments are nice. Especially when they are so unexpected! My electrician commented on how good a job the drywall guys are doing on my game room project. It’s nice to be appreciated – since I AM THE DRYWALL GUY!

And I agree the project is looking really good. Final finish sanding and texture going on the drywall tomorrow and painting starting Friday. Here’s a few pics of the progress. Looking forward to the finished product…….

Kevin C

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Design With The Future In Mind.

When designing a new project there are lots of decisions to make. Interior finishes, exterior appearance, paint color, door sizes, plumbing fixtures, and the list goes on and on. You have an idea in your mind of what you want but how do you get there? Here are some things I consider in every project.

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Purpose: What do you want to be able to do in your space? If you are going to build a game room to entertain then you need plenty of floor space for seating and “hanging out”. Do you need enough space for a pool table? How big will the TV screen be? Will the space double as a guest room or possible an apartment in the future?

I visualize the space from the middle of the room out. Make a drawing or build a model and start placing your furniture and fixtures in the room first. This will help you determine how big the space needs to be.

Location: This is VERY IMPORTANT. When adding on to an existing home or building you might not have very many options about where the addition will be. But when adding a new building to your property location is very important. When considering the location of the building I always like to know where North is. If you want to take advantage of our South East summer breeze in South Texas you don’t want your patio on the North side of the building. And shade from the West can make your space much more comfortable in the late summer days. Are you a morning person? If not, you don’t want the bright Eastern sun shining directly into your bedroom window. And how will the new building change the existing views around your property. Adding a cottage or backyard office can help block less desirable views from adjacent properties but you don’t want your new office to block the sunset views you enjoy from your back porch!

Appearance: What do you want the exterior and interior to look like? When building a cabin amid a group of oak trees in the backyard using natural wood finishes and earth tone paints can help the space blend in and feel warm and cozy. But adding brilliant colors and bold plants and flowers will make the space stand out. And don’t be afraid to add color to the inside as well. Vivid paint colors for walls or trim can define the purpose of a space. If using more neutral colors for the interior walls then consider adding bright colored furnishings or window coverings. And wall finishes don’t have to be boring. Adding reclaimed wood, metal or tile can add real character.

When adding storage space consider both built in and modular. A built in closet can be a great space to hide away the clutter but in a tiny space flexibility may be more important. Consider building or buying a wardrobe closet instead. Even kitchen spaces can be more flexible by adding islands or work stations on wheels that can be moved. A kitchen island on wheels can double as a crafting table or even be rolled out onto a patio to serve as a buffet table.

Budget: The dreaded “B” word of a project. But don’t only think of what the project will cost today. Consider what the costs will be tomorrow, next month, next year or beyond. It really baffles me why someone would build a $300,000 home but not have any budget money left for landscaping or furnishings. And will you be able for afford maintenance and upkeep costs? While a large wooden deck and natural wood siding might sound appealing, are you prepared to clean and stain/seal your natural wood every few years. Products such as metal siding, or concrete siding, such as those from James Hardi®, can reduce your maintenance costs considerably.

Budget Rules
• Buy the Best Materials You Can Afford
• Use Materials with Long Life Expectancy
• Don’t Built To Big
• Budget for Unexpected Costs and Changes
• Include Money for Finishing Touches
• Plan on Maintenance and Upkeep Costs

By planning your entire project from start to finish you can be assured you will end up with a new space to be proud of. Adding new spaces such as a cottage, cabin or office can also increase your property value if you plan on selling in the future. A new backyard tiny home can even become a rental property for increased income. A backyard cabin can be a private home for your college student to allow them privacy and keep them within their budget.

Kevin C – C3 Contracting
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

A Roof & A House

I love the idea of a metal roof over the top of a house and the house built underneath! A roof that extends beyond the perimeter of the house. A roof that protects from the rain and hot South Texas sun.

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Recently I began drawing up several simple buildings with flat tops. I refer to them as my Flat Top Box homes. The idea is a series of simple boxes that can be arranged in multiple configurations to form a home, large or small. The top of the box is weather proof but not intended to be placed directly in the elements. Instead the boxes are assembled under a free standing metal roof to allow ventilation and protection. The design is not new. Double roofs have been around in hot climates for centuries.

The metal roof and supporting structure can be built in as little as a day and provides a dry and protected build site. And by designing using traditional stick frame construction for the living spaces assembly is quick and can be accomplished with off the shelf materials from any lumber yard.

I searched far and wide for similar structures and only found a few examples. I am still looking for the locations of the buildings below but the pictures represent the concept. And with some trim and paint the roof structure, while very industrial, could blend into the design of the house or be left raw and unfinished to stand out as in these images.

Enjoy!

Kevin – C3
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

 

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12 x 24 Shed, House, Workshop?

24 ft long, 12 ft deep and over 10 ft interior ceilings.
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This particular project required a backyard building that could be used for storage as well as a workshop. The customer also wanted high ceilings so a loft could be incorporated for additional storage. And maybe someday this space could even become a guest house.

When building 10 ft high walls I always start with  2 x 6 lumber rather that 2 x 4’s, and we build on 16″ centers for superior strength.

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After framing we covered the structure with Zip Systems OSB sheathing and to get ready for siding. Click Here to read more about why I choose Zip Systems.

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And after adding the windows and doors the loft was built and added over 100 sq/ft of additional storage space and still maintained 7 ft of clearance below.

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You might notice the roof design changed before construction began. The owner wanted a traditional gable roof that matched other buildings on the property, rather than the shed roof originally planned.

The exterior and roof are covered in commercial grade galvalume steel panels with a 20 year limited warranty and the windows and door are trimmed in rough cedar. The result is a very low maintenance building that is built to last for a very long time.

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Over 250 sq/ft of interior floor space and 100+ sq/ft storage loft. This building starts at only $8499. Let’s get started on your project!

Kevin C – C3
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

A Playhouse for Christmas?

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Is it  time to upgrade your child’s Playhouse? With Christmas just around the corner there are still a few weeks left to plan the perfect gift!

Let us design and build a Christmas surprise for you son or daughter. Maybe Grandmas’ house needs a new play space.playhouse_green

Or maybe a little space in the trees might make some new memories of cousins spending the night in the backyard.

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Send me your ideas and let’s get creative and surprise someone for Christmas.

Kevin C – C3 Construction
Serving Central Texas and Beyond
210-394-3325
kevin@c3co.info

 

Why I build with Zip systems!

Have you ever seen a building with GREEN Walls and wondered what it is? It’s a wall system that is made of OSB (oriented strand board) that includes a moisture barrier. No more house wrap blowing around in the wind or getting torn.

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I first used Zip Systems sheathing on my own house approx 8 years ago. After leaving a few pieces in the scrap pile exposed to the weather for several months I noticed that they still looked good. The material was weathered but it wasn’t coming apart like normal OSB. The product was holding together very well for being left completely exposed to the elements.

So when I started C3 Contracting in April my local lumber yard didn’t stock Zip Systems. So I built with regular OSB sheathing and applied Tyvek wrap to the project. What a pain! And the sheathing just wasn’t very good quality. Even with a sharp saw blade the cuts weren’t clean and any material exposed to rain quickly started to peel and swell. So I ordered some Zip for the 12×24 workshop you see above and the product quality is better than I remember. The sheets are very dense and cut cleanly. And edges that were exposed to our recent rains held up extremely well. The photo above is before the tape sealing the seams has been applied but given my personal experience I’m not worried of a little rain before the project gets tape and siding applied.

I want my customers to have the advantage of the best quality materials available, even on small projects. Click Here to learn more about the product or send me an email with any questions.
Kevin C.