Work continues on the courtyard. One of the most amazing things is to see a space which had been, more or less, unusable begin to resemble the finished product. In a home like a Cliff May the outdoor spaces are almost as important as interior ones. Even the L-shape layout of the house implies an exterior floorplan. For the past 4.5 years I've lived without any of the outdoor rooms completed. So I'm pretty excited to be well on the road to get one done.
Here's a photo of where we are:
Infrastructure is also a big improvement. I'm sort of following the motto: Any area I redo, I don't want to excavate again. This has meant a lot of extras. It adds up and I even had to draw up a "trenching plan" for the crew to go from. It also means thinking ahead.
One of the biggest things was figuring out how the previous owner had gotten live water over to this side of the house. Unlike most homes built today, in the 1950s it was uncommon for builders to provide outdoor spigots. This meant that the first homeowner would run all of their own exterior water lines. In my case, I had an oddly-placed spigot in the courtyard and a funky riser with a lone sprinkler valve sticking 2ft out of the ground about 10 feet away. It turns out all of this was galvanized pipe, part of which ran all along side the house. I'm fairly certain it
was original, from 1954. In accordance with my motto, I decided to replace all of it with PVC at the proper depth. Below is a photo of what came out of the ground...I'm shocked it wasn't leaking.