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What were they thinking?


Jim Katen
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OK, I've seen a lot of bungalows, but I've never seen this particular design feature. On either side of the living room fireplace, there are doors that lead out to . . . nothing.

What's the point here? Would it have been so terrible to hold these up a foot or two above the floor and make them casment windows?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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You know, my folks' place is very similar to that. Of course their place isn't a bungalow and it isn't in the northwest - it's in Arizona. And it's a log cabin.

But sure enough, two doors flanking the masonry chimney. Of course, they lead to a flagstone patio. In all their 30 years of occupying the home, the doors have never been walked through. Just opened for circulation.

I wonder if the terrain wasn't different when the home was built and there were plans for the doors to actually be used.

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The marvel of the American building industry. Folks can design and build whatever they want, and it's very strange what some folks want.

Actually, I kinda like it. It'd be pleasant having them open. The only problem with inward opening french doors is they take up a lot of floor area.

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Jim, Is there a cricket in the valley to the left of the picture?

Yes, there were mod bit lined crickets at all 3 of the butterfly valleys on this house. The roof was 20 years old and there were no signs of leaks anywhere, including at the two internal gutters.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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My guess is that someone built a stock plan and did not change it to match the site conditions. Woops!

I think that's probably it. In fact, I think they messed with the roof lines as well. I suspect that the original plan had a wrap-around porch and a bolder roof. Something changed in the planning phase.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Interesting roof treatment at the rakes. Are the comp shingles somehow attached to half-round forms? I kind of, sort of like the fake thatched look, but are they going to hold up with that much bend?

The half round forms are made with 1x2 "lath" attached to round profile pieces. These shingles have been in place for 20 years and they've held up just fine. It must have looked really awesome with the original wood shingles.

The seller told me that when he had the shingles put on 20 years ago, the roofers wanted to take a skill saw and chop off the round forms. He insisted they leave them. He said that they whined and bitched the whole time they were putting the shingles around the forms.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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