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A minor miracle in lattice.

A minor miracle in lattice

"An affordable home that fell considerablyshort of my ideals.' That's how owner Larry Cain described the 1960s tract house he found on a slope of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.

Undaunted, he set to work evenings andweekends to remodel. Nothing changed the house quite as much as the lattice structure he built over the spartan front patio to create an airy 18- by 50-foot garden room.

To begin, Mr. Cain laid a brick floormortared to the patio and painted the retaining wall white. He then anchored U-brackets to the brick surface to secure 4-by-4 posts for the walls.

For the roof, he screwed metal hangersunder the eave to support 2-by-8 joists. Because the front garden slopes steeply up to the street, he angled the joists companionably to soar from the house's 9 1/2-foot eave line to a 14-foot height. Joist hangers at the midpoint of each joist hold the 2-by-8 spacers that complete the grid enclosing 20 lattice panels.

Mr. Cain built the panels from redwoodlath framed with 1-by-2s. He fastened the roof panels to the joists by toenailing the frames from above and below. For all-weather protection, he then nailed fiberglass panels above the joists.

To construct the panels for the gardenwall, Mr. Cain framed three big openings with 2-by-4s and trimmed the openings with 1-by-2s inside and out. Star jasmine --planted behind the retaining wall--fringes the windows. These frame views of the front garden, which was newly relandscaped and fenced.

Visitors now approach the house on awinding path of railroad-tie steps and redwood decking that leads to a lattice-paneled entry on one side of the garden room (see sketch).

On the house itself, Mr. Cain replaced thefront door and bedroom and living room windows with sliding glass doors; all open onto a 3 1/2-foot-wide deck built of redwood 2-by-4s. This decking also wraps around a spa just outside the bedroom; four broad redwood steps connect the deck to the level of the brick paving.

Mr. Cain applied an oil-base white stainto the entire lattice enclosure, painted the house exterior white, and stained the redwood steps and decking gray.

To control the brightest sun, he orderedroll-up plastic window shades from an awning shop. He also made a removable shadecloth screen to go over the roof; it unrolls like a scroll with borders of PVC pipe, then hooks that above the panels.

Photo: Before A concrete-block retaining wall defined entry patiofor house that sits below the level of sloping front lawn. Four steps led to front door, flanked by windows of master bedroom on left, living room on right

Photo: Shed-like enclosure abutshouse just under eave. Translucent fiberglass roof panels protect room from rain. A new gutter, built along shed's low side, drains to a downspout behind entry at left. On the garden-facing side, a 2-by-8 fascia hides the joint of roof and lattice wall

Photo: After Sun-filtering lattice encloses former entry patio tomake open-air room paved with brick and filled with plants. At right, sliding glass door opens bedroom to spa. Below, openings frame garden views; lattice hides retaining wall
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1987
Words:518
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