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Tiki Central Forums » » Home Tiki Bars » » Blowfish Bar – Flagler Beach, FL
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Blowfish Bar – Flagler Beach, FL
TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-18 08:04 am   Permalink

Mahalo, Wendy, for your visit and appreciative feedback. That remodel was preceded by a much larger renovation effort to create a livable home from a hurricane damaged, neglected shell of a house that had largely succumbed to the severely corrosive Atlantic coastal environment, as you will see in the next several posts. In the end, we had a fine blank canvas in which to introduce Tiki as well as the Hawaiiana we had collected during our vacations to the islands.

What follows is a bit of a retrospective on how we got to where we are on our beach house, starting with a time before there was Tiki. It all began with a long dog walk in December 2007. We were spending our holiday break in a beach cottage adjacent to and just south of the
Topaz Motel in Flagler Beach. As we were walking our two standard poodles along Central Avenue, ten blocks south of the Topaz and one block west of the coastal highway, A1A, Pat noticed a “For Sale” sign on a two-story home with a great view of the ocean. She had been wanting a beach home here ever since I brought her along on visits while she was my high school sweetheart many decades ago, before she became my wife. We had seriously looked at buying in the past, but the price for anything close to the ocean, even vacant land, was prohibitive. I pretty much dismissed this case as well, thinking it would also be exorbitant despite its obviously deteriorated condition. I was wrong, and after a phone call to the realtor and a walk-through, we immediately entered into a contract to buy, with the usual contingencies. The house had just gone on the market that day. It was fortunate that we acted without delay, as two other contracts were also placed on the house right behind us, and the parties were hoping that the buyers ahead of them would drop out.

It was obvious, even before the home inspection that this was going to be a real “fixer-upper.” None of the sliding glass doors and windows could be opened, corrosion having welded the aluminum sliding surfaces together. The exterior wooden stairway and upstairs porch deck were unsafe to walk on, due to fastener corrosion and wood rot. Boards were literally falling off. Portions of the wood siding had either rot or insect damage. The aluminum porch enclosures at ground level and upstairs were severely corroded and leaking. There were issues with plumbing and wiring, and water damage was evident on walls, ceilings and cabinets. Paradise was not going to be so easy or cheap, after figuring in the effort and costs to make the place livable...










After we closed on the property in February of 2008, I consulted with my brother-in-law, Darrell, who was a state-certified General Contractor before his retirement to nearby Palm Coast. It was clear that hiring a general contractor to do all that was required would be far too expensive for my budget. Florida law allows a building permit to be issued to the owner of a property (owner-contractor), providing that the owner personally supervises the work and hires licensed subcontractors for any work done by others. This was to be my path. Darrell would advise me on who I could trust as subcontractors in the area, determine when to call for inspections and interface with the building inspectors (really important), and do some of the work himself, particularly the drywall work for which he had many years of experience. Darrell also had many ideas on how to update the place, which was built in 1984. I was to spend the next year on the road back and forth between my full-time technical job at the Cape and my home renovation project.

The Palm Coast metro area, including most of Flagler County, was, until recently, the fastest growing in the United States. All of the associated construction supported a well-staffed county building department, with experienced building officials, engineers and inspectors. The City of Flagler Beach has its own building department, but uses the county staff for the permit approval and inspections. After Hurricane Andrew, the Florida Building Code greatly strengthened its hurricane and wind-driven debris mitigation requirements, and my beach house is seaward of the 120-mph coastal wind zone line. All of these factors, when combined, meant I had to have a very comprehensive set of plans to get a building permit, requiring the services of a designer, architect and registered professional engineer (structural). It was a difficult and costly process. Since I didn’t plan to install hurricane shutters, the new exterior sliding glass doors, windows, main entry doors, and garage door all had to be state certified for the wind and debris loading, requiring a test and a report approved by a registered professional engineer to be on file with the state. There is a real asymmetry in the ordinances: one can let a building deteriorate severely with no interference from government, but if you want to fix anything up, you’ve got to run an expensive gauntlet with multiple government agencies. It took almost three months (June 2008) to get the building permit issued. Here was my designer...




Before even embarking on renovation, I had to remove a bunch of Washingtonia Palm Trees that had been foolishly planted right beneath power, cable TV and telephone lines. These palms rapidly grow to over 100 feet in height, though in Florida they generally are struck by lightning long before they reach mature height. This required a tree removal permit from the City, which in turn required a landscape plan to show how I would compensate for removed trees with new ones. Here’s what I prepared myself and gave the City in order to obtain the permit...



After a City inspector visited the property and gave me the go, I brought in a landscape developer with heavy equipment to remove the trees and grub out the overgrown shrubs next to the house, as well as remove a bunch of gravel that was scattered all over the east end of the property. As soon as this was done, I called in an Ormond Beach pest control contractor to tent and fumigate the house, as recommended by the home inspector, based on the possibility of drywood termites in the siding...






With that, the home was ready for start of demolition.

To be continued, for it was yet a long way to Tiki...

-Tom


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TikiHardBop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 422
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2012-01-18 10:59 am   Permalink

You should have had the termite guys at least use some tarps with tapa print designs or something on them!

(I've had my house tented twice. I feel for ya!)


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-18 1:20 pm   Permalink

George, does it count if I prepared tropical cocktails for the work crews on Friday evenings (it was beers at the end of every other workday of the week)? Life was pretty gritty while this was underway.

Continuing the renovation retrospective, next up was demolition of the wooden deck and stairs, as well as the screen room below the deck on the ocean side of the house. Darrell, my brother-in-law, called for a construction dumpster, then commenced with the help of his son, Darrell, to carry out this phase (the team of Darrell and Darrell)...


















In the meantime, Surfer Pete commenced repair of a downstairs shower wall that had gone mushy from water intrusion above the pan...






Inside upstairs, Darrell and Darrell stripped moldy wallpaper from kitchen and bathroom walls, treating, repairing and/or replacing drywall as required; they also installed new medicine cabinets, mirrors, and lighting fixtures in upstairs and downstairs bathrooms...
















Pearson's Plumbing of Bunnell repaired or replaced leaking fixtures and replaced the hot water heater, as well as installed new water lines and fixtures for the ocean side sun room yet to be constructed...




An electrician friend of young Darrell installed new electrical receptacles and light switches everywhere, using GFCI receptacles in the two kitchens and two bathrooms; he also installed new spotlights over the stairway and new fluorescent lights in the garage; additional wiring and switches were added to accommodate new lighting and ceiling fans; a hallway ceiling near the garage was removed for access...
















Next, Dave and Gary of Ocean City Construction LLC joined the project, starting with the footing preparation and slab pour for the new concrete sun room replacing the old aluminum screen room; lots of fun using a concrete saw, jack hammer and sledge hammer to remove portions of the old slab; I’m grateful to those guys for sticking with me and doing most of the heavy construction...










Before each and every concrete pour,
Ryan’s Pest Control, Inc of Ormond Beach treated the soil for subterranean termites; they also applied Termidor to the entire base perimeter of the house, drilling through concrete as required...









Next, Dave and Gary’s focus moved to the west end where new columns were constructed for the sun room to be built over the garage entryway, tied to new footings cut into the existing driveway; new PGT Wingard Vinyl hurricane-rated sliding glass doors and windows were delivered, compliant with all requirements of the very strict Miami-Dade code...




















After demolition of upstairs screen room, insulation was added to the subfloor for a new upstairs sun room...










Taking time for a Poodle moment...




To be continued…

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-20 06:17 am   Permalink

Continuing with part 3 of the renovation retrospective, the concrete mason (his entire family worked as a team) came on site from Port Orange to construct the ocean side reinforced concrete sun room...




In a comparison of muscle size (biceps, pectorals) with the lady mason, TikiTomD fared poorly...




Darrell, my brother-in-law, surveying the initial course of blocks...






After the masons finished with the sun room concrete masonry unit (CMU) shell, Dave and Gary constructed the forms and a forest of temporary shoring for pouring the reinforced concrete columns, beam and solid concrete roof to serve as the deck floor above...










This project used lots of steel rebar, all the way up to #7 in size (almost an inch in diameter)...




With forms in place, it was time to pour the CMU shell cavities using the services of Tri-County Concrete Pumping of Palm Coast, in conjunction with Cemex, the concrete supplier...






Joe joined the team as the build tempo picked up, starting with placement of rebar for the solid roof and deck pour...








MS Structural Engineers of Ormond Beach created the structural drawings for the renovation. This company and its principal had outstanding credentials and reputation, having engineered high rise office and resort buildings along the coast from New York to Florida, as well as in the Caribbean Islands. They had also engineered multi-tier parking garages and bridges. Their conservative design practices extended to involvement in the construction itself. Their principal engineer imposed requirements in excess of the building code for a two-story residence, and because these were stated directly on the drawings he stamped, the County Building Official was obligated to make them part of the permit. This of course incurred extra costs and scheduling complexity. Some of these extra requirements: (1) on-site engineering inspection required prior to each concrete pour to verify conformance to drawings including rebar density and placement, as well as adequacy of temporary shoring, (2) on-site engineering inspection required before closing out framing to verify structural ties from roof to ground and conformance of framing to drawings, and (3) on-site and laboratory testing of soil in footings to verify conformance to composition and compaction requirements, as well as testing of the high-strength structural concrete to verify conformance to slump and strength specifications; testing was performed by
Universal Engineering Sciences, Inc. Since the drawings invoked this “special inspector” requirement of the Florida Statutes, even for a building that didn’t meet the statutory threshold, the Building Official required a favorable final report from the structural engineer be provided before the permit could be closed out at the conclusion of construction.

Having satisfied both the special inspector from MS Structural Engineers and the County inspector, pour of the roof deck, columns and deck beam proceeded, again using the concrete pumper service...










While the ocean side sun room roof deck cured, construction shifted to framing in the west side upstairs sun room and window replacement...






















Additional structural framing was added to resist wind loading on gable end of roof trusses...






Installing windows in the ocean side sun room...






Continuing with window replacement elsewhere...












Stucco Mike (Dave’s brother) and his assistant prepare to stucco the new garage entryway columns and ceiling, as well as the ocean side sun room...














In parallel, temporary shoring of the concrete roof deck and forms were removed...






Stuccoing over the scratch coat...








Installing hurricane rated vinyl doors with stainless steel hinges...






New sliding glass doors and siding were installed on the ocean side deck (note that stainless steel screws and nails were used everywhere)...






Siding was applied to the new upstairs sun room while stucco finish work was underway...








To be continued...

-Tom


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WestADad
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 745
From: Tornado Alley
Posted: 2012-01-20 06:47 am   Permalink

WOW!!! Looking good Tom!

Chris
WestADad


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-22 06:01 am   Permalink

Chris, mahalo for visiting and commenting.

Continuing with part 4 of the renovation retrospective, next was construction of a front door entry portico minus columns, perhaps more properly termed a gable overhang...














In this same timeframe, I made the switch from overhead to underground power lines into the house meter. Some time earlier, I had contacted Florida Power & Light (FPL), our local utility company, and gave them a check for the $600 conversion. It was my responsibility to trench from the pole to the wall location and bury the conduit FPL provided. Hunter, my across-the-street neighbor, provided the necessary services through his business, Hunter Irrigation & Landscaping, LLC (Hunter is in the middle among the three in the next photo). First, it was necessary to remove the existing sidewalk next to the house, and then proceed with the trenching...






After burying the conduit, it was necessary to choreograph the simultaneous support of my electrical contractor (Tri-City Electric of North Florida, Inc from Bunnell), Florida Power & Light Company, and the County electrical inspector while the old service lines, gooseneck conduit and meter were removed and the new service lines were fished through the underground conduit, a new digital meter installed and connections were made. The folks involved were expert at this, and the entire changeover took under two hours.

It was also time to bring a painter onsite to start priming finished exterior surfaces. After a lot of samples, Pat and I chose as our primary paint color Florida Keys Blue (
Benjamin Moore #2050-40), with white as the trim color. Our painting team consisted of Paul, who came to Florida from Canada, and his son, Mark...




Back on the ocean side, Surfer Pete installed a waterproof membrane over the sun room concrete roof deck, and then finished it with Spanish tile supplied by House of Tiles, Inc of Bunnell, while Dave, Gary and Joe installed insulation and a new interior sliding glass door inside the sun room beneath...






With help from Hunter’s landscaping associates, the soil was graded next to the house to prepare for new concrete walkways...




A new hurricane-rated garage door from Hormann, a German firm, was installed; it included a super quiet door opener...




Roof shingles were applied to the entry portico, and then it was Stucco Mike’s turn to again do his magic...












Forms were constructed for the new walkways and front door steps...










Dominic and his crew from D & J Contracting of Flagler Beach poured and finished the concrete for the steps and walkways...








After the concrete had cured sufficiently, forms were removed...






Then over to Surfer Pete to install more Spanish tile, this time over cement board he installed on the interior entry stairway, in the foyer, and over the concrete exterior steps...














After Dave, Gary and Joe had installed hurricane clips between roof trusses and the top of the exterior wall all around, Budd Severino Advanced Home Exteriors, Inc of Daytona Beach joined the project to install vinyl soffit and fascia, as well as seamless aluminum gutters and downspouts...






Meanwhile, Dave, Gary and Joe tackled the installation of the exterior spiral staircase on the ocean side sun room; this came as a prefabricated custom kit in many pieces straight from the Salter Spiral Staircase factory in Pennsylvania; each piece except the aluminum handrail was of hot-dipped galvanized carbon steel that Paul the painter primed before assembly...


















A phone call confirmed the company that fabricated the old ocean side deck awnings, Tops By Tony was still in business in Daytona Beach. They agreed to refurbish the old awnings with new material and treat the old aluminum frames for corrosion at a great savings. Their records indicated that the old awnings had been there 12 years, surviving the harsh coastal environment and multiple hurricanes, with only some fading and mildew to show for it...




Now it was time to bring back Budd Severino to install aluminum reinforced vinyl handrails along the upper ocean side deck...










Meanwhile, Dave and Gary installed a tongue and groove plywood subfloor in the upstairs sun room, and Darrell applied drywall to the interior of both sun rooms after the electricians had installed and wired new receptacle and light switch boxes...






The electricians installed new exterior ceramic light fixtures from Luminaire of Plano, Texas...






I designed a custom built-in entertainment center for the upstairs great room that Darrell implemented in framing and drywall...








I later drilled holes between compartments for wiring, capping with 2-3/8” round white plastic desk grommets.

Darrell finished up the interior drywall work and installed new interior doors and door hardware; Surfer Pete installed travertine window sills; the electricians installed new interior ceiling fans and light fixtures; I installed new wireless networked talking smoke detectors (obnoxious devices from hell when the batteries die) and Paul applied paint to all interior walls, concluding the major renovation project. The structural engineer issued a report to the County Building Official certifying that actual construction met or exceeded all drawing requirements, and the County inspector approved the final inspection on December 1, 2008. Over the entire project, we failed only one permit inspection, and that was for a couple of screws missing from one of the sun room window frames – I was really impressed and happy that the inspector was looking that closely. A few minutes of actual effort and the payment of a reinspection fee cleared that.

Over the months ahead, I went on to remove the carpeting (not compatible with beach sand & dogs) and replace it with Armstrong vinyl linoleum, installed a mini-split air conditioner in the ocean side sun room, added vinyl fencing and encapsulated the deteriorating popcorn ceiling with white beadboard.








Here’s the finished exterior complete with the white vinyl fence (gates not installed yet)...










Next, a party for the renovation team...

-Tom

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTomD 2012-01-22 06:57 ]


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Professor G
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 03, 2011
Posts: 335
From: the Tiki Wastelands
Posted: 2012-01-22 06:19 am   Permalink

Geez, I feel good about myself if I build a nice sandwich, but this . . ?

Amazing.


 
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zerostreet
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 06, 2010
Posts: 1958
From: http://www.zerostreet.com
Posted: 2012-01-22 07:17 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-01-22 06:19, Professor G wrote:
Geez, I feel good about myself if I build a nice sandwich, but this . . ?

Amazing.



Ha! Even a huge Dagwood wouldn't compare to this!

Amazing photo documentary Tom! And quite a beautiful Florida home you got there!
_________________

Tiki Tower
The Art of Robert Jimenez
http://www.tikitower.com


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3135
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2012-01-22 08:32 am   Permalink

Love the Florida Keys Blue color you chose for your house. I must say I am jealous of the fabulous ocean view you have. Thanks for interesting progress photos.

 
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LoriLovesTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 915
From: NJ
Posted: 2012-01-22 09:44 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-01-22 08:32, hiltiki wrote:
Love the Florida Keys Blue color you chose for your house. I must say I am jealous of the fabulous ocean view you have. Thanks for interesting progress photos.



Ditto!!

Sooooooo nice.
_________________
:-)
Lori


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-23 1:41 pm   Permalink

Mahalo to all for dropping by.

Professor G and Robert, this project was a daunting challenge to execute, even with the capable assistance of my brother-in-law, Darrell. My full-time job is an hour-and-a-half’s drive away each way. Managing the flow of material and trades required nearly daily attention, and there were a myriad of decisions at a detail level to be made as we went. Add to that budget accountability, and the duties of paymaster and morale officer (e.g., supplying food and drink to the crew)...

Hiltiki and LoriLovesTiki, we painted a number of sample patches on the house before choosing the color. There were already way too many homes around with shades of gray and earth tones, and we wanted something different that visually evoked a bit of the oceanic setting, anything but the Jalapeno Red of the tri-story monstrosity directly in front of us.

As the renovation came to a close, a number of the team members expressed a desire to celebrate, so I promised to bring everyone back together for that purpose.

In this photo taken before starting demolition, you can see a weather worn decorative cement Pelican with a badly-patched wing fracture hanging above the old ocean side wood deck...




I took this to an art restorer I knew at Studio Plus in Titusville to see what could be done to save the old bird. The lady there did a magnificent job restoring the wing and bringing the original colors back to life. So I decided that we would honor the renovation team in a ceremonial “Hanging of the Pelican” party. The resulting party invitation...




And the restored Pelican, after the hanging...




Food was catered by
Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q of nearby Palm Coast, while I served as the bartender for Mai Tais and assorted other tropical cocktails. That was a thirsty crowd of folks, and I worked hard for hours, barely keeping up with the demand...


























I am incredibly grateful to this team of people for creating the beach home of our dreams. This inscribed memento serves to remind me of their contributions...




-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-24 08:37 am   Permalink

Returning to the here and now: Tiki Tom gets a birthday present from Pat, a Blue & Green Resin Chunk Tiki Lamp from ArtLampDesignbyRoger...

It all started here with a collaboration of Roge Bodine, original resin chunk lamp artist from the 1960s, and TC’s talented Tiki artisan, Wendy Cevola (danlovestikis). I missed the original announcement, but not the posting about this awesome Christmas present to Sven (bigbrotiki) from Chris (WestADad). When I showed the photos to Pat, she recognized a very nice birthday present in the making. It arrived in mid-January. Last weekend, we installed it in the great room corner opposite the Blowfish Bar.

The lamp and installation kit sent by Roge...








Additional needed parts (by Tiki Tom)...




Needed tools, in addition to a 6-foot step ladder, were a cordless drill and an ultrasonic stud finder...






The beach house, as acquired, had popcorn ceilings everywhere. Roof damage was sustained during the hurricanes of 2004, and the prior owner had re-sprayed the water damaged ceilings with more popcorn. By the time I purchased the home in 2008, the popcorn was starting to randomly drop off the ceiling. Removing a popcorn ceiling is truly an extreme mess, so I took the alternate route of encapsulating it in a white beadboard laminate.

Because of the small air gap between the laminate ceiling planks and the popcorn-covered drywall beneath, I could not directly locate the ceiling joists using the ultrasonic stud finder. But the stud finder easily located the hidden metal clips anchoring the planks to the joists, thereby indirectly locating the joists. After identifying a joist location, I drilled a pilot hole for the lamp ceiling hook, soaped the hook threads and screwed the hook into the ceiling joist by hand, aided by padded pliers for the last several turns. This was repeated for a second hook to swag the lamp chain and cord over to a corner at the top of the wall. The entire lamp installation was done in less than 15 minutes.

Photos of the installed resin chunk Tiki lamp...










-Tom


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-01-24 08:41 am   Permalink

Very interesting! - for a home renovation site, it would be.

 
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danlovestikis
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4862
Posted: 2012-01-24 09:13 am   Permalink

Hi Tom, my mom and I built a room addition with help from my sister and her husband back in the 60's. That's how I learned to lay brick. These photos brought back a lot of memories. I loved every single one of them. All the special touches like the pelican were so cool. I love where you hung the lamp. Thank you, Wendy
_________________


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-25 12:29 pm   Permalink

Wendy, pleased you like how the new Tiki lamp worked out.

Just received a couple of decorative items for the Blowfish Bar from Oceanic Arts in Whittier, CA...




Both items have been used in the décor of classic Poly Pop establishments including Trader Vic’s and the Mai-Kai.

With a spousal embargo on covering the white beadboard ceiling, despite compelling citations from such noted TC experts on the subject as RevBambooBen and GatorRob, I’ve resorted to obscuration as a technique, imperfect as it may be. The Tahitian Fish Trap supports this strategy by filling in some of the visible white space between the Blowfish Lamp and the Japanese Glass Fishing Float at the top of the bar...








The New Guinea Mask is the first of its kind to adorn the Blowfish Bar, with some resemblance to Trader Vic’s PNG logo...








There’s an interesting Tiki Central thread started by bigbrotiki related to the subject:
WHEN and WHERE did Melanesian art enter Polynesian Pop?

-Tom


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