It’s been a turbulent last six weeks and Christmas was a pretty sad time but life marches on and, despite our situation, the house construction progressed. Inside, electrical and plumbing was finished, boards hung followed by mud and tape and painting started. Outside soffit and siding was completed along with some work on well connection and perimeter drains. We also saw the cedar siding on the tall sections nearly finished which helped to blend the house into the landscape a little. The main things left to do, other than landscaping, include door installation, painting, trim and sills, install kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities then finish electrical and plumbing. We’re nearly there.
Highly paid labourers
Power to tub
Preparing roof beam
Re-grade of parking area
Before the cedar siding
Starting cedar siding
Nearly done cedar
Board and batten with window trimmed
Cedar board and batten mostly done
Parking lot view
My last update was when we had just finished pouring the concrete slab. Since then carpenters Tom, Ron and Chelsea have done a great job getting the house framed, walls up, trusses on and ready for the roof. Our schedule is to roughly be at lock-up by early November. Now at least the house has a shape and form. It is interesting to walk through the house, checking out the different rooms. The size and scale of the house changes with each new bit of construction – sometimes feeling way too big, other times just right!
Power and data underground
Office / bedroom end
From a distance
Starting the turn around
More turn around
Craig up high
Tom & Chelsea
From the dirt pile
Front of the house
Great room wall
Turn around almost done
Here comes Drillwell
Ready, set, drill
Office / bedroom trusses
Well nearly done
We’re now ready to start framing the house. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve finished filling the shell of the house; backfilled around a portion of the foundation; seen the plumbing rough-in; set the insulation under some mesh and poured the final slab of polished concrete. We also had our septic guy, Mark, finish the system and I asked him to put in a curtain drain as well. It’s been a busy few weeks but now that the foundation and floor is done, we should see the framing go up in short order. Our contractor, Craig, has guided the process admirably thus far, very smoothly. I’m still enjoying puttering around helping out with a variety of jobs.
So part of my time thus far has been spent collecting names of reputable contractors, builders and service providers. Thus far, we’ve met with three builders, two interior designers, an alternate energy dude and an HVAC company. Tom and I visited the CVRD to discuss plans, zoning and environmental concerns. I’ve discussed grey water systems and had a fairly positive review of alternate septic options with VIHA/Island Health. Thus far, I have to say that most people I’ve (we’ve) dealt with have been great and it is making the decision making process difficult. I’m sure we’ll have dozens of meetings over the coming weeks and months but I think putting the time in to assemble a tight team is worth it.
Does anyone recommend local trades, suppliers, service providers and the like? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Onward we roll…
For the last four years, I’ve gathered photographs and ideas, jotted down pictures and book-marked websites, all in an effort to put some thought into our next big adventure – building a new house on the property. It’s now time to put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard to CAD software) and start bringing this projection to life.
I plan to document things start to finish, successes and failures, trying times and exciting developments. My Dad told me once that he heard it took three ‘builds’ to get what one wants in a house and I think that is often true. I hope we can get it mostly right in one.
We have a few chief goals in this project. I’ll outline more details as we go along but the overall project will:
- suit our needs both now and well into our future
- be built, as much as possible, by local people, using local, sustainable materials
- feature alternate strategies (e.g. solar arrays, composting toilets, cistern systems, earth berms, drainpipe alternators, grey water treatment and recycling etc.)
- be constructed at a price which will allow others to realize that an innovative, energy efficient house can be build without requiring a massive budget
It should be a fun project so stay tuned!
Well, I’ve finally finished Bob’s new abode and got around to updating the blog with the final pictures. Overall, it was a pretty good project and turned out as planned with a few minor
glitches design modifications. The only thing I really have left to do is find a way to store the augur and plow – perhaps a pulley system might be in order. I managed to make use of the vertical space in the trailer bay, creating a couple platforms on which to store lumber and fenceposts; at least they will be dry. Thanks again to the Magnifico Construction Co. for guidance and encouragement. Here are some photos of the final stage.
Over the weekend, Magnifico Construction and I managed to put together the first bay of Bob’s new abode. After some mental acrobatics regarding post levels, spacing and anchors, we managed to get the first three uprights set, square and level in three dimensions! We tied them into the ledger board with some strapping before figuring out the rafters which went up quickly. Adding some cross supports tightened up the whole structure. We had a little challenge trying to get the north end of the shed up and over the slope of the existing building but with the aid of three cantilevered braces cut at rough 45s we managed to get it supported. Next step, adding the second bay. Stay tuned!