We continue to work on the house, finishing small details. Our daughter Becke and Grant are having their wedding celebration in the yard this coming weekend. That event motivated the completion of many house projects. The backyard fences are now complete and all of the sod is now laid. The lawn is now about an acre in size which the grandkids absolutely love! Today we installed the last twenty knees under the eves of the house. They complete the side of the house facing the back yard. :) I still have to install the front knees which are all cut and carved. They should be painted and ready to install in the next few weeks. It's been a very long journey to get the house this far.
Since my last post we've been very busy on the house. Much of the trim is now finished on the exterior. The sidewalks have now all been poured. New fence separates the yard from the driveway. More rail road tracks have been laid and the driveway has been blacktopped. We also laid turf on most of the dirt, finishing off the yard. Shrubs and flowers are in place as well. The place is looking pretty good.
There's still lots to do and we will continue working as we have time. Stay tuned for more...
Work continues on the house and yard but I have to have a little fun too.
Shortly after moving to the property eleven years ago I expressed a desire to buy a new barbecue but there was no patio and money was tight. Janis & I decide to wait until the new house we were dreaming of was built. I was confident it would be in a year or two- three to five at most.Janis (the realist) predicted a few years more. It turned out to be ten years.
Tonight (with barbecue season now in full bloom) I brought home the new barbecue. :)
Now I just have to get the back deck in.
Today Peter and the crew made great progress on the plasterwork on the house, finishing off the back walls and one of the two remaining tres as well. Only the window sills and the back wall of the lawnmower room remain. It is looking fabulous!
Janis had requested hearts be hidden in the tree (which did happen) as well as a feature heart with J+D just for fun.
With the return of cooler temperatures and a little rain it was time to seed the lawn at last. It is just a quick pass with final grading and overseeding to come after we put in the sidewalks. We put in the gravel for under the sidewalk and decided where all of the fencing is going to go. It's going to be nice to see gren lawns instead of the bare dirt we've been looking at for so long during construction.
Inside the tile work is done save for a few tiles in the entrance. Those are waiting on the finish carpenter who is waiting on some custom routing by me. That is also being done today. By tomorrow nonn I'll be ready for him. He is suposed to come next week which means paint will follow after that, then the last few tiles... and then... then we are DONE!
As we work our way around the back of the house we continue to design and work out details of the various parts. It's the same way we did the front and sides of the house. Today, Peter did the last of the wall plaster work. That leaves only a little rock work along the bottom to finish things off.
One area we needed something imaginative was around the dog door. The door needed a roof over it to prevent water splashing in. Peter came up with the idea of building a miniature version of our patio. Yesterday we fastened in the steel framework and shingled the roof. Today Peter did the surrounding plasterwork and the rocks along the bottom of the wall. I'll be designing a faux round window and trim which will be routed in one piece. We'll paint it up and then install it. The tree trunk supports will then be sculpted in place after the concrete deck is poured.
It's all a bit over the top but in good fun. Why not?
The theme of our house on the outside is hearts. Many are hidden and subtle, carved into the trees and rock work. Once noticed, however,they are obvious and abundant. The trim has literally thousands of hearts routed into the accent centers. Even these from a distance look like a subtle pattern, painted and glazed various shades of brown and blending into the woodwork. But at each intersection of the large 8" wide trim a larger heart will be installed. And for good measure we'll paint each of those hearts bright pink as per special request by Janis.
We'll be creating scores of heart shaped blocks for the task. This pile represents about one third of them.
Each day more pieces are added to our giant jigsaw puzzle, bringing it ever closer to completion.
The MultiCam CNC router has been running for more than 60 hours straight and will for at least another two days to create the bulk of the remaining outside trim for the house. The ladies of our crew are busy painting up a storm, first with three base coats and then the four layers of glaze. As fast as the painting is done Peter is fastening the pieces into place. He's also spending time up o n the roof, finishing the painting and installing the trim on the upstairs dormers, the hardest task yet to finish. The front two are done save for final paint and the back two are well underway.
The back patio area is also progressing nicely. The uppoer painting is almost done and the trim only needs one more coat of glaze to finish it off. This and the front window need the mullion trim to finish them off. When the router is finished up the current tasks that work will begin.
The front porch area is getting it's final glazes and is looking pretty fine. I still have a little routing to do for the front door trim but that will be underway within a few days. Inside tile work is contuinuing with the all of the last tile cut and fitted for the mud room. That leaves only the last few remaining tile in the mudroom bathroom and the front entry. I'll sure be glad to get off my knees. There was a LOT of tile in this house with a seemingly endless number of cuts. The good news is it looks fabulous done and the house is a breeze to keep clean with all tile floors.
The contractor signs have now been removed from the front lawn and have been freshened up and delivered to our contractors whoi did such a great job for us.
The house is looking better each day and feeling more like home as well.
The work continues on the back of the house. Trim is going up regularly and coats of paint are being applied one after the other. The back porch trees (posts) of the lawn mower room are now the main project at hand. First Peter welded up the fence and pencil rod frame of the tree. The first one is now complete and the second one started.. The diamond lath is going on from the top down and then we'll apply the concrete and sculpt the actual tree.
Out in the giant new backyard garden hoses are being laid out on the dirt to test the possible new fence lines. All new fencing is soon to follow. We are also looking at various locations for some new trees and landscaping. The house is looking more finished all the time.
It was Peter's first day back on the job and we've been saving lots of work - just for him. Today he was to begin finishing off the dormer window trim which we had prepainted. I had also carefully measured and cut it to fit so it was just a matter of fitting it into place. In the next days he'll staple the lath into place around the windows and then we'll plaster and carve in the final 'wood' trim. A few days later, after the concrete has finished curing we can finish off the paint. The first dormer window looks fabulous already.
One dormer down - three to go!
Good to have you back and close to home Peter!
More than a year ago at the start of the new house project we removed the front stairs of the old house. The new building would be less than four feet from the old, with the roof lines actually overlapping. Since then the front door to the old house as been unusable, because of a four foot drop right outside the opening.
With the new house now almost complete it was time to remedy the situation. This week and next we'll use the front door to transport food and supplies to the new house to feed our workshop guests. In coming weeks we'll use the shortcut to the new house to begin our move into the shiny new digs.
Big Matt was tasked with the job of building an elevated platform that goes to the front carport and rear deck of the new house from the front door of the old which was about in the middle. He needed to build it extra strong as all manner of heavy things would cross this threshold as we move.
Inside the new house the plumbers and electricians were busy today. The heating system is due to go live tomorrow. The kitchen sink is now operational and to ease the workload of serving meals in the new house the dishwasher will also be functional. Janis and her helpers will be glad! Anything that makes grandma smile makes grampa smile too.
As we begin work on the inside with the strapping of the ceilings in preparation for the plasterwork. But before we can do the parts that curve into the upper walls we have to do a little more insulating. There is plenty of spray foam to keep the moisture and cold at bay on the outside. The insulation we do from here on is is on the inside walls and ceilings to keep the noise inside the individual rooms. We've always insulated each room from every other room to make out houses quiet. This house will be no different. In fact this house will be better for there is now insulation made just for that purpose. I picked up the first load today.
The two Matthews ( little Matt welds a few hours each week after his regular job) continue work on the fence. They are making good progress on the fence down the side of the house.
With the Innotech windows and doors now in place it is time to start in on sculpting the concrete trim. Today the big front window and the door frame got the treatment. Matt did all the preparation and mixed the concrete while I applied it and did the sculpting.
The spaces between the windows still needs the trim that will be carved into Precison Board. It will have panel inserts with more hearts of course. Things are coming together nicely!
Today was a day we've long awaited. Today the last of the lower floor windows arrived. Two still have temporary plywood as they await permanent glassbut all the holes are at long last filled. The good news is that as the Harold's contracting crew fastened the last window in place we have achieved official lockup.
The last batch of windows included the big round sets, front and rear as well as the front door set - fifteen windows and one door in all. They all look perfect and fit perfectly too. It took a while for Harold's crew to carefully align the many panes - up to six in each set.
The Element Spray Foam crew has three or four more days to go before that big job is done. Then we can start in on the inside work required to finish the house. A good chunk of the day was also spent onsite with Roy from the cabinet shop. We surveyed each location cabinets are needed and in the next few days we will have our first draft of the cabinet plan.
Things are coming together!
Today I drove to the Okanagan to meet with my clients. Although I could have taken a relatively new freeway I decided instead to take a different road - a road I knew well from decades past. This was the scenic route.
Back in the late seventies and early eighties I made my living doing detailed pen and ink drawings. These drawings and the limited edition prints derived from them were sold in about forty galleries and frame shops throughout British Columbia. I travelled across the province many times in those years selling my artwork in these far flung places. As I traveled I would take a different route each time, documenting everything I saw along the way. My drawings were based on this research.
One of my favorite places in those days was a spot along the Hope-Princeton highway called Bromley rock on the Similkameen River.
The river is forced to bend around the massive rock and in the process it scours the opposite riverbank in high water exposing the roots of many wonderful trees there. It was good to visit with my old friends once more.
I did a number of drawings based on these trees, one of which still hangs on our wall.
When we were designing the new house I drew reference from these same trees. Janis asked that we make the trees not quite so twisty and knarly and I had no problem with that (as long as we did the trees).
Many other sources also provided inspiration as well.
Every house needs a street number and so does our new one. We weren't about to go to the hardware store to get some typical cast or vinyl ones however. We decided to route our address into some Precision Board high density urethane with a layered heart background of course and work it into the similar house trim.
The marker will go on the front wall right where the bright orange building permit currently is fastened.
It is one more small detail that will make this house extra special.
When we designed our house we knew we wanted curved tops on most of the windows. It took some searching to find the company that would make the windows. With the unusual design of our house, the windows and doors are all custom and had to be hand made by a skilled craftsman, with rounded sides and tops.We searched far and wide for the perfect windows, and it turned out that the company we were looking for ended up being just up the road, Innotech windows and doors
The windows are European style, tilt and turn, for the upmost in comfort and security. The north side (closest to the road) are triple glazed. All the windows have a triple seal to keep out noise, the cold and the weather.
The first batch of windows was delievered and installed last week. They looked fabulous and worked smoothly. Some of the radii were very tight and difficult to achieve - especially in a tilt and turn opening design.
I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the windows installed.
Each day when I awake I lay out a mental plan of all the things I will do that day. But each day things happen and it seems to take on a life of it's own. Today was no different.
My plan was to sand the edges and detail the vertical trim pieces in preparation for the paint and glazes that would follow. Before I had gotten through the first couple of pieces I was called to the house to answer some questions about the installation of the windows. Then my phone rang and I was asked if I could use a load of concrete that was left over from another job. The price was right, but it meant all plans were on hold. We would fill in the concrete block retaining walls. Steel for fence posts needed cutting and everything needed to be checked in readiness for the sudden concrete pour. We would use the tractor to do the task. The concrete truck was on the way. That project lasted until one o'clock.
The afternoon went by in a flash with a meeting, phone calls, and running for needed parts. The carpenters finished putting in the first batch of Innotech windows and doors. They look fabulous andoperate smoothly. The house is instantly a whole lot quieter - even with a few windows missing.
My lunch and supper were combined. After eating I headed back to the shop to finish what I had started first thing this morning.
Tomorrow when I wake up I think out a new plan and just maybe I'll pull it off. But first I'll have to finish off what I planned to do today.
Today it was exciting to see the giant Innotech truck pull into the driveway. It meant the first batch of windows and doors was here at last. The driver and helper wasted no time in getting the windows out of the truck and placed carefully where they belonged. The windows were no lightweights - especially the front ones which were all triple glazed.
Harold's Contracting crew got busy prepping the openings with blue skin waterproofing, tar paper and caulking. Then they hefted the heavy windows into the openings and leveled everything perfectly before fastening them permanently into place. It was great to see a reflection in the window instead of a blank opening when we looked at the house this evening.
Tomorrow the last of the first batch of windows and doors will be installed. The balance of the windows arrive Thursday. It won't be long until the interior work begins in earnest.
Today was a catch-up day. It was a day to put things away, a day for sorting, to clean up everything that needed it. The ladies finished painting the last of the facia boards meaning we were finished with the scaffold on the outside of the house until the old house is gone. This meant we could take down all the large scaffolds at last.
The house is ready for trim on three sides. The trim is awaiting the windows which will arrive Monday morning.
This week the house will be locked up at last!
Tonight a fireman from across the road wondered how many coats of paint we were applying to the house exterior. It seemed to be taking a long time. The answer is a minimum of three coats and up to seven applications of paint when we apply the glazing colors. Progress on the house continues without much visual change but we are almost there.
Upstairs the Element Spray Foam crew coninues to lay in the fluffy foam. Each day more of the ceiling is coated in the blue closed cell foam. The insulation changes the feel and the sound quality of the rooms. The house is now 1/3 done.