I’m Floored 

After being delayed a few days, Oct 18 our concrete slab/floor was poured. It was pouring on all fronts. That was a wet wet day but a slow cure is a good cure so it only meant discomfort. A mech breakdown had a lot of guys standing around for an hour or so. Let me see, ten guys @ 50/hour… The concrete arrived and they were a well oiled machine. Many people are needed to make a lot of things happen fast. I would have liked to stay for it all but duty called but I got my video and pictures. This is a big milestone as the first floor can be framed and then plumbing, mechanical and electrical. Closer and closer to a reality. Is this real?



Now that the framing is being knocked out by the hard work and flexibility of the builders some of my finds are fitting in quite nicely. Spot the vintage steel fire egress ladder in there! This will be access to a storage loft. We have to have places to hide our unattractive so it doesn’t spoil the house (at least for a year until we give up). This is one of a few nooks and crannies for just that. Our son’s room will also have a loft space. Some found objects will make their way in his room too. Stay tuned…

We went for a hike around our future backyard and got a site line of the house from across the lake. Progress from a different perspective. 

Outside In

Now that the outside shell is almost done you can start to see the form of the inside. So far my “random compositions” pattern language is working. The above photo is looking from the living room towards the kitchen. Those windows will integrate with the cabinets. Nothing is very symmetrical or aligned down here which has given the builders some “are you sure?” Moments. My answer is always no, but let’s do it anyway. Here is another shot that shows my situating of the house and windows relative to the sun and the land might also work! 

Also note the random composition. This randomness combined with the “Modern cozy” language has also fuelled my used market pirating. (My builder called me a Used Victoria Pirate the other day). All my interior doors will be from around the city. I’ve also amassed a good collection of lighting and of course wood!

Dare to be stupid

My dad used to say that to me all the time. It was a sarcastic take on the “dare to be different” saying rolling in the clarification of the criticism you have to be willing to take if you do so. I guess I can credit my dad with giving me the fortitude to build a house of my own design. I’m also glad I have a builder that is open to doing new things and providing invaluable experience in the design and build. The house designer that drafted the plans simply asked why on earth do you want all ICF walls? Short answer is to build a permanent house… A generational gift to my family. People have scratched their heads at the roof assembly most recently. I even thought to go back to a standard vented roof design in moments of cold feet but in the end stuck to this – not unique – but novel design. Credit goes to my GC for design consultation and on site building adjustments. It’s not unique in that it’s a unvented “hot roof”. It’s novel in that it’s a two part roof with added eaves. Added eaves aren’t unique either but I’m pretty sure you won’t find many roofs built like this. The roof rafters don’t protrude past the envelope of the building. This creates a contiguous envelope of exterior insulation with no thermal bridging at all. The exterior foam layer from the ICF meets with a layer of foam capping the roof creating a single unified body with the walls and roof. Then the eaves are added with purlins to create an air layer under the deck of the finished roof. Like a cap. I guess it’s a hybrid vented/unvented roof. Here are some pics of the roof being built to illustrate my/our insanity.

Onwards and upwards 

We methodically make progress with great weather and a plan on track. The second floor is taking shape. It will be done in two stages. The first is done and concrete poured. The second stage will complete the rake of the roof line and the garage/studio will be done. Then it’s the roof. The roof is not entirely a typical design. The overhangs are all added eaves. The engineer was ok with it so I’m feeling confident about it. No thermal bridges and contiguous foam envelope and super insulated. I expect a very even temperature with little energy use. I’ll post the technical drawings another time. Here is some photo progress.