Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Boost

Spring seems to have given me some renewed energy for this home building project. This weekend was a bit of a high with gorgeous sunshine, and lots of progress to report...

Our plumbing is complete - including the 2nd bathroom upstairs, dishwasher, kitchen sink and and first bath fixtures. The solar thermal system is working - albeit with a snag: There's a sensor malfunction to be remedied. The propane fireplace is functioning and the trim has been installed - but with the wrong decorative backing -another small snag. There's always something (!), just to keep us awake at night.

After months of worry about the possibility of a faulty installation of our radiant in-floor heating system - the system has been fixed! Many phone calls with the plumber resulted in him trying to convince us that it was because of mysterious drafts in our house, but he finally brought in the engineer who designed the system to help him identify the problem. And, shock-of-all-shocks - it wasn't mysterious drafts causing the problem! Some of the pipes were connected to the wrong parts of the sytem. What a relief. I thought we'd be dealing with this through till next Spring. The faulty hook up had made the electric boiler run non-stop for three months, but now it only turns on once or twice a day for a short period. MUCH more efficient and effective!

Dad and our cousin Arthur worked away at installing vent piping for our range hood and piping for an outdoor water tap. Dad has finished almost all of the drywall, except a few spots that had been left open for other contractors.

This week, the carpenter returns to finish installing interior doors, and hatches to access utilities i.e. electrical panel, infloor heating pipes etc. The solar company returns to fix the faulty sensor and the water softener company will complete installation of their treatment system.

Here we are two weekends ago with Janic Dupuis and one of her daughters, Carlie. Janic and her husband Serge are planning to build a SB home in Grande-Digue, NB in the near future, and have many similar design elements as we do (SB wrap around a timberframe, with infloor heating in a floating slab etc.). We compared notes and shared quite a few laughs. It's neat to watch someone else in the process now that we've been through it.

That weekend, we also had a visit from Karla & Corey McLean, who promptly returned this past weekend to try their hand at plastering. They caught on quickly and gave us a great boost with their progress on our dining room wall.

More pics to come when I remember to bring the memory card in!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Carrying on with Cabinetry

After numerous evenings of fervent varnishing and cleaning, we've finally finished our kitchen cabinets! This is a sweet milestone of finish work that makes the end seem much more attainable than it did a few weeks ago. Here are a couple of rough photos. We still have to install a backsplash, and the finish work on the walls and window frame is not complete. We'll move appliances in this weekend, though we're still waiting for the sink and dishwasher hook up.

The bathroom cabinet is also complete, and I'll try to grab a quick shot of it this weekend, along with some drywall and plaster status photos.

Two interesting straw bale-related things need to happen: we need to dig a whole in the north wall to install the out-vent for the range hood, and we need a whole in the east wall to install the outdoor tap. We'll line the holes w. PVC pipe to protect the straw in the event of a leak or condensation.

Dave has been going solo on the plaster application for a few weeks now. His work is perfection, as always. I'm hoping to get my hands back into the plaster this weekend alongside him. My plaster work is quick and dirty, but definitely not perfect like Dave's (aka Bruce Stonehouse Jr. :-) Dave's Dad, Bruce, is also a perfectionist worker, which you can see clearly in his oil painting and sculpture works).

Alas, we're still waiting for the fireplace, solar panel boiler and plumbing installations to be completed. Most of the drywall work is done - save the inside of the newly-added upstairs bathroom (which cannot be completed until the plumbing is in). Might be time to become a squeaky wheel again.

A special Happy Birthday to Dad Stonehouse! We'll raise a glass to you this week!

Subscription Services:

RSS Feed Subscribe to Stonehouse Strawhouse.

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites!