In March 2010, Nic and Stef bought some land in Pemberton. And in October 2011 they found they were expecting a baby. Now they just have to build a house... and a home!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Parental supervision

Mom and Dad at the site, telling us what we're doing wrong (just kidding).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cedar planks

So Stef made dinner last night, and it was awesome: new potatoes, curly kale, mange-tout, and salmon. As I'm doing dishes, I realize the salmon was BBQ'd on a cedar plank -- from the lot. What a fantastic use of spare lumber. Highly recommended.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Change of plans

A funny thing about the build that I hadn't expected -- things change. All the time. We have plans, and the builders are following the plans, and yet one closet is smaller than expected, one wall is further back. Fascinating.

Some niggles have caused problems -- a post on the back deck that didn't fit. A window where the deck railing overlapped with the glass. A roof-supporting beam that doesn't quite meet up with the roof. Some of these things are framing mistakes. Some mistakes with the building of the roof-bits. Some even with the plans themselves. None, Stef promises me, will make the building fall down. And none, to be honest, are really noticable to a non-builder like me.

One thing that has happened for the better is that the landing on the top floor became much bigger. Since this space doesn't have a window, it seemed a waste to have it languishing in as a landing. So Stef suggested we move the walls around and make the master suite bigger. So we did. As a result, there are now TWO walk-in closets (both a bit smaller than the original one, but still plenty big enough), a fractionally smaller bathroom, but a much bigger bedroom, with space for a 'sitting area' AND a place for me to do yoga. Score.

3rd floor

The third floor is up, and some of the roof! It's really shaping up now.

This video is made from 1 photo a day, from 6 June till 14 July.

And here's a still...

Window shopping

We both worked a Sunday so we could take Monday July 10th off to go window shopping... by which I really mean shopping for windows. We drove the long haul to Langley (about 3 hours from home) to see the AllWeather windows we were aiming to buy (they don't have any showrooms closer to us, and I refused to spend $15,000 without actually seeing what I'm buying. Bizarrely, the salesman tells us many people don't do this - they rely on the brochures.) It was a tiny little place, filled with windows (their own windows were of the industrial sort; not their own. Ironic). In decreasing order of fancyness, here's wood with metal cladding on the outside, vinyl with metal cladding on the outside, and plain old vinyl. We took the middle road. 'Architectural brown' on the outside, 'wicker' on the inside. They open and shut with a little windy handle. Fancy. This sort of window - the kind that opens outwards, rather than the kind that slides - seals better, so it's better for heat loss. We're getting a 'sunstop' coating put on the inside of the outer piece of glass, and a second coating on the inside of the inner piece of glass - together they'll again help with heat loss in winter, and heat protection in summer. All very complicated.

The doors, however, at AllWeather, were not as nice as we'd hoped. The ones that open outwards don't end up lying flat against the wall, and there's a giant, strange post in the centre that attaches to one of the doors. The sliding door had a vinyl track, so it looks that 'wicker' colour from the outside as well as the inside, regardless of the colour you choose. And both were just... not great.

So we went on a mission looking for doors. We tried GieNow in Richmond, then a little place (don't know what it's called, but it advertises Doors Doors Doors outside; maybe Trayler, Michael Designs Ltd?) near Ikea. They had a warehouse full of... doors (as promised; the pic shows Stef wandering through the options)... but no sliding doors. They passed us on to a place in Burnaby (name TK) that we sprinted for at the end of the day (made it there with literally 3 minutes to spare). And they have LOVELY doors. I mean, really, really nice ones. Wood. The sliding ones glide like magic. The handles are nice. Everything is nice. Even the mozzie netting is nice.

We've ordered the windows. Now we just have to decide whether we want sliding doors (lockable in multiple locations, space saving, convenient mozzie screens) or French opening ones (somehow a bit fancier, but they'll blow in the wind, you have to have them entirely open or closed, and the mozzie netting is a pain). We keep changing our minds. At $2000 a pop, you don't want to get it wrong!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We've had plenty of visitors these past few weeks... my best friend Stacey, in town from Singapore, with her baby Calyn. Mom and Dad. And even my brother, his wife and their little girl (my niece). It's been interesting to see their reactions... people generally gulp and stare with their mouths open and don't know what to say, other than things like: uh, it took us a few months to renovate our kitchen. I think they're slightly shocked by the size of the project (and/or the house). But of course they all think it's beautiful too :) I've started asking everyone to sign the entry wall. It will get plastered over one day, but I can take a photo before that happens. Interestingly, Arnold Shwartzenager seems to have signed it too. Not sure how that happened.