The Build: From The Beginning

Our Lot in Life 2011 - Here’s a panorama of our lot from a couple years ago. Alas, pine beetle has killed our trees. We are planning on building our dream home on this lot. It’s next door to the family farm, Flying Horse Farm and is just above Gellatly Bay in West Kelowna. Our plan was to sell our home […]
Our Lot in Life 2012 -   Shots from 2012. Doesn’t change until September 2013. We wanted to start building in the spring of 2013 but the District of West Kelowna had other plans. We were given the wrong information by them and this delayed us until Albert, our builder from Stonebridge Okanagan was able to find a bylaw that would […]
And We’re Off - It’s a happy day! Finally getting started. First step is to fill the reservoir, creating a path for the dump trucks. Oh yeah, building permit should be ready today. No thanks to the District of West Kelowna.
No Reservoir-ations - And so the reservoir starts to disappear.
Forms & Footings - Reservoir is gone. Can’t even really tell it was there. I kind of miss it. But not really. I’ll be the unskilled labour for the build, which is great since I get to watch it all go up firsthand and will know what is behind it all. I feel sorry for my bosses. I did […]
Building Fucking Permit! - Sorry for the language, but after all this process, there is only one word that fits. Let the games begin. Thanks for nothing District of West Kelowna.
A Foot In The Ground - When I arrived at the site on the day the footings were to be poured, I found this guy with the pump truck already there. He was not happy. Seems he had a hard time getting this beast down our “road” and bottomed out his back end (ha). He didn’t think he could get out. […]
Building The Great Wall - This is our 10 foot high back wall. And much rebar. Glad to be done with that part for now (still gotta do the floor, so I see more rebar in my future). We will be backfilling in behind, so this wall will be holding back a lot. That's a lotta fill too. Which, strangely, reminds me of when I was young...
Getting Ready For “The Pour” - Even putting the family to work. Justin is scooping out some fill for the concrete pads that will be holding up our deck. Don’t want no deck collapsing tragedies here. Just had to get the obligatory construction at sunset shot. As usual, sunsets and photography really don’t mix. All buttoned up. We’ve got the forms […]
The Pour - Happy Hallowe’en. Time for some scary concrete. Fortunately, it’s a lovely day to pour concrete. Today is suddenly significantly warmer. Instead of -1, it was 7 at 6:30 in the morning. Since it’s Thursday, it also means I get a 3 day weekend. Looking forward to that. The body is tired after getting the forms […]
Farmhouse Modern - We thought we were being all original like going with a farmhouse modern style. But they just keep popping up these days. Houzz Tour: Unplugging From High Tech in a Texas Farmhouse
Peeled Walls - Filled with concrete, braces down. We are ready to peel this bad boy.
Mr. Gorbachev, Build This Wall - Fully Dampenated. Let the Undampening begin. Look, walls & windows. So now the framing starts. This is where things really show progress daily.   
Beam me up Scotty. - Pre-beam. That big open space apparently can’t support a floor without some major structural support. Who’dve thought? Good thing I’m not an architect. Check out this bad boy. Amazingly, it took only 4 of us to drag this beam (from the furthest spot in the woodpile of course) and get it up into the metal […]
Joists To The World… - Tired of the terrible puns yet? Couldn’t come up with anything better for Joist Day. Joist relocation program. You wouldn’t be able to tell by this image that we had just been through 3 hours of hell. I woke up an hour early at 5:30, and all I could hear was wind. Not a good […]
Buildus Interruptus - Well, it got cold. Real cold. Like -11 below. Real hard to work productively in that temp. You make mistakes when it’s cold and windy as well. Like using an angle grinder to saw off bolts with one hand while holding the home wrap madly flapping against the house. And having it get away on […]
End o’ 2013 - And so another year comes to a close. 2013 being one of the best of my life. What more could anyone want? Millions of visitors (well, over 50 in 2013, not including multiple visits). Check. Wicked hot summer. Check. Working on building our own house. Super-check. Super-awesome wife. Check….. Here are 13 photos to end […]
Fill Me Up - Time to fill the hole. Had to go with a quote from the movie “Election” but won’t elaborate any more on the meaning of the phrase since it’s not family friendly. This building is an old (obviously) blacksmith shop on Flying Horse Farm that is across from the Gellatly nut farm. It looks like it […]
Basement Inside and Starting the Main - Northeast corner of the basement. Mechanical room at the back, storage room and bathroom all framed in. Roanne’s studio. Framed it with notched 2×4’s to keep the room as wide as possible. I got to notch these out on the table saw and chop saw. On my way to becoming a craftsman. It was nice […]
Leaps & Bounds - We had to leave town for a few days. Here are a lot of updates in a gallery. Framing at a fast and furious pace.
Starting To Look Like a House - Missed adding photos last week. Very sad news. My brother in law, Bill passed away last week. He was the biggest fan of this site, and wanted badly to see our house’s progress while in the hospital. I wish he could be around to see the house in it’s finished state. I was able to […]
An Excessive Amount of Photos - Below are 25 photos of where we are now in The Build. Why so many? Why strain the patience of my friends & family? Because I used my camera (Panasonic DMC-LX7 – few years old but pretty good point & shoot) rather than my phone. They look way better with a Leica lens, and can […]
Chinook Me All Night Long - I think that wins for one of the worst puns ever. Anyways, we went from -20º C last week to +5º C this week. Not one of my favourite days. Not only was I working in -10º C cold, but I tried to beat up a pry bar with my face. Picked the wrong battle […]
Panovision - Playing with the panoramic feature on the X-E2.
Top Floored - Get thee dressed, naked top floor joists.
SkyWall - A poor referral to James Bond’s ancestral home. These titles are getting harder. Probably the lamest attempt so far. This is our deck off the master bedroom. Great view of the decrepit trailer.   And a great view of the burn pile. Guess I better hang around when the burn happens. Wouldn’t want to start […]
Can Truss It - Blood in the wood and it’s mine I’m chokin’ on, spit, feelin’ pain Like my brain bein’ chained Still gotta give it what I got – Public Enemy, Can’t Truss It I just liked the reference to blood in the wood. I realize that building a house is not like being captive in a slave […]
Crane Man - Fortunately, Carlo of Carlo's Cranes is a bit of a Rain Man on the crane. So, after a cancellation because of wind on Tuesday (of course), a miscommunication on Wednesday, me whining about not being able to snowboard with Dennis on Thursday, we finally got the perfect day to crane the trusses in on Friday. A beautiful, sunny, warm, windless day.
The House on the Hill - Here’s a different view of the house. From the farm by Dakota’s pen. As you can see spring has sprung. Nice sunny days of around 14 C. Actually had to start wearing sunscreen since I got a burn on Wednesday. I see Ontario had another snow storm and drifting snow. Just sayin’. Pop quiz: How […]
Non-visual Progress - So, things don't look any different really. But, lots of framing happening with the roof trusses, adding lookouts (overhangs) and framing dormers.
More Than 3 Sheets To The Wind - Sheeting the roof has begun. We are starting on the 18 degree pitch of course. That will be our leaping off point. We'll haul the plywood up to the platform (surrounded by a guardrail fortunately). Good times ahead. The 45 degree stuff should prove nice and terrifying. Harnesses are in our future.
More House Coverage (Literally) - Getting good at cutting weird shaped sheets of plywood with a circular saw. Learning the importance of a chalk line at the same time. Wish I tried harder (or at all) at high school math.
Video Walkthroughs - Caution. These videos may make your puke. Don’t drink excessively & watch.
Framing & Blue Skies - The house doesn’t look massively different, but it was a nice day. And I took photos of my framing handiwork. Yes, my handiwork. Not just a handsome joe-job kinda guy anymore.
March Leaves Like a Lamb - Lovely spring weather these days. Perfect for adding a roof to our living room. Unlike the rest of the house, we are building our own trusses from TGI and 1" plywood. And a beam. We're doing this roof a solid.
Sheeeee-it! - Seemed appropriate to quote Clay Davis (a la The Wire). We’re seriously into sheeting the roof. Pretty wobbly cutting plywood at the top of this scaffold. Getting pretty good at it though. Art shot! With face. Sagebrush view. Thinking of potential house colours in that come from sage. The view from Brown Rd.  
Sheet Accompli - Missed the day yesterday. Dean & Joel accomplished a lot without me. Maybe they even accomplished more than if I was actually there.
She Looks So Good With Her Braces Off - So not fully finished sheeting, and still with braces in the next shots.
Waterproof & Blue - Talk about timing. The roofers came on Monday to put the waterproof membrane on the plywood roof. Tuesday it starts to rain. And Wednesday. And Thursday.
Botanical Tour - Heavily abused Saskatoon Berry (amelanchier alnifolia) starting to bloom. May as well do a spring tour of the surrounding flora. We are lucky that some of the great native species are all here on the property. Ponderosa pine, Saskatoon Berry, Snowberry, Prickly pear cactus, Oregon grape, Pasture sage and Wild rose are all on the property, most in […]
Top Floor Interior Framing - Not the most interesting title. I got nothing today. Sans pithy statements for a change. Just some initial views of the interior framing on the top floor.
Exploring the Grounds - A tour of the backwoods of the property and the hunt for a beam.
More Panography - Short for Panoramic Pornography.
Deck the House With . . . - ....Well, deck.
Windahs - The deck is so yesterday. How about these windows?!
The Complete Vista - Don't hate me because our view looks like this.
Windows Are The Windows To My Soul - Window installation continues at a fast and furious pace.
This Week’s Wrap - So, our next project has arrived. Pallets and pallets of Roxul insulation.
Tyvek Lannister - More windows, plants and that evil Tyvek Lannister.
Bring The Stairz - No stairs yet. But, windows in the stairwell. Tuesday, we'll tackle the next level.
Metal (The non-Death Metal Kind) Roof - First off, we have the completed stairwell windows. Pretty great. It's going to look great with the bookshelves.
Dying For The Living Room - Like the stairwell, the living room windows have been hidden from view by plywood sheathing. I got to sawzall those openings. I'm a bit sloppy with it but getting better. Wish I could say that about the hammer tacker. I managed to put a staple into my left index fingernail. It hurt so much, and then I checked to see if I had to pull a staple from my fingernail. Indeed, I did.
Now, Where Do I Put The Altar? - There has been a sacrifice in this church already. The bottom left corner is where I found the muskrat's coat. I like the idea of owl priests.
Buying Our Stairway To . . . - Because we are literally buying this stairway.
Metal On Metal - Remember Anvil? That crappy Toronto metal band who were so eclipsed by many (all) of their peers that somebody made a very good documentary about them and how fame passed them by. Well, that has nothing to do with building our house. It's just a silly reference to ductwork underneath a metal roof, not their most well known album.
Grey Joy - Apparently grey can make me happy. Happier than Theon Greyjoy, but then that's not hard. The roof coverage is just flying along.
Bit of a Blog Hiatus - Well, sorry for the big gap in postings. I had been pretty good, but the last month has conspired to prevent me from updating. Had a wedding in Ottawa, then dealing with getting ready to move out of our rental. We are fleeing our crazy bitch landlord and are moving in with Rosanne's sister & husband. But, enough about me.
Locked & Loaded - The view from up high. Installing the last window. I get to be the guy on the roof.   Crotch shot. Everybody loves a crotch shot.   Finally got the last big window for the living room in. A big hole is now filled.   Yup, that’s a view.   Hot looking tub action. It’s […]
Gettin’ Some Pink . . . And a Garage - So, been a month since the last post. Moving, dealing with a crazy landlady, a piece of shit truck that keeps breaking down, and small framing details that would be boring to post are the reasons.
Rainbows, Drywall, Concrete & Unicorns - Well, OK, no unicorns. But definitely rainbows. And roxul insulation. And insulation with concrete. But mainly: drywall!
iPhoned This One In - A series of iPhone shots. The best camera is always the one you have with you.
Panoramic Decklandia - It is what it is.
Sawfoot, Dear and Wawl - It’s been awhile, and lots has happened. Brackets for the main entrance roof and carport are in, poured and backfilled. Soffits are going in, installed by myself while hanging off ropes and whatnot. This little guy will hopefully never have to save my sorry ass. Hanging off a ladder on a 12-12 pitch. Why did […]
I’ve Got Wood For Wood & Electricity - Things are moving along quickly on the house. Drywall mudding & taping, painting, final concrete and a beautiful fir ceiling in the living room.
Living It Room - Really digging the living room ceiling. And the view, from said living room.
À l’intérieur - We're going inside now. Which reminds me of a great french film called À l'intérieur (Inside). Definitely squirm inducing so don't watch this trailer if gore isn't your thing.
You Can’t Handle The Truth - Handles & shelves are now a feature of our cabinets.
Stairway To Larvan - A grab bag of recent accomplishments including soffit, stairs and tile
Take It Outside! - Merry Christmas Eve. Winter can be grey in the Okanagan, but a small price to pay for no rain a la Vancouver style.
Shut The Front Door! - So, last post of 2014 and the end to a great year spent working on my dream home. It has been one of the best of my 47 years.
Where We Sit At The Beginning of 2015 - 2014 was an eventful year, however we now find ourselves at the beginning of 2015 and not in our house yet. Getting very close though. Drywall is pretty much done (except around the front door). Painting is the next big thing on the inside along with stucco and metal siding on the exterior.
Got You Covered - Lovely trim work by Joel. Finally! Got the west side of the house covered with Roxul insulation and metal soffit. Needed the stucco guys to get their scaffolding up so that we could finally access that high part. All sealed up now, so suck it Flickers. They’ve been trying to set up shop in the […]
Add New Post(s) - Sorry, bad Wordpress meta-joke. Disregard that and look upon our transforming house.
Everard Blue - Might have a colour for the exterior stucco from Benjamin Moore.
Carportlandia - I have no idea as to whether we'll actually park a car in either the garage or carport, but that's besides the point, isn't it?
I’m Running Out Of Clever Titles - Interior is looking good with some fresh paint and an almost completed carport.
The Blackening: Completion - The Blackening is now complete. Except where the galvalume siding goes.
Hooked On A Flooring - And so this is Blarry's 100th Log! I thought I'd celebrate it with flooring. Hardwood, marmoleum, it's there.
Metal! And So Much More - At long last, we're getting some siding. Metal siding.
Almost - We are so goddamn close to moving in right now. I'd say 2 weeks, but then, I've been known to be wrong before.
Full Metal Jacket - So, metal guys have finished doing their thing. Pinnacle Roofing did a fantastic job, just like they did on the roof.
Rails & Sunshine - Beautiful sunny day today. Perfect for some rails. Deck rails that is. What were you thinking I was talking about?
Stucco: In The Middle - ...with you.
So, Lar, Solar! - So, here we are, months later, and no more posts. I’m getting lazy. Actually, I’m not. I’m working with Stonebridge now, so, not only am I client, I’m also an employee. Not quite a Cy Sperling yet, but give it time. Anyways, Solar! We are finally up and running and producing power. Want Proof? Check […]
The Whole Picture - Finally got myself the Fujifilm 10-24mm lens.
Landscapin’ - And now we start the transformation of our gravel pit into a lovely landscaped environment. We picked up a shapely Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra), a couple Serbian Spruces (Picea omorika) and an Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii)  from Dogwood Nursery in Westbank. Gunther, the owner of Dogwood has been most helpful and gave us some great […]