MAY 2009                                        Click on (most) images for a larger view.

We started this month off by sailing to Salt Spring Island to see Birgit and Philip play at Folk Festival again!  It felt so good to be out on the water again and great that we were joined by a friend, Annemarie, and grandniece Laia sailed back with us.  We took in the Saturday market, as well as poked in some shops and secondhand stores.  Always an enjoyable time there!
May 5 - Before we go on to the other interior wall for the downstairs bathroom we have to crank down for the last time on the anchor bolts.  More turns are possible because everything has settled nicely.

Now we have to make final design decisions for the shower stall.  So after alot of mocking up we are ready to frame up the wall....

I cut and assemble, Thomas shoots them with the nail gun, I put it into place, and he fastens them in to place again.  More shower detail...
May 7 - 12... Next we will close in the south kitchen wall.  It is nice to be down off the scaffolding.
Took some time out to plant a few veggies and build a cold frame.  It's still pretty cool and they still need some heat.  Time out for a great lunch too!
My these are big windows!  Time to do detail work with the Tyvek by folding and shingling to create as tight a seal as possible...
It's fun to take care of the detail work!  Though there is still some to do as we install the windows next month.  We'll have to put "red-skin" on - a self-adhesive air and vapour barrier membrane - as well as strapping.
Frames 1 & 2 - Here we are removing some mock-ups from the south wall of the guest room so we can close in this wall.  After much deliberation though, we decided to wait until we have the door on site to finish the wall as we have to make some alterations to the rough opening.
Frames 3 & 4 - Finalizing the floor detail at the door with more mock-ups.
May 13 - 15... Here we are doing more detail work in the patio area.  The OSB can't sit directly on concrete so we have attached some sill gasket on the bottom to prevent this.  We have to slide this strip in behind the aluminum flashing that we installed.  We figured the patio would get hosed off from time to time so we would want the water to run right back down and out so we figured flashing would do the job.
I'm getting more and more comfortable with using the table and skill saw.  Here is the first piece that I cut all by myself on the table saw!  Up to the point Thomas would be up there with me answering my questions and watching me.  Well... I got over it... although I do have a healthy respect for that machine and am very careful.

We are working much quicker because of this as I can be working on something and Thomas on something else

Here I'm cutting and getting ready to mount more OSB for the kitchen wall... and Thomas is building more scaffolding so we can get up to the next level of closing in.

May 19 - 20... After a nice long weekend of Thomas going to the cottage and me puttering around here, we got back to work and finished closing in the patio.


May 21 - 22... We sang "let the sunshine in, let the sunshine in...!" as we cut open the tyvek that had covered the windows since we installed the envelope. To keep the rain out we wrapped the whole house as we completed the installation of the P-2000 insulation section  by section. The effect was that the upstairs turned so dark inside we had to string lights so we could see, even during the day.
Now all that changed. As we cut the windows open we saw the poplar framed in the bathroom window for the first time. We saw the sky dominate the bedroom and the sun streaming into through the high windows on the top of the east wall.  We decided to purchase our 20 windows from Allied Windows for their products, cost, and service.  Our sales rep. came here and spent two hours with us to review our choices and the details of our building.  Our windows will be ready June 16th!

For two of our doors, we went with Starline Windows and Doors. Their 2500 Eurostar series door system features European inspired design.  The doors for the balcony off the bedroom upstairs will be in-swing glass french doors.  A single in-swing glass door will serve from the guestroom on to the patio. These will be ready June 9th!  Needless to say we are very excited with these choices and the milestone they signify in our progress.

May 23 - 24...We spent a day working out all the details for the passive solar water heating system. As part of that we had to get familiar with the detail of the hookups for the washer and dryer so we could lay out the plumbing and the electrical connections properly. What better way to do this than to bring them upstairs. Easier said than done. The hand truck Thomas brought from the cottage wasn't the kind that you use for hauling things up stairs so the wheels got stuck under the treads. Besides the washer felt like it weighed 200 lbs and the poor squirt on the bottom was in danger of getting flattened...

... so once again we chose brain of brawn and devised a lift system to winch the hand truck with the washer strapped to it up the stairs, one at a time. A cable come-along and some carefully placed sticks and we worked it up without breaking a sweat. A safety lock allowed us t o rest as much as we needed between steps and good sailing commands made certain that communication was always clear.

We will be building a "water tower" on the south wall of the bathroom (behind the wall where the washer is sitting right now) which will house the washer and dryer, stacked.  The hot water heater will then sit atop of this on a platform.  The hot water generated from the passive solar water heating system on the kitchen roof will then be convection fed up to the water heater.  
The last week of the month we spent more time on details researching materials and reviewing our plans for our plumbing, venting, and lighting/electrical.  We spent two nights cruising the aisles at home Depot so we could look at and physically handle materials that we would be putting on our request for quotes.  It never ceases to amaze us just how many details and decisions there for us to make!  We finished the week with Thomas going over to the cottage again (he will be every 2 weeks from now on to see to things there... I will go over once a month so I get a break to be on the water and over there as well) and I stayed here to do things with Mom as well as garden and putter around the house! 
Go back to last month...    

Go to next month...

Return to building "The Biggest Little House in Sidney"

2012 Copyright

Contact us at, 2177 Malaview Ave., Sidney, B.C., V8L 2E6,  phone 250-656-8646, cell 250-208-5602