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


Lots more detail work as we do our "thru-hulls"
before we begin our siding.  We are starting on the upper south wall, as we need to get this done by the end of the month when Marc from StoneCraft is going to coming to finish our balcony covering.  So we have to have the siding completed and scaffolding removed...
Corner trim detail around the glulam extension...

These pipe thru-hulls are in place ready for us to hook up our passive solar hot water system to connect to our hot water tank (next year, sometime)
We've already put in a light box, plug outlet, and frost-free water tap on the balcony wall... here we are putting in the dryer vent...
Very exciting day for us!  The siding arrived and we got right at it!  We ended up restacking quite a bit of it. The pallets broke as they were being offloaded. We wanted the planking to be sitting as flat as possible so they don't warp.
Hardie blades are very expensive!  So we ended up buying a diamond abrasion blade for the skill saw so Thomas could do cut outs and used an old regular blade on the miter saw so I could cut to length.  My blade was pretty dull from cutting framing but we thought we'd see how far it could go cutting planking.  That didn't last long. The dust was impossible and the miter saw was too precious for the task. The Hardie blade turned out to be the only solution. With four diamond carbide cutting tips (for the skill saw and six for the miter saw) it made good sized shavings with about 10% of the dust of a diamond blade.
We are still getting together with Nancy and Larry pretty well every Wednesday.

Here we were treated to a lovely picnic dinner in a park (can't remember the name of it right now... but it was land left to the Town for such a purpose) a nice bike ride away.

We are so fortunate to have such good neighbours and friends in these two!  What a joy to have them next door!


First few planks are cut and we paint the ends before putting up the first plank!  Here are a few more!  Pretty easy going once the prep work is all done.  We used a water level to set our courses around the house to determine which course we want to start with on the balcony.The planks are 7-1/4" and once overlapped by 1-1/4" a 6 inch exposure is left.  We placed nails at 6 inch intervals up the wall to put our plank up to so we would have even courses.
Because of our external insulation envelope, the nails we must use to fasten the hardie board are 1-1/4".  These are too short to use a nail-gun (which is the common installation procedure) so we must hand nail them.  We are using galvanized roofing nails.  For ease of nailing through the board and to protect the board for splitting we are pre-drilling for each nail.
We've developed a good system of installation:  We both put up the board to the set nails, Thomas shoots the brad-nailer to hold the board in place, I pre-drill and nail the board on, then Thomas caulks the end gaps.  We precision cut to leave a 3/16" caulking gap at each end but we use a popsicle stick to check and hold that space while nailing the board. Here we are also placing the recommended flashing behind butt joints on wind exposed sections.
We were thrilled to have my Dad come from Ontario and visit and stay with us for a week!  I was very excited to share the house project with him which was up until this time just pictures on our website and updates in our phone conversations.  He got the grand tour and was quite amazed at all we have accomplished.

We took some time off and sailed him down to Victoria for a few days which was great fun.  We were lucky to have really nice weather which added to a very enjoyable visit!

Back at work... more siding goes up and up to the glulams where we measure carefully a number of times so Thomas only has to cut once! 
The upper pieces are pretty well full lengths with the cutouts for the glulams so he has built a "splint" to put the plank in so it is easier to handle to get up on the scaffolding.  It worked like a charm!
After re-staining the decking and glulams we put a UV top coat on and the wood is just glowing now!!!  Then we decided to further protect the end of the glulams by spreading a very thin coating of caulking on them then wiping the excess with a wet cloth.  The caulking filled to seal the tiny cracks in the end grain.  Then is was time to re-stain the wall corner and window trims.
Just one coat of paint to go and we are finished the south wall!  The Hardie came primed and one coat of paint 3 sides.  Sleggs recommended a paint that isn't by Hardie and it turns out to be a very good solid color, fast drying, durable paint.  We liked how it covered and went on easily.  I do the cutting in beside the trims and glulams and run a brush on the under edge of each plank and Thomas comes along with his 4 inch foam roller to paint the rest of the plank.  It painted up quick and easy!
Now it is time for the staging and scaffolding to come down and finally get an unobscured  look at the finished upper south wall!!  We are thrilled with how it turned out and proud of the quality detail work we did!  The colour (Phoenix Fossil (photo gray) is in great contrast with the wood decking and glulams and with the green (forest) trim!  A good choice indeed!
It also feels great that we are done ahead of schedule!  We called Marc from StoneCraft to let him know and he is able to come a week earlier!  Thomas scrubbed the balcony floor in preparation for Marc's work.  Yes, that is a toothbrush in his hand!

I put together a pallet of materials and colour to show Marc so he can develop the colouring for the flooring!

In the meantime we took apart some of the north staging in preparation for building the porch in a month or so.  Then we built a "pole barn" out from the north wall to set up a cutting area for the Hardie board out of the fall rains. 
Marc arrived to put the next coating of waterproofing on the balcony before we walked about the house reviewing with him the look and feel we want to create with the flooring.
We discussed the preference in colouring and effects for the final look, as it will be throughout the house and patio.  It's got to look natural and earthy and grand!  I had a beautiful rock that I picked up; it was blasted from the mountains as they were widening the highway on the way up to Whistler in preparation for the 2010 Olympics.  It has beautiful tones of rust and grey and mustard.  So Marc took it home with him to create a custom colour palette for our project!

To achieve the effect of grandeur of the biggest-little-house (1250sqft) in Sidney, we decided upon a 3' x 3' "tile" pattern for the flooring!  Huge, million dollar houses have real tiles this size... well, through the wonder of StoneCraft that look can be created here!  This flooring will be throughout the house including the showers and patio.  The floor will also transition from the inside to out on the balcony and patio.  We decided to have Marc tape the squares on point (diamond) so the "grout" lines create pathways - for example, at the entrance the right "grout" line directs you 45degrees toward the kitchen... then the left "grout" line takes you 45degrees to the left out to the patio.  At the balcony door upstairs we will have him design 1/2 of the "tile" to be outside and the other half of it inside so it looks continuous from inside to out... as if the tiles were cut to be laid that way!  It's all pretty exciting!
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