SEPTEMBER 2010                                            Click on (most) images for a larger view
 

September has been a very exciting month as we finished our siding...
 

The last thing we had to do to finish the siding on the west kitchen wall was figure out exactly where the range hood fan would exhaust out the wall.  We wanted to exhaust straight out to save on space in the cupboards above the stove.  Good fans can be expensive so we decided to invest in a microwave combination with hood fan.  We didn't want to chance the measurements so we purchased the unit so we would have it on hand to take exact measurements!

Here we have installed the bug screen and flashing and combing and butted the siding up to it.  It blends in pretty well.  Now we can finish the siding on that wall!
       
Finishing our siding then allowed us to take down our staging!
Just in time too as the tarp was wearing pretty thin and the rains were starting to come through.  We needed to keep this pole barn up because it was where we cut all of our siding.  Here we are cutting the last of the siding!

 

Bit by bit, piece by piece, the pole barn comes down first as it was attached to the scaffolding that was against the house.  We have to carefully think through how to dismantle it so as to remain safe and sound... it gets unbraced and braced as more is removed.  Then the scaffolding is taken down level by level.  Then we have a pile of lumber to denail and sort through.  Some lumber will be used for scaffolding again to use inside the house for staining the highest ceilings and mounting drywall on the highest walls.  Other lumber will be used for interior built-ins, blocking, milled for picket fence rails for the cottage, and firewood.
Taking down our staging allowed us to unveil the house for the first time!...

What an exciting time for us!  Finally we get to see the house full front on!  We imagine the neighbours are pretty happy too to be rid of all that staging ... it was pretty unsightly for all that time!

       

and now the bicycle "rack" gets a fresh coat of paint to match the front of the house!

Next comes a second coat of stain and a coat of UV topcoat for the porch and that staging can come down too!

       

Be ready for anything.  We were planning on finishing up the last of the electrical but then came a little diversion in our work...  We happened to see a fellow drive up in a pickup truck and get out with clipboard in hand.  Turns out he was bidding on a contract to do work for Shaw Cable to run their lines  - across the driveway and boulevard.  Shaw had two other opportunities to do this work; when lines for hydro and telus were going under ground - once for us and once for the new construction across the street.  But, they didn't... and they want to now... maybe within 2 weeks. mmm... what to do?... we weren't planning on landscaping until November or so... but perhaps we should do it now so we can save the plants and soil we saved from our original excavation.  Soooo....

gathering pots... inglenook garden... start digging up... start moving things (including rocks)
de-nailing scaffolding materials oops! broke the wheelbarrow... tada! fixed it;milled a new handle! planning the transformation...


Friday afternoon our Bobcat 323 was delivered (used it until Sunday night) and we got right to work...

First we moved some concrete post forms that we had stored on the driveway.  Then we unearthed the concrete slurry that the cement truck dumped after the slab was poured.  We moved and buried it further north in the area where the driveway will be.  Next we scraped the top layer of  poor soil and road base off the south end of the driveway to prepare that area for a garden bed to be in front of the house.  Surprise!  Nancy next door brought us over lunch!  Hearty homemade soup and bread to keep our energy up and save us time from making our own lunch.  What a sweetheart she is!


Then we started to move earth and dig up plants that we couldn't do by hand...
digging plants in the front berm... uncovering a rich compost pile... moving plants... and moving soil...
starting to contour... moving butterfly bush... sorting through what we have... digging another garden bed...
The new entrance to the house will be through the inglenook garden between the two fir trees.  Here we've just planted the one of the right.
pretty mucky with the rain... driveway taking shape...    
growing yard waste pile... a sunny morning after the rains... starting to take shape from the road and in the inglenook garden...
building garden bed... planting bushes... hanging wind chimes... another garden bed...
preparing the site... figuring where the plants go... more site prep... planting daisies...
more planting... looking excited and happy! planting a rhododendron.. cleaning off the street...
another garden bed on driveway... more planting... mixing soil in to compost... almost finished...

So we transformed the front in a week!  We are very happy with the results! and it felt so good to do so much physical work - it makes you really feel alive!  We still have a lot of work to do... but that will evolve over time: placing large rocks around, edging beds, laying the grid (to plant low growing herbs etc.) for the driveway (so it doesn't look like a driveway), building a trellis enclosure for our bikes, planting grass, laying walkways... etc., etc...

saving rocks and gravel... starting to look like a real front yard!    
       
Go back to last month...    

Go to next month...


   

 

 



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