It’s July and the house is performing as well in this season as it was in the winter. We are loving living here! The joy of actually being able to live normally without building, and the fact that we had no more money to spend on it, had meant that we’ve slowed down on the things we still need to do. However, now the house is built and habitable, it’s been valued and the bank has decided that it’s worth a lot more than they estimated before we started, so they are now happy to lend us a little more to do the various things we need to do.
Here’s a quick summary of what we have been doing and when we expect other things to be done:
- Lighting. Finally, I’ve got around to installing all the light fittings we had picked out for the place that the electricians wouldn’t install because they weren’t Canadian-certified. There will be a post and pictures very soon.
- Site clean-up is proceeding, but slowly… we have plans for landscaping but only plans, so far. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the wildflowers proliferating around the house. We are hoping we might get started on this before the end of the summer, but who knows?
- Furniture. We have some things arriving soon and are still looking for others. There will be a post about all this probably late August.
- Shelving and storage. We have a lot of books, which are still in piles in the old house. We need shelves, but we want good built-in shelving, and we have to wait for our friend and skilled carpenter, Jeremy, to have enough time to do this, which will not be until September. He’s also going to do the closet in the entryway and some other things in the kitchen.
- The Japanese room. Again, we had to wait on the availability of another exceptional woodworking friend, Joe, who’s very interesting in Japanese joinery, to get this finished. He’s also going to be working on this in the autumn. Hopefully both this and the other woodwork will be finished by the winter.
- Power. The project was always about more than meeting Passive House standards. One major aim was (and is) to be net-zero, i.e. to produce at least as much energy as we consume. However, there’s a huge transformation in both solar and wind generation going on right now, and we’ve decided to wait for at least another year to see what comes onto the market and whether, for example, home batteries and lower-priced PV panels, as well as new wind generation systems like the local start-up, RidgeBlade, become more widely available in Canada. So we’re looking at a 2018 installation at this point, but we’ll see.
I’m also writing a wrap-up and reflection on the project for Green Building Advisor. There’s going to be one more (slightly late) regular installment in their series of edited excerpts from the blog first, and then this wrap. It’s going to be very much a case of ‘lessons learned’ and what we would do differently if we were to start again knowing what we know now. I’ll post a notice here when the final edited blog is published and reprint the entire reflection here as well as on GBA.