This is going to be another one of those posts with a bit of everything, because that’s just how progress is going right now. This week, all of us have been involved in a number of different jobs, working towards making the place habitable in October. So, I’ve been putting together Ikea kitchen cabinets and shelving, Steve is continuing to work on the stair flooring, Dan has been doing the window trim, and Chris and Anne have been tiling in the bathroom, and now the kitchen… all the work the crew has been doing is really careful and top quality, but I particularly want to thank Dan this week for his beautiful work on the window trim, which isn’t really reflected in these photos. We’ll have better pictures of all this once things are closer to being finished.
Steve and Dan cutting and sanding on the deck
Window trim reading to be installed
Dan takes care on the long window in the stairwell
A fully-trimmed small window
Trimmed and open…
The stairs are almost finished
Gingerbread hickory stairs contrast with natural spruce walls
Assembled but unfixed ‘Ivar’ shelving from Ikea in the pantry
In the bathroom, Chris cuts…
…and Anne tiles.
Making sure of the size of the kitchen cabinets
Tiling the kitchen wall
These are 12″ x 3″ turquoise ceramic tiles from Olympia
We haven’t posted a lot this week, largely because things seem to have slowed down for several reasons. Partly it’s because this is a busy time of the year for everyone associated with house building, so we’ve had to wait on the roofers to come back to do our porch roof and the eavestroughs (gutters) and downspouts for the rainwater collection system and for the local renewable energy company to install the solar thermal panels. Chris and his crew have also got another smaller job they have to finish off elsewhere, so generally this week we’ve only had a couple of people on site, mainly finishing off the flooring and starting the inside window sills and trim. Meanwhile we took a day long trip to Ikea in Ottawa to get storage and kitchen cabinets. Yes, we would much rather have handmade local stuff but right now, we’re all out of money so, Ikea it is. We’ve also ordered the interior doors, which need to be custom-made because they have to be a little shorter than the standard 80″, paint for the doors – they will be splashes of colour in an otherwise predominantly spruce interior, and we are also waiting for the tatami mats and sliding shoji panels, for the Japanese room, to arrive.
The tiled are for shoes by the sliding door
Dan came up with a lovely touch, using left over maple between the hickory boards
Progress on the house seems to vary a great deal in terms of how you see it. Sometimes a lot is being done but it’s hard to see or show that. However sometimes, everything seems to be happening at once, with very visible changes happening as you watch. The last two days have been like that.
First of all, Alfredo the plumber has been working with Chris on the bathroom and water systems. I should say, “the award-winning A. Marques”, because Alfredo has apparently just won a major plumbing award. He does a great job and isn’t phased by any of the unusual aspects of this CLT-built passive house with almost no wall cavities where pipes would normally go! There is a lot of new piping in the mechanical / utility room but there’s only so many pictures one can take of pipes… the visible progress is in the main bathroom where we now have a 60″ x 60″ shower pan down and fitted. This large shower pan is our relatively cheap solution to constructing a Japanese-style wet-room. In addition, Alfredo has got most of the pipes and fittings in, and by the end of the second day of action, we also had the bath tub in place with faucet (or ‘tap’, as they say in the UK…).
Steve shaves the shower pan for a perfect fit
Meanwhile, Alfredo installs fittings…
…and gets into some tight spots
The shower pan in place
Bath tub and faucet installed
It’s going to be a lovely bathroom
Secondly, Anne was working on tiling the two WCs with large dark slate-coloured tiles. We had a bit of a worry with these because it turned out we had one less of these than we had thought – and a call to the tile shop revealed that they had been discontinued since we bought them and no more were available from the manufacturers. However, we think we have enough if we are very careful.
Making sure the plumbing is in place
Large, heavy tiles need careful handling…
…and precise cutting
Washing off the excess grout
One WC is ready for toilet installation…
…and the other one is started
Finally, Steve and Dan were reprising their hardwood flooring double-act, but this time downstairs in the main room. Here we are laying down very dense, dark-stained ‘Gingerbread’ Hickory throughout (again from LNG Gaylord Hardwood in Kingston). This will also be used for the stairs.
Steve lays down the first line
It’s essential you get this one aligned perfectly
Dan keeps up the speed
Half way across
Almost the whole main room done…
…and out into the entrance hall
So there was a great deal done in two days, and I haven’t even started on what was going on outside, which is another very big and ongoing job, which I will write about tomorrow…