Sunday, 21 August 2016

Build journal - What a difference a year makes!

Just a little over one year ago, we officially bought our lot by the ocean…

lot official

What looked like this then…


Looks like this now!


Yep, we have a garage and the main floor of a house – well, sort of :-) We just finished all the basic main floor framing on Friday, and now we can really get a good idea of what the house is going to look like when it’s done.

Here’s a review of the framing, starting with two walls at the east end.

framing started

Followed by the end wall.

framing 1

And then the ceiling joists.

ceiling joists 3

Next it was on to framing the west end.

framing west end

I really like how this end comes to a point, like the bow of the ship. The wall is going to be almost all windows, from just below the ceiling to the top of the countertop.

kitchen windows

And then the ceiling joists.

kitchen joists

Followed by two beast beams. Holy crap, these suckers are long – 24 feet, to be exact – and HEAVY. Getting the first beast beam up was a real struggle, and I was sure one of us was going to end up dead or severely injured.

beast beam

Brian came up with a better plan for the second beast beam – amazing what a difference a winch makes! Sooooooo much easier, and far less likelihood of one of us being maimed!

beast beam 2

One inner wall goes up, and now we almost have an actual bedroom!



Center south wall goes up…

framing south wall

And the center north walls…

framing 2

All done! Along the north side of the house, from left to right is the bathroom, a closet, and the front entry.

done from corner 1

And this end is the kitchen.

done from corner 2

Around to the south side, we have the kitchen, living room, and bedroom.

done from corner 3

done from corner 4

North side.

done from front

South side.

done from back

There’s still a long way to go – the second storey subfloor, second storey walls, second storey walkway and bathroom, roof trusses, sheathing, insulating, wrapping, shingling…. scary to think about all that’s left to do! But one step at a time, and we’ll get there :-)

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Build journal – House floor goes down

Seeing the garage come together has been exciting. But I have to say, seeing the house start to take shape is even more exciting! This is where we’re actually going to live, where we’ll have views of the ocean from every room, where we’ll sleep and eat and watch the boats out in our “backyard” :-)

The house build started with the excavation back in mid-May and the foundation was poured towards the end of May. Then the foundation exterior was sealed and back filled, and the footings for the deck were poured. Click here for all the details. We’ve done a lot of work since then, although I have to say it isn’t going fast enough for my impatient self! Here’s what we’ve done since my last update…

July 22nd – Putting the big floor beams in place.

yellow beams crawl space 2

July 24th – Gluing the foam insulation to the interior walls of the crawl space. I’m now a caulking gun expert :-)

pink foam insulation

And I created this lovely pile of glue poop – with the caulking gun, not my butt :-D

glue poop

July 27th – Yay, foam insulation is all done!

insulation from kitchen end


July 30th – Installing the floor joists.

floor joists

August 4th – Joists all done and starting to install the subfloor

joists done

Somebody (Brian) put the glue on the joists and was about to put down the first piece of subfloor, when someone else (Kelly) said, “But aren’t we supposed to put the fibreglass insulation between the joists first?” Someone (Brian) grunted and wouldn’t admit that someone else (Kelly) had a good point there, but someone else (Kelly) definitely was on the ball more than someone (Brian).


subfloor started

August 5th – Over halfway there! I’m also now nail gun expert.


subfloor 2

August 6th – One more piece to go….

last piece

And the subfloor is done!

subfloor done 2


subfloor done

Now we can finally really see the footprint and walk through our house! Having no walls is just a minor detail ;-)

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Build journal – The garage roof is done!

Yikes, just realized that my last build update was when we finished shingling the garage back in June. Lots to catch up on, starting with the garage roof.

Right from the start, we knew that we wanted a metal roof on our garage and house. Our original colour choice was antique bronze, but then we found out last fall that the colour was discontinued. GAK! But things worked out fine, because we decided to go with a slate blue instead, which looks awesome! As usual, we started with the back of the garage….

roof back done angle

roof back done

Then moved to the front. I say “we”, but the roof was all Brian. I’m too afraid of heights to go up that high. So YAY Brian!

brian on roof

brian on roof 2

All done!


The concrete floor in the garage is being poured this week. Then we need to build and install the stairs up to the second floor, choose and install the garage doors, and fill in the screw holes and add spacers to the trim. And then the garage will be DONE!

Pretty excited that the garage is almost finished, but even more excited that the house is really underway! That’s up next :-)

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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Getting into the Olympic spirit

Yesterday evening before the Olympic opening ceremonies in Rio, we had our very own Olympic parade right here in Nova Scotia :-) Everyone in the parade carried a flag from a country of their choice, and we walked a big loop that even included refreshment stations :-)

Getting ready at the starting point…

at the barn

Brian proudly carrying the flag of Nauru!

nauru brian

A few facts about Nauru:

  • It’s a small 21 sq km island in the Pacific Ocean north of Australia.
  • The population of Nauru is around 10,000 people.
  • Naura first participated in the summer Olympics in 1996.
  • This year Naura has a grand total of two athletes in the Olympics – one in Judo and one in weightlifting.
  • Sadly, Naura is the most obese country in the world.

Off we go!



jill and hazen


sun effect



new zealand

brian nauru 2

Dogs have Olympic spirit too!


Lots of great Olympic spirit!

flags 1

flags 2

Go Nauru! And Canada too, of course Smile

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