Whether a new build like ours, or a new to you home, there are noises that this new home makes that you have to become accustomed to. But after a couple of weeks in our new home we were surprised to be awoken by a new noise in the middle of the night. It sounded like some kind of motor.
When DH got up to investigate, the noise stopped. DH got up to investigate anyway. I heard the motor start again then stop just as quickly. When DH returned, I asked what the noise was, he replied that he had no idea, he hadn’t heard it again. I explained what I heard and assumed that he had found the offending item and fixed it. Then it started again. DH hopped out of bed again, I could hear him rummaging through a cupboard in the bathroom next door. I got up and joined him in the search and found the offending item.
So, what was this object that caused such disruption?
Yep, a battery operated Crest SpinBrush toothbrush that I had just unpacked that day and put in the cupboard.
I can’t believe another new year has started, the last one went by so fast. Probably the reason for only one blog post last year!
A lot has happened since that post. We sold our previous home in what can only be described as a bit of a whirlwind. Ottawa and its surrounding areas had been experiencing record house sales and prices, and we were no exception. We were listed for one day when we received and accepted an offer. A lot of work goes into a house to get it ready for sale. A lot of cleaning and editing of furniture to “stage” it for pictures, then you have to keep it that way for showings, ugh. We had just two months to get the new house finished and move everything over, and there was a lot of stuff to move, but we got it done in the end.
While we still have some work to do inside (and a lot of landscaping outside) this is what the inside looks like now:
Even though we built a new house, we wanted to add a bit of character to the space. The kitchen island was a general store counter from the 1880’s.
The large south facing windows allow for a lot of sun to come in and heat the house, but if temperatures dip too low, a wood stove provides additional heat. The one thing I am not really happy with in the house is the wall behind the stove, we will have to see what we can do about it next summer.
A propane stove on a thermostat in the basement provides further back-up if required, or if we go away.
The one thing I felt was missing in our last house was a large entry to come into, with a place to sit to put on boots and shoes. That shouldn’t be a problem here.
Behind the sliding barn door above is a laundry area, followed by a bathroom.
The sliding barn door, the french doors above, and the pair into the pantry, were all kijiji finds from people renovating homes. The tile in the entry was given to us by a friend, there was just enough to do the entry, laundry and bath. The light fixture over the dining table is an antique brass fixture that we purchased years ago at an antique store and that DH rewired. We brought it with us from our last house.
The pantry is not yet finished. More shelving is required. The sink in the pantry was another kijiji find. It is a Kohler sink from 40’s maybe, and is much larger and deeper than most sinks.
That is the tour for now, I hope you enjoyed it. There will be more to come.
I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about house construction since November!
While construction did continue throughout the winter, I guess most of the stuff wasn’t “blog” or “picture” worthy (if this was a more technical blog maybe it would be). Insulation, vapour barrier, plumbing, electrical and ducting don’t create the same excitement as say…….SIDING!
Now the house is taking on the look of a home.
The North and East walls have yet to be finished.
We ended up going with a vinyl board and batten style of siding. Our original thought was to have the house sided with stained or painted cedar boards and battens. However, that would have required more work and maintenance in the long term, something neither one of us was prepared to deal with.
The biggest change to the house since my last post is that we now have windows and doors, yay!
The windows are triple pane argon filled European style tilt-and-turn windows from Bonnechere Valley Windows in Eganville, Ontario. From other blogs that I have read, it seems that many passive house builders have chosen to purchase their windows from European suppliers because they are more efficient. While that may be true, I’m not sure if the added expense to bring them here is offset enough by the energy savings they will have. Also, by buying locally, I know that we can contact the company if we have any problems, and besides, it doesn’t seem right that my windows have done more travelling than me.
In addition to the windows, the roof is now covered in tin. There is still a roof to go across the south side of the house that will shade the windows in the summer time, as well as a porch roof on the north side.
North Side Exterior
The next two pictures show the opening options with the tilt-and-turn windows. When the levered handle is up, the window tilts in with the top opening.
And when the handle is sideways, the whole window swings in
Progress is being made with the second floor now framed and roof trusses installed.
You will notice in the above pictures that all the windows have a box around them. To help make this house energy efficient, our exterior walls will be thicker, with more insulation than your average house build. To do this, we are having Larsen Trusses attached to the exterior sheathing, which creates a cavity for the insulation. Our builder, Paul Coutts, can be seen in the above photo applying a special tape to cover all the joins in the OSB to make the house air tight. The picture below shows what the trusses will look like.
We are hoping the windows and doors will be installed in about two weeks time.
With the great weather we have been having since construction started in August, the house has been progressing quite well, faster than I can write a blog post about it. Framing has started and it looks like this:
Framing of the second floor has started and I will hopefully have pictures soon. Meanwhile, on the the other side of the yard, the studio/shop is slowly taking shape.
We had hoped to begin building in the spring of this year. First, our drawings were done later than expected. Then there was the arduous task of getting contractors to quote on the build. I guess in the end, it all worked out. With the rainy spring and summer we’ve had, I’m not sure how much progress would have been made.
But construction has begun, and we’ve enjoyed a pretty good stretch of weather (except for one day). Heavy equipment moved in and began to clear the house site.