The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. Early in the design process, John, our architect, said something that caught my attention. He said our design would require a lot of steel. Not knowing much about engineering a house, I took it as a...
Category Archive: Building Flattop
The House Project in Pictures 📷
A look at a home construction project on Orcas Island, WA as the framing is being built.
Changing Plans During Construction 📐👀
House plans are not written in stone. Achieving what you want requires constant edits and course corrections and it’s best to catch them in advance.
The History of Concrete and Our House Foundation 🏡
As the foundation was poured on the new house, I learned about concrete in construction and the history of lime production in the San Juan Islands.
Getting the House Out of the Ground 👷🏻♂️👷🏻♂️🏡
The first big phase of the house building project was the foundation and starting then, the house took on a realistic form and shape.
Your Questions About The House Project, Answered ⬇️
A few notes on the house project and our plans, as is was coming together in 2019.
Geology and Site Work on Orcas Island ⚒🗻
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I’ve planted trees like Japanese maples and fast-growing conifers at every house I’ve owned. I think of them as semi-permanent fixtures that slowly improve the property and provide shade, privacy,...
Removing and Using Big Trees 🌲🔥
To make room for the new house, big trees had to be removed and I was sad to see them go but found ways to use them.
The Demolition of the Yurt-Shaped House ⚒
The demolition of the yurt-shaped house did not disappoint. Within days it was gone and the construction could begin.
Goodbye to the Yurt-Shaped House ♻️
To begin construction, we first had to demolish our yurt-shaped house on Orcas Island and that meant saying goodbye.
A More Affordable Home Design 💲
To afford the construction project, we had to think big in terms of changes and that meant considering what we could keep and what we could remove from the design.
Changing Course in House Planning ➡️
When we saw the construction estimate, we knew we had to change course and small changes weren’t enough. This was the path we took.
The Reveal of the House Estimate 📄
After all our design work, this was the day where we saw the estimate for the house we wanted to build. It didn’t go well.
The House Plans 🏡 📏📐
As soon as decided to build, we called John, an architect, to get his help. This is how the design phase started.
Finding The Builder 👷🏻♂️
Finding a builder on Orcas Island can be a challenge. In the end, we made it happen the old fashioned way: by showing up.
Finding the Guest House 🏡
One of the challenges of building a new home was finding a place to rent for 18 months or more. This is how we did it.
Sharing a Brain 🧠
Any big project comes down to relationships. This is especially true for couples who are working together on their own house project. It helps if you share a brain.
Getting the Construction Project Started ✅
In the summer of 2019, the biggest project of our lives commenced. We had everything in place to build a custom home on Orcas Island.
We Bought a Yurt-Shaped House ⛺️🏡
We bought a yurt-shaped house on Orcas Island and have never looked back. This is what we were thnking at the time…
The Yurt-Shaped House on Orcas Island ⛺️🏡
In 2017, we bought a house on Orcas Island that had 15 sides and was circular like a yurt. What it lacked in quality, it made up for in shabby charm.