Small and isolated places like Orcas Island need hardware stores and I’m so thankful that Island Hardware not only exists but does so in such a family-like style. More than just about any other place, it is Orcas Island and I hope it never changes.
Category Archive: Construction
Livability and Laundry 🏡 🧺
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. The idea of helping homeowners understand the construction process has been on my mind for about a year. As I wrote chapter after chapter, I was looking for some kind of unifying theme. While...
The Creative Brief 📄
Starting then, the idea of eventually building a new house on the island started to dominate our thoughts. What would we build? What could we build?
The Sticky Notes ✅
As the house project comes to a close we’re removing sticky notes as we go.
This Fireplace Sucks 🔥
Sometime in the middle of the house project, I learned a lesson about chimneys that has fascinated me ever since. We were talking about the metal tubes, or “flues” that would eventually stick out of our roof and vent our two wood-burning fireplaces. According to the fireplace company, the size of the fireplaces meant the flues needed to be eighteen feet high to work. This explains why.
The Dogs of the House Project 🐶 🐕
There is an unwritten rule about home building projects on Orcas Island: well-behaved dogs are welcome. One any given day there is at least one dog one site and we’ve grown to love them all.
What Does it Want to Be? 🔨
There are two considerations in making home finish decisions: what you want and what the house wants. By the time the finishes are being completed, the house will tell you what fits, or not.
“Big Stuff” and House Flooring Decisions 🏡
Home construction includes a variety of “big” things. Perhaps the most pivotal is the flooring, because it covers the house, is used every day and is mostly permanent. This is about our floor decisions.
Choosing Recessed LED “Can” Lights
A friend who is a few months behind us in their home project reached out to ask a few questions about choosing recessed LED can lights for their new home.
Designing a Network for New Home Construction
When building a new house, it’s worth considering whether or not to run ethernet networking and if so, what products may work best. This is our plan.
Smart Lights, Smart Home 💡🏡
Our final decisions on smart home lighting and home automation options for our house on Orcas Island.
The Thermal Imager for Radiant Heat
Today at the construction site the team was putting down a subfloor over the radiant heating tubes that will warm our house. One of the risks of having tubes of water in your floor is one of them getting punctured when flooring goes down. This is especially true once...
Then and Now 📷 🏡
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I’ve taken thousands of photos of the house project, mostly from my phone and drone. In isolation, they look like any other house photo, a point in time without context. One can only get so excited...
Puzzle Pieces 🧩 and 🍕
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. On the ferries we take to the mainland, there are often puzzles on tables for anyone who wants to pass the time. What most short-term puzzlers on the boat don’t know is that some of the puzzles have...
Preparing Drywall for Paint 🧹🧽
Before the house could be painted, the dust from level 5 drywall had to be removed and it was a much bigger challenge that I expected and it put a strain on our relationship.
Masking and Painting The House 🎨
We are doing the painting on the house project, which ended up being a much bigger job than I expected.
Designing Our Blackened-Steel Fireplace 🔥
Our fireplaces are the heart of our house and an element we took great care to design.
Shou Sugi Ban Siding – Fortified by Fire 🔥
The siding for our house is Japanese cypress that has been charred to make it more resilient and beautiful. It’s called “Shou Sugi Ban” or “yakisugi”.
Before Drywall -Did We Get It Right?
The race is on. A couple of weeks ago, Drew, our contractor, set a date for our house to be insulated. We’re using spray foam insulation, which creates a hardened shell in the spaces in the walls. It also locks into place years of decisions and the work of...
What to Consider Before Drywall is Installed 🤔 🏡
Once the drywall goes up, a lot of decisions become harder to change. We tried our best to think ahead and avoid any changes.