Category Archive: House

Rolling Out the Roof

Rolling Out the Roof

You've probably seen metal roofs on houses. They usually have "standing seams" like this: The roof on our house will be no different. In fact, it's one of our only options because the slope of the roof is so flat. For us, it's exactly what we need. A metal roof can...

What is a Rain Screen?

What is a Rain Screen?

Today our house is sporting an exterior look that reminds me of dazzle camouflage, which was used in WW1 (and to a smaller extend in WWII) to it difficult to estimate the range of other ships. We're not hoping to fool the enemy, but mother nature. The stripes on our...

The Search for Smart House Siding

The Search for Smart House Siding

If you picture a Japanese village in your mind, you’re likely to imagine buildings with a dark brown or black appearance, with a lot of character. This appearance, comes, in part, from an ancient Japanese method of charring wood to make it more resilient. The final product is called “yakisugi” or “shou sugi ban”. The Japanese found that charring the wood gave a unique character made it last longer.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbird (I Think) Since moving to Orcas, hummingbirds have become part of everyday life. Our neighbors all have flowers and feeders, so they buzz around like they own the place. I've never seen them so curious. They will come right up to your face...

Powering a Home with Batteries

Powering a Home with Batteries

We live on Orcas Island in Washington State, which is serviced by ferries and has about 3,000 year round residents. For most of the time it's been developed, the power infrastructure has been fragile. It's a densely wooded place and trees often fall on overhead power...

The House Project

The House Project

In the spring of 2017, Sachi and I became consumed with an idea. On a camping trip to Orcas Island, which is off the NW coast of Washington State, we started to ask serious questions about the future. While drinking wine from a box by a campfire, we first started to...