After 30 weeks of construction, our interior wall cavities are nearly complete. They will contain our electrical and plumbing 'behind the scenes' as to not breach our Passive House air barrier. But before we can call up the electrician and plumber, The Cornelis Grey crew has a few more interior jobs to finish up first. We also need to make some key lighting and plumbing decisions. Decisions decisions.
On that note, we crept a little closer towards making some other big decisions. The biggest of which is our siding materials and install. We’re going with black hardie panel on the inside core, and natural cedar on the enveloping sleeve.
We want this inside core to feel as if it were rising from the earth, as one monolithic shape. Mark is typically not a huge fan of hardie board, especially in our case, because the standard flashing details (at the corners and between boards) can feel clunky and disjointed, which works against the unbroken, monolithic shape we were hoping for. But the price and practicality of hardie panel is hard to beat (vs. cement board). Never one to compromise, Mark has designed some custom flashing for between the boards and corners. He’s also craftily designed our electrical panel (where the meter sits on the outside of the house) and eavestrough system as well. We’re getting it bent and cut out of matching black metal. Metal is pretty cheap, even when it’s custom. It’s details like this that we hope will shine through in our house.
The cedar sleeve is the protective wrapper hugging the house. It echoes our living space and forces inward focus, which stems from our love of courtyard architecture. The black hardie-paneled core grounds the house, while the cedar screen lifts it.
We drove out to Smiths Falls this weekend to take a look at some cedar. There are so many benefits to cedar siding. We plan on allowing ours to age naturally, which will turn it from a warm blond wood to an soft silver colour. It’s super no maintenance, is water and insect resistant, and lasts a lifetime in its natural state. It’s also grown locally and milled to our specs. What’s not to love?
I've explained a bit of the 'why' behind our siding choices. But there were certainly many other factors that played unto our decision-making. You may have noticed we have two brightly coloured neighbours? If you haven’t, one is canary yellow while the other is straight-up orange. On the one hand, we could have followed suit and painted it a wacky bright colour, becoming Ottawa’s very own ‘painted ladies’. But on the other...we’ve decided to contrast them by keeping things natural and neutral, while complementing them with a solid ultramarine blue door. We’ll be introducing more colour with our front yard planter boxes and decking, which will incorporate some rusty-coloured weathering steel. The house will probably recede as it ages gracefully and settles into it’s new home on the street.
And last but not least:
The preliminary air test was completed.
Stay tuned for the results, hehe.
Hint: we passed with flying colours.