Weeks 35 & 36: siding, ducts & open house tour

ottawa-passive-house

Our daughter Josie turned two today. It was a reminder that over two years ago, our house-building adventure began. The wheels were set in motion when we found out we were pregnant with #2 and knew we would inevitably outgrow our little house. We purchased the lot across the street from us and so it began. It feels like we’re finally hitting the home stretch. With the house and the trying baby-rearing days. The baby days are over. Sniff. I very much look forward to the many adventures in our new house, however. Move-in day can’t come soon enough, which should only be a couple months off.

 Scaffolding up on the north wall.

Scaffolding up on the north wall.

 A glimpse at the cedar behind the scaffolding. C'est magnifique!

A glimpse at the cedar behind the scaffolding. C'est magnifique!

One of the most exciting site-visits for me came last week, when I saw some of the cedar siding up on our North wall. It looks fantastic! The strapping went a bit slower than we had hoped because the shell of our house is actually a lot less square than we had hoped/thought it was. Graham and crew from Vessel woods are doing a bang-up job resurrecting the issue. I cannot wait to see the siding across the rest of the house. Should take a few more weeks of work. They will tackle the front façade last, so I’ll have to hold my breath until then. At least I have our amazing blue doors to tide me over. The Hermann’s were back on site last week to install them.

 The Sentinel

The Sentinel

 Our house ducts

Our house ducts

Mark finished installing the Zehnder flex ducts throughout the house. At the moment, it looks like the sentinel robot from the Matrix has taken up residence in our walls. The install went pretty smoothly. However, in sorting out the layout for our mechanical room, Mark realized he ordered the Heat Exchanger in the wrong orientation. So we’ll have to swap it out before it gets installed.

Mark was also busy taking deliveries, making decisions, juggling a million moving parts and covering for me on the home front while I was away in NYC for work (and play). Busy is the understatement of the century. His brother Brian is in town now to help out. He’s mostly here to help with drywalling, but that’s not set to begin for another week or so. We’ll find plenty to keep him busy with in the meantime. Including hang-time with his two little nieces. Brian watched the girls on Saturday so Mark and I could both be present at the open house tour.

We had a great turnout and lots of great questions. Thank you to all who made it out, it was a really exciting day for us to meet and talk to people interested in this kind of stuff.

A few people have been surprised that we’re opening our house up to tours like this. And I guess it’s not really a normal thing to do. But then again, nothing about our house is ‘normal’. The more I learn about building, the more I believe that we should pay attention to how our houses get built and what goes into our walls. When the drywall goes up, all is hidden. When the siding goes up, all is hidden. How can you tell the difference between our house and another new build going in down the street? You can’t. Unless you look at the drawings or look for a certification like Passive House. What better opportunity to see what’s inside a wall than to see it under construction? So I guess that’s why we’ve been opening our house up the way we have been and will continue to do so.

The next open house tour will likely be when the house is complete. It will be a house like any other at this stage, albeit fantastically comfortable and incredibly beautiful. The house won’t feel like a science experiment, and all the thought, cost and planning that went into our walls happened because it’s simply the way it ought to be.

Btw, if you missed out on the open house tour, but are still interested, post a comment or send us a message. We both realized, in hindsight, that we totally should have Periscoped (web streamed) the tour. If we give another any time soon, we’ll be sure to press record and/or pass along an invite.