May 7, 2014

What’s new on the building front? Ken is busy putting up the double insulated walls and has made great progress but it does not make for interesting photos.

The sunroom is all insulated, the windows boxed in, the French doors installed and the windows on the interior wall between the sunroom and living room are in. This has turned out to be a great wall feature. As this is a load bearing wall, the structural engineer said no to the windows we had planned for the wall. So instead we made our own custom window boxes that fit between the studs. Paramount windows, the supplier for all the exterior windows and doors, supplied us with the glass panes and Ken made the window boxes. They let light into the living room and open up the room to the sunroom. Now if the weather would just warm up a wee bit, I would move my transplants into the sunroom.

Interior sunroom wall as seen from the livingroom

Interior sunroom wall as seen from the livingroom

Transplants doing well in shop window

Transplants doing well in shop window

The living room walls are insulated but the window boxes not built yet. We are still having a discussion on whether or not we will put in window seats, so until that is finalized, the window boxes will have to wait.

The kitchen is insulated and the pantry walls put in. In order to minimize the energy the fridge uses, especially during the winter months when solar power is at a minimum and cold air at a maximum, we have decided to place the fridge in the pantry. We will be adding a window inside the pantry to allow us to control the temperature to keep the room cool. Having the fridge in the pantry also keeps it out of what will be the hottest room in the house in the winter – where the wood stove it. The fridge will be one of our big energy draws in the winter so I’m hoping the cold pantry room will help out.

To make room for a big pantry and provide access to install the fridge (now and replacements in the future), we have changed the closet we intended to put by the side door with a shallow closet – a one foot wide indent. Just enough space to put a few hooks for hanging jackets and place to put shoes out of the way of traffic. And the back wall of the closet will be removable to allow access to install the fridge. Pretty cool eh!

Pantry roughed in

Pantry roughed in

The stairwell to the basement has also been insulated and the inside wall installed. This wall borders one of the downstairs bedrooms. My plan for this guest room was to put in a double bed against the north wall, with a single bed above, bunk bed style. The Kens (friend Ken was out again this week for another 5 days of Porter Building Boot Camp, the guy is a sucker for punishment.) designed a neat ledge above the stairwell so the top bunk will actually be above the stairs not the double bed. This will give more head room for both beds. The north side of the ledge has a place left to install steps to the top bunk. Each step will also be a drawer similar to this plan.

Build in bunk bed in guest room

Build in bunk bed in guest room

While Ken had Ken around to help out, he got a good start on the big north wall upstairs. Unfortunately, they were not able to finish so I guess I’m stuck being the extra man to raise the 2×4 wall on this baby (in pieces of course, not all at once).

North wall in upstairs master bedroom - the green insulation monster

North wall in upstairs master bedroom – the green insulation monster

After getting most of the insulating done, Ken discovered that he hadn’t put in the outside plugs. Oh well. We will be figuring out that one this weekend. It’s all fun and games when you do things unconventionally.


About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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