Confessions of a siding geek

In the dreary afternoons of November it is truly amazing to look back on the photos of this past summer and see everything we were able to accomplish. All those smiling faces, all that hard work, it’s a reminder of how fortunate we’ve been throughout all of this.

The cabin is tarped up for the winter, and now is the time when we ponder next steps (siding, roof) and dangerously day-dream about things like finishings and floors. In the summer it is easier to remember that we always have to take everything step by step. With my hands on a hammer, I’m grounded. Here in the city, it’s easy to believe we can just fly through the next steps, and even at my imagination’s lightening speed, I’m impatient to get there.

Siding and roofing alternates between being very boring to think about and almost overwhelmingly complex. Throughout so much of our building we’ve had a solid place to start from: a great set of windows, free timber, a site we fell in love with. I just don’t seem to feel that we have that same clear sense of direction for how we finish the house. However n the process of trying to figure it out I’ve become something of a siding geek.

Some choices are easy: no to vinyl, since it fails most of the L’s except low-cost.
Logical:  We are quite close to trees so something with some fire-resistance at least for most of the cabin. This means metal or some kind of fibercement siding. But is it loveable? We don’t want anything too industrial looking though. I think we are agreed that the cabin should have some sense of natural variation. Inset cedar tongue and groove? Shakes? is there a ‘logical’ approach to this kind of ornamentation of a house? Logical/low (visual)-impact:  Colours and materials that work with dark metal window frames, fir posts and cedar decking. The east side of the cabin should be fairly dark coloured so it doesn’t stand out on the hill. The dominant colours of the hill are rock grey, dirt & bark brown, and cedar green.
Logi(sti)cal: We probably need to buy most of our siding materials from a commercial supplier (vs second hard/re-purposed)since they can put it on pallets and deliver it to the dock for the barge.

i think the look we are going for is natural but tough aka rustic modern. That still leaves an incredible number of variations and possibilities though and on a long rainy afternoon, a thousand different websites and photoshopped pictures and google sketchups to ponder as we anxiously wait for spring.

Big Build #2 2009

Huge thanks to Patricia, Bill, Jesse, Dale, Co, Maddy, Sonia, Chris, Kim and Derek, Rich, Kevin N. You all rocked!! Thank you thank you thank you!

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Big Build #2… the countdown

the brigade so far looks like it will be sonja, kevin, patricia, bill, dale, coe, jesse, kim, derek, maddy, sonia, alt-k aka kevin nugent, rich, although probably not all at the same time.

we’re hoping for the remaining walls, the knee braces and the roof for this build. that roof is going to look sweet in stop motion. if you’d like to be one of the tiny little figures in the movie, there is still space available in the brigade, especially mid-week.

From aug14-1609

Big Build #1 – The report

Greetings brigade,
We had an incredible week during the first “big-build” of 2009. The weather was record breaking heat, aside from an intense thunderstorm that rolled through on Saturday night that helped keep the dust down for a couple of days. The swimming was the best it has ever been with the brigade taking 2 or 3 swim breaks a day. Also, if you haven’t been to the blog in a while we have 6 holes of the Halkett Heights disc-golf (do not call it frisbee golf!) course in place thanks to our disc-golf consultant Malcolm who was in from Terrace the weekend before the big-build. We even had some tomatoes from our garden (thanks Maddy).Much was accomplished. The walls of the main cabin are 85% complete and the deck is complete aside from the railing and knee-bracing. Sonja took some time lapse of the daily progress and is editing it for uploading to the blog.
Thanks to all who participated:
Alex Dan DeeDee Janice Jose Lewis Marc Matthew Miles Molly Pancho Pere Sarah Sean Willy

I am very pleased to say that the entire week did not require a single trip to town for any building supplies or groceries.
You can see lots more photos here


Highlights and accomplishments

  • walls & floors as seen in video
  • fabulous swimming
  • Matt’s two great games of LCR and the super fun awesome game which is like charades but better
  • group cries of ‘safty first’ after our child labour sign crew all forgot the E
  • night and dawn swims
  • spectacular thunderstorm & amazing lightening
  • the rapid raccoon response team of willy and uncles and their brave attempts to protect the camp kitchen
  • dungeons and dragons
  • ‘smores and more ‘smores
From HB Summer 09

More VSOP (visible signs of progress) weekends leading up to big build 1. Mike, Malcolm and Kevin with big help from Eric and small help from erected two large posts for the deck. It was a lot of muscle, geometry & no doubt a little luck, but the posts are in. We used logs for these, since they are too long to go through the mill.
Malcolm laid out a disc golf course, and made several great tonals. The course is made up of tonals that take you on a pleasant tour of the lower Halkett Heights landscape. Malcolm is an avid disc

From HB Summer 09

golfer who’s played courses all over the Pacific Northwest and even in Costa Rica, so it’s great to have his expertise. I feel so guilty we didnt’ even get to play the whole course before we left. Come back soon Malcolm, we’ll make it up to you we promise!
Not too much to report in the wildlife department but Maddy’s little tomatoes are loving the sun and turning orange.
The receipt for our grocery bill for the first big build was longer than kevin’s arm, and we’re not done yet. The windows have made it over to the island and up the hill without breaking which we’re taking as an omen that it’s going to be a great week!