Building Bee August 2008

We are busy gearing up for our building bee the last two weeks of August. We will be building the walls and the roof for the south side of the house — that’s the little house where a bathroom and guest room will be. We’ll also be finishing up the railing on the power tower, milling a little wood and having cocktail hour as well as late afternoon ocean swims and spectacular outdoor showers when the weather allows.
The righteous builders brigage so far is….Kevin, Sonja, Pere, DeeDee, Patricia, Bill, Maddy, Kevin N, Mike, RJ, Jan and Rich. Give Kevin a call if you want to be added to the list.

Even if you are not comfortable with a power tool there is still a place for you! Wash dishes, use a rake, build a trail or entertain us with your music or stories. We will definitely be having weekend runs to Horseshoe bay and maybe a few during the week as well. Hope to see you there!

August long weekend

What a satisfying long weekend we had! After lots of prep work we were finally able to make some visible strides. Joists on the platform! Stairs on the power tower! Lots of drilling and sawing opportunities!

Highlights & Milestones: Scaffolding
Joists installed (that’s what the floor will sit on)
Stairs (and not just any stairs) on the power tower (see all the photos in the solar power tower photo album)
The hammock
Spontaenous sing-alongs to Jesus Christ Superstar songs

Our big gratitude to this weeks Righteous Building Brigade: Nugent, Mike, Jordana, Maddy, and Cath for fabulous food.

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From Late July

Here is a photo history of the powertower:

late July

Another very productive weekend at the land with all thanks to our friends Yael, Birgitte, Maddy and ‘the other Kevin.’ The rain mostly stayed away and miracle of miracles, our fridge started working again! Eric brought his miracle excavator machine and we buried the septic pipe as well as lines for electrical and water and also adjusted the angle to ensure everything will flow properly. In the process, we made a better approach to what will be the front of the house, and moved a massive rock onto our rock garden area for a perfect bench. And we all got to be Eric’s ditch bitch! It was good to get this done before the excavator leaves the island.

Maddy, Yael and Nugent sucked up far too many fumes laying the vinyl flooring for the power tower deck. The flooring will make the area below it water-proof, and useable for tools. More importantly, now that the decking is on, we can put in the rails for the power tower, which is a safety priority. Finding information about waterproof decking options was probaby my most trickiest internet research yet. One option we considered was EPDM, which does seem to be slightly better than vinyl although I’m still not sure why. Natural and water-resistent coatings seem very rare. However EPDM does have to be covered with something else, and that wasn’t something we’d factured in when we built the power tower, so we would have had to modify the door. We are going to go with EPDM for the flat room portion of the cabin however. There were some roll-on products too, but we didn’t find much information about the long-term durability of those.

The stair committee (Birgitte, Yael, Kevin and Sonja) worked out a nice stair design & gave us all a new appreciation of such an ordinary everyday feature of our lives! We were making progress too until time and screws ran out. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of Yael’s glue messages on each stair. I’ll think of you everytime I step on the fourth step! The stairs are another safety priority, since lots of people aren’t comfortable on the existing ladder.

Lots of baby deer & squirrels & some post-rain slugs. Also two sizes/colours of garter snake.


  • Yael’s Smores
  • Maddy’s grilled vegetable sandwiches & potato soup
  • The wet boat ride
  • The excavator at work
  • The resurrection of the fridge for unknown reasons
  • The flashing and decking on the power tower
  • The septic, electric and water pipes to the house laid
  • Cool new rock bench
  • Birgitte & the rock drill
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From Late July


July has been rushing by and we’ve hardly had a chance to catch up. But here is what’s new…

In the one step forward two steps back department our skookum new fridge is on the fritz. But in the serendipity department, it looks like we may be able to use a neighbours propane fridge for the summer. Serendipidty also got us a great new toolshed for use closer to the actual construction site. Thanks to our neighbours Andrew & Yaz and Nick and Janet for giving us a chance to give these items a new life with the L cabin.

Big thanks go out to Drew who helped out in June with the decking on the power tower, Maddy who brought energy and organic food in June and her friend Jordana in July. Their pickaxing and shovelling ‘made level what was not’ as Kevin put it, and made the new toolshed possible, and their patience in assembling it was commendable. ‘Chip’ aka Kevin N came back from his journeys away and wielded a chainsaw as well as helping build our first scaffolding. Pat brought real crab sushi (from fresh caught crab!) and blueberry scones, and if that wasn’t enough, taught us how to make shakes and split rail fences.

Milestones and highlights:

  • discovering we have a) enough posts and beams for the bottom floor and b) only nine left until we are done
  • Split rail fence 101 – very fun
  • Shakes 101 – hmm… maybe we don’t want to use shakes too much on the house….
  • new tool shed – so handy, so organized!
  • first scaffolding for construction
  • beginning of covering power tower teck
  • log pile continues to grow


Late June / Early July


  • First swim of the season (photos to follow)
  • Windows to Power Tower installed
  • Second set of solar panels installed!
  • Happy discovery that generator can be used to charge power tower batteries. This means if we need to use the generator we can be put any excess energy (idle time etc) back into the system.
  • Significant progress on the log pile leading to…
  • New woodpile
  • Further discoveries into how to make the system more powertool friendly. Right now we are facing an issue with the surges some tools create when they start. There’s enough power to run the tools, but not enough to get them started. There are some possible ways around this that are being looked into.
  • Ground wire laid for electrical system
  • Found and donated plastic shed (thanks Andrew!) and coroplast (thanks Gary & Colleen!)
  • Mouse in the frying pan! (Luckily not on…)
  • Lots of deer

Big thanks go out to Maddy, Bill, Andrew, Gary & Colleen!