To build our homeWe bought five and a half acres of woods and rock in Pemberton, British Columbia.
2019 • 2018 • 2017 • 2016
03.2019 – Framing & RoofingRay and his crew at Western Craft have been busy framing the house in. We’ve had some cold snaps but have luckily avoided too much snow and managed to keep the project up and running through the winter. Since January we’ve seen it go from the first vertical sticks, to framed-in rooms, to exterior sheathing, and now to roof trusses.
The roof has been really interesting to see come to life. It’s the most unusual part of our house design, with four raised volumes – three of them with large banks of clerestory windows in the living room, kitchen, and study:
Inside each volume, the ceiling is sloped from 14-16’ at the top of the windows down to 8’. This means the trusses are installed with the long edge on the slope of the ceiling:
The intent is to create elevated areas filled with light (and views of the cliff face to the north) in the public areas and lower more intimate spaces in the dining room and private bedrooms, with large windows and ground-level views to the surrounding scenery (Mt. Currie & the Garibaldi range to the south and the forest to the north).
Once the roof is complete the next step is windows and doors and then “lock-up” (when the exterior building envelope is sealed and windows and doors are installed). At that point the construction will really kick into high gear as the crew will take on:
- pouring the pool foundation and building the deck
- pouring the shop foundation and building the shop
- beginning interior plumbing, electrical and floors in the house
- finishing the exterior of the house
Latest schedule has all this wrapping up by late fall/early winter. It’s going to be a busy year.
03.2019 – Interiors & AppliancesWhile framing has been ongoing we’ve been working with the architects on the interiors. This includes millwork details, fireplace design, placement of window operators, which doors should have locks, where light switches and outlets should be, and finalizing our appliance package. This is all important, interesting, and time-consuming! Thank goodness we work with design+build architects who are guiding us along the way. There are so many things to consider and get right in a custom home, and every one of them has the tradeoffs of cost, quality, and impact on other parts of the project.
In terms of interior design we are currently focused on the built aspects of the house (as opposed to decorative elements). We have decided to invest in key pieces of built-in millwork in the kitchen, study and living room. In the study we have a wall-length unit that includes bookcases, TV, and file storage drawers. This is then joined to a long desk on the adjoining wall. This space will be used as a home office, library, and media room, and can be converted to an extra guest bedroom when needed.
In the living room there’s a built-in bookcase that may also be the spot for the hi-fi (though that might go on the back of the fireplace on the dining room sideboard).
In the kitchen we’ve opted for a 48” pro range with double oven and a column fridge/freezer. We both have big families and love to cook and entertain. We want this house for ourselves but when we daydream about it we imagine the times when we’ll be able to have big groups of friends and family over to stay. I think we’ll be happy for the capacity on those holiday long weekends.
01.2019 RenderingsWe’ve been iterating on lots of details over the past few months. The exterior dimensions have been locked in since the foundation was poured, so our focus has been on the interiors as well as some landscape and grading considerations. These are the latest models that account for all the decisions we’ve made so far.
Site overview This view shows the built area of the property. There’s a few hundred feet of sparse forest and grassy area on the lower slope down to the road. The bulk of the property is above the built area and is heavily forested with steep sections of rock.
Exterior living area has a fireplace, hot tub, and trellis-covered seating.
The fence is required by code for the pool, and also a way to keep large animals out of the immediate house area and garden.
The interior floorplan is ~2600 sq. ft. The exterior deck is ~1600 sq. ft.
The northeast room is intended for mixed use. It has a sliding wooden door that will be open most of the time for use as a library and media room. When closed it can convert to a spare bedroom (with pullout couch) or a study.
The kitchen opens onto the pool deck via a sliding door. There’s a towel room and powder at the west end, and a walk-in pantry at the east end.
Kitchen and dining
The kitchen, dining, and living room are all part of a large open concept space on a slightly lower elevation from the private level of the house. A linear kitchen, long island and bar seating face a woodstove hearth and bench and seating with a view to the Garibaldi mountain range.