Guest post by Stephen Cowan
Earlier this year, we thought we would be living at the ranch by the end of summer. Well, summer is over, and the house is still slowly being pieced together in fits and starts. However, the end of construction is getting closer, so maybe we will be in the new house by Halloween. The trick-or-treaters certainly won’t miss us. We haven’t had any trick-or-treaters come to the door of any of the 3 houses where Jessica and I haved lived in the last 6 years. We always tend to live in houses where the front door is hard to find, or on dead end streets. And now with the ranch being in the middle of nowhere, the chance of trick-or-treaters is nil.
There has actually been a lot happening the last few months as our slab of dirt has risen into a real structure. Here is a picture of the house as it stands now.
For our siding, we chose tongue and groove 1×6 Con Heart B redwood, which translates to redwood boards of darker wood, without the lighter colored sapwood, and a few tight knots. We received a beautiful shipment on which we applied a semi-transparent stain made by Cabot called Seacoast Gray. Semi-transparent stains allow the grain of the wood to show through, but still protect the wood (at least for a few years) from sunlight and mildew.
The metal roof was installed last week, and it is also a light gray color. Luckily, it matches pretty well with the siding. As you can see in the picture, the exterior portion of our glue lam beams are painted a light green color called Energized, by Kelly Moore. We also placed some colored panels on the front of the house to liven up the outside.
Our interior walls are being paneled with birch plywood, which will be finished in some kind of light stain with a clear coat on top. I am testing different shades of stains this week that will hopefully complement the yellow tone of the glue lams and the light color of the T&G pine ceiling. Here is our master carpenter Steve Gresham installing a birch panel.
To keep us cool inside during hot summers we are using a ductless air conditioning system made by Mitsubishi. Our house doesn’t have any attic space, so we wanted to avoid having ducts running across our ceiling and interfering with the open beams. With a ductless system, the condenser sits outside and pumps coolant to smaller individual units attached high on the walls of each room. We installed a unit in each bedroom and also in the living and kitchen area. They have a white cover which we will probably end up painting to match other interior colors.
We have tried to stay away from white, other than in the bathroom, which will be painted white and have 2×8 white tile in the bath, along with blue laminate. Yes, laminate. We will have lots of laminate in our house, from the kitchen to shelving. I have always loved 1960s style architecture and have chosen some shades of laminate that are not popular today, but were common 50 years ago. Kiwi green for kitchen counters, one called Orville, which is kind of a wheat color for shelving, and Caribbean Blue for the bath countertop and shelving.
Lots of detail work stills needs to be done, but at least the end is in sight!