laneway home in Vancouver updates April 1st.

Laneway Home in Vancouver

Well, most of the laneway home has been framed and we are starting on the roof now. As we said in our last post, it will be tricky to frame, but magnificent to live in! I have designed it to maximize the interior space and far outperform the usual way it is done. As I’ve said before though, it does cost more. Below are pictures of the work in progress, all lovingly hand cut on site and put together with the highest quality materials. After the drywall has been installed we will add the fine wood structural details like stained fir collar ties and wrapped fir ridge beams. The upper interior walls have been kept to 7’6” in height to showcase the ceiling and structural detail work. More updates to come as we progress with the work. We were blessed with excellent weather for this part of the work and were able to finish the roof completely just one day before the weather turned and rained hard for a few days. Also, we are getting a lot of attention from passers-by who are admiring the look of the house. It is definitely not a ‘box’ and will add to the neighborhood’s character.

laneway roofing structure in place

laneway roofing structure in place

Complicated roof strructure

Complicated roof structure

laneway ceiling area

Expansive ceiling area

    laneway home in Vancouver updates March 21

    laneway home in Vancouver

    Well here it is almost three weeks later and all the drainage is finished, some landscaping done (with the bobcat), and the walls and floors of the laneway home are framed in (see pictures below). The weather has been on and off with some nice days, and some rainy ones. It’s better than snow I say! We didn’t have any difficulty framing up the walls and floors, but the roof promises to be a bit of a challenge. We’ll be hand cutting all of the roof rafters on site. The result will be a spectacular vaulted ceiling that really expands the feeling of size inside without actually increasing the floor space. The upper floor will have a maximum height inside of almost 11 feet. From the split level kitchen, the roof peak will be a jaw dropping 15.5 feet above, with a large 2’x4′ skylight to illuminate the entire area with sunlight! Most builders (and framers) want to do it the easy way and use trusses. This saves them time, and therefore money. Trusses are much quicker to install, but you sacrifice the beauty and space of a cathedral ceiling. The reality is, the smaller the building, the more you have to pay attention to maximizing all available space. It does cost more, but I feel the end result is worth the extra effort. When you consider the land costs here in Vancouver, the construction costs of a new home are a smaller proportion of the total cost. Why not do it right!

    Work in Progress

    construction work in progress

    Subfloor stage

    John and Emily working hard putting the subfloor in.

      laneway home Vancouver updates March 1st

      Laneway Home in Vancouver

      After having some trouble getting a Vancouver drainage contractor in to dig the sewer trench for the laneway home to the front of the property, I decided to do it myself. I rented a Bobcat E35 and hit the controls. It is not hard to get to know, and  after about an hour I had it well under control. I had to start slow, and gradually build up my speed to what the pros can do. The only wrinkle was encountering a boulder the size of a small mini-van placed in exactly the wrong spot! It was right between the two properties, under a sidewalk on one side, and under a stone fence on the other, nestled close to or up against the foundations of the buildings on either side. I couldn’t remove it, blast it, go around it, or go under it. The only choice was to go THROUGH it! I hired Pacific Blasting to use their expensive rock drills and hydraulic splitter to crack the rock open bit by bit and we hauled the pieces out. You can get an idea of the boulder in the  picture. The good news is that it was a very good granite boulder, and yielded some pretty nice granite rocks for us to use. Some will be for decorative pieces, some for a retaining wall in back, and one huge one for a traffic barrier in the back lane. Take lemons and make lemonade they say! Anyways, everything went well and the city will do their hookups in three weeks or so.

      Joe on the Bobcat

      Joe on the Bobcat

       

      Pile of rocks from huge boulder
      Pile of rocks from huge boulder
      Huge boulder right between properties

      Huge boulder right between properties

        Work in progress January 2013

        Wow, had a great Holiday season and feel really rested up and ready to go!

        Below are some pictures of what we are doing now, a multimillion dollar mansion on Vancouver West Side. All work shown below is not the finished product yet, we still have to prime paint it when the weather improves.

        More crezone work

        more crezone work 

         

        Front entrance

        Curved front entrance ceiling

         

        Finished Curves

        Finished Curves

         

        Finished form

        Finished form

         

        Herringbone soffit

        Herringbone soffit

          Work In Progress, December 2012

          Picture 1: I took the first picture to show to show you what it looks like before we do anything. It is to be ‘dressed’ in a smooth paper-backed plywood called ‘Crezone’. When we are done it will be painted and be all smooth looking as if it were drywall, but with extra details. All the speakers, pot lights, and other wires are in place, and it took us about an hour to put some scaffold planks under the entire area to make it easy to work on.

          Picture 2: We applied the ceiling crezone first, cutting out circles for the protusions, and then started on the ‘beams’ that surround the area. In all, you’re looking at about 6 hours of work (2 people) to get to this point.

          Picture 3: Finally, after finishing, it is ready for painting. Notice the mitered corners, this is primo work.

          Vancouver deck details

          Back deck overhang – before

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

          Back deck overhang - in Progress

          Back deck overhang – in Progress

           

          Finish work

          the finished work

            Beware the repairman

            I recently watched a CBC Marketplace report called ‘When the repairman knocks’ about repairmen who were called to repair ‘broken’ items in a home. The fact is the items were rigged to leak/fail and the fixes were very simple to repair and required no new parts. CBC Marketplace placed hidden cameras and filmed these repairmen in action. The results were mixed and very shocking to watch. Two of them pee’d in the home, and not in the bathroom!! Video below: