Brad, the master of detail...

These posts will rise out of the ground and disappear into the wood with no obvious attachment at either end. The top of the posts is especially amazing as the wood is not drilled to hold the wood. Instead, a bolt comes in from above to firmly secure it.


Guesthouse porch posts

Brad and Josh are setting the steel posts for the guesthouse porch. As with the main living wing, the posts will be in pairs. So, two down, two to go...

Lupin Meadow

On the east side of our property, where we had the wildflowers last summer, the lupin have come back in great glory. Seeding wildflowers is a delightful way to control construction compaction, erosion and mud.


Trim and Vegetables

The cold frame is getting trimmed out by Barb this week. As we work to finish up this darling building it is growing basil, tomatoes and peppers, along with lemon verbena, lemon grass, and a lemon tree. The soil is holding at 60 degrees, 6 inches deep. Outside, up come the peas (the first batch having mostly given up due to our cold, cold spring -- even for peas), beans, corn, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. The spinach, lettuce, beets, kale and chard are ready for thinning. The potatoes are looking hopeful and the asparagus, planted when the apple blossoms were on the trees, is still not visible. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are all blooming, as are the onions and leeks. Garlic is plumping up and even our new little peach tree has blossoms. It's a wonderfully rewarding little garden. We already have plans for expansion next year.


The beams for the main living wing are so large that there needed to be a method for holding them and moving them forward as they were fed through the band saw for trimming. Brad and his dad came up with this great roller system, using the vaults for our dining room tables and welded roller brackets. The rollers were ordered three weeks ago and were to have arrived a few days later. Ed was finally able to pick them up in Everett last Thursday. On Friday Barry, Nate and Brad built the first of the four roller systems. This week Brad and Josh have finished the final three. Now, with all of us pulsing with excitement, the beams can be cut and put in place.

Green Realtors

Shellie, Matt and Linda, green realtors interested in our project, visit with Josh and Brad on Friday.

Brad, Nate & Barry

work last Friday on welding roller-stands to carry the load as the huge main living beams are bandsaw-trimmed.


View from above

From the upper level of the barn, our vegetable garden and cold frame to the north and our guesthouse and main living slab to the east. The beams, cleaned and ready to go, are under the tarp to the right. These beams were collected from a Seattle warehouse several months ago.

More Recycled Wood

We've just received another load of recycled lumber from Tacoma this week. Brad and Josh have been sorting, grading, nail pulling and cutting off bad ends.


Josh's Family Visits

Josh's family are some of our first visitors to walk across the bridge between the guesthouse and main living. Although the planks are not permanently in place, only resting on the bottom of the I-Beam, walking the bridge now feels secure and safe. Annie, however, has a different idea. She still thinks it's a very dangerous few feet.


Guesthouse Window Trim

Brad and Erin are adding the exterior window trim on the guesthouse.

Trimming-Out the Cold Frame

More waterproofing blue tape to cover, but the trimming-out has begun. Through the windows you can make out the bits and pieces of scrap insulation I'm using to insulate the cold frame. By the time we finish insulating our main living wing I should have enough scraps to finish up this building -- just in time for winter.

Second Beam

The second beam has just been added to the main living wing. This beam is another beautiful recycled beam from a warehouse in Seattle. It will support the roof over the covered patio.


Staining the guesthouse siding

The beautiful old barn siding we found in Whatcom County is getting stained prior to installation.

Recycled Beams

Here's our stash of beams collected over the past few months. Josh and Brad are sorting and selecting the beams for the living wing.

Putting the First Main Living Beam In Place

Josh needed to leave early for an appointment so Brad begged Glen, working next door, to help out, not being able to wait another moment before putting up the first beam on the main living wing.

Brad does some fine tuning to the new beam and then assumes the "on top" pose.


The walls are up...

Main living with bridge to guesthouse.
Three walls are framed.

Bridge from main living to guesthouse.

Four walls are framed, and that's it! The two ends of the main living building will be floor to ceiling windows.

Josh and Brad after putting up the second wall.

Mark checks out our progress


A Snug Guesthouse

Insulating the guesthouse is almost complete. The first view is looking east; the second looking west.

Can the Roof Be Far Behind?

The fun part about framing is how quickly it can change the appearance of a building. It seems like months go into the floor, and then, almost overnight, up go the walls. Brad, Josh and Katrina lift the first wall into place and secure it. Tomorrow, by the end of the day, all the walls will be in place. After that the really fun work of beams and rafters.