Langley Visitors

Checking out what's new on the job site...

Newest Tool

Designed and built on site -- the perfect tool for bending the roofing.    

First piece of roofing...

Brad fits the first piece of roofing on main living's roof after carefully custom cutting the top end and folding it for the perfect fit.   Before walking on the freshly swept roof, Josh cleans Brad's boots (Hum, who is the stable boy?  Horse?).   In the background, Dan is working on tedious blocking. 


Machine Room

Strange how I've never before taken photographs of our machine room located under the guesthouse. This is the hub of many of our utilities and the location for our solar hot water tank.

Treating Floor

The concrete acid floor finish is being applied.  Interesting how much like our rusty siding it looks.


Little sections of our stream, designed to catch the roof water and carry it to our pond, are completed.  Foot-by-foot it is turning  into a natural looking waterway that Mother Nature would approve.


A "Wow" week of production!

This past couple of weeks have been high production. Brad has been completely focused on a million details; Dan has stuck to the cedar work while accomplishing other tasks of great significance in between; and Josh has been Josh-of-all-trades as he's worked various jobs like siding, insulation, and blocking. Carl has been getting the Milestone in the bathroom completed; Tim has been doing our metal work; Steve has almost completed the plumbing; and Ed has been continuing electrical after work in the evenings. And me, I've been doing this and that to support the whole operation. It's an exciting time as the pieces come together and we can actually see a time when we'll be residing at Grace Lane.

Our appliances were delivered this week. The concrete floors will be stained this weekend. Next week the sheet rock will go on the ceiling; the interior siding will go up; and the roofing will go on. Windows will be delivered shortly as well so we'll soon be enclosed. And, the Murphy bed is due to arrive any moment to enable the continued construction of cabinets in the guesthouse.

The to-do list is still very long but the end is in sight which gives us great pleasure but sadness as well. This building process has been full of huge feelings of pleasure, stress, happiness, and confusion, to mention a few. We'll miss the day-to-day challenges but we know we'll thoroughly enjoy living in this piece-of-art home we've created with Brad's amazing design, vision and construction skill.

Remember the old barn roof?

Our new main living building suddenly looks old but oh so neat!  We're using the  Island County Fairground's old roofing for our siding, after  a bit of reworking.  The edges have been folded so the pieces are interlocking and the old screw holes have been filled.  At the top  the old roofing slides into folded blue steel for a clean crisp look that secures it without screws.  At the edges there will be folded blue steel that will wrap the corners butting neatly into the doors and windows.  The steel will also slip into the folded roofing edges (now siding edges) so no screws or holders will be required.  To secure the middle, clips (Brad is holding one) are used underneath, screwed to the walls, but hidden from view.   Josh and Brad installed the south side's siding in a couple of hours yesterday.  

More Recycled Cedar

"Library" wall.

The ceiling of the bathroom, with fan still not hooked up or covered and the walls still drying before the scribing and new coats of color and sanding.

Bathroom medicine cabinet.


More of the Milestone

With all the layers and layers involved in the Milestone process, quite a mess is created.

Carl takes a swing break from a weekend of almost nonstop work on his knees. 


Gretchen, our neighbor, checks out the progress.

Milestone Process Continues

This is the first coat of concrete mixture with the green under color.  This layer will change as it gets layered with other colors, scribed, and sanded.

Carl is the contractor/artist performing this complex feat.

Our Milestone Bath

The guesthouse shower/toilet area is becoming a "wet room" with the floor and walls completely waterproofed and draining.  The sink area also has a Milestone floor that will drain into the shower area.  There are layers and layers and layers that are being added by Carl Magnusson to insure the water tight system.    Some of the steps follow:

1)  First stage plastic barrier on the floor and then wire, followed by a dryish cement mix.

2)  The cement board walls get taped.

3)  Then, back to the floors, brownish waterproofing  and then netting to help hold it all together.

4)   Netting on the walls with more waterproofing -- lovely pink.

5)  Green waterproofing followed all the other layers...


Main Living Engineering Questions

Main Living looking west.
Brad here with a few thoughts for Michael of Reed and Associates, Engineers.  According to Langley's inspector,  a roof must have a ridge beam.  As you can see, this one does not.  Does this create a shear problem at the top of the ridge where the rafters want to twist and if so, would blocking fix it?  Our inspector would also like to see gusset plates or strapping between the rafters at the top.  Keep in mind the distance of beam to ridge along the line of the rafters is about 6.5 feet, 5 feet true to the earth.  With 2x8 rafters at 16" o/c, it feels rock solid but needs the blessing of an engineer.

Also, as you can see, I don't have bird blocks at the overhangs on the east end or  anywhere along the beams on the outdoor porch. The issue here is that there is no shear transfer to the beam out at the ends, and no shear walls in these areas either.  It seems to me that the loads can transfer along the plane of the roof to the blocks over the walls.  My reason for no bird blocks   is aesthetic.  The overhangs and porch are more pleasing without blocks, allowing more light to come through.

Builders note:  the approximate 20x40 foot roof felt super solid with three guys up on top throwing materials around even before all the plywood was nailed off.  With the plywood there is no movement. 

Main living from the east side, looking west.

Main living rafters and ridge looking east.

Main living looking west out onto porch.

Main living looking north.  Intersection of indoor and outdoor space.


Guesthouse Lighting

Bathroom Vanity Lights

Ceiling Light & Fan

Porch Light


Guesthouse Bookshelves

No book shelf wall is worth having if it won't hold weight.  Here's Brad giving our new book shelves the test.


Machine Room

The machine room in the main living building now has a door installed.

Bath Recycled Cedar Ceiling

The beautiful guesthouse bedroom cedar ceiling has moved on into the bath.


Extending the Lawn

Seeding a new lawn to connect our small existing lawn with the main living outdoor patio was completed on Saturday.  With the rain and sun and warm temperatures we're hoping for quick germination.   This picture was taken standing on the main living patio.

Just Rain Water...

The pond is filling up quickly with just the rain of the last few days.  

Guesthouse moves forward...

 Both the new  cedar ceiling and new ceiling fan/light looking pretty sharp!

Guesthouse Ceiling Fan and Light

Brad and Ed work on installing the new fan/light in the guesthouse this afternoon.


Congratulations Mr. Ed

The main living's electrical rough-in and service inspections passed today!

Guesthouse Ceiling gets better and better...

Dan is puzzling the next move -- cedar around the light fixture.