Blog: Building Projects

TRC Timberworks is now a Licensed Builder!

TRC Timberworks is now officially a Licensed Residential Builder with BC Housing (formerly Homeowner Protection Office – “HPO”). This means that we can now make it easy for you to build your dream home. On top of the services of designing, building, and project management, TRC Timberworks can now pull your building permit and provide you with a 10 year home warranty program to protect your house.

TRC Timberworks is now offering full general contracting services, which takes the stress out of building your own home. TRC Timberworks can manage all of the details so you can relax and enjoy the process of seeing your dream home coming to life.

If you are thinking of building your home, or if you are looking for a registered Licensed Builder, give me a call! Tel: 250-551-6584

The Birth of a House

I often think that building a house is similar to the birth of a child.

The conception is the time when my clients dream about what type of house they would love to have. They look at websites and read books or magazines to gather as many ideas as possible that fit with their imagination and values. Then there is the gestation period – the drawings phase – where I work with my clients to get their ideas and dreams down on paper and fleshed out.

Then comes the actual birth, starting with the foundation and getting the house out of the ground. From there it’s like the child that grows up. Different phases continue on the house, the walls get built and the roof goes on. Then the building continues to grow with the addition of decks and siding and the windows getting put in. It keeps growing, with kitchens and bathrooms, flooring and trim, paint or plaster, until it is fully grown and the move-in date has arrived.

And just like raising a child, it’s a lot of hard work with many hard decisions, and a big investment of resources. In the end, all of that hard work pays off and my clients get to enjoy the fruits of their efforts! And the best part is, every house that I build is just like a child, unique in it’s own special way.

This photo shows the framing being done on a straw bale house near 6 Mile, just outside Nelson, BC.

Carving a Spoon for Mom

I got inspired last winter to carve some spoons for gifts for the holiday season. My kids loved hanging out in the wood shop with me, and they decided that they wanted to help carve a wooden soup spoon for their mom.

Not only did they both participate in using the chisels to shape and texture the spoon, they also came up with the idea to carve a heart into the end of the handle. I was very proud of my son and daughter for listening to my safety expectations so that they could carefully use the sharp chisels.

I love teaching them how to use hand tools to create their own wood projects, because we get to spend that special time together and they feel so good about what they have made with their hands.

We finished the spoon with food-grade oil & beeswax finish, then wrapped it up to give to mom! Watch for the next blog to see a photo of it finished.

Sunshine on a Covered Deck?

This deck was a joy to design and build. The customers wanted to expand their outdoor living space, and they already had the deck there but wanted a covered area where they could bbq and hang out. Since the deck is on the back of the house in a shady area, they wanted to maximize the available light. This lead their decision to install clear roofing material, giving them shelter from the weather while still letting the sun through! The best part is that they are my neighbors, so from time to time, I will be able to go over and enjoy the space myself!

This deck is on an off-grid home in the Slocan Valley. I have had the pleasure of working on a few other projects in this house, and it’s great to see how the longevity of my workmanship is holding up over the years. I’ve been keen to watch how various exterior and interior finishes have held up, especially on highly exposed areas outdoors or high traffic areas indoors, as this helps me to offer other clients the best choices for quality finishes and application methods.

 

Kitchen Cabinets on the North Shore

These kitchen cabinets were a joint project: a custom kitchen designer from Crawford Bay, a cabinet making company in Calgary, and the install was done by TRC Timberworks. One of the biggest challenges was making sure that communication was working well between the customer, the designer, the cabinet shop, and the TRC Timberworks crew.

It turned out really well after a few hiccups, and it was great to work on the North Shore of Kootenay Lake. There are a lot of interesting homes along the lake – even an old ferry boat converted into a house, overlooking the lake!

It was such a pleasure to install this kitchen. Everything about it was high quality: the cabinets, the hardware, and all the slides and hinges. And all of the cabinet parts were cut precisely, which made for a fast install. Once everything was installed, it looked amazing and the customers were super happy!

 

Hybrid Post & Beam

Working with rounds is a lot different than working with square timbers. Layout is completely different: working off of chalk lines and carving the rounds down to square posts at the joinery took a lot longer than just working with square timbers.

Making the braces was a challenge in precision – getting the square part carved perfectly to fit the housing and then adding 45 degree cuts in the end really gave me a challenge! I cut all of the log joinery using a chainsaw to rough out the joints and then cleaned them up with an angle grinder fitted with a sanding disk.

The customer really liked the round look, so we used round logs for the posts and braces to give the house an open concept log home feel. However, since the square beams were faster to layout and cut, the hybrid of both square with round was the solution we came up with to work within budget.

This home will be an off-grid straw bale home, with clay plaster.

 

New Stairs at Christina Lake

What a joy to install a new set of stairs right on Christina Lake in the bright spring sunshine!

The front deck of the Sunflower B&B needed two sets of new stairs, plus new posts under the deck. When I took out the old posts, they were completely rotten, so it’s a very good thing the owner had me do this now.

The B&B is a beautiful log home, and these stairs lead to the lake, where my family joined me for a day to kayak and skip pebbles. We enjoyed watching a loon on water and a bald eagle circling directly above us, and at the end of the day I was able to take a little tour in a kayak with my son.

 

New Wheels

I found a great replacement truck, and even with the step up to a 3/4 ton, I’m pleasantly surprised at how good the fuel mileage is with the diesel engine.

I’m excited to try running biodiesel. Apparently biodiesel tends to clean out the fuel tank, so I need to be ready with a new fuel filter in the truck in case I have to change it while I’m out and about. Watch for me in a white truck now! Continue reading New Wheels

You’re Never Too Young (Or Too Old!)

Whenever someone says they are “too old” or “too young” for something, I wonder if the reason for it is really that they are afraid of failure or even afraid of success!

I have so much admiration for people who are open minded and willing to try something new – at any age. My daughter is not yet three, and there is no concept of “too young” for her. Continue reading You’re Never Too Young (Or Too Old!)