Blog: Carpentry

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.

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!

 

My Son’s House Art

Since my woodworking shop is in the bottom floor of my house, my kids spend a lot of time in there with me. They both have a set of ear muffs and a few tools. My daughter “sets up shop” on the big flat table saw bench (blade retracted, don’t worry). She might sand or saw things with me for a bit, then she brings down blankets, pillows, books, art supplies, and snacks. She plays make believe games, calling her friends on the “phone” and inviting them over to have tea.

My son likes to work on projects at the work bench. Underneath my chop saw, there is a big tote bin with the cut offs from various pieces of wood. He sorts through them and finds ones that are interesting, then makes wood art – like the one you can see in the photo. (This process was inspired a few years ago by his one of his art teachers Nancylee Smith). The project you see is a house that he built himself. He also sweeps up the saw dust on my shop floor for a loonie (he’s saving up for a mountain bike). Pretty soon he’ll be planing timbers with me!

I love seeing his initiative and his creativity. And I love having both him and his sister hang out in my shop with me!

Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

It was my special honour, and one I didn’t take lightly, to craft a memorial urn for a dear friend after her passing. I suggested that a carving on the top of the box would add a personalized touch, and after scrapping several design ideas and one false start on a carving, I came up with this design.

My friend loved dragonflies and lotus flowers, and I wanted to incorporate both. The wood for the carving is cedar, because I liked the colouring of the cedar contrasted with the red colour of the African padauk wood lid.

The urn is finished with natural wood finishes (tung & linseed oils and beeswax), and it is appropriate for an eco-friendly burial of a loved one’s ashes, especially if the loved one was not embalmed or was embalmed with non-toxic chemicals. Continue reading Lotus & Dragonfly Carving

Wood Urn ~ Maple & African Padauk

Wood Urn ~ Maple & African Padauk

This wood box urn is made from african padauk with a liner of maple as a contrasting colour. The padauk is a beautiful red hued wood, and the natural oil and beeswax finish really brought out the colour and grain. I also added several beads inlaid to the sides of the box as a special memorial – the beads belonged to my mom before she passed, and now they will help hold my friend’s ashes.

Using exotic hardwoods is not something I usually recommend, unless I know that the wood is not endangered or restricted. I feel it’s important to understand how our choices impact the world around us, including places that we can’t see or visit easily.

What are some of the factors to think about when considering whether a foreign-sourced wood would be suitable for a project? Continue reading Wood Urn ~ Maple & African Padauk

Beautiful Memorial

Beautiful Memorial

A memorial urn for a dear friend who passed last year. I was honoured to be asked to craft a special wooden box for an urn, and I really enjoyed the process of creating the urn, from choosing the right wood, to carving the top with some of her favourite images – a lotus flower and a dragonfly.

It meant a lot to me that I was able to give the box to her husband in person last weekend. I will post more photos of the urn in a few days so you can see the carving more closely.

~Tim

Young Protege

I love having my son around creating his own wood projects when I am in the shop. He has his own set of tools, and he finds scraps of wood in my recycle bin that fuel his imagination.

This is how I grew up — hanging around my dad’s shop while he worked on custom cabinetry orders. I didn’t realize until I started my own carpentry and timber framing business how much I picked up just by watching my dad and helping him here and there. Continue reading Young Protege