Ode to Ranger

July 16, 2014

It’s been a good run. Born April 4 2002 and taken into our care June 2, Ranger was a large part of our lives through the formative family years. Unfortunately, that run ended last Friday night (July 12) when he died in his sleep in his kennel at the cabin. He will be missed by […]

4,000 watts

May 3, 2014

We have finally been able to incorporate my 80’s style speakers to provide some kick ass sound to the cabin! It’s like a live Doors and Who concert every night (that my wife’s away). It was a bit of a gamble trying to incorporate a wood box with a stainless steel speaker stand and some […]

Nice legs!

May 1, 2014

Or leg in our case. At the end of last season we had a few warning signs that all was not well with the state of the existing leg. Purchased new as the latest and greatest composite product from Volvo Penta in 2004 and with approximately 400 hrs on it, the leg was showing tragic […]

Creeper at the Cabin

April 28, 2014

Spent 24 hrs at the cabin with the thought of fine tuning the exterior doors and installing 2 portholes. Many years ago a guy at dad’s workplace gave him 2 portholes from a tug refit. Dad had them under the old cabin and, before we took the old cabin down, we took them back to […]

Trying to Escape?

April 26, 2014

Mom and dad joined us for the Easter weekend, tentatively hoping to check on overall progress (brother Steve has been constructing on the other half of the site) and play some bridge. The weather co-operated, we kept the work to a minimum and got in a few hands of bridge so all was good. We […]

Wood Box

April 20, 2014

Now that we are getting to clean up the place and focus on some of the finer tuning aspects of cabin life, it was time to make a wood box that would look good and keep the chopped pieces dry on the back deck. We have tried to be creative in using all leftover framing/siding […]

Closets Organized?

April 12, 2014

Well, not quite. But the first of 4 is installed and complete and looking half decent with the fir drawers and stainless steel hardware. Actually better then the units we have in town. There is quite a bit of fidgeting with all the various components but now that the first is done I believe the […]

Anchors Aweigh

March 25, 2014

Almost. We spent a couple of days at the cabin for the first time since out New Years celebrations with the intention of getting things up and running. One of those items was the semi annual replacement of the anchor chain. Man it was as close as I have ever seen the chain to being […]

Wet Drawers

March 23, 2014

Well even though we haven’t been up to the cabin since New Years, Santa’s workshop has still been in production. Four closet organizers have been on the list and the fabrication is well underway. We are down to staining the pieces and then install. We have 16 drawers in total and the mass of the […]

Polar Bear

January 4, 2014

While Pete, Dana and I recovered from the prior evening of partying like it was 1999, Sophie was focused on one thing for New Year’s Day – being the first one to dunk in the ocean for 2014. As the rest of us watched tentatively in the drizzle, Sophie did indeed take the plunge and […]

Let’s Eat!

January 4, 2014

Some of my favourite words to hear… One of the projects we have been working on in town has been the new dining room table that had been milled out of the cedar slabs we had been storing for many years. Well, 7 coats of varnish later, the project was complete and brought up with […]

The Mistral

January 4, 2014

Well, things have slowed down a little bit at Santa’s workshop but he did manage to create a lovely bench seat that is now fondly referred to as the Mistral. Made to satisfy the utmost of lounge lizard critics, this comfortable recliner has its cushions made from my first windsurfing sail, the Mistral Malibu. I […]

A Little Cozy

November 21, 2013

This space is getting very close to compete – subject to some home made furniture projects tbd. This part has gone relatively smoothly. The only minor problem was that we had to take the fireplace doors into town as the paint peeled off one door right from the get go. Regency took them back and […]


November 21, 2013

It’s official. We received the Occupancy Certificate from the Sunshine Coast Regional District on November 5th, 2013, approximately 8 months after breaking ground. Once the handrails were completed over the thanksgiving weekend, the building inspector came out to do a final check on things. All was good with the project except for some missing paperwork […]

Love Handles

November 12, 2013

Dana and I spent the weekend at the cabin at a more relaxed pace as the last time we were up we worked till the last minute and left in a hurry. As winter is quickly approaching, we are a little worried about how things will fare as the temperature drops along with the usage. […]

Remembrance Day

November 12, 2013

I must admit that when Remembrance Day comes around every year I mostly think about my grandfather. He was my only real connection to war and to the understanding of the sacrifices made by many to serve our country. War experiences were rarely discussed (and we were too scared to ask) but the sense of […]

Value Added Slabarama

November 2, 2013

We have been storing three cedar slabs that Dad and I milled probably ten years ago with the thought of eventually turning them into some cool furniture project(s). Well, that process has begun. It was time to get started on making a little furniture for the inside of the cabin and one of the priorities […]

Wood Pile

November 2, 2013

Mathew has been up to chop some of the wood we have stockpiled during the initial clearing process. We have a few cedar, fir and alder logs that have been saved for purposes yet unknown. Furniture and firewood are two such purposes at opposite ends of the spectrum but firewood takes a little less thinking […]

Fall in the Forest

November 2, 2013

Dana’s forest is setting up for some beautiful fall colours. Unfortunately, not all the trees planted still have their leaves on to change colour as the deer managed to get inside the fence a while ago and eat all the leaves on the vine maple trees. It was interesting that the deer went for only […]

Last Fuel Up

October 22, 2013

It’s been a record year for hours on the boat and fuel consumed. Probably three times what a normal season would have been. Gibsons has been the fuel choice destination to to the proximity, friendly staff and decent prices. The boat has suffered many indignities and blemishes along the way but has performed well and […]

Erosion Control

October 19, 2013

Dana spent most of an October weekend moving dirt, levelling, seeding and rolling the front and back areas with the hopes of getting the lawn to set up this fall and give it a fighting chance to get established before the Canadian geese arrive in the spring. We are experimenting in a couple of high […]

Failed Attempt

October 19, 2013

Darryl and I had planned to head up to the cabin just for the evening to install the shower glass now that it is all ready. Our 3pm departure time ended up after 6 as various work commitments got in the way. We were going up on Darryl’s boat and he has just got it […]

Back on the Rails

October 16, 2013

Another weekend spent working… Likely the last for the season. I spent most of the time working with a precision handrail craftsman, Marcel, who has done most of my handrail work in town. Patience is a virtue that I am challenged to obtain and this work is very finicky. The end product looks good and […]

Mud Room Makeover

October 16, 2013

We spent a weekend with Dean who helped us put together the final drywall touches on the mudroom walls. This has been held off till the end of the project as it effectively blocks access (and sight lines) from the back door to the rest of the cabin. After trimming things out and adding a […]

The Sandman

September 20, 2013

Another milestone has occurred and this one gets us pretty excited. Ed from Dunbar Hardwoods has been up for a few days sanding, staining and oiling the fir floors. After much planning (mostly around getting a functional 220 volt power system up and running to feed the large floor sander) Ed was able to work […]

Stripped, Cleaned and Relaid

September 20, 2013

Mat wanted to get a little more work done at the cabin so, when we had an opportunity to reroof the shed, Mat jumped on it. We had metal roof panels prefabbed in town which we hauled up in the boat. The old duroid was stripped, the base layer prepped and then the new metal […]

The Art of Tiling

September 14, 2013

Roman and his son, Matthew, have spent a few days tiling the floors for the laundry, bathrooms, entries, shower and hearth. Roman has also put together the stone on the fireplace which is an art project all by itself. Things are looking good and complete except for a shortage of grout. It’s interesting to watch […]

Dirty Boy

September 14, 2013

When the barge came last week we had loaded 12 bags containing 2 cubic yards of soil each of turf blend (high sand to soil ratio) in order to level out and modify the grounds for growing some grass. The area has pretty much been a dust bowl for the summer but we are hoping […]

Work Visa Expired

September 9, 2013

The time has come where I am forced to make a decision about my mail order bride. On September 3, Dana’s 25 year trial period work visa has expired and I am now forced to marry her to keep her in the country. I guess I could let her go but after 25 years of […]


September 7, 2013

Roman and his son Matthew have been up to do the tile work – a couple of bathrooms, utility room and shower. We also set up the fireplace with a fireproof board known as wonder board. It is starting to take shape.


September 7, 2013

It’s been a while coming but the counters have now been installed. It was a long day for Gabor and his crew from Precision Stone – they brought their pick up to be loaded at 11am in Horshoe Bay and didn’t get back until 2am. We were at the mercy of the barge captain as […]

Labour Day

September 3, 2013

Ok. Mat and Sophie have decided that we are going to get her done real good and this meant cooperation. As it is September 1st, we are once again allowed to make noise outside so all guns were a’blazing. We switched over to the sleeping cabin and blasted off 3 of the building faces and […]

Gutter Guards

September 3, 2013

Our gutters are intended to provide drinking water by filling up two cisterns that are buried in the ground. The gutters went on at the end of May and, within two weeks, were filled with leaves. The water that ran out was brown and far from appetizing as drinking water. We had some perforated metal […]

Board & Batten

September 3, 2013

Finally, the board and batten siding sections have begun. We had Sophie and Mat helping as this was the last weekend before the kids are heading their own directions. It took us a while (and many discussions) to get things dialed in but we now have it figured out and got the east face of […]

Who Likes Mice?

August 29, 2013

We has another fun one the other day. After getting the kitchen cabinets installed it was time to put the stove in place. The stove had been sitting outside under cover for a couple of months as it had been shipped up with the windows. We uncrated the stove outside and noticed a bunch of […]


August 29, 2013

Looks like the deer have managed to break through the fencing and begin their attack on Dana’s forest. Seven or so of the maples have been severely munched and the tomatoes have disappeared. I have made a basic attempt to beef things up but my focus was supposed to be elsewhere on the progress front.


August 20, 2013

We spent the weekend painting a second coat on the exterior trim and installing the fir flooring on the staircase. All fir floor materials are now completed but the whole project needs to be sanded and oiled before it is done.


August 20, 2013

The upper and lower base units for the kitchen are now properly levelled and installed. The made in China cabinets look like they will be fine for cabin use. We are now awaiting the countertops which should be a couple more weeks.

Last of It

August 12, 2013

Looks like the last of the fir floor is now down in both cabins. We spent Sunday working the last details such as the trap doors and the landings. The only wood flooring work left will be to detail the stairs.

Fir Flooring

August 12, 2013

We had Mat and one of his buddies up for the weekend and focused on getting the fir T&G flooring down in the sleeping cabin. Blake really enjoyed putting in a little quality time with us as well as developing a trade as he is now finished with university and looking for a job to […]


August 12, 2013

Well, it finally happened. After looking at Sam and Mat’s pictures from Vietnam (where they had seen many of the concealed pits with poisonous spikes waiting for them at the base), Dana got it in her head to set a trap for me. She covered the hole with cardboard and lured me backwards with candy […]


July 26, 2013

We took a bit of a gamble with this one, buying all our cabinets from China. There is a local distributor in town bit the cabinets are sold in a knocked down packaged version and are shipped in direct from China. These were deemed the best value option as the units are built from plywood, […]


July 24, 2013

We had Dale, the salesman who has helped me over the years from the fireplace shop, come up to help install the two fireplace units we have for the main cabin. With what seemed like a million parts lying around to choose from, it was a good thing we enlisted his help to sort it […]

Laying Floor

July 24, 2013

We spent the weekend learning how to lay our T&G fir floor. As the focus is to get a kitchen to a basic functioning level, we were concerned first with getting the main floor installed. The product seems pretty decent (8-16′ lengths, 5″ wide, select knotty grade) and we glued each board down and then […]

Power Up

July 19, 2013

We have powered up the main cabin and now have lights in several rooms. This makes it a little easier as we ate now sleeping in the cabin (and a little safer for walking the bridge at night!).


July 17, 2013

Although my time on site is now drastically reduced as other in town projects take precedence, I managed to spend the day installing exterior door hardware in order to keep the doors closed properly and keep out the mice and mosquitos. We are now sleeping/camping inside but we like to keep mother nature on the […]


July 17, 2013

We have started on the interior trim in the main cabin with a similar detail to the exterior. Trying to keep it relatively simple with clean lines.

Spa Day 2

July 17, 2013

Needed to spend a day giving Dana’s baby the full treatment – acid stain remover, then a wash and followed by a wax. Worked the interior as well and cleaned up 4 months worth of neglect from transporting many people and their gear.

Where is waldo?

July 6, 2013

Dudes still at it over 25 years later.

OMG Still Painting!

July 6, 2013

July 2 and 3:  The labourer had envisioned this lovely, peaceful project of painting the cabins over the long weekend and sometimes what one envisions doesn’t quite come to be.  Well, very rarely, but sometimes the labourer has a tendency to be obsessive, compulsive and this was one of those times.  Having got to the end of the weekend […]

Extendable Rod

July 6, 2013

July 1: The labourer is very thankful to Jamieson for the present he provided before he left. Every girl should have an extendable rod. By now it has been held firmly for a solid 36 hours and it never tires. Seriously = rolling these very tall walls would be a bummer without it. After three […]

Vertigo challenge

July 6, 2013

June 30: I think leaving me the painting job (and leaving the country) was just another one of those “sink or swim lessons” care of Jamieson. With much sweat, shaking legs, and ‘just don’t look down’ mantras going in my head the big 20 ft walls got primed and painted and no it did not […]

While he rips she keeps things moving

July 5, 2013

June 29, 2013: Progress since JCM went awol (that is the client’s view anyway) has been the painting and staining. Starting with doors. Beautiful fir doors were stained by the labourer on site while Soph and Tiff got their grove going on staining the remaining trim boards. All the trim boards are now complete and waiting for […]

Hangin’ Doors

June 27, 2013

This was the last workday for a while. Dean finished with the drywall and Dana and I finished with the shingles and got started on hanging the interior doors. Still lots to do but we are switching gears for a while to regroup and refocus for the rest of the summer.


June 26, 2013

Well. Shingles continue to be the flavour of the day. I was back in town for a couple of days organizing another job but got back to shingling tonight when we came back up. The main cabin is now complete and the sleeping cabin is getting close. Dean is almost complete with the drywall.

Still Shingles

June 24, 2013

We spent the morning in town and them Dean and I headed out in the pouring rain for another afternoon of drywall and shingles. Wrapped up at 9 and then set up for a gourmet taco meal. Production for the week will likely be limited as time on site will be significantly reduced.

Spa Day

June 23, 2013

Not sure if it counts as current progress but we were still at Whistler after yesterday’s race and went to the spa for a massage (a Christmas gift from the kids for Dana and I). Hopefully this will speed up the recovery so we can get a little more done this week before the July […]

Tough Mudder

June 22, 2013

A little different day today. We signed up a year ago to do the Tough Mudder at Whistler so today was the day. As I haven’t run in 10+ years and have done no cardio for 4 months it was pushing my limits to do the 18km course while getting electrocuted and run through ice […]

More Shingles

June 21, 2013

It was actually a nice day today. The sun came out around 10am and felt pretty good for the first official day of summer. I was working on the shingles around the front of the house and that section is now complete. Dean is continuing with the drywall process and still has a couple of […]

Back at ‘er

June 20, 2013

Had a late start today as Dean and I worked yesterday and this morning in town and then had a slow boat ride up through a good breeze and a rainstorm. Dean continued with the mudding process and I managed to get the west gable end shingled. That should be it for siding with the […]


June 19, 2013

Dean is continuing to smile as the drywall gets further to completion. All corner beads are on and things are starting to look sharp although it will be sometime next week before its complete. I am still working on shingles and spent the day on the west gable end (the last piece of the high […]

High Altitude Shingles

June 17, 2013

It was like surgery today. We were jammed up hanging on a ladder hanging on the roof and hanging off a rope in order to get access to the small east and west segments of the upper shed dormer. Since balance was key and there was no way of putting anything down without it running […]

Father’s Day

June 16, 2013

What a Father’s Day it was. I had my trusty assistant, Dana, at my beckon call as she handed me shingle after shingle after shingle. We managed to get a good chunk of the top floor complete. Sophie decided she didn’t want to work this weekend so she concentrated on her tan. I was having […]

More Windows

June 15, 2013

More window treatment today. Dana brought up the extra trim so we could finish the casings around the exterior. Still short one piece but we are getting close. Dean has completed the boarding and has started taping until he discovered Cabernet Sauvignon and them all hell broke loose…

Onward Ho

June 14, 2013

It was time. To start the siding. So that’s the latest task to complete. As my logic circuit usually works, I like to do the difficult parts first so the rest feels easy. There are two high gable ends and the upper dormer that are the most challenging faces. The east wall is now almost […]


June 13, 2013

The drywall process has begun! Dean, the pro from Applied Drywall, has got the ball rolling and has the main cabin just about finished boarding. The sleeping cabin will be on the agenda for tomorrow…

Barge Boards 3

June 12, 2013

I know you have already seen the barge board movie but this is truly the last instalment. Both the main and sleeping cabins have two laps of these boards around their perimeters for a total of 412 feet. We had previously run out of materials and were reloaded with the barge arrival last Friday. Dana […]

Front Door

June 11, 2013

It was renovation time today as I decided it was better for all parties to renovate the front door opening to the sleeping cabin instead of having the supplier take it back and make another one ($2,000 cost). It took the morning to complete the reno and install the door and the afternoon to make […]

Back Door

June 10, 2013

All the windows and doors for the main cabin are now installed as well as rod and caulked. The rod and caulk is the final step in the air barrier which is designed to prevent air movement through the wall assembly. We had Marius’s guys (Attila and Max) up to work the caulking as they […]

Brown Streak Staining

June 9, 2013

Well, Sophie and Hailey spent the weekend rocking to country music, laughing hard and trying to limit the brown streak staining to all the finishing materials that came up on Friday’s barge. Dana had the pleasure if being my assistant as we continued to install the windows and she got to test her fear of […]


June 8, 2013

Have begun. Install with a bit of a learning curve and getting the assistant up to speed has been the biggest challenge. Having your wife as the assistant can be a test for the best if us but so far things are working out and windows are being installed.

Final Barge?

June 7, 2013

The barge arrived just before 7 this morning with what is hopefully the final load of materials. Windows, doors (interior and exterior), drywall, wood stoves, flooring, kitchen stove, cabinets and interior trim were all on board. Things went relatively smoothly as the smiling Ziggy worked his magic on the zoom boom and got her done. […]


June 6, 2013

It was insulation day today. We had a crew come up to install bats in all the walls and spray foam the difficult areas (joist ends and rafter blocking mainly). I had to make a run to town and spent the rest of the day cleaning up and preparing for our last major barge arrival […]

Another Brick in the Wall

June 5, 2013

We don’t need no education. I’m not sure about those lyrics. For all my education, building or otherwise, it can still be a thought process to put it all together from a theoretical, practical and affordable perspective. Still working on the envelope and we now have most of the Tyvek and rainscreen in place so […]

Humping Insulation

June 4, 2013

It was a beautiful day on the west coast – probably the warmest air temperature so far this year. Spent the day with the plumbers, Matt and Dave, who were tying in the water lines, pressure tanks and pump systems. I was focused on the west wall envelope, getting the rainscreen set. At the end […]

More Flashing

June 3, 2013

You know you are in trouble when even the deer run away from your flashing… The bulk of the band board and flashing are now installed and it is only the upper walls that need to be detailed properly.

Loose Ends

June 2, 2013

It was a strangely satisfying day as we worked at completing the items that were not quite finished previously. All the bathroom fan hoods were painted and installed and the final back framing on the interior was completed for both cabins. Speaker wire was run to the kitchen and living rooms as well as outside […]

Tying Her Down

June 1, 2013

It was another electrical day today but this time I was left with the easier task of tying down all the wires as the terminate in the outlet and light boxes. Julian did most of the switch tie downs yesterday but we are now complete for the rough in and the electrical is ready to […]

Happy Hour

May 31, 2013

The finest hour of the day. Brother Steve came up to join me for happy hour tonight as we had a decent day on site. The building inspector from the Sunshine Coast came by to do the framing inspection and all is good to go. Julian also came back for a final day to tie […]


May 30, 2013

Looks like we still have a few more days of envelope details before the real fun will begin – windows and siding. At this point the minutiae of these details can seem a bit overwhelming and endless but they are important and need to be done. From the psyche point of view, it is hard […]

Barge Boards

May 29, 2013

It’s amazing to me how much time it takes to get the details done (even after all these years in construction). I was focused on the exterior items that have an electrical focus – whether a light or outlet they need to have a separate detail and blocking to make it look good and rainscreen […]

Pullin’ Wire

May 28, 2013

Yes, it was one of those days where all you can think about is pulling wire. We ran feeds, outlets, lights and just about got it all done. With the experienced hands of Julian and Gary from Energy Electric, things moved along smoothly until we ran out of materials. Another man day should move us […]

In the Gutter

May 27, 2013

It was a rather miserable day for island life and I spent more of it shuttling back and forth with 4 boat trips. Jose was up to finish the gutter part of the roofing contract so we are 100% on the roof as of today. We also had Rick from Breeze Air Contracting help out […]

Rainscreen Details

May 26, 2013

We worked Josef’s magic again today largely focusing on the rainscreen details. Each window has an intricate overlapping membrane pattern that ties into the building wrap and then the rainscreen is added on top of that. Even with the 3’+ overhangs on the gable ends of the building the wind driven rain will get to […]

Envelope Guru

May 25, 2013

We have a special guest with an expertise in building envelope technology with us for the weekend. Josef worked mostly on the window detailing today and I assisted on the exterior rainscreen. Dana was promoted (temporarily) as the layout specialist for the start of the electrical program.

Good Help

May 24, 2013

Is hard to find but today was Mat’s last day before he heads off on his worldly travels and I will miss him and his assistance. He is now decking master and is pretty pleased that we managed to get all three decks complete before his time was up. We spent the night in town […]

Gas is Done

May 22, 2013

I know it’s hard to believe that I would ever be done gassing but all lines are now run and pressure tested along with the plumbing drain and water lines. Matt and Dave from Pacific Rim have been working hard for a few days to get the rough in complete. Mat and I were working […]

More Decking

May 21, 2013

Front deck is now complete, approximately 8′ by 40′ and completely covered by the roof. It looks good and should be very functional for the inevitable rainy days we see too often. We ran out of the special deck screws today (started with a 50 lb. box of epoxy coated trim head screws) and will […]

Deck Boarding

May 20, 2013

Unlike water boarding, deck boarding is a little more rewarding and is actually the icing on the cake as far as the labour goes. We spent the day on the rear deck of the main cabin and it is turning out quite well. The material was all prestained 4 sides by Beere Timber and looks […]

Mother and Daughter Reunion

May 19, 2013

The girls were doing what they are best at – digging. Dana complained about her blisters and Sophie told her to suck it up but the trench got done and there should now be propane for the BBQ at the deck. The teamwork between them was incredible. Mat and I worked in the joists for […]

Rear Deck

May 18, 2013

It’s party time on the island so we had an early work day today. Mat and I worked on the rear deck and Sophie and Dana were once again digging. This time it was a trench (18″ deep by 80′ long) for the propane line to the front deck for a little summer BBQ action.

Roof Done!

May 17, 2013

Well, the roof was finished today and it looks great. Plumbers were here as well getting the last of the gas and drainage done. I spent most of the day watertaxing but cest la vie.

Father and Son

May 16, 2013

Mat and I went to town last night to take care of business (the second night i have spent in town since February 28) and I have come back by myself for a day of getting ahead. It has been good to have Mat helping me over the last 10 days for several reasons: 1) […]

Belly Boards

May 15, 2013

We started the belly band boards on the sleeping cabin today and put up the first layer of tyvek. The roofers are continuing to cover but are running out of materials – tomorrow should be the final test.

Standing Seam

May 14, 2013

It’s starting to look like something up there. Jose & Co. were bending panels and installing all day after Mat and I finished off the penetrations in the roof, finished the waterproofing membrane around the penetrations and then did the balance of the isoboard and strapping to hold everything down. We then went back to […]

Man of Steel

May 13, 2013

Jose and his band of merry steel men arrived today to set up the metal roof. It was a fairly dismal day with major lighting strikes and downpours so roofing wasn’t the easiest task. It was a difficult day for me as well – 5 boat trips to Bowen and many interruptions made carpentry slow […]

Mother’s Day Special

May 12, 2013

Well – I hope everyone remembered their mother today and sent a little love their way. We started working on the envelope and deck structure while thinking about all the mothers that will enjoy it when complete. Managed to avoid getting wet after the heavy rainfall last night. The 1.5″ of rain was appreciated by […]

Took a Shot

May 11, 2013

Can’t really believe it but mat shot me with the nail gun today. He pretended it was an accident but the reality is that he has been working with me for 8 days in a row and he’s getting a little edgy. Good think the nail was only 2 1/4″ in 2″ of material so […]

Deer in the Headlights

May 10, 2013

Had a slow progress day today as I went to town first thing and didn’t get back till 4. Just about ran over a deer swimming between islands on my return – likely in search of food as the grocery store is pretty much empty over here. Mat worked on pulling branches to the beach […]

Shaving Foam

May 9, 2013

Mat has had a great day shaving foam sheets of isoboard in order to fit our intricate roof panels. We are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and should be switching gears tomorrow. Also had a couple of hours of chaos as the barge with the metal trailer and 3 tree […]

Still Cold Roofing

May 8, 2013

Hope to have things complete tomorrow as we have been working on insulating the roof from the outside for the last couple of days. Both yesterday and today we also did lumber runs to pick up more one by and two by fours. It’s always amazing to me how much lumber we started with and […]

The Cold Hard Truth About a Cold Roof

May 7, 2013

Well, the barge delivered 100 four by eight sheets of isoboard last night which we need to use to insulate the roof. The complication is that with the insulation on the exterior (so that the T&G ceiling remains visible from the inside) it needs to be cross layered and strapped onto the roof. Each sheet […]

Back Framing

May 6, 2013

The sleeping cabin is pretty much dialed in. Mat and I spent the day finishing the interior walls, including the sheer walls to keep everything up during the next earthquake. Mat has mastered both nail install and nail removal and I think he likes the former better. Beautiful day, went for another paddle but we […]

Crawl Spaces

May 5, 2013

Dana and Sophie were having a great time cleaning out the water and other remnants from the crawl space. I am told things are now so clean we can eat off the skim coat. This may be handy when we have a large group – we can have everyone in the crawl and throw scraps […]

The Kids are All Right

May 4, 2013

Mathew and Sophie have finally decided to come home from university and put in a little labour at the cabin. Mat was able to fire a framing gun for the first time and Sophie has been following in her mother’s footsteps by moving dirt all day. We focused largely on framing interior walls in the […]

Peel and Stick

May 3, 2013

No, it’s not a stage act but a membrane that’s used as an underlay to the actual roofing material. Jose and his gang from LCR Roofing came up today to get that job done which is a good thing as it effectively waterproofs both cabins. Stef and I were focusing on interior walls but things […]

Face e ahh

May 2, 2013

Otherwise known as fascia – it’s what we spent the day doing. Now all is up on both cabins and things are looking neat and trim. It’s a lot of work going up and down on a 10/12 pitch to put up these boards on the perimeter of the decking. I usually feel like a […]

Today’s Post

May 1, 2013

Spent the day in town today taking care of business and getting a new phone as my existing iPhone 4 had crapped out. Stefan was working on details left undone and things are really starting to take a detailed shape. We will focus on fascia details tomorrow as we are hoping to get the roof […]

Yesterday’s Post

May 1, 2013

Looks like yesterday’s post was lost in the ether. We finished the tongue and groove roof decking on the main cabin.

More Roof Decking

April 29, 2013

Today was an interesting weather day with strong nw winds blowing 30 knots all day. It made for an interesting outlook as the tide went out and the waves got bigger. I have seen a couple cool things in the last two days – yesterday there was a massive submarine on the surface heading north […]

Front Rafters

April 28, 2013

Today we worked mainly on getting the front rafters installed. There were 6 more rafters to cut to finish the front off and that is now 100% done. The only rafters left are 4 little guys to cover the fireplace ceiling. Back to roof decking tomorrow and getting closer to the roof.


April 27, 2013

Went from the back to the front today and set things up to tackle the remaining rafters covering the front deck and the gable ends. We are focusing on everything necessary to get a roof over our heads.

Tongue (and) Groove

April 26, 2013

Worked almost exclusively on the tongue and groove roof decking on the big 10/12 pitch over the rear of the main cabin. 10/12 pitch refers to a 10′ rise vertically for every 12′ horizontally. In our case, the pitch of the roof makes for a 22′ slope on the backside of the cabin and a […]

Game Day

April 25, 2013

You know the time when you have been training for a big race and the day is finally upon you? That’s what it felt like for me today as we worked hard to get all the rafters that had been cut over a week ago into place. After all the preparation things really came together […]

Big Tree

April 24, 2013

Gone. The guys took it down the big cedar at the front of the property today while I was in town. Looks a little different to say the least but it will provide more light. It’s the first time I’ve seen a fire survive the onslaught of high tide and continue to burn above the […]

Getting There

April 23, 2013

The roof of the sleeping cabin is almost complete. Stefen is in his element on a sunny spring day.

Roof Decking

April 22, 2013

We worked the sleeping cabin for the most part today. First the blocks for the rafters were installed and then we started on the roof decking. The material looks pretty good and we are getting it dialed in. The excavator also came by for a beam lift so now the front of the main cabin’s […]

Deck Beams

April 21, 2013

Worked on the attachments for the deck beam to post connections today. Everything was predrilled a few days ago and once the beams are placed on the posts (with the help of the excavator) they need to be fine tuned so the post and beam are flush with each other. As bulky as everything looks, […]


April 20, 2013

Spent the day on the sleeping cabin setting up the rafters. Dana helped me lift them into position and then we had to secure them in their final position. We have used a slightly different fastening technique than the usual. Beere milled fir cant strips to fill the angle gap between the top plate and […]

Packing the Rafters

April 19, 2013

It’s been an interesting week. We have experienced a huge variety in weather from sunshine to wind to days of rain and even hail. We have been focused on getting the rafter install started as they were all cut last weekend. The posts and beams had to be up first and we needed some help […]


April 18, 2013

Found a new buddy. Named him Wilson. Not sure if I’ve been shipwrecked too long or seen too many Tom Hanks’ movies but talking to Wilson seems to be a little better than talking to myself. He’s a little rough around the edges but he’s had a pretty rough life (kicked around a lot). I […]

Hi Beams are Showing

April 17, 2013

Good milestone today. The high beams on the main are in with a little help from Mike and Tyler and Brandon and Stef. The excavator couldn’t quite reach and when Mike decided to climb down the excavator arm we decided that maybe we should try a new tactic. With a little jostling and thinking we […]

The Posts are Here

April 16, 2013

Stef and I finished up on the post install today. Yesterday we did 8 and today we installed the final 16. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? Had to do another lumber run today so we are now good for 24 hrs. Looking forward to a little of Dana’s prepared meal package she left with […]

The Posts are Coming

April 15, 2013

Changed gears today and started working on the deck posts that will hold up the beams that will hold up the rafters that will hold up the rest of the roof. Stef has come up as well to give me a hand for the week and help keep things moving forward. The posts had to […]

Ridge Beam

April 14, 2013

Had a pretty productive weekend. Pete was a great help and enabled us to get the rafters sorted, cut, sanded, stained and stockpiled for installation. We also placed the sleeping cabin’s ridge beam and prepped the deck support beams as well. Now the entire remaining lumberyard is known and organized. We had intentions of getting […]

Rafter Mania

April 13, 2013

Pete and I went crazy on cutting up the rafters today. Managed to get 40 done so we have pushed her past the half way mark. Dana was very excited to be promoted from her dirt and wheelbarrow pushing to the glorious title of chief stainer.

Beam Prep

April 12, 2013

Set everything up scaffolding wize for the main ridge beam. Unfortunately the excavator broke down so we couldn’t get the job done. Did another lumber run and picked up buddy Pete for a little tennis action tomorrow. One of the wetter days so far.

More Windows

April 11, 2013

Had another crew that was working in west bay come over and help me get three beams to the top floor today so the centre windows could be finished off. I had been planning on getting the guys over a couple days previously but they have not been willing to come to the island as […]


April 10, 2013

Not my underwear (this time) but all of the cant strips the guys at Beere Timber had milled up for me on a C&C machine had to be stained as they were late for the prestaining plant. Got up super early this morning as the wind was blowing hard and I was a little worried […]

Profound Wisdom

April 9, 2013

As it struck a chord with me, I thought this would be an interesting quote to pass on from Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running away from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous […]


April 8, 2013

Ordered more lumber from BBS today and spent 4 hours and a couple of boat trips to get it all over. I really don’t like loading the boat with lumber, especially since the upholstery was redone a couple of years ago. The boat has been a real workhorse this season hauling lots of gear in […]

Four Windows

April 7, 2013

We put up the upper east wall today and then spent most of the time setting up the four windows in the east and west walls. Dana is loving her wheelbarrow so much that she was shoveling gravel the entire day. The site is now cleared of all the imported gravel and we plan on […]

Master Wall

April 6, 2013

Had a decent day today. The weather held (after an incredibly rainy night) and we raised the west wall of the master bedroom. Dana was grading again and Gary helped out with the tractor for a while. The grade is now good around both cabin footprints at this point.


April 5, 2013

Not much progress to report for the last two days. I went to town yesterday to take care of a few appointments and reload and get the taxes done. Hopefully the couple of days of light duty will help my body recuperate but things are a brewing for production to ramp up. It’s been a […]

Looking Like a Cabin

April 3, 2013

Had a relatively good day today. Feeling more energized and less back tension so things flowed a little more smoothly. All the exterior walls are up and the beam anchor points are set for the sleeping cabin. Lucky with the weather as it was another nice day and back to shorts and tshirt. Moving back […]

End Walls

April 2, 2013

Struggling today with the end walls for the sleeping cabin. Still putting in long days but nothing is coming too easily. Every wall is a non standard size so each stud has to be measured and cut individually. With the end walls, not only are they angled but an effective template must be made for […]


April 1, 2013

We ran out of lumber yesterday so first thing this morning we made a run to pick up another 10 two by tens so we could carry on with the wall framing. We now have the two main sleeping cabin walls up with the gracious help of our good neighbours – Peter, Hunter, Phil, Marilyn […]

Another Wall

March 31, 2013

Slowing down a little bit as more thinking than doing was required. Dana was still working the yard and hauling lumber so she is still employed.

Mail Order Bride

March 30, 2013

Well, I thought I should update you on my new mail order bride. After much procrastination I picked her up on Friday morning unsure of how it would all work out. It was a bit of a gamble but she came with a good assortment of food and beer and a reasonable attitude. Day 1 […]

A Bridge Too Rooms

March 29, 2013

Put the bridge together today. Our timber man, Craig Beere from Beere Timber, set us up with these hidden connectors known as Sherpas. They are a lot of work to put in, however. Each piece has to be routered in and for this to happen a jig needed to be made first. Everything needs to […]

Stairway to ??

March 28, 2013

Spent a long day building the stairs to the upper floor. I’ve always believed that it makes sense to get them in as early as possible so they can be used throughout the construction process. My knees have been feeling the crunch over the last week of crawling around, up and down just a little […]

Hold Downs

March 27, 2013

No, it’s not a wrestling move or a type of barn dance, but a device used to secure the main floor level to the foundation. In the event of an earthquake, the hold down is supposed to prevent the cabin from jumping off the foundation. In the main cabin we have 7 of these devices […]

Top Floor

March 26, 2013

Well, after much ass scratching, pontification, correction and labouring we managed to get up two walls today. It was painful for all of us as there was a lot of thought to make it all work. Not our most efficient day but the leading walls for the bedrooms are now up. Steve and Mack have […]

Bunky Time

March 25, 2013

After much procrastination and a few mistakes on my part, we decided we better get on with the bunky. We pretty much used up all our 2 by 10 on site which was a surprise as I thought we had ordered a fair bit extra. Anyway, by 715 we had the floor sheeted and were […]

Captain Splooge

March 24, 2013

Mack loves to splooge. It’s his favourite thing about laying the floor sheeting. I’m not sure if he likes smelling the glue or getting his fingers stuck together but he is keen. The upper floors are now sheeted and we will now focus on the walls. The sun came out in the afternoon to what […]

View From Above

March 23, 2013

Restocked and laundried today but the highlight was definitely getting our 2 big beams in today. We got lucky because Pete and Joe had a bunch of friends up and were kind and willing to help. It definitely made something that would have been extremely challenging and stressfull much less.

2nd Floor

March 22, 2013

Getting everything moving for the second floor. Joists are up but we need to get a couple of monster fir beams (8 by 12″ by 21′ long) in before we can continue with progress. Looking for some island help tomorrow so we can all practice our clean and jerk skills.

The Sun Comes Out

March 21, 2013

After a wild day yesterday and a rainy night, the sun came out to play today. Although it was freezing overnight, I was wearing long johns in the morning and shorts in the afternoon. Steve and I got the exterior walls on the main done and most of the interior. Check out the chief labourer. […]


March 20, 2013

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a major blockage? That happened to us overnight and boy did did it make us feel uncomfortable. Our grey water system in the main cabin decided it didn’t want to drain anymore so we spent the better part of the day figuring it out. It turns […]

First Walls

March 19, 2013

Worked on the front wall today and got her dialed in. Steve is remembering his framing roots from 20 years ago and thinking about quitting his real job. Check out the views.

Main Floor

March 18, 2013

Rained all night but we had a beautiful day. Mack and Steve helped put it all together so the main floor is now set. We are now off of the ground!

Final Grading?

March 16, 2013

Another full day married to the excavator but we are close to final grades. The front and back are close and the thing that got me most excited was placing the original fireplace foundation concrete from the original panabode cabin (which had been saved previously) as the base for the deck stairs for the new […]

Site Work

March 15, 2013

The bulk of the site work was completed today and buried. Water lines, electrical lines, gas lines an drain tiles were all run through and connected. Still have a bit more earth work to do and then we can move the lumber and get on the framing. Our trusty helper Mack and my brother Steve […]


March 14, 2013

Spent most of the day going to town and getting organized, restocked and spinally adjusted. We are now set for another week. The boys finished the septic field and tomorrow we will install the gas lines purchased today, finish leveling the site and place the lumber in more convenient locations so we can really start […]

Love Rain

March 13, 2013

Absolutely soaked through today. Nowhere to hide if we wanted to get anything done so we all got wet. The guys were here to start the septic and Mike and his son Tyler worked with the septic guys and also installed two 4500 litre cisterns on either side of the main foundation. The septic system […]


March 12, 2013

Ok. Wild night out there blowing east and raining hard. Hunkered down inside and thankful to have a warm place to hang in. Nothing to get super excited about today but I feel good about finishing the gravelling of the drain tile and actually starting the framing process by laying out the plates of the […]


March 11, 2013

Spent the day wrapping the foundation with “Superseal” – a dimpled product that creates a drainage layer between the foundation and the dirt that will surround it. If any water manages to get between this product and the foundation it will follow the dimples to the drain tile. As an extra precaution, a layer of […]

Layin’ Pipe

March 10, 2013

It was a drain tile install day. With my trusty labourer, Dana, we managed to get both the main and sleeping cabins complete. We now need to get inspections from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) before we can backfill and get going on the septic and rain water storage systems. It will be nice […]

Stripped Naked!

March 9, 2013

Dana and I stripped the forms today from yesterday’s pour and cleaned up the site. Not bad for a day in the sunshine. The styrofoam foundation system seems to have lived up to the hype. Things are clean, solid and straight – probably the truest formwork I have seen. Dana is continuing on her planting […]


March 8, 2013

Well, the sun came out and we had a big day. Got up at 430 and continued forming at first light (600) to be ready for the concrete gang arriving by barge at 9am. Three trucks, 9 guys and 6 hours later all was completed. The form system held up well and things should be […]

Solar Power

March 7, 2013

Steve and Kirk got the solar setup operational by the end of the day. I’m pretty excited about this as it will enable us to run all power tools off the inverter and minimize the use of the generator. The reality is that the generator is probably used 10% of the time it is running […]

Foundation Madness

March 6, 2013

Busy day at the office! The father/son team from FabForm (Rick and Joey) arrived on the 7 am ferry to get her done. As we are planning a Friday concrete pour, we still have a complicated day ahead of us tomorrow to get ready. Main foundation is largely complete but we have many posts and […]

Rock Pit

March 5, 2013

Kind of a dreary day today. Spent the last couple hours in the rain which poses some real problems with ranger as he has no where to go under cover when it rains. Once we get some sort of structure up we will build him a dry place to hide. The main excavation is now […]


March 4, 2013

Once Mike got the excavator welded back together, this was the final day of removing problem trees and their resulting clean up and the main excavation was then dug to rough grade. We will hopefully have the excavation work complete by the end of tomorrow. Beans and weins for dinner??

Beautiful Day

March 3, 2013

Woke up to a sunny sky and a 15-20 knot northwester blowing (it blew all night). We had a raging fire going all night and day to clear the brush and stump remnants and most of the pile is knocked down but the ash flow is everywhere. Unfortunately the excavator broke its track around noon […]

Where There’s Smoke

March 2, 2013

There’s fire. A little slow today – a few trees planted and a few removed and a slash fire started. Propane tank positioned. Good to have Dana out with me to keep me company and do some planting. My back is a little better today (I can walk) but still not able to do anything […]

And Another

March 1, 2013

Big Load

March 1, 2013

Big day today. Barge arrived at 7am with everything but the kitchen sink and was finished unloading by 3pm. Lots of chaos but things should now calm down. Trees tomorrow and a big burn. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in the afternoon so am a little worried about the next couple of days…

Initial Burn

February 28, 2013

Day One

February 28, 2013

Ok. It’s on. Took up the starter run today with a rainfall warning in effect. Boat ride was ok but it was a bit slow unloading in the rain. It was also a 2 barge day – one was getting loaded in horshoe bay and another dropped off the excavator, truck, water tanks, septic system, […]

Pre Run

February 25, 2013

Went up today to take a load as there is too much for one trip. Barge day is Friday so we’re getting close. The pan abode has been removed and the remnants are soon to be burned. This is what remains. The hardest part for me is the fond attachment to the fireplace for historical […]

Getting Ready

February 23, 2013

Beautiful day to get Dana’s boat ready for the busy season! Mat and Soph love to learn how to wash and wax and work together… It was actually nice to get the kids out and do a little something productive with each other on their reading week.