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Posts Tagged ‘sneek a peek’

House build update –

It has been a while since my last update. But now I have something positive to report. The house is almost gone. It seems like forever, and it has been. But we had to remove asbestos from the drywall and stucco before taking the house down. In the process I have learned a lot about this nuisance (asbestos), and for one, many many many small houses are demolished in Calgary, probably daily, asbestos and all. Not sure why this is still not regulated more, i.e. why a builder does not have to prove a house is asbestos free. As far as I could tell, all you have to say is NO on the form and sign your name. My biggest beef with the asbestos is the expense of removing it. If the government somehow got involved and regulated this service, perhaps the removal quotes would not fluctuate with thousand and thousands of dollars. It’s insane.


Here is the house, all cleaned up. I was very pleased at how clean the company: Clean Air Services, left the site. My only beef with them is they don’t accept credit cards for payment.

So here we are during demolition. The heavy equipment operator (who thanked me profusely for removing the asbestos) was kind enough to save me some cedar ceiling. I am hoping to make one of two benches out of that great wood.

Well you could say the asbestos issue was not a good start to the project… and it sure feels like I have to say goodbye to the Miele steam oven I have been coveting… a luxury I can live without. There are some things I am not willing to compromise on, but other things I can. There will be a lot of back and forth in the coming months as to choosing and picking materials and finishes, so many decisions to be made, and yes even for me it feels a bit overwhelming. But there is no going back now. One step at a time.

Stay tuned ~

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So here we are several months after my post about a dream come true… building a house where I can make all the design decisions, well within a certain budget. Since last summer we have accomplished a few steps towards starting the actual build.
* We interviewed several architects
* Met with a few builders
* Chose an architect
* Decided to not hire a conventional builder/contractor (for a variety of reasons)
* Decided to be a contractor with the help of a friend/contractor to oversee me (I want to learn)
* Made a decision and a promise to myself not to get stressed out (it’s bad for my health and family)

Tom Chute of Marre Design is who we felt the most connection with after interviewing and meeting a variety of architectural firms. After several meetings and brainstorming and looking at a lot of pictures, we ended up with a Scandinavian inspired home (surprise). For the outside we knew we wanted a contemporary-style white building with wood details. However we did not want a flat roof and no concrete and no rock/stone. Most homes in Calgary include some sort of rock and many modern homes include concrete… but we know we did not want that as an exterior material. Both my partner and I liked the first draft we were presented with. Either Tom read us well or we are just gave great instruction… A few modifications have been made since this first rendering below (more windows for one). In our current house we lack sunlight, which I really miss, especially all those months when you can’t sit outside (like 11 out of 12).

Here is a sneek-a-peek of our house. What do you think? Too modern for Calgary? Too much like the 60’s. Do I really want to know? 😉

The back

South wall

The front
South side has an additional three windows.

Next steps
* Wait for the building permit
* Source materials to firm up budget i.e.
– decide on building method (i.e. can we afford floor heating on every floor? Can we afford blow in insulation etc etc)

We want to build as ‘green’ as we can but many times sadly the budget does not allow for the greenest building methods and materials.

The most fun part for me is planning the interior… and believe me I am already, every day, in 3D and in my head. Stay tuned.

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