Wednesday, March 25, 2009


We would love to have a yard and better area for Roland, but do we want to spend the time and money? It's a lot of work, but then again we know we're capable. Last year we put in a treated wood 70 foot retaining-wall raised garden, and a brick retaining wall path in just one weekend. I've sketched out some rough plans from an overhead view. The things that don't currently exist are:
  • footpath
  • boardwalk
  • brick steps
  • lawn
  • fence
The fence is about 500 feet long. That alone could be a lot of work!

Click for a closer look (updated with dog house and split rail fence):

Below is a cross section of the dirt work plan to flatten an area. Essentially I'd be cutting out a triangle from the top and placing it on the bottom.

I've made an updated version as an option. This moves the yard higher, more accessable from the house. It should work as long as there is a row of natural trees between the steep slopes below the parking area and above the lawn to prevent any erosion

The darker shaded grass represents the steep slopes, and the lighter shade is the usable lawn area

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I just installed some wooden blinds to help control some light, and warm up the living room some. I lucked out, a couple custom cut returns were the right size so I got them half off. Only needed a little shim, which will get hidden behind the top trim.

winter pictures, future plans

This blog doesn't have many pictures from the outside of the house, so here are a few new ones I took this morning.

This summer we're debating whether we should flatten out a spot below our house for a lawn.

Original land. It's fairly steep, though it doesn't really appear so.

I photoshopped a flat area to the right, with the spruce tree in the middle of it.

It's easier said than done. Since our lot is steep, we'd need to make a switchback path, stairs, or both just to access the lawn. We'd have to remove some trees, but there is a natural clearing, and we will still have great privacy. If we cleared an 80x150 foot area, we could flatten about 40-50x150 foot area. The rest gets used up on the inslope and outslope needed to create the flat area. Basically above and below the flat area become steeper. Still, this is about the size of a city lot, and it would be nice for summer get togethers, playing with the dog, etc.

Hindsite is 20/20, but had we anticipated this, and our budget, we might have built the house with a daylight basement, wich could have walked out onto a lawn without the steep slope.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last fire of the season

Today we had what is probably the last fire of the winter. When it's above zero, the house gets too hot with just a small fire going, especially this time of yyear when the afternoon sun helps heat the place. I didn't want to end the season with small fires, which can build up creosote, so I had one last hot fire. We also rearranged the living room a little, and I like it a lot, it makes the stove more of a centerpiece and seems more open. Roland, as usual, likes his rug and the fire.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Irksome detail finally finished

While we've finished 99% of our house, a few tiny details remain. One that has bothered me is the baseboard trim. It's not that it wasn't installed, it just wasn't completely done. We painted it and installed it last year, and then caulked the seam . The caulk remains flexible, and as a side effect is slightly sticky. Because of this, it attracted dust like a magnet. Or something, magnets don't attract dust. And our house has plenty of dust, dog hair etc, thanks to Roland. But anyway... We finally took the time to move furniture, thoroughly vacuum, then clean the baseboard, caulk the nail holes, and then paint it. I had to get some paint matched since the store we originally bought paint from went out of business.