Saturday, December 29, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

During our first year of construction, we built a garage so there would be a sheltered place to work. Since the garage is meant to eventually house vehicles, we decided it didn’t need to be insulated. Now that we are working in Torrey throughout the year, we can see (or should I say feel?) what might be the benefits of a little insulation in the garage walls.

Our next winter house project is to make the inside trim for the windows. This is a detailed process, but, right now, the main challenge is the temperature.

As you can see, it is a balmy seven degrees outside. That equates to a balmy little-above-seven degrees in the garage. And the garage houses our woodworking tools - table saw, joiner, sanders, etc.

This heat wave necessitates the appropriate attire: down parka, down vest, insulated gloves, winter hat, eye protection and ear protection.

  Awkward but comfortably toasty...

Some Degree of Separation

Speaking generally, our house has three rooms: bedroom, office and living space. When standing in any of these three rooms, it has been possible to look through the trusses into the ceiling space of the adjoining room. The view is a beautiful reminder of the months of hard labor of previous years.

Several friends have suggested that we put glass in the open spaces of the king trusses in order to preserve the sense of openness. Although we do love seeing the result of our work, we prefer to clearly define each room by filling the openings in the trusses with a partition, thus providing a degree of separation from the activity in the neighboring the rooms

We considered using a variety of materials, but, not surprisingly, again opted for fact, the same bamboo we used for the ceilings in the kitchen and sun room.

Because the bamboo mats are flexible, we needed a solid and substantial surface to which to affix the bamboo. We chose oriented strand board (OSB) for this.
It was a simple task to cut the bamboo to fit the OSB.

Next we stapled the bamboo to the OSB. Through a mistake, we realized that the bamboo has a specific orientation that creates an obvious pattern. It is important for the pattern to be consistent across the truss. Otherwise it would look unprofessional. And, even though we are amateurs, we don’t want the house to look like it was built by amateurs.
Scott was happy that we were completing this part of the finish work because we were on ladders over a dozen feet above the floor.
The result was perfect! The bamboo is reflective enough to bring even more light into each room. In addition, it ties the sun room and kitchen together with a “bridge” of bamboo in the trusses. Even better, we can more precisely control the temperature in each room, the echo-y sound in the house is diminishing and, finally, it looks lovely.

Across Four Novembers

From the outside of our house, it has been very apparent that we have made an incredible amount of least for the first three years. However, when you compare this year’s exterior photo with that of the 2011 photo, the house looks ostensibly the same.
November 2012
November 2011
November 2010
November 2009
But, if you walk inside the house, you'll see a completely different story. This is where we focused most of our efforts in 2012.
November 2011
November 2012
It really is beginning to look like a house instead of a construction site!