Broadcasting from Nelson BC


It has been a busy summer, as you can well imagine. By necessity the blog was put on hold while we raced to get the roof on before the fall.

We reached that goal last week and I can now take the time to bring the blog up to speed.

At the end of the last post we had finished the excavation and the Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), had been delivered to site.

At that point we began forming the footings and setting up the ICF.

Creating footings requires a series of accurately placed string lines and the use of lasers. This is a critical point in the construction process, as the accuracy of the footings influences the rest of the construction process.

Our crawlspace has a “walk-out” condition on the north, so we needed to build a step footing that ensured a uniform 2′ depth, keeping the footing below the frost line.

Our decks are supported by concrete columns which bear on large concrete footings. All of the footings contain substantial amounts of steel rebar to give them tensile strength.

Our friendly concrete truck driver. He actually was pretty friendly.

Vibrating the placed concrete.

The completed footings. The vertical rebar tie the walls to the footing.

Max and I determining the height of the column formwork.

The completed ICF’s and column formwork.

Patrick and I building last minute formwork for the stair base. Patrick is our “local design/build” partner in Dawson Creek, and partners with Max in “2-stroke painting and contracting”.

I want to take a second to mention Kahlin Supernault. Kahlin has worked with Max in the past and spent about two months on the site this summer. We were happy to have him around and sad to see him go. At the end of August Kahlin went back to school to study Hydrology. Good Luck Man!


“We need to put that there!”

Patricks’ son helping out.

End of a long day.


Next up: Floor System




  • Keiko on Oct 22, 2012

    Love Harvey’s comment below! It’s really amazing to be walked through the details of the project. I never considered just what it takes to build a house, the level of complexity and detail. It is awe inspiring.

  • Harvey Armstrong on Oct 22, 2012

    I can’t believe you guys went to all that trouble. When we built our building, we just used a clear garden hose for a level. For tensile strength we just added rocks to the concrete. That actually didn’t work out so well.