The House: Framing the First Floor

The House: Framing the First Floor

This post is a bit long, so feel free to skim through it. I wanted to get a record of the framing before they start building the roof, so it’s not intended to be entertaining.

It’s been several weeks of framing and the crew is just about ready to start building the roof over the first floor. It’s been a lot of fussy work as they prepare the steel beams to take the framing, build the walls and then set them all up. As well, the weather has been a mixed bag. We had two days of the atmospheric river that caused major flooding around Hope and Abbotsford, but then it got sunny and mild, practically t-shirt weather. The bluff seems to handle large amounts of rain without too much pooling or any erosion. The ground seems very porous and where there was a bit of pooling, we will be able to handle it by putting in French drains and keeping the water away from the house.

Now that the walls are up, it’s much easier to tell how big the rooms will be and what kind of views we’ll have when the house is finished. The combination of the two parts of the house stretches out much more than I ever anticipated when we were working with the architect. When they build the roof that connects all three components of the building the true scope of the house will be more obvious. But for the time-being, I’m a little gob-smacked.

The Entry

The front door and entry hallway into the house will have a large 16′ window against the North wall (last picture above). The entry way will include a long bench/reading nook beside the front door and an 8′ desk. The front door will be mostly glass, so you’ll have a great view down the hallway, out the door and along the front of the art studio. The plan is to plant a Blue Spruce at the end of this view.

The Media Room

Turning left at the end of the hallway will take you to the media room. Mitch has big plans for a really big flat-screen TV, a powerful sound system and lots of comfy chairs. Since this room has eight feet of sliding doors, we’ll probably need to get some good curtains. This room will also serve as a backup guest bedroom.

The Pantry and Mudroom

Turning right at the end of the hallway will first take you into the pantry room and the second door will take you into the mudroom. This is the back-door into the house off the car port. This L-shaped room will also serve as the laundry room, freezer, and storage room. It’s also the room where boots will be flung off, coats will be strewn.

The Big Room

The entry of the big room is just to the left of the front door. This room serves as kitchen, dining room and living room and is all about the views across the Salish Sea. The first photo above gives you a taste of this view. Both the South side and most of the East side of this room are going to be either sliding doors or big windows. The sliding doors to the South and the East, will create a smooth transition from indoor living to outdoor living. We’ve also added an eight foot sliding window to the East wall of the kitchen. This will open up the kitchen to the outdoor dining area and serve as a big pass through window when eating outdoors. You can see the big kitchen window in the last picture above where Mitch is pretending that he’s just finished cooking a big dinner and is ready to hand the platter of food out the window. Go chef Mitch!

The Art Studio

The art studio is now fully framed and they will start putting the roof on next week. Now that the structure is up, this part of the building feels like a little stand alone house. The loft is going to make a comfortable 8.5’x12′ bedroom with the stairs up to the loft against the tall wall on the North side of the room. This room has been designed to maximize the North light for the art studio area, but there will also be a sitting area in front of the big picture window just beside a small fireplace against the East wall. From this room there is a hallway that goes past the bathroom (we are planning to install a steam shower here – perfect to warm up after a long winter beach walk). At the end of this hallway is another large room that was originally intended to be Mitch’s office, but is now going to function as a TV room and spare bedroom.

This part of the house should also function if we have a power interruption. The fireplace in the art studio will heat up the rooms and because the stove in the art studio is propane, we should be able to cook in the Art Studio kitchen, even without electricity. So, if there is a big power outage, we can move into the art studio and live comfortably while we wait for the power to return.

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