Project Journal

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2014
Its been quiet since my last posting.  Although I did not get a chest 'infection', the flue going around does have a really strong chest cough component, especially for people with bad allergies or asthma issues - so I ended up spending another week basi
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A very poor week

December 14, 2014
This week lunged off the rails early and continued plummeting down the canyon walls until it splashed into the river below at the end of the week. The first warning sign was last Thursday as I turned into the neighbourhood, all of the warning lights an
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Footings Continue

December 6, 2014
Yesterday I was only able to finish the jog in the footings by the NW corner and place one module on the North wall.  This was a disappointing effort brought on by a series of brain farts. I was laying out the first of the legs of the jog and for some
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Yeah Rain!

December 4, 2014
In a million years, I would not have ever believed I was happy for the rain - but today I was thrilled!  You see I got the rain beat. The tarp sheds water well without any pooling.  The pit base has enough gravel that even during a storm, the water w
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Firsts!

December 2, 2014
This has been a week or firsts for me. We had our first snowfall and the tarp survived.  It was straining mightily, but sustained no damage.  With the continuous freezing temps, much of the snow is still on the tarp in the form of crusty ice.  The r
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Floor Trusses Safe and Sound but am I?

November 27, 2014
What a day.  I am thankful I made it through it. Although as I lie in bed with my knees over a bolster,  after hanging on the inverter table for 20 minutes, after a hot bath, and after a heavy duty pain reliever, I am not so sure I have actually made
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Footing Layout Complete

November 26, 2014
Sorry for the delay folks.  Hard to believe a week has gone by since my last entry.  SO lets catch up. 20th - Electrical Inspector came by and approved request for additional plugs and some construction lighting. She also approved request to hook
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Mud is Vanquished!

November 19, 2014
As of this evening, I will no longer be worried about storm water or working in mud.  This week has actually progressed at what could even be considered a professional schedule! The E80 Bobcat arrived Monday morning and was quickly put to work removin
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Blackout

November 18, 2014
Sorry for the blackout folks.  My SHAW cable model flaked out yesterday afternoon and by the time I found out they were closed for the day.  I will provide a construction update this evening. Cheers
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Sub Slab Insulation – How to insulate around footings

November 14, 2014
I have had several of you asking "what's up?" so here is an update. Not much :-) The tarp repair went as planned on Saturday and was completed in under 3 hours.  The rest of the day was occupied with non-construction related tasks. Monday was a ful
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Huff and Puff

November 7, 2014
We survived the storms! Between the torrential downpours and the high winds, my site has been under attack.  But both I and my tarp have survived I am pleased to say. With 2.5" of raining falling in less than a 24 hour period, I would say the tarp has pa
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String Theory

November 4, 2014
The last two days has been all about laying out little orange strings that indicate the outside edges of my footing.  I had these dimensions identified by survey, instead of the actual foundation dimensions, to aid in the excavation.  Once in place, I w
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The B.A.T. flies!

November 2, 2014
Well, I am pleased to say the Big Ass Tarp is flying high once again - and this time it really does look to be here for a while. Thursday saw only an hour of time on site which was spent starting the repair of my landscape ladder.  The rest of the day
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Justification

October 29, 2014
About once a week on average I run across someone who questions my plans to build my house basically by myself.  The first question is always, "How long do you think it will take you?"  They then usually get around to recommending that I contract much o
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Relief

October 28, 2014
As I had hoped, I was able to finish my company books and file both my GST and Income Tax returns yesterday AM.  This is a huge relief and quite frankly was stressing me out more than the house build.  I could not just farm it out to an accountant becau
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Resistance

October 26, 2014
The last few days have been about prepping for the big tarp reconfiguration and further storm water management. Friday was spent cleaning up the pit floor (moving empty pallets, getting rid of debris, etc.) , trenching from low spots collecting water t
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I have a plan!

October 23, 2014
Yesterday I took back the winch I bought from Princess Auto and instead bought this Champion 4500 Lb winch from Canadian Tire.  It was regularly $399 on sale for $229.99 (cheaper than the one I took back). Yesterday afternoon, I tried it out and it di
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Excavation Officially Completed

October 21, 2014
On Monday AM in addition to prepping for my shopping trip, I also met with the GeoTech on site to review the status of the excavation. Ben from DAVIES GEOTECHNICAL INC. appeared satisfied with the efforts I had taken to address both Davies and the WorkSaf
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Slow but steady

October 21, 2014
I ended up not putting in as much time on the weekend as I had hoped.  I needed to spend more time on my company bookkeeping as they are more messed up than I hoped and taking a while to sort through.  I also took time out Sunday to celebrate my father-
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Bank Blanket Complete!

October 17, 2014
Well it has not been a stellar week from a productivity point of view, but progress was made and I am satisfied with that. From Physio and massage appointments for my back, to an unexplained Wednesday night with only 2 hours sleep leading to a zombie perf
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Hanging Around

October 12, 2014
Friday saw the start of installing the welded wire mesh over the excavation banks. I took a chance and hired two labourers from embers again. You may have remembered I was less than impressed with the last time I hired a labourer from here, but I re
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Grind of a day

October 9, 2014
Not a lot has happened over the last few days.  It was pretty clear at Physio on Monday that if I did not give my back some down time, things would rapidly get much worse (I have disc issues).  So I made the decision to take Tuesday off and just rest th
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Report Card

October 6, 2014
Tonight I also wanted to share some of my thoughts on the progress to date. This build is to be a showcase house demonstrating best practices for building envelope and house construction in general.  However I would say to date that although I probabl
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Progress – Finally!

October 6, 2014
Well I had a couple of people contact me advising that the silence was deafening and wondering if I was really busy or just fed up again.  I am afraid it has generally been the later but today finally was a semi-productive day. But first lets back up
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Tarp MD

October 2, 2014
Sorry for the lack of updates.  It has been a week of ups and downs and to be frank, I did not feel like talking about it. I arrived back in town Monday around noon and had a small rest before going to the job site.  I decided the best thing to focus
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Trop D’eau

September 28, 2014
As I sit here in sunny and dry Penticton, I think back to my last week on site which can only be summed up by "trop d'eau" or Too Much Water! Because the tarp was taken down for repairs, parts of the site were getting wet that would have otherwise stay
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Inspection

September 25, 2014
Well - I decided I had to at least try to fix the tarp and re-raise it.  I just cannot accept building a house that would be saturated for months.  I spent the better part of the day fixing the main tear and re-rigging one of the connection points.  As
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Shreaded

September 24, 2014
Well, it has been 6 days since my last entry because it has been a relatively uninteresting stretch.  As I promised myself on Thursday evening, I took last Friday off and actually spent the day sleeping and watching TV.  I really did not even spend time
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Dig Complete!

September 18, 2014
Well, I thought this day would never come.  I heard many times that 'tomorrow' would be the last day of digging, but the hole just kept producing.  Then over the last few days I kept hearing maybe 2-3 more loads, but the hole kept on producing. Well
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Blocks complete

September 16, 2014
Yesterday only saw a delivery of blocks to the site.  Diamond's crew were otherwise engaged on other jobs. I spent the afternoon putting in the blocks and back-filling behind them and had an early day. Today the final load of blocks arrived and I inst
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Blocked Up

September 14, 2014
Well I am happy yesterday is behind me.  It was challenging and stressful.  Both Parm's and Gary showed up just before 9AM (official Saturday starting time for construction based on District noise bylaw) with trucks full of concrete lock blocks. It took
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2 out of 3 ain’t bad

September 12, 2014
Both Parm and Gary reported in today.  Gary had a dump truck with a pup trailer and Parm, the big rock truck.  Young Parm was on another job.  They made good progress and there is probably only 2-3 big loads left including the dirt to remove when Parm
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Climbing mountains

September 11, 2014
Was just going through my time lapse pics and found the below. Now that is a climb! [caption id="attachment_1243" align="alignnone" width="300"] I have done 3 of these ascents now - still scary.[/caption]
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Water and clay don’t mix

September 11, 2014
Well, I got my wish today and had Big Girl all to myself for the entire day.  Young Parm came at about 4ish to haul away the only load for today.  I was able to scrape away the rest of the north bank in preparation for the blocks, finish excavating most
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Sumpilicious

September 10, 2014
Yesterday was more of the same but a slower haul day. All of the clay like material is going to Squamish to dump which represents 3-4 hour round trips. Garry was worry another site for most of the day and Parm was also absent, so it was just young Parm ha
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Rock Bottom

September 8, 2014
Just a quick update as it has been a 13 hour day and I am done. We finally hit bottom today. The last 2-3ft has been dense packed glacial till (think clay like material) filed periodically with some of the larger boulders of the dig. We are well past
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Tight Squeeze

September 6, 2014
Well we are almost finished digging the basic outline of the hole.  We still have to slope the banks and I have the Geotech coming Monday to discuss procedure to support Ron's house while we install the concrete blocks.  Lafarge continues to be extremel
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Cat Man

September 5, 2014
Digging is progressing well.  No hurtles or stumbling blocks.  Speaking of blocks, my geotech is insisting I need them in the areas that are vertical.  All the digging crew and other contractors that have stopped by are laughing at may saying no way wi
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Getting There

September 3, 2014
Sorry for the absence, it has been a very intense few days. As I wrote on Saturday, the excavate accidentally tore a big hole in the tarp.  I had to figure out how to repair and to also raise it up higher to allow them room to work.  I had already st
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Family help

September 1, 2014
Hey folks, just a quick update as not a lot has happened. Yesterday my nephew Jonathan came by and helped me stack the remaining salvaged cedar siding onto the roof of the storage container and the final salvaged ceiling joists near the cutting shack o
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Rip-Roaring Time

August 30, 2014
Well today started out so well (even though I was only working with 4-5 hours of sleep).  I go an early start and was making excellent progress in cutting back away from Ron's house footings, undercutting by the NW tree, and generally getting to the bott
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Admission

August 29, 2014
Just another quick note tonight. There were several times today when I felt like I was out of my league and wondering what I was doing.  I felt like things were going to fall apart (literally - I thought the tarp would come down and waste the week of
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Low Ceiling

August 29, 2014
As they say in the aviation industry, today had a low ceiling. I started the day at 7AM with a call from the excavator.  He was going to send a truck, but I had nothing to load and really needed the big excavator to proceed.  I was not sure what his
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Started

August 28, 2014
Well today officially started the excavation and therefore the construction.  And it started bright and early.  Park mentioned they would be around at 8:30 this morning so I set the 7:30 alarm intending to have breakfast and then getting setup for the l
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Not yet

August 27, 2014
Today came and went and still no digging.  Yes I am perturbed and loosing patience.  But the contractor is providing plausible reasons why they could not make it and Parm even stopped by tonight to survey what needs to be done.  I have been promised a
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Tomorrow may finally be dig day.

August 26, 2014
As you can tell by the web cams, the excavator did not arrive today - something about needing to finish grading the bottom of an excavation and a problem with ground water and lack of pump. So I spent the day further preparing.  I made two large piles
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Cameras and Update – The dig is scheduled.

August 24, 2014
Sorry for the down shed cam folks.  I thought the network cable to it was damaged yesterday while raising a corner of the tarp, but it looks like the actual unit is malfunctioning for non-related reasons.  I have asked FOSCAM if they can get me a replac
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Tarp Raising

August 24, 2014
Well - it took the better part of 5 days but the tarp is up.  I tensioned the last point this morning. This has been an interesting process full of frustration and learning.  First thing learned is just how heavy something like this could be and the
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Wildest Dreams

August 22, 2014
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how much work it is to put up a tarp this size.  I heavily under estimated the time to install.  I figured it would take the better part of a day.  One neighbour though a few hours, the other a couple of
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Sail Away

August 20, 2014
Spent the entire day trying to tame a sail that Christopher Columbus would be proud of and ended the day with 6 points of attachment and none of them fully tensioned. 2 of the attachment points are neighbour's trees so I am again thankful for good neighbo
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Movie Theatre

August 18, 2014
It was a busy day. I started at 8 AM trying to use Alfie to excavate around the tree where the blocks are going to go.  After 4 hours, I had hardly made a dint due to the hard-pan (small boulders packed in with sandy gravel) and decided to give up and
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Salvaged Materials

August 17, 2014
Now that the house is gone, I thought I would document the materials I salvaged and will keep and re-use. [caption id="attachment_1139" align="alignnone" width="300"] A majority of the studs were saved and then de-nailed by my father-in-law (Eric). The
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Its Gone!

August 16, 2014
While the house was officially down on Aug 5, I can now report that the house is now officially gone.  I finished loading the last of the concrete into the truck at 1:10 PM today and the truck was picked up and gone at 3:45 PM. As you can see by the b
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Almost gone!

August 15, 2014
Parm from Diamond 11 Excavating arrived today with a big-ass yellow truck.  It was the size I was expecting so it was a good thing I moved the concrete and built a ramp yesterday.  He gave me about 2-1/2 hours by the time I got back from dropping him of
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Heavy Haul

August 14, 2014
Today's description is easy - I moved concrete.   Speaking with the trucker, it sounded like he was going to be bringing one of the big demolition trucks instead of just a pup dump truck trailer.  This would present two problems; they are taller than m
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Good Bye E

August 13, 2014
Reasonable productive day considering the rain.  Took care of some chores in the early morning and then headed off to city hall.  I was too late to ask the building inspector questions (need to be there 8 -9:30 AM) but did pick up the application for th
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A shack to not be proud of.

August 12, 2014
Today had an accelerated start.  I came out at 8:30 to put the garbage out and received a call advising that the surveyors were on the way.  I was not expecting them till the afternoon and still had two batten boards to install, so I had a scramble. At
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Change in Tide

August 11, 2014
Well I did it - I was able to string two productive and positive days together. Sunday comprised of office work in the morning (organizing web-cam photos) and then a dump run, a drop off to a Craigslist respondent, and then I installed batten boards th
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Lucky

August 10, 2014
I continue to be amazed that we never had an electrical fire in the old house.  Here is another example of a wire where the insulation has completely burned off the conductor.  This was a closet light that was used a lot. [caption id="attachment_1113
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A tragedy

August 9, 2014
I was informed last night that the person I have hired for the excavation had a close family member pass away yesterday.  My heartfelt condolences go out to Parm and his family. As a result, Parm was understandably off line today and unable to bring a
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Act Three

August 8, 2014
Well, I am not sure that this play will end up being a dark comedy or a tragedy, but today certainly offered comic relief. I started the day in the office updating various parties on the current situation on site and the need to delay.  I also checked
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Double trouble

August 7, 2014
I do not seem to be able to string two good days together, but boy can I get a roll off poor ones lined up. Based on my description of Alfie's arm weakness, they agreed it was most likely a bad hydraulic cylinder.  So I rushed this morning to get it o
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Cursed

August 6, 2014
I would love to be able to string at least two days in a row that are productive and without challenge.  Today was not one of those days. The ICF shipment continues to be cursed.  The pickup did not happen till today and I have not heard from the car
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House is down!

August 5, 2014
Almost three months after starting this process with the removal of the kitchen cabinets, I can officially say that today at 4:12 PM, the house was officially and completely down. I spent the morning finishing the preparations for the storage area of t
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Calm before the storm

August 4, 2014
Today was a generally low key day.  It started at 11 when a nice chap came by to pick up some plywood.  I then worked on the site cleaning up and stacking lumber.  I figured out the space needed for the 21 skids and will just have enough after some bri
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Holiday Weekend

August 3, 2014
I have generally been good about not making a lot of noise on Sunday's and have generally spent the day doing office work and some site work like cleanup and the like.  But an event on Friday indicates I will have to be VERY careful as I seem to have a d
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Bobcat Deconstruction

August 1, 2014
A family member had expressed disappointment the last time I used Alfie to tear down the office as they wanted to watch live. So this time I filmed a little of the dismantling of the bedroom to capture for all time. Enjoy
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Lafarge becomes a sponsor

August 1, 2014
Well, we are one day closer to excavation but still have one wall standing. The morning was spent in the office planning the logistics for Tuesday's delivery of 21 skids containing 37K lbs of ICF block. I looked at having the consolidator just bring th
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One Wall Standing

July 31, 2014
Well I tried.  I really wanted the house down and gone by the end of the month but it looks like I will be a day or two late. The house has won again.  I was able to proceed on the demolition today and took down most of the bedroom and the cavity around
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Almost Gone

July 30, 2014
Today capped off a couple of productive days. Yesterday I did manage to get most of my list completed including lifting up most of the hardwood floor in the bedroom, removing all drywall and making a combined run with John from the end of the street, m
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Overheated!

July 28, 2014
With a high of 868 watts per square meter of solar energy today and a UV index of 6.25, I felt every radiating watt! Alfie developed troubles around 5:10 PM with the indication he was going to overheat.  I decided to stop and see what was up and glad
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We are finally legit!

July 27, 2014
This afternoon I finally finished the re-configuring of the tree protection fencing.  This has been an outstanding task since the root spading was done a week and a half ago.  This completes the last thing I believe was outstanding with the District and
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The Alfie who could

July 25, 2014
Yesterday morning I decided to get a bunch of errands  done due to the copious amounts of liquid falling out of the sky. I had to drop by BCIT and pick up the container I had brought my EPS/XPS submerged samples in,  take some materials and tools bac
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Alfie comes out to play

July 23, 2014
Today I had had enough of the slow methodical dismantling of the house and got the excavator out to help things along.  I could only start after lunch as I had a mid-morning appointment.  I still wanted to salvage the wood, so went carefully.  I was am
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Tree Day

July 22, 2014
Tonight's is short and sweet.  Today was tree day. I arrived at 7:30 Am to do a final cleanup before Burley Boys arrival at ten to eight.  Most of the rest of the day was occupied with trees.  I did spend some time in the garage while they were work
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All Hands On Deck

July 21, 2014
This morning, I was blessed with FULL pension power.  Both Gail and Eric were on deck from 9 AM to 12:30-1:30 PM.  It actually took some effort to feed the beast they became together.  They chewed through tasks faster than I could create them.  Gail w
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Fencing Duo

July 20, 2014
Today was all about fencing, both construction safety fencing and tree protection fencing. The day started very early (for me on a Sunday) and I was at the computer at 8:00 AM editing and organizing photos.  You will have noticed I took my cameras off
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Rock Crushing and Removing Shiplap

July 19, 2014
Earlier in the week when I was dropping off a load of shingles, I was able to view the rock crushing operation in progress at the next pile.  I was happy to see that this was occurring and that the promise of re-purposing the materials was not empty.  
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A dump of a day!

July 19, 2014
Today was dump day.  I started out after breakfast with half a trailer load of green waste (final fractured roof ship-lap) to the transfer station. I then loaded up all of the drywall I had removed from the garage and a wall from the living room and f
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Roadblock (Updated Aug 25/2015)

July 18, 2014
The morning went well.  I finished pulling off the sheathing on the garage and disassembling part of the roof structure on that side.  Eric was there again and de-nailed a whole pile of wood and I had two Craigslist respondents picking up half of the sh
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A walk down memory lane.

July 17, 2014
This morning I headed out to the EcoDump in Richmond to drop off another load of shingles.  On the way out I noticed a big excavator at the house beside where I grew up.  On the way back I stopped in and asked if I could look around before it was torn d
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Operating at about 1/3 Speed

July 16, 2014
Going to keep this short because frankly I am tired and want to go to sleep. I fell far short of my goal for today.  I am operating at about half speed (which for me is about 1/3 impulse!) The heat is kicking me in the butt and sucking the energy o
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Ups and Downs

July 15, 2014
I am starting to wonder if I will be able to string a series of good days together.  Today I was reminded why I left professional purchasing.  There are so many crappy vendors in this world. I am bringing both my Durisol ICF and my TriForce Floor Tru
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We have Construction Power

July 14, 2014
When I woke up this morning I had a funny feeling that BCHydro would come today and at 10:30 they arrived. I was amazed that they work 'live' but really, what else could they do.  They are not going to take down a block every-time someone needs power
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Productive Weekend – Considering the Heat

July 13, 2014
After a disastrous Thursday, the end of the week turned around and was quite productive (especially considering the heat!). I spent all of Friday going through all of the stuff that was already in the container (A friend in the city had loaded me up wi
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Time Lapse

July 10, 2014
Here is an example of the time lapse I am developing from the various camera views.  This covers the full container move from the POV of the roving cam.
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BPD!

July 10, 2014
Ever have one of those days you just should have stayed in bed?  Today was such a day!  A Bad Personal Day. I got a very late start today.  For some reason I was beat even though yesterday was generally tractor work which is not too taxing on onesel
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The Little Alfie who could!

July 9, 2014
It was a great day on two different fronts.  The day started bright and early with me on site by 8:15 (OK- That is early for me).  Sean Wightman from Burley Boys was coming at 9 AM to do the air spading around the trees I am keeping.  Air spading is a
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The Big Move – Part 1

July 8, 2014
Monday was another productive day. I spend some time moving salvaged plants I have in pots away from the tree fencing in the back yard to make room for the air spading tomorrow. Gail then helped me move all of the accessible landscape brick from the front
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Garbage Day

July 6, 2014
It seems like I lived at various landfills this weekend.  After my Saturday morning breakfast with Ron (Gail's husband), my Landlord Bahman and I went first to the North Shore Transfer Station to drop off a load of green waste (fractured shiplap and vari
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Mommy – It’s raining INSIDE the house.

July 4, 2014
Today our house officially became two different structures and it rained for the first time in 60 years into the living room, dinning room, hallways, bathroom, and spare bedroom. You could almost here the wood soaking up the moisture and you could certain
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Roof Gone

July 3, 2014
Was able to strip off the roof and ceiling joists today in the middle section of the house.  Still need to figure out how to strip the kitchen structure in light of the fact that roof to the east of it is staying for now.  I may need to build a fast sup
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Roof Structure Started

July 2, 2014
It was another great day even though as usual I got a late start and arrived at the job site at 11:45 AM. The day started with a chiro appointment where Dr. M tweaked me back into alignment bringing instant relief.  I then spent some time communicatin
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Happy Canada Day everyone!

July 1, 2014
I am usually found at Sowden Park on this day working to maintain my top salesman position at the community picnic but decided this year that my build was more important and to give someone else a chance for the top honour. It is a crazy affair when 200+
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Roof Gone

June 30, 2014
Well at least some of the roof is gone. Sunday AM was a trip to the dump to get rid of the green waste followed by an afternoon of stripping shingles off the back side of the house in the areas I want to first take down so I can move the shipping containe
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Network Configuration

June 29, 2014
Just a really quick note.  I am making some network re-configurations.  Until complete the Container and Roving Cam will be off line.  Will try to have up by tomorrow. Was a very productive day.  Will fill you in further tomorrow. Cheers
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Cats, Raccoon, and Skunks – Oh MY!

June 28, 2014
Well it sure did not take long for the wildlife to figure out my house had no walls.  I set the roving cam to email me alerts when it sensed action last night. Partly as a security measure, but also because of interest in what might be coming through the
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Pension Power

June 25, 2014
It was a great day. I actually finished what I planned to do when I set out this morning. My Father-In-Law was here again and was able to bundle about 40% of the beech floor in only just over 4 hours. This is such a relief as he will probably finish Fr
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Help

June 25, 2014
Monday was uneventful - I was able to strip the siding off the entire south elevation of the house.  This took a lot longer once I got to the garage because that siding had been installed with spiral nails and there was no ship-lap behind the siding (or
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Blunder 1 of what I am sure will be many

June 22, 2014
The rest of Friday went to plan.  I was able to borrow a neighbours scaffold and take the siding off the back of the kitchen.  I found by far the fastest method was to use the flush cut saw to cut off one or two top nails in from one end of the siding a
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Siding Removal Started

June 20, 2014
I spent several hours yesterday vacuuming the whole house from one end to the other because the air quality, after pulling down the ceiling with the mineral wool and fibreglass insulation, was toxic. [caption id="attachment_814" align="alignnone" widt
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No More Insulation

June 18, 2014
Well yesterday was the first day in a long time that went to schedule. Of course I went and ruined that today. Someone came yesterday morning and picked up all of the fibreglass insulation. Earlier in the morning I had actually updated my schedule for
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Insulation

June 16, 2014
Today was an itchy day.  It started with loading the trailer with all the non-green waste that was created while taking down all the interior walls.  This was mainly painted panelling and plywood along with many panels of foil backed cardboard. Once
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House Insurance Scams

June 15, 2014
Sorry - It is time for a soap box rant.  We have typically ALL been overcharged for home insurance! This has been on my radar for almost a decade now and a few years back I even tried to get the media to pick up on the storey.  The facts are that we
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Missed Deadlines, Casual Labour, and Progress

June 15, 2014
As I just wrote in my blog post http://thepathtosustainableliving.blogspot.ca/2014/06/missed-deadline-again.html, the scheduled deadline to start the big dig has now come and gone.  While we have made some real progress to get closer to this task, we are
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Stamina

June 11, 2014
Not a bad day again - productivity wise.  I spent the morning preparing for tomorrow's labour (building a work bench), taking delivery of the toilet, and further organizing the construction supply container to make room for the panelling I took off from
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Continued Progress

June 11, 2014
I have made OK progress since Friday - Saturday was spent doing general cleanup including a load to the dump for green waste (unpainted wood), general garbage, and metal recycling. I know I did more than just this but for the life of me cannot remember th
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Tunnel Implosion

June 10, 2014
I wish it went up this fast.  It took a day to put up and under an hour to take down.
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RCI Conference

June 9, 2014
Today was the annual Roofing Contractors Institute conference and it was another great year filled with informative speakers.   My favourite thoughts of the day were: 1) Double Stud Construction is actually more dangerous than standard 2x6 constructi
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Liftup hardwood floor in living and dinning room – Check!

June 6, 2014
When I started the task, each row was taking on average 6 - 7 minutes.  The whole house was going to take days.  Fortunately I put my brain and not brawn into the mix and figured out a much better way. See  http://thepathtosustainableliving.blogspot
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Remediation Complete

June 5, 2014
www.actesenvironmental.com finished their abatement yesterday and did an excellent job.  All of the drywall containing asbestos has been removed including any nails holding it onto the framing. The place is spotless as per photos below. The
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Permit Issued

June 3, 2014
Well, I can hardly believe this and am waiting for the follow up email saying "Sorry we made a mistake", but I received an email today at 2:18 PM advising that my Building Permit had been issued.  Remember, I only submitted my application at 3:00 PM on F
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Asbestos Remediation is a go

June 2, 2014
I thought today would unfold very differently.  I thought the supervisor and possibly a small crew was going to come over and start prepping the area for tomorrows real start.  I thought that I would be told what kind of tunnel was needed and some prep
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A long productive day

June 1, 2014
The day started at 7:45 AM getting ready for a trip to the dump.  My neighbour Ron helped which was very much appreciated.  This was followed by a trip to the metal recycle at the transfer station.  The original plan was to take it to salvage and get s
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Are computers supposed to make life easier?

May 31, 2014
Nothing like a 8 hour computer issue to ruin the days productivity.  Today was the day to completely move my network out of the house.  This is accomplished by using the EnGenius LAN wireless bridge and setting parts of the system up at the neighbours a
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We have liftoff!

May 31, 2014
Very short note today. I can report that my permit application was accepted yesterday with very little fanfare. I am so great-full for Tacoma and especially Heather for the huge effort getting the engineering package ready for yesterday's deadline.
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Remidiation looming

May 28, 2014
Been another busy day. Had a couple of updates to do for Tacoma and should receive another set of markups tomorrow.  That should almost complete the engineering and design.  Should be in good shape for permit application meeting Friday afternoon as l
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What a difference a day makes

May 26, 2014
Well, it has been quite the world wind day.  Started bright and early at 8:30 (Trust me, this is early for me - I am more of a night hawk) with someone coming to pickup an old Poly Iso panel another builder had given me in case I could use. This was f
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Some Progress – But further behind.

May 25, 2014
I can't believe it has been ten days since my last post.  It has been two steps forward and 1 step back for the last couple weeks.  A few of you have been antsy and asking where I am at.  Instead of taking the time to answer each of you individually, I
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We have Asbestos!

May 15, 2014
Just a short note tonight as it is late and I am tired. I have been thinking about a tool that I envisioned would allow me to do flush cuts to aid in removing the hardwood floors and also the cedar siding.  I was talking with an inspector friend of mi
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Are we done yet?

May 14, 2014
Well day two of deconstruction is behind me and I am asking myself, "Are we done yet?" :-)  I am using muscles that have not seen the light of day in a very long time. Yesterday saw the last of the kitchen removed including the stove and sub floor. To
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Deconstruction has started!

May 12, 2014
Today was the first day of the deconstruction process - Yeah! In roughly three hours*, I was able to remove most of the kitchen cabinets and counters including kitchen sink.  I was going to try to save the wall cabinets, but due to how they were built
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Moving Day – Part 2

May 11, 2014
While we moved into our basement suite on March 2, the vast majority of our stuff was left behind in the old house.  I have been working on the stuff that was left over the last 2 months and today, most of this effort came to a close. We have given a
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A week of waiting and a Braced Wall Band Blunder

May 9, 2014
It has been an emotional roller coaster yet again this week as I wait for confirmation from the engineer that my structure complies with the ENGINEERING GUIDE FOR WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION 2009. There were significant concerns earlier in the week until t
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Look at all the stars!

May 6, 2014
This is how I have been feeling lately    
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Revised Drawings Drafted

May 1, 2014
I spent the last couple of days revising all of the drawings to show the revised braced wall panel lengths and locations. I got these off by noon yesterday and spent the rest of yesterday and all of today drafting up new drawings for the Braced Wall Band
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A good day!

April 29, 2014
Today was a totally awesome and productive day.  I am exhausted but very happy, not to mention extremely relieved.  I want to thank Nathan from Tacoma and Brian from Stantec for totally turning this project around and saving my bacon! I want to also
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Turning into a good week!

April 29, 2014
I wanted to give you all the good news as soon as I got it. I have just heard from Nathan at Tacoma and he has confirmed that only the Lateral Design needs to be fully compliant with Part C of the CWC Guide.  The rest of the items are gravity loads th
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Website Design – Honeycomb Creative Solutions

April 29, 2014
I have had several people provide favourable comment on the design of this website.  I want to again thank Honeycomb Creative Solutions for their excellent design work on this project. What you all cannot see is how well polished the behind the scenes
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Structural Design Restart

April 29, 2014
The last week has ended on what I hope will be a sustainable up-note on the restart of my design. I went through my model and adjusted all braced wall panels to be the new minimum lengths dictated by Part C of the Canadian Wood Council Engineering Guid
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State of Redesign

April 22, 2014
Not a lot has happened over the last week as I needed to do some bookkeeping and tax return preparation. With most of that behind me this morning I have now turned my attention to the redesign of the structure to meet the requirements of Part C of the CWC
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Street Cam

April 17, 2014
Sorry for the poor picture folks.  Looks like the waterproof camera may not be that waterproof and needs to dry out.  I will try to get it down today and fixed up. Edit: Actually turned out to be a network cable splicer. All should now be fixed.
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Canadian Wood Council’s ENGINEERING GUIDE FOR WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION 2009

April 15, 2014
Received my ordered copy of this guide today.  I took a cursory look this evening and not liking what I see.  The critical difference between it and the guidelines in 9.23.13 in the building code is the minimum size of braced wall panels. 9.23.13 has
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Onward and upwards

April 14, 2014
It is time to get off the pot and get'er done!  It was a productive weekend on several fronts. My wife used the move as an opportunity to significantly purge her wardrobe which basically entailed her taking what she wanted to the basement suite and le
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Engineered Structure – Update

April 11, 2014
I met with the District of North Vancouver again this morning for some further clarification and to again plead my case.  I met with my Plans Checker, the Section Manager - Permits & Licences, and the Building Inspector who will be assigned to my pro
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ENGINEERING GUIDE FOR WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION 2009

April 11, 2014
Looking to borrow a copy of the Canadian Wood Council's ENGINEERING GUIDE FOR WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION 2009 from someone in the Lower Mainland Greater Vancouver Area. Hopefully Saturday AM.  I have ordered a copy but it will be a week or so coming and
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At a crossroads

April 9, 2014
Yesterday, I received the baffling news from the District of North Vancouver building department that they were considering my dwelling 'complex' and as a result would require that I have the entire structure engineered. I wrote about the possible Death o
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Status – Lateral Bracing Design for Part 9.23.13

April 7, 2014
Several of you have asked where I am at. Well, I am in a holding pattern. The District has asked for up to two weeks to review the policy regarding Lateral Bracing, and to talk with other Municipalities. I have not been provided a written policy from DNV
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Cameras

April 7, 2014
Please bear with me while I figure out the best options for the site webcams. I am looking for a service that will reliably stream the camera video or snapshots. While I test systems, the camera feeds may not always be available. Thanks for your unde
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The End?

April 3, 2014
Well today had the option of being a fantastic day or a totally crappy day.  It was the day I was to apply for my building permits and the process was either going to be successful or a dismal failure. Unfortunately, it has been a utter and complete f
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Patience Required

April 2, 2014
Sorry, I have been so quite lately.  It has been a challenging week as I work through some major hurdles in my permit process.  I also was off line Mon/Tues while I attended a THERM course at UBC. As part of the permit application process I need a Sc
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Building Permit Prep

March 28, 2014
It has been a busy week. I met with the Geotech on site Monday afternoon and dug 5 test holes around the perimeter of where the new house will go so that she could determine the make-up of the soil. In all cases we hit what I call 'hardpan' in three to
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Variance Approved

March 25, 2014
I am very relieved that our development variance was approved last night. This locks in the design and allows for me to proceed on the building permit application. I had a bit of a hiccup with the building permit process. My Structural engineer did
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Data Restored

March 19, 2014
I am a very thankful man this morning as I received word back from www.critical-recovery.com, that they were able to restore ALL the data in my Quickbooks financial file. As I have a tax return due soon and I am about to start building and need to accura
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I have a hearing date and staff recommend approval!

March 17, 2014
Today was spent finally getting back to the task at hand - planning for a house build.  I have to put my worries about my Quickbooks files aside until I hear back from the data recovery company - something that is not easy for me. I spent the morning
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Data Disaster

March 16, 2014
It has been a horrible weekend with significant (and possibly) permanent consequences. On Friday I investigated an issue I had with logging into my Synology file server.  Since the day I moved my office across the street, I had been locked out of the
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Sick!

March 13, 2014
This has been a poor week for progress.  My chest cold has pretty much whipped my butt.  I did a trouble shooter inspection on Tuesday where I was exposed to an attic full of mould so this also did not help. I got a bit done bringing stuff from acros
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I have an office!

March 10, 2014
Today was a productive day and I was able to finally set up my office in the suite and the wireless internet across the street.  Only problem is that I am sicker than a dog with a chest cold and fever.  Was not in the best shape to be moving the heavy d
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Settling into a routine

March 7, 2014
The week has been much of the same.  I have been going through things at the house and putting aside stuff to go to storage and stuff to be given away.  Many - many trips up and down the 13 steps to the basement suite.  This should help in my weight-lo
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Getting Better

March 4, 2014
Last night was much better.  The second bedroom actually fit our bedroom furniture better and we are on an outside corner so two of the walls are solid concrete and the other two are well away from the none suite portion of the basement.  Was very quite
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Running on Empty!

March 3, 2014
Our first night left a lot to be desired! I had chosen the smaller of the two bedrooms to use as the bedroom because it was longer so would fit the king size bed better.  This turned out to be a poor choice.  The bedroom was not part of the official
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Moving Day (Or at least Day 1)

March 2, 2014
I am beat! This morning started at 8:45 AM at my neighbours for breakfast.  I have wonderful neighbours!  By 9:45, my neighbour's son and son-in-law and I started to move the 'heavy' stuff across the street. My wife had to work today and was gone by
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Thank-full today is over but tomorrow will be worse!

March 1, 2014
The day has finally come that gives some permanence to this plan of mine to build a house.  Today is the day we get possession of our cross-the-street-basement-suite.  Like every step of this process to this point in time, this was full of stress and de
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Welcome to my building journal.

February 15, 2014
Welcome to my theEnclosure.ca Project Journal.  I appreciated you stopping by for a visit. I will be using this journal as a form of (hopefully) daily diary where I will document what is on my mind and describe the day-to-day struggles I encounter as
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