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Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to build a house - not an ordinary house because they get built all the time. At one time I was interested in an underground home, using the depth of the soil to insulate and keeping everything hidden from view, perhaps building into a hillside. I considered a dome house for a while but somehow couldn’t get it all to work like I wanted. After we lived in the little ranch house in Coulterville for a while I came to really like the use of a lot of wood and started thinking of a timber framed building.

Once we moved up to Vancouver Island the project had a real chance of making progress since rural land was available and plausibly priced. Finally in 2007 we bought some land and at the beginning of ’08 I employed an architect (John Gower of BC Mountain Homes) to help work out the basic design and siting. The House Specifications page shows some details of the design ideas and influences that John helped us work on. After the initial design work I took over the design and rebuilt the SketchUp model from scratch, then used that to solve many detail problems such as the roof intersection between the mudroom and main house, the design of the wall between mudroom and house, spacing of rafters to suit structural and aesthetic needs, bathroom and kitchen layout etc. With a reasonably comprehensive model of the house available I was able to use the sister application Layout to develop a set of drawings suited to getting quotes from various sub-contractors and then develop a plausible budget and timeline. In 2010 the Google SketchUp team displayed these plans on their stand at the American Institute of Architecture show.

The end result of the design process is this -

This is a simple snapshot of the SketchUp model I developed as the master design document. More on that on the House Design page.
And now - progress reports on the actual building process.
STOP PRESS!! It’s finished.