A World of Busy

It has been waaaay to long since I’ve last posted.  Guess what?  Life has gotten in the way!  I guess I haven’t made it as much as a priority either since we are now at the stage in the game where the things that are going on are more “regular” house things and not specifically Passive House things.  I don’t mean to diminish these things because I certainly care about the finishes in my home but they just don’t seem as exciting to document.

So, without further adieu here is a rundown of what has been going on!

Plumbing and Electrical:  After several walk throughs with the plumber and electrician all of the plumbing and electrical is complete.  It was a tad bit overwhelming having to choose where each and every electrical outlet and switch was going to go though!  Plumbing, not so stressful.  The biggest thing with both the plumbing and electrical has been to make sure that we are minimizing the number of penetrations to the exterior of the home.  Each penetration is a weak spot for potential air leakage and needs to be meticulously sealed using special gaskets and tapes from Pro Clima similar to these.  We also considered wiring that we might want for a future shop and have the wire in place through the chase so that we will not have to make another penetration down the road.

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The electrical panel next to the Zehnder HRB in the mechanical room.

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The chase coming in through the slab that the water from the well can enter the house through. It is big enough that we are also able to run several other services through it such as electrical and tv cable.

Heat Recovery Ventilator:  Ralph installed the HRV himself, a Zehnder ComfoAir 350, and instead of traditional metal ductwork we used the ComfoTube system that Zehnder offers.  Each run is completely independent coming individually from a manifold in the mechanical room.  This HRV is capable of recovering 90% of the heat from the indoor stale air and put it into the incoming cold air.  That’s pretty awesome!  Once the heat is in the house it is so well air sealed and insulated that it stays in AND the HRV recovers the majority of the heat as it’s being exchanged.  It’s like a heat prison 🙂

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HRV to the right and the manifold/silencer is on the left. Our mechanical room is on the second floor and each ComfoTube goes into the floor and then travels up or down into the walls where it needs to go.

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Comfotube coming up into the master bath wall for an exhaust.

Siding:  After a lengthy wait for the siding it arrived and has started to be installed.  We chose to go with Cape Cod wood siding based out of Bedford, NS.  It is a pre-finished kiln dried pine.  The paint colour we choose is called Autumn Grey and the trim colour is Cape Code Taupe.  We really wanted a renewable product on the exterior of our home and were pleased that Cape Cod is a member of the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada.

The colour is a bit tough to see in the pictures as they started with the North side of the house and I was there near sunset but here are a few pics to give an idea of how it looks.

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Hehe, Abby had to photobomb this one 🙂

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The top right hand side of the North wall has not been completed yet as we need to figure out what to do for make up air for the dryer. Our house is so tight that we would not have enough air to run it!

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Close up of the window detail. The sill is white metal flashing which, surprise, surprise, has insulation under it!

Cabinetry:  We now also have our kitchen cabinets and vanities ordered.  We chose to go through a local cabinet company Prestige.  We are going with a simple shaker style cabinet with a stain colour called Chocolate Pear Tree (it’s a dark brown).  The vanities for the bathrooms will also be in the same style and finish.  We changed the design slightly from the original in that we moved the refrigerator from the North wall to the East wall.  This led to a bit of an issue in the location of the chase for the electrical in the island but it still worked.

Flooring:  We just picked out our flooring a couple of days ago.  We are ordering through Town n’ Country Carpet One in Summerside.  We’ve dealt with them before and were always pleased with the products and service.  The main living area will be laminate, kitchen and baths will be vinyl, and the bedrooms will be carpet.

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A pic never really gets the colours right does it? We chose this laminate in part because of the antique look to it. We are in a sense building our “homestead” on a little acreage in the country. While some aspects like the windows and doors might look more modern we still like the look of older finishes. The small square is a sample of the kitchen cabinet colour. It’s not actually solid like it appears; you can see the nice grain of the birch in it.

What’s Next?  Lots!  The siding will continue to go up and the porch area on the west of the house will need to be built.  The carpenters will work on this while the drywallers, seamfillers, and painters are working inside.  Hmmm… I guess we better pick out some paint!  We also need to nail down the hardware and counter tops for the kitchen and vanities.  The style of trim and doors also need to be decided.  Ah, the decisions!!

Well, if you’ve made it this far, thanks!  I’m finding it a little bit crazy how things go when you are building a house…. plus, trying to work full time and be full time parents to four little ones!  It will all be worth it though when we are in our energy efficient home that we took great care in planning and building!

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3 Responses to A World of Busy

  1. Bryson Guptill says:

    It’s all coming together so well! Congratulations to you two for keeping us posted on your progress!

  2. Ken H says:

    My wife and I are working with Garth right now designing our passive house in Fredericton and I’m curious about the maintenance requirements for the real pine siding. Do you know if you’ll need to stain it every X years? Also, it looks like it has a rough finish – do you think it would be a problem holding on to dirt if it was a lighter finish?


    • rbpeters04 says:

      Hi Ken! The siding is pretty low maintenance. It will need to be restained down the road although I’m not sure how long we will have. I believe it was a 10-15 year warranty. The light colours would definitely wear better in terms of fading. As far as the texture goes I’ll be able to tell you better this summer. We live just before a dirt road so will see how dirty it gets then!

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