Around the Bend Strawbale House, Pond and Gardens

August 29, 2007

Finally…the strawbales begin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:38 pm


Plastering crew boss Tina stops by today, and gives us a lesson on balework.  After she drives out of the driveway we pick the simplest spot and lay the first bales.  Not too hard so far!  Tina says her crew could complete the balework in 2 weeks or less, so we figure our challenge is to get it done in a month.  Very quietly she says she’ll count on us being ready for plastering in “one month plus plus”.  

Windows installed in one day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:36 pm


The first window takes just one minute to install and the others don’t take much longer.  Someone did a good job framing those window bucks.  All 17 are finished by midafternoon.  We’re happy to have Joel back for a few days to help and put him to work immediately. Harry shows up just in time to help install the largest and heaviest window.


Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:27 pm


Installing the doors

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:26 pm


Brother-in-law Jim flies in all the way from BC to help install doors. Dennis is back on the job as well, minus a kidney.  Well, that’s what he tells us — he looks pretty much the same to us. The exterior doors are quickly installed.  It turns out that the garden (patio) door we admired (see Aug 19 post) is too short for our tall family so back it goes!

Connie and Peter build a deck

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:20 pm


Our friends Connie and Peter from Toronto come to build us a deck.  On Saturday they stained all the boards.  The next day they took advantage of Ottawa’s Sunday policy of closing down some parkways to cars and cycled 100 kms around the scenic city.  Monday morning they were back to build the deck.

August 19, 2007

Straw bales are on-site!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 8:01 pm


The harvest has begun in this part of Canada, so bales of straw arrived on site.  We expected to have some from the barn where they were stored, but we got them straight off the field instead. We are starting with 300 full size bales and 100 1/2 size.  It is too soon for us to begin installing the bales, so they are waiting under a huge blue tarp for the time being.


Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:57 pm


Doors have arrived and can be installed soon.  Windows we hope will be ready for pickup in Toronto in about a week.

Parging the foundation

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:56 pm


Marianne and Gerda have been parging the upper foot of the foam insulation of the foundation to protect it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.  A piece of drip edge goes over the top part in preparation for installing the bales.

August 15, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 9:11 am

Check out the picture of the finished roof under “steel roof” below.  Did we make the right colour choice?

And, we get word from Dennis that he expects to be back on site on Monday. Surgery seems to have done the job, and no further treatment will be necessary.  Excellent news!

More digging!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 9:04 am


The main electrical wire is buried in conduit in a deep trench, then covered with a required yellow WARNING tape and sand.  It seems the hope is that one day when someone decides to dig a big hole on the property, they will uncover the warning tape before cutting through the electrical wire.  Very clever.

 We forgot to ask the excavator to dig the trench for the phone line, so that has to be done by hand — with a pick and shovel, through the filled and compacted surface of the driveway.  Good exercise for Gerda.

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