A Christmas Living Room

We’re trying to have a real living room to spend Christmas in. I’ve been putting in long days of work to this effect, much unlike the more quiet pace of these past couple of years.

After 6 years of nailing by hand, I’ve acquired a nail gun. Our solar setup is good enough to power such things these days, the compressor is on par with the air conditioner but it only comes on for short periods of time. It’s a bit of a sad feeling to no longer handle every board as much but the speed gain is nice.

No more hammering against gravity.

The real reason we got into high pressure high velocity nailing however, is for the hickory flooring. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to plant a whole flooring worth of nails through this wood. I didn’t even think wood could be that hard. I can barely run a saw through it. Nailing by hand results in bent nails. I love the patterns in pine, hickory is on a whole new level.


The kids took no time to figure out how to have fun with the smooth and slippery floor.


Starting to look quaint.


New window, only view to the orchard.


Nicole did the tilling, mudding & painting in the stove corner. It’s nice to have some color in the house since everything else is wood. She picked the color too, it’s not Christmas red, it’s Amélie red.

Framing Rough Cut Lumber

Matt helped with our house several times, and so it was a great honor to help him with a house he’s building. It’s framed freely and fluidly and in this way, it reflect his personality perfectly. I love how houses in Vermont which are self built are a perfect reflection of the people within them.

It’s the first time I work with rough cut lumber, and well it’s no more capricious than kiln dried stuff from the lumber yard. The dimensions are a little loose and that’s much less of an issue than the usual warps, twists & knots wood always has.

With several years of building under my belt, I was for the first time ever, the more experienced builder. It was cool to show Matt all the techniques I picked up over the years, and to summon the eclectic characters I learned them from. 1001 ways to impose your will on recalcitrant wood, that’s pretty much what this all boils down to.

Free & proud

High Altitude Siding

It’s hard to muster the resolve to spend a day doing acrobatics on ladders, but once things are underway, you get in the groove and it’s actually pleasant. Still, I definitely earned my beer today.

Fighting recalcitrant boards as always.


Cutting station visitor


I’m finally closing the rakes, and I’m finishing the wall how I started it: with meshing to prevent insect from going behind the siding but allow for air circulation.


The last piece!


This section is very hard to get to, stuck between 2 roofs.


In fact at a certain height, I can only reach everything by adopting body positions which are not ladder approved. At that point I grab my harness and trusty GriGri.


Tethered to some dead weight on the other side of the house.

It’s always super nice up there, the trees around the house are really growing.