What's Happening Now: Early January

Happy New Year!

The snow has melted, and we're back to work!

The house in late December


Our set of 15 photovoltaic panels are now connected to our electric system and energized.

In the 40 hours that they have been running, we've produced 4.3 kilowatt-hours, even though this is one of the least-sunny times of year.

The state requires "net metering," where the electric company buys any electricity we produce that's in excess to our needs.

We also could sell "carbon credits," where someone contributes to the cost of our system as a credit to offset their emissions. However, we see this as reducing the overall carbon-reducing benefit of our system -- we'd rather not use our system to essentially give someone else permission to emit CO2.

Mel checking the read-out on our Sunny Boy inverter


The electricians are continuing their work, connecting every wire.

Here are some motion sensor-activated yard lights just under the high roof. (The floodlight bulbs are compact fluorescent.)

Motion sensor-activated yard light

The electricians also have hooked up the shop lights in the workshop and garage.

One of the shop lights in the workshop

We received sconce shades for the great room that were created by local glass artist Kelly Asadorian, of Myorian Studio, and have begun installing them.

Kelly's creations are called "sagged glass." She begins with a plate of glass, on which she works her art. Placed in the kiln, the glass "sags" to the desired diameter.

These sconces have a design, in black on an ivory background, that reflects the ferns and other life in the forest surrounding our home.

Sconce shade by Kelly Asadorian


With the wood floor now complete in the great room and bedrooms, Spencer and his coworkers have begun work on the floor in the office.

Most of the flooring in this room will be of American chestnut, a species of tree that once blanketed the mountains of the Eastern US but was driven nearly extinct by the invasion of the chestnut blight pathogen.

Scattered trees still exist that escaped the blight. We found some wood at Second Use. It's not quite enough to cover the floor of this room, so Spencer is creating a border of maple.

Chestnut wood at left, to be laid in the office within a border of bigleaf maple wood


Most of the appliances have been delivered, and are in the garage awaiting installation


Dishwasher: Bosch model SHE45MO5UC
Refrigerator: LG model LFC20760ST
Oven: GE model JTP30SMSS
Exhaust: Wolf downdraft

Wherever appliances had Energy Star ratings, and the associated yellow Energy Guide labels, we looked for a model that was as low Energy Guide shows that this model of refrigerator is among the lowest energy user, even among the EnergyStar-rated refrigerators in energy use as we could find while still having the features we wanted.

The appliance that uses the most energy in a typical home is the refrigerator. Here's the Energy Guide label for our LG refrigerator.

We're still awaiting the Wolf cooktop (though we did receive its downdraft exhaust) and the Bosch washer and dryer -- they're on back-order.


The workers from Creative Countertops did a prompt and flawless job of installing the kitchen countertops. They're made of quartz, so they're not as thick nor as heavy as granite would be.

Appliances in their boxes in the garage

Countertops in the kitchen

Interior Doors

We picked up the remaining interior doors -- except the three sets of bi-folds -- from Frank's Doors. They're in the garage, awaiting installation.

We sure do enjoy the appearance of knotty alder.

Four doors waiting to become pocket doors


Steady progress is being made on installing the Hardi-shingles on the back and front of the house. Like other Hardie siding, these are made of a combination of wood fiber and cement that's long-lasting and has the texture of cedar.

By the way, pink will not be the final color of the trim. It's just the color of the primer.

Hardi-shingles on the north side of the house

Getting Ready | Well | Milling Wood | Excavation | Concrete
Framing | More Framing | Plumbing | Electrical | Floors | Roofing

What's Happening Now:
Late Oct | Early Nov | Mid-Nov | Late Nov | Early Dec | Late Dec
Early Jan | Late Jan | Early Feb | Late Feb | Early March | Mid-April - Done!