I am thankful that we can build a dream!

The Thanksgiving weekend means a lot to my family. It is the weekend that Natural Urban Dad and I got married eight years ago. Is is our favourite time of year and 3 years ago it was my last weekend of being pregnant with Princess L. I have so much to be thankful for in my life and not the least of these is that we are building our dream home.

Here are the latest updates on the progress of the Natural Urban Home. {And can I just say again that I LOVE, love, love our builder!!}

The second level of ICF (insulated concrete forms) went up very fast and we actually missed the concrete pouring day. You can really get a sense of the shape of the house now and the kids are getting so much more excited about it. They ask if we can walk or bike or drive by the new house almost every day.

 The best day so far, at least for Little C, was when we stopped by the house one day and caught them using a truck crane to hoist our main support beam into place. He was in 4 year old boy heaven and all I could think was, "Please DO NOT wreck my trees!!" Well, you can hear my pleas in the background of the video!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sv1Ri_YlSo[/youtube] And with the beams in place the roof trusses went up in record time. And I am so impressed with our site foreman, Steven. Not only is he one of those construction dudes that is not hard on the eyes (ahem....no...that is not why I drive by every day), he did most of the truss work BY HIMSELF and with sheer muscle and man power!!

The roof line of our house is not quite flat (it has a 1/12 pitch for all you home building geeks) and as such the roofing is somewhat different. We are going with a metal roof and the prep work for that involves laying 2 X 4  for a 2 inch gap and then plywood over these and then membranes and then the roofing materials. They are almost done the prep work and the membrane is down on at least half of the house.

And this means that once the roof is all closed and prepped for the metal, the guys can start framing the interior of the house. When I spoke with Steven last week and told him that I would like to be in the house for March 2012, he said, "Well, that's good, because we are aiming to be finished in January."

Needless to say, everything is on track with our dream home and I am so very thankful for all the people involved in making this a reality for our family. Big thank yous to our architect, Mike Scezny from Fuse Architecture + Design, our interior designer, Dawn from Dawn Stiles Design and Grant and his team from Serenity Contracting and Design.

And I will leave you with this....

My new incredible view from the kitchen into our backyard! (Ok, so it doesn't look like much just yet, just use your imagination!)

Thankful and blessed,



My last post about the Natural Urban Home was on April 17th. And there was snow on the ground!

It seems that my initial excitement about the old house actually moving off the lot was a bit premature!

But in the end, it all works out as it should.

After looking at our house plans for months, one day it occured to me that we may have made a fatal flaw in the design of our new home. We had designed and configured the house perfectly, except for one thing--we had no direct view or access to our beautiful back yard!

So we all went back to the drawing board and worked hard to get it right on round two of designing the Natural Urban Home!

What we have now is not only the perfect house for us, but it is configured perfectly on the lot so that we can truly enjoy all of the amazing features of the lot and the yard!

The old house was finally moved off the lot on July 26th. And let me tell you, it was quite the production!  We took the kids down to see them get the house attached to the truck earlier in the day and the crew told us that they would be back that night at 2 AM to start the trek to it's new home south of Calgary.

I decided to stay up and go and film the event. You know, for posterity and all.

At a quarter to 2, I packed up the dog and myself and headed out (in the pouring rain) to the house. And when I got there my heart sank....

...they were already gone!!

I was so sad and dissappointed that I had missed the big move!

So with my proverbial head hung low, I put the car back in gear and headed home. I turned right instead of left as I usually do and it was a good thing that I did, because up ahead I saw flashing lights and a VERY WIDE LOAD heading down the street!!

I caught up with the large caravan of vehicles with flashing lights and followed them for about 10 blocks. It really was a sight to see!! Moving slowely along in the pouring rain, lightening and thunder, the house-moving caravan consisted of two Epcor trucks, an arborist truck, two police cruisers, and two wide load pick-up trucks. And me in my Mazda 5! In the few blocks that I followed along, they had to take down a set of traffic lights, removed and then replace a traffic sign and stop all traffic along the road and at a major intersection.



A final goodbye to the house! Which by the way, took three days to reach it's final destination.



And with the house off the lot, our excitement is at an all time high!  We are thrilled to be working with the amazing folks at Serenity Contracting and Design (the same ones who built our current home) and things are starting to move along quite nicely!

I thought I would leave you with a little teaser ....

Here is our architect's rendition of the southwest corner of the new Natural Urban Home!



Summer Blog Challenge August 12, 2011


Let the Designing begin!!

We got possession of the new house and lot on August 14th.  And as of this week, we have hired an architect to start the design process.  This is the fun part for me.  I get to rip out picture after picture from magazines and books, send our architect links to all of my favourite design websites, etc.... And I really think I am going to like working with this guy.  His name is Michael Sczesny and he is a partner in a new firm with 2 other architects.  He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has some pretty cool projects under his belt (The Selkirk Hotel at Fort Edmonton Park for one!).  He is super keen on incorporating as much green technology and sustainable materials as possible and also staying within our budget (a big selling point for Ben).

We are hoping for a spring 2011 ground breaking and to be in the house by late 2011 or early 2012.  Mike has a great contractor that he works with exclusively and he too is very keen and excited about our Green Home project.

In the mean time, I think that we are going to try to rent the house for the next 6 months.  The previous owners replaced the hardwood and carpet throughout the house and outside of an abundance of floral wallpaper it is in quite decent shape.  It is a big house and would be great for someone looking for a short term lease, is rebuilding their own house or someone on a sabbatical here in Edmonton.  If you know of anyone who fits that bill--let me know!

My next few posts will be about some of the technologies we are going to incorporate in the house, so bear with me as I do my research into ICF, radiant floor heating, passive solar energy and on-demand hot water heaters!


Cheers all, Natasha~