Thursday, December 16, 2010

Closing It Up

Well, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the hallway in this Do-It-Yourself project. It has been informative and inspiring to be able to compare the Terra House with Jack's House, going up in Mountain View. Though both projects use David's concept of combining three 20' x 24' rammed earth rooms offset under SIP roof panels, the contrasting locations, design scheme and labor forces have resulted in two very different homes. Jack's house is a sleek, modern house with high-end finishes and furnishings, while Terra's House is a unique, country home with hand-made materials. (Check out to see the finished Mountain View residence.)

Thanks to the continued help of many family, friends and neighbors, our final projects are in the works. Abe's brother and our neighbor, both local contractors, helped us pour a stamped concrete slab around the house. On the north and east side, the slab is just a four foot perimeter to help with drainage and to keep us from tracking the red Calaveras clay into the house. On the west and south sides, outside the living room and master bedroom, the twelve foot slab creates a large veranda with plenty of room for enjoying the pastoral view.

One of Abe's co-workers helped him installed our salvaged redwood in the living room. The tongue and groove boards with their varying grains and reddish hue, carry the horizontal pattern of the rammed earth strata lines through the living room. With the help of more family members, we assembled and installed our IKEA kitchen. The white shaker cabinets and butcher block counter tops complement the hand-milled beams and trim that line the house.

Next up, we are finishing the bathrooms and firing up the radiant floor system. I'll try to keep you "posted", for now I've got to get back to DIYing!


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