New Home site in Blaine WA

January 1, 2015

These are views from my next new 6ac home site, overlooking Drayton Harbor, Blaine WA. Home will be single level above full walkout basement, above grade, on a 122'x62' footprint. Basement with 11' ceilings, main home above with 10-22' ceilings. 7500sf basement with provision for two full size bowling lanes, initially unfinished. Level 1 with at least 6000sf finished and 1500sf unfinished (garages & workshop etc.).
I'm currently designing the home with a goal to completing entire foundation, framing, roofing & exterior before year end 2015. Taking advantage of awesome views, entire rear of the house will be almost completely floor to ceiling glass including 40' wide family room (22' ceilngs) adjacent to a 40' wide eating area and kitchen of the same width. 4 bedrooms with ensuite, 5th large bedroom/play area with 3 x2 bunk beds (for grandkids) and 6th smaller guest room with a large bathroom between. Formal living room, formal dining room, family room, large kitchen/eating area with walk in pantry, wet bar, main entry with circular foyer, powder room. Additionally a 15x15 sub-basement wine cellar is planned too.

The kicker is we are planning to move from our current home in NJ to WA in early May this year; the massive move is a daunting task in itself and we will rent property in Blaine WA, while the house is under construction till such time I have enough built permitting a move into. I'll sub heavy work out while puting significant time and work into entire interior and finishing myself. Though all untilities are on site, a 23KVA land based solar power array will be installed early on-site. Radiant heating throughout with 4-zone geo-thermal units; heated driveway even though it does not snow that much in Blaine but taking no chances; still bringing along my snowblower.

This post was edited by Pinebaron on Thu, Jan 1, 15 at 16:12

Comments (353)

  • MaWizz

    PineBaron I love your home :) For me the view is second to location of home buying/building and yours is beautiful. And right up there of importance for me too are windows, windows, windows, lots!, and big!, and walls of them! Love yours! What a wonderful home you all building to enjoy living in and all of its surroundings. Looking forward to more pics :)

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  • gthigpen

    Just beautiful! Those sliders/windows are fantastic!

    Pinebaron thanked gthigpen
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  • Pinebaron

    Three teams working today; they kept me very busy.

    A couple of the sliders went in today. Jamb extentions and trim will be installed tomorrow; I need a wide angle lens or something other than my iphone for pics.

    Rough plumbing is being done like crazy; bathrooms, bars, kitchen sinks and other gadgets.

    Siding is making progress too on the second floor; even the primed shade looks appealing.

  • ccpark0

    I love the sliders. They appear to be Anderson, which line did you choose? What are the thresholds like? I am looking at door options but I need a low threshold to accomidate a wheelchair.

    Pinebaron thanked ccpark0
  • Pinebaron

    ccpark0: Sliders are Anderson A Series French Wood sliding doors, exterior black, interior Pine factory painted white, with pine white factory painted 6 9/16" extention jambs, Anvers - Satin Nickel trimset finish and Maple thresholds. Thresholds are not installed yet hence can't comment on what they look like installed. The doors are so solid; moving the 8' tall doors is like moving vault doors, love them and feel they are a great investment.

  • jn3344

    What are you going with for heat/ac?

  • jn3344

    Nice you have natural gas.

    Our electric bills are eye popping in Dec/Jan.

  • Pinebaron

    Great infrastructure in place here in our development. Even though we have six acres, our septic mounds are about a 1/4 mile away on common areas for the developments 13 lots. NG, Power, Cable/Fiber/Phone and water were all in place before we purchased the lot. NG and electric are cheaper here in Blaine WA than we had in NJ. Our current rentals are all electric though.

  • Pinebaron

    Installers did an amazing job with installing the sliders.

    Rough plumbing is 90% done except the shower and shower jet wall, two tubs one in the master and other in the 5th bedroom (we call it kids bedroom).

    Four freezeless hose bibs, one on each side of the property, highlight is the one outside the west side garage (one where I mess with my cars) which is now setup for hot/cold water; I've never had a hose bib with hot and cold water. I usually wash my cars with warm water and won't have to bring buckets of hot water from the workroom sink.

    Few random photos

  • dsnine

    Those sliders look so sleek. That’s going to be a fantastic view. The plumbing is coming along as well. I’m sure you’re just itching to be done and get in there to enjoy the hard work!

    Pinebaron thanked dsnine
  • Pinebaron

    dsnine: I love the feel of these huge sliders and keep opening and closing them
    though yesterday the weather was freezing since it had snowed a couple
    of inches overnight.

    I'm not trying to hurry the build since each sub needs very close monitoring and I don't tolerate mistakes except my own which resulted in a couple of very minor tweaks. Target date is 6/30/2018 for COO though we plan to move in before Thanksgiving next year assuming all goes well.

    We bought the lot for its views, 1.9ac build envelop and close proximity to the Canadian border, then we had the luxury of architecting it ourselves (I did with lots of input from my DW). Though the lot permits one SFR, we have space and permission to build a 1250sf auxillary home across the pond, a future project.

  • Pinebaron

    ccpark0: Last week you asked about threshold for the sliders we used. I talked to the installer about your needs for a low threshold to accommodate a wheel chair. He suggested against using the supplied threshold and instead recommended using a custom threshold. I looked up online and came up with fairly inexpensive rubber thresholds available for a selection of heights from 1" to 2.5" and 43 1/2" wide. Google Silver Spring Rubber Solid Threshold Ramp

  • Ashley Smith


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  • OregonRosa (zone 8b)

    Yes, I would like an update too. Pinebaron, you still around?

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  • Pinebaron

    Yes I'm still around. Construction is in progress as per plan however I've been busy working, spending time with family and holidays.

  • cpartist

    Pine baron, it's moving along.

    Pinebaron thanked cpartist
  • kulrn

    Following! Amazing home!

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  • suellen19

    We went with Anderson French sliders also. Three sets with extra full length windows on each end.

  • Pinebaron

    Looking good Sue.

  • Pinebaron

    Update with a few pics for the tech while crews are busy finishing electrical, hvac, sprinklers, etc.

    Lights in family/dining/kitchen

    Front Garage ceiling: looks crazy with the sprinklers piping

    A view of the mechanical room; white pipes are leading out from sprinkler distribution manifold with water pressure and a huge storage tank below, awaiting pump install below it and a strobe (outside)

    Two amazing very high efficiency furnaces/ac cooling coils in place, good for the arctic and hopefully good enough for us

  • dsnine

    The guts are coming along nicely! I’m a geek but I love systems pictures. Nice neat wiring and plumbing makes my day. So would you say you’re on schedule with where you were hoping to be at this point in the build?

    Pinebaron thanked dsnine
  • Pinebaron

    dsnine: Thanks; guts need attention to detail; Yes we have consistently been on schedule with the build and minimizing disruptions, besides we have a good GC.

  • Pinebaron

    All inspections passed for where we are in the build process. Starting insulation this week followed by sheetrock and exterior soffits.

    Though final plumbing for sprinkler system tank inlet valve and pump outlet is due for completion tomorrow, below are a few random pictures including two electrical panels outside mechanical room.

    Sprinkler/Whole House constant water pressure system

    Two of four panels. One on the right is primarily for the west wing including it's AC and also feeds a 100A sub panel to the gym/media room on the second floor, one on the left feeds the 200A panel in laundry room feeding the east wing, it's AC, both furnaces plus some exterior power


    More wiring (note the 30A orange cable)

    Electonic AC filter on one of the ACs, hopefully it wont need cleaning too often

    Lots of cans, actually 28 on car port ceiling on dimmers providing a dediffused glow to the area below.

    And a somewhat conservative number of cans over the rear covered deck

  • Pinebaron

    Update: Insulation done, sort of passed inspection pending installation of heated makeup air unit. An incredible amount of insulation and types went into this build. I have yet to go into crawl space and take a few more pics.

    Tinting (not sure why they call it that) over sprinkler system pipes in entire house.

    Rockwool where needed

    In Master Bath against Laundry Room wall, made no difference to me but builder insisted it will make a difference.

    Master shower jets roughin installed

    Gas Meter installed. Gas and electric meters (permament install on Tuesday) are both located to the rear of the home; always hated seeing meters from the front and side of our previous homes; was worth the extra effort and cost having them out of sight.

  • cpartist

    Wow, how high is that ceiling? :)

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  • Suru

    Looking good PineBaron :-)

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  • Pinebaron

    cpartist: 16'. DW and I went to check it out today and she's happy with the results, asked a few questions etc. Overall a winner. Our entry door is now under construction, ordered/received electronic door locks which I'll deliver to the carpenter when I return next week. DW was not in agreement with with very long door handles however she changed her mind when we stood inside the entrance and I gave her a choice of 4', 5' or 6' hanldes she selected 6' handles which we just ordered, another winner.

  • nidnay

    Pinebaron.....what is this whole house constant water pressure system you installed? Very curious about that.

    I’m enjoying watching/seeing your progress.

  • Pinebaron

    It is part of an elaborate system but does not have to be.

    Since I had to install a fire sprinkler system in this house, I engaged a commercial fire sprinkler system installer, he installed a huge water storage tank with a hefty water pump and a Subdrive controller. The water main feeds the tank via an electronic water valve; the tank in turn provides water to a variable speed pump whose output feeds the sprinkler system lines, monitored by a bunch of sensors including water pressure sensors and it also feeds a second branch that feed the home water supply lines except toilets. All toilets, eight of them get their feed off sprinkler lines, hence water never gets stale in sprinkler lines. Water pressure via Subdrive controller, is adjustable from 50-80psi..

    As an add on, an external relay (acting as a switch) operated via a zwave relay switch(ADT security) and via Internet, will permit remote control of the pump, just as one would unlock/lock an electronic door lock. For instance following sprinkler activation due to a fire, which may in turn put out the fire, however activated sprinklers continue to sprinkle water except that I can remotely turn off the pump/water and inlet valve preventing further water damage.

    Now back to answering your question, a water pressure sensor monitors water pressure, as demand increases so does pump output and it will pump faster, keeping pressure from dropping due to the increased water demand.

    Another sensor monitors water pressure in sprinkler lines which alerts or trips the fire alarm and ADT sensors.

    Likewise I will have similar control over all systems in mechanical room, furnaces, on demand water heaters, air conditioning systems, etc. etc. plus usual home automation and security systems.

  • Pinebaron

    Checked out the build in progress and was excited to progress while I was away working. Permanent electric meter and gas in place and both furnaces blaring due to drywall in progress: The electric meter is already showing some numbers, here come the bills, ouch!. The pipe on the left is the AC condensate pipe, I'll extend it once we move.

    Front garages boarded up again to conserve heat. Received quotes for two black aluminum and back glass front and a commercial hi-lift side garage doors with side/wall mount openers; we intend to approve quotes Monday with delivery in 4 weeks, apparently wide doors take time to make/deliver; we are really looking forward to seeing them in place. You can see computer renderings earlier in this thread

    8'x3' door finally installed on the rear garage, actually storage room that also leads to mechanical room at the other end. Note provision for wall lights even there.
    Drywalling commenced; I don't see them completing in six weeks however I'm not worried.

    See the channel for electric drapes

    Life is on hold, I have not flown my favourite 2meter span gas planes in a while, well since the build commenced last year. These are ones I unpacked following the move; fuselages lined up and control batteries on charge.

  • Pinebaron

    More pictures

    Great room ceiling done

    I'll put the great room fireplace in this week before they sheetrock the ends. I've been eyeing a few large TVs in the stores for one to go above the fireplace but will wait to purchase just before we move; models change every day.

  • wysmama
    Looking great so far!
    Are all of those for can lights in the ceiling?
    Looking forward to seeing what type of fireplace you go with
    Pinebaron thanked wysmama
  • Pinebaron

    wysmama: Most are can lights, 46 4" & 6" cans on different circuits in that ceiling, plus four speakers, three pendants for island, a couple for track lighting directed towards the bar and one hole for a chandelier above the dining table.

    We have an 8' linear fireplace and a 4' linear in the master; both were delivered yesterday.

  • Pinebaron

    Interior drywall and exterior soffit updates

    All interior is done; front garage in progress

    Insulation lying in crawl space; guess they will do it when they do the ceilings

    That's looking towards the entry (door expected in about three weeks), a pic from a couple of days ago, they actually finished the fireplace yesterday however it had sheetrock leaning against it.

    This was the exciting part, car port and deck ceilings covered with exterior drywall, will be painted matt black, plenty of light from 28 and 12 cans and a chandelier respectively

    They had to rent a lift for the car port ceiling drywall install

    Front garage overhangs
    Side garage overhang

    Looking down the rear corridor, door to the shop is partially blocked with drywall.

    Front garages in progress

  • Pinebaron

    Mechanical room done; ready to install two tankless and the MUA

    Store room behind center garage ceiling done

    One of the rear bedrooms

  • Pinebaron

    Drywall close to 100% done in agreed areas.

    No space wasted in this house including a store room below the stairs, this will have landscape laighting equipment, transformers, timers and controls.

    A bit of a washout in the back storage room when tapers turned on the water main and 500 gallon water holding tank in mechanical room overflowed due to electric valve switch not plugeed in, incorrectly setup, wrong float etc.. All this is corrected; no overflow even if there is no power; water inlet will be off by default. Reminds me of the days when I was night maintenance electrician at Park Lane Hotel back in London.

  • dsnine

    It’s really coming together - drywall feels a lot more like a house instead of an endless construction project, doesn’t it?

    Pinebaron thanked dsnine
  • Pinebaron

    dsnine: It sure does. Even though in my mind it was a house even before grundbreaking (having designed it in 3d), it is just about now my DW is beginning to call it house instead of 'the land'. Tomorrow is our contruction anniversary; started on 3/3/2017.

  • Pinebaron

    This may be last of the updates for at least a week or two. unless I taks some pictures tomorrow.

    Despite my 101.6 fever, yep I'm nuts, I staggered to the site this afternoon. Water was turned on and for the first time I observed the constant water pressure system in action and working; 1/2 or 3/4 hp motor was barely audible in the mechanical room while tapers were washing their equipment using one of the hose bibbs.. The motor control panel was displaying pretty numbers, not sure if it was water pressure or temperature but I think it said 65, must be 65psi; I have not got around to an operational walkthrough yet while even more equipment is waiting to be installed. I'm a techie and this stuff comes easy to me however my body was saying go home and take rest. Glad I was there since I noticed a slight leak from a condensate line elbo connected to the east furnace. Took pictures of the leak and sent it to the GC; he'll have it fixed tomorrow.

  • Pinebaron

    Almost ready for prime and texture; I'm pleased with the quailty of work.

    Deck ceiling



    Great room with work still going on

    Looking towards the fireplace wall

    Here's a view from the rear left of cleared area behind the house

  • dsnine

    Love that exterior shot. At least from where I sit the drywall and can lights and such make it feel like it’s 90% of the way there. The seams look nice too!

    Now for the other 90% finishing details :)

  • Pinebaron

    dsnine: Thanks; we are beginning to see light at the end of this long tunnel.

    Much of finishing material has been decided though DW and I have been playing around with wood floor layout/grain direction of three corridors leading out from the long tiled foyer/entry and the same wood floor direction in great room area. 3D rendering is almost close to real but this is one decision that needs physically placement before we agree on layout.

    Build/Delivery of entry door we designed is expected in the next week or so; I'd love to see that masterpiece installed soon.

  • Pinebaron

    Drywall and Texture done

    Few pictures before they start painting

    Great Room

    DW's office nook flanked by pantry and laundry rooms

    Rear corridor looking in from center garage door

    Front corridor looking into mud room and beyond from front garage door, and second one is view from mud room door into front corridor

    Looking down the master corridor, prayer room is on left then there will be double door to master suite and another from entrance to the suite with the last one looking back from the master french door (to master deck)

    View from entry door to foyer

  • Pinebaron

    Crawl space insulation done

    Only inside entry to crawl space via trapdoor in server room floor

  • Pinebaron

    How's that for a night scene rendering of our home with new lights I ordered and designed an exact symbol in the software for visuals.

  • wysmama
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  • jkm6712


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  • Pinebaron

    Here another rendering of a view from the SE corner

  • Pinebaron

    Two coats of interior paint done and so far so good, we need to wait at least a week before the color settles in, this one surprisingly takes a week to mature and lighten up.

    Boy, am I glad I did not attempt to do 90+ gallons of wall paint myself. Interior ceilings will commence on Monday followed by exterior paint, trim, gutter boards, etc., these guys are going to be around a while even though the weather is cooperating this week.

    Our entry door was delivered yesterday and unloaded without a scratch, phew!

    Took a quick couple of pics while they were bringing the frame and each door into center garage. It was scary when they had to tilt the huge frame to get it through the 8' tall garage door, the frame is taller. Pic of frame and one of two doors. They covered it all with heavy plastic sheeting before they left. I think we'll install it the following week when I'm working from home. They also left cans of door paint and threshold stain. Really pleased with the results and looking forward to seeing it on the home.

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