Originally Posted by aravenel
That's a gorgeous home, Pierce. Congrats.
It's kind of SugarButch's dilemma, though: this was a one-way trip for us. When we decided to do this, we decided that we'd grow old in this house. We'll keep tinkering with it but we're never buying another one. At least not as a primary residence.
It's big enough that we don't need any more room. And in these days of vinyl and cut-rate stud construction, there's just nothing like this. The barn is balloon framing and entirely built from old-growth timber harvested from this property in the 40's -- the second floor, exterior walls, and even the roof are all 2X6 car decking from tight-knot T&G fir, much better quality than you could ever get today. It was an equipment barn for a concrete-pouring company back in the 50's and 60's, and all we can figure is that whoever built it was concerned about accidentally bumping something really heavy into a wall or having a tractor fall through the floor.
The second floor is supported by a massive 72' span of 10X16 clear old-growth fir that runs longitudinally through the A-frame; we uncovered half of it during the downstairs reno and I didn't see a single knot. That beam alone today would cost half of what we paid for the house.
We seismically anchored the walls and support pillars and built 1/2" plywood shear walls downstairs. If a tree fell on this place it would bounce off and apologize. My nephew's kids will inherit it.
Sorry for all the pics, but this is the framing we found inside the walls. I hated to tear it out. We pulled nails and reused as many of the studs as we could because the bones of the house were better than Select Structural. I was able to sell the ones we didn't use, nails and all.
This is the second floor, exposed from beneath; these beams run perpendicular to the main structural beam. We added the closest overhead beam in this pic after we took out the framing to open up the wall.
Plus, it's really cool having every light switch and wall heater exactly where you want it. I imagine a bespoke suit carries the same thrill. :)
We're about 20 minutes from Tacoma and a ferry ride from Seattle, and we're surrounded by stunning 7-figure homes, although to be fair, we're on a dead-end road by a horse farm out of sight of all of them. All the property immediately around us is wetland, tangled and overgrown and unsuitable for development. That gives our house a kind of survivalist compound feel, which I don't really like, but you can't have everything.
Thanks again, all.
Edited by Pierce R - 1/7/13 at 3:24pm