A Custom Home Part 3
by Scott A.Sumner
The hammering is now in full swing. Dario Scocchia and his staff of 4 are called the "Shock and Awe" team because they produce the home so quickly and efficiently. After about a one hour discussion with Dario between saw cuts and hammering- with his air pressurized nailer I knew we have a good team on the framing of my house. His attention to detail is very evident and organization to keep the project moving was easy to see by this business type carpenter. There is a set way Dario likes to build his homes with quality standards. "We finish our bulk heads over the windows right away complete with insulation for example. Also more support is given to the door entrance ways than some do. It involves more wood but is worth it." said Dario.
This is the time when you can start to get a real feel for your rooms and their size and configuration.The quality of your prior plan selection comes more into focus now and I was quite pleased with the results. We decided to frame for a door to the basement area, which had previously been left open. In my case we will leave the basement area unfinished for now. It will provide another 1500 square feet of living area if you choose, as the furnace is its only use for now. The plumbing will be roughed in for a later third bathroom for the house. At the beginning of the house planning process a decision was made to have a basement. You can have a full height basement of 8 feet ,a crawl space of about 4 feet or a slab on grade. The slab on grade requires an engineering certificate while a basement doesnt. The cost variance of both is not that high and I think it gives you more options in the future if you need more space.
Also for resale in Thunder Bay a basement option is best. I had a conservation with John Arella of Arella Contracting whose company completed the concrete curbing in the subdivision. "We had a first for Thunder Bay, our first day of pouring here. We did over 1000 meters in one day!" I think the curbing is quite impressive. It is a new design for Thunder Bay allowing for no required cuts when you pave your driveway. You will abut the concrete as does the street so you can choose any location for your driveway. The curbing definitely finishes off the look of a street. Upcoming decisions are coming much faster now. You have to be sure of your roof shingle type and colour, the kitchen cabinets must be decided and the types of plumbing fixtures you will use like your toilet or tubs. They have to be ordered or start to be manufactured here.
I was happy to get the shingles on the roof to protect the wood from rain. We had decided that the colour weathered wood in the New Horizon series of shingles sold by Triad Roofing would match our colour scheme for the exterior of the house. They give quite a rich look in my opinion with a blended colour approach. This is a detail that is very important as the wrong choice of roof shingle will affect your over all look. In the last few days I have been quite busy meeting sub trades and getting a feel of what to expect from them in the upcoming days. The kitchen cabinets must be decided soon as they take time to construct. I also met with our plumbing contrator Dan Gerolami to look at tub selections, the type of toilets, sinks and hardware you might like. In addition we met with Dave Robertson of All-Temp to get a better understanding of what type of furnace and air conditioning unit to choose. There is a lot to consider here as it will affect your ongoing costs in your home. I also had another good discussion with Dario Scocchia of Brantin Construction who framed our house. This was an invigorating as spending time with Dario you can feel his passion for construction. This is something he loves to do, its not just a job. That is the type of person you want on the job for you. Dario is excited about learning new things and he told me about how he constructed our cathedral ceiling on an inverted hip in our dining - living room area. We also discussed our deck on the golf course side which will be 12 feet by 16 feet with a side set of stairs. This size of deck will give more room to barbeque! We discussed the lighting arrangements on a deck and came up with a good plan here. We'll talk more about these decisions in the next article.