Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Becoming real 4

I imagine that not many people get the opportunity to design and build their own home. Not only is that happening, I get to see it every step of the way! If you haven’t been following – here’s where we are at:

  • we have 10 acres of land, so space was not really an issue
  • it was necessary to keep our current home so we have somewhere “accessible” to live during the build
  • the new house is just to the east of the old one, on the kitchen garden
  • we’ll tear down the old house within the year
  • the dig started in May
  • the plans have been in the works for 2 years
  • we went through the entire alphabet of plan versions before we were happy with
  • we are using the settlement from the auto insurance company
  • I do not recommend going this route in order to build a new house

From above – foreground is new house, turquoise roof is old house and behind it (grey roof) is “the shed”; driveway to the right.

Is this not the most amazing photo you have ever seen?? You can almost see the curve of the Earth…

It was taken by the cement crane operator using a drone while waiting for another load of cement. That huge arm is driven by remote control – you can see him in the background of this photo. I like this one too because it makes it look as though the massive tube of cement is just coming out of the sky 🙂

Cement from the sky

The cement arrived at 7 am on  Friday morning – Casey and Mike were there even earlier. It was forecast to be a super hot day – we woke to a thick blanket of fog shrouding the land like a protective blanket. But it did not keep those trucks from coming!

Oliver watering the pad


Because of the heat we have had to stay home on the long weekend and water the pad to keep it cool. This is not ideal weather for curing cement; it will crack if we don’t keep it cool with water. In fact some of the cement has cracked already. Mike says there is two kinds of cement – one that already cracked and the other that hasn’t cracked yet!

This house has no basement, so all of the utility pipes and electrical conduits are in and under the cement. You can see the black, blue and red plumbing pipes and tubes. There are also a few places where the electrical comes up through the floor (like the kitchen island).

Casey installing the plastic barrier and Styrofoam insulation

Pipes for plumbing, heating and electricity – the future utility room.

Theo came home early from work and became the “free labour” to help get the job done

Under the cement you can see the white tubes that will be the in-floor heat.  They will be attached to our geothermal system that draws heat from deep underground in winter and does the opposite in the summer. It is  the most efficient way to consistently heat the house – which is great for my (thermoregulation challenged) body.

They are coming back to pour the garage floor mid-week and then the framing will begin. I’ve been told that things will really start to happen fast once the wood arrives.

I haven’t been able to get on my new floor yet – but as soon as I can I’ll be doing the “roll” test to see how flat and level it is – regardless it will be a thousand times better than what I have been living with for almost three years. Two years, 11 months and 1 day, to be exact.

Bikers are out, and so are motorcycles. Please – drop your distractions and share the road.


  • Joan Hukezalie, OCT says:

    Very exciting Julie!

  • Kim says:

    Oh my gosh! It’s finally happening. I can only imagine the anticipation, busyness and stress of this entire process. Thanks for sharing, Julie. Always wishing you well, and hoping that you get a spray or too from that hose as you keep the cement from cracking. It’s s scorcher!!! Soak up your kids this summer. Sounds like it will be an eventful one. Amazing drone picture!!! I hope it turns out to be the home you were hoping for and that all goes smoothly (and quickly!). Sending all good thoughts your way!

  • Betty says:

    Looks wonderful – state of the art heating and accessibility. Worth the wait and all the extra planning.

  • Jan Duffield says:

    When we bought our farm 20+ years ago, one of the selling features was that it had a geothermal system (likely the prototype for geothermal!) Happy to report that our system is still working perfectly and is cooling our house as I type. In those 20+ years, we have not spent a dime on repairs! I know you will enjoy the convenience and reliability of geothermal. Looking forward to pics of the framing!

Add comment

%d bloggers like this: