Somewhere in-between Princeton and Summerland lies a group of lakes, Chain, Link, and the largest of the lakes, Osprey. A popular lake for fishing, it is home to many holiday homes as well as all-year-round residents. The Osprey Cabin Exterior Finishing project was a one of a kind opportunity.
As an avid outdoorsman, when the opportunity to do a renovation on lakefront property in some of BCs most beautiful countryside came along, I jumped on it immediately. Who wouldn’t love the idea of going fishing right after work every day?
The homeowner had previously had a small bungalow on the property and had decided that he wanted to build his dream cabin. Demolishing the old structure and building new. With steep peaks, green tin roof, and lots of windows the home already had that “cabin on the lake feel”. The homeowner had selected Hardie siding in their Cedar colour with green wood trim and custom knotty pine soffits. It had a log cabin vibe which the homeowner was going for.
With the scope of work being understood, we set out to get to work. Now normally in renovations there are always curveballs. Typically, they are usually to do with the structure that you are working on… the osprey lake project was totally different. The logistics of doing a project so remote really made me evolve in the way I managed the project.
Firstly, the site was 40 minutes away from Princeton which was the nearest place to purchase any sort of supplies or materials. So, I really had to plan ahead. A “town trip” could take 3-4 hours out of your workday. Secondly, there was no cell service. This can be a blessing sometimes, but when you are trying to inquire to see if a store has a building product or tool you need it becomes a bit of a headache.
Having to drive 30min down the road just to reach cell service was a real treat. To make matters a bit more interesting we were going to be staying in the cabin we were working on. Which didn’t have plumbing hooked up yet. We had an outhouse for going to the bathroom and a lake for washing in.
This wouldn’t be an issue if it was in June or July but we were in early April and the lake was two-thirds frozen still. It truly was like camping. Except instead of a few days it was going to be a few weeks. Challenge accepted.
One Of A Kind Exterior Finishing
Work started and every day we made more progress. One of the most rewarding parts of doing exterior renovations is being to visibly see the progress you made that day. I loved the colour scheme and “feel” of the cabin. The homeowner really selected materials that complimented each other. One my favourite parts was working with the knotty pine tongue and groove soffits.
Each piece was unique. In my own way, I felt like an artist judiciously selecting each piece of pine and specifically installing it on my lumber tapestry. The vaulted ceilings had multiple openings for pot lights, speakers, and outlets. It required every cut to be on a bevel. But the finished product was worth the extra work.
Douglas Fir Beam Wrap
I always tell clients that renovations evolve and take on a life of their own. Things change until the project becomes as unique as they are. Which usually means change orders. The scope of the work changes as things are added or subtracted. In this case, things were added. On the exterior of the building, there were three beams supporting the truss’.
The homeowner wanted them capped in kiln-dried Douglass fir. He also wanted them to carry on inside the cabin as if they were connected. I had to build faux fir beams in the house. No problem. Next, we were to cap all exterior beams in fir as well as the posts. To give the posts a more “regal” look I suggested doing double profile post collars. After doing a mockup it was easy for the client to see the benefit this design feature offered. To make the fir “pop” even more a nice auburn stain was applied.
It was bittersweet when the project concluded. I enjoyed the work immensely and the finished product looked amazing. However, I was missing having showers (and my family of course). It was one of the most scenic jobs I’ve ever completed as well as the most fun.