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Building my new house


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#1 bgl

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    Creating my new Palm Paradise

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

After buying my two new acres on Pomaikai Street here in Leilani Estates in early December 2010, and then partly clearing them, I have been busy both planting palms there and more recently finally getting around to weed control. And about eight months ago I began designing my new house. When I had the design ready I hired a draftsperson, who created the plans, which were then checked and stamped by an architect. Next step was to find a contractor. That's an important job, and anyone who has ever built a house will know ALL about that. :mrlooney: I ended up hiring Kevin Gardner, who built my "old" house 15 years ago. A house that I had also designed. Kevin is an excellent builder and I was very happy with my choice. Kevin has been building houses all his life and he comes up with lots of great suggestions that can be implemented as construction is in progress. We were finally ready to get started in mid November 2011, and here's James, Mike and Kevin. A happy crew! :) James also worked with Kevin building my "old" house. This will most definitely be a fun experience! :)

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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

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#2 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:42 PM

First a "progress report" with photos taken from the exact same spot (a ten foot tall mound) throughout these past eight weeks. I will break this up in two posts. This post has photos from mid November to early December 2011, and the next post mid December to now.

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11 November 2011 with nothing on it

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16 November 2011. Staking out where the house will be built.

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22 November 2011. Framing of the concrete foundations. The house will be "post and pier", about four ft above ground.

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28 November 2011. Concrete foundations in place.

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29 November 2011. Framing of the house itself begins.

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06 December 2011. Getting the floor and lanai in place.
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#3 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:51 PM

Despite heavy and frequent rains in November and December, Kevin & crew is able to get things done with amazing speed. There's something exciting happening just about every day! :)

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15 December 2011. Floor is now in place.

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16 December 2011. The walls are being framed. This is all accomplished in a day and a half!

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23 December 2011. Structure is now complete. Except for the roof!

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30 December 2011. The 40 or so trusses have been pre-fabricated to specifications by Honsador Lumber in Hilo and were delivered on 29 December. A large crane is on site the next morning, and every single truss is installed in three hours. This was pretty amazing to watch.

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06 January 2012. Part of the roof structure has been primered and we are ready for the roof to be installed.

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12 January 2012. Roof now completely in place, and a major relief. The weather is not going to be much of a concern from here on. :)
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#4 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:57 PM

And in the next few posts I will detail some of the more interesting aspects of what has happened up to this point.

The first lumber delivery by Honsador Lumber was already on 16 November 2011. This guy BACKED in his 40 ft long truck WITH a trailer to the site. The driveway is more or less S shaped and more than 300 ft long and not that wide. It took him half an hour! He could actually have driven in and turned around on the site, but many of these truck drivers prefer to back in to construction sites.

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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#5 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:59 PM

And the very next day, 17 November 2011, we are breaking ground. Here's Nick with his excavator, and James and Mike, digging the holes where the concrete foundations will be placed.

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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#6 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:02 PM

16 December 2011. Framing of the walls began late afternoon on the 15th and was all completed at the end of the day on the 16th. These guys know how to get things done! Despite the rain! :mrlooney:

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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#7 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:12 PM

The next day, 17 December 2011, an exciting project. I wanted to use some of the native ohi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees in the design, with four large ohi'a logs holding up the lanai roof and an even more robust ohi'a log holding up one corner of the carport. So Kevin and I selected five large ohi'a trees on the property that Kevin & crew took down with a chainsaw. These trees were in the process of dying anyway, but the wood is still perfectly fine to use.

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Here's a large ohi'a that had to be hauled out of the forest. James is attaching a rope and chain to the base.

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And Mike is pulling it out with his Chevy pickup.

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I had planted three Lemurophoenix on the property boundary, thinking they would be nowhere near the "action". Didn't quite work out that way, even though we didn't have any major problems. Here's James guiding a heavy ohi'a tree so it won't hit my Lemur! :mrlooney: Mike is pulling it out with his truck.

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These logs are VERY heavy!

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The guys are inspecting three of the trees. All look great.

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A bit later, Mike is powerwashing off the bark. This needs to be done quickly, or else it's difficult to remove.

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And five besutiful ohi'a logs, ready to be used in the house. The sixth one, to the left, was a back-up.
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#8 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

As I mentioned above, the trusses were delivered on 29 December 2011. A large crane arrived on the site in the morning of 30 December, and Kevin, James and Mike began putting them in place at 10 am. This was like a big puzzle with a number of different sized trusses, all depending on their location, on the house or the lanai, and each truss had a specific code, indicating where it would go. Kevin was VERY busy making sure they got picked up by the crane operator in the right sequence, while Mike and James were up on top the structure guiding them in place, and attaching them. By 1 pm, three hours later, every single truss was in place. This operation was absolutely amazing to watch. :)

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All the trusses, stacked on top of each other in front of the house and ready for installation.

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The large crane from Maikai Crane lifting one of the trusses.

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And one of the final lanai trusses being guided into position.

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In the meantime Kim is disposing of Clinostigma fronds, wondering about her new noisy neighbor! :lol: Crane in the background! :mrlooney:
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#9 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:28 PM

We also have nine smaller ohi'a logs. Five will support the railings on the lanai and the other four will be used out front, by the steps leading up to the front door.

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Here are the nine smaller logs.

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And two of the ohi'a logs that are now installed on the lanai.

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And the one holding up one corner of the carport.

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And finally, a view from the lanai. It's overlooking a small ravine, about 8-10 ft deep or so. The hapu'u tree ferns will be kept, but all the rest (all invasive weeds) will be removed and replaced by palms, bromeliads and other plants.

Oh, and for those who might be interested in even more detail, I have done frequent updates to my blog over these past two months with MANY more photos and comments. See my signature below for the link to my blog.
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#10 Jeff in Costa Rica

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:55 PM

Excellent progress report Bo. Congrats on your new home! I really like your use of the native tree logs.
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#11 bgl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

Jeff,

Thanks a lot! And yes, the ohia logs all have their own special character. No two are alike and they really add a lot to the visual effects of the house. I'll add more photos when the smaller logs have been added to the lanai.

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#12 Jeff Searle

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:14 AM

Bo,

Great to see all the progress. House looks on the small side, is there a second bedroom for out-of-town guest? :D What's the square footage "under air". And I know most houses don't use ac out there. Can't wait until pictures of the swimming pool! :lol: But I look forward with more pictures as things get done.
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#13 bgl

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:59 AM

Jeff,

What can I say, this is just for ME! :) Small yes, but that's exactly what I want. "Small, simple but nice". There are two bedrooms, so don't worry! If you show up, I do have room for you. :) But more than half the space inside the house is just one large room. Kitchen/dining area and living room all in one. And that opens up to the lanai, which is 16 x 20 ft. Living space in the house itself is just under 1,000 sq.ft. (About 90 sq.m.). Plenty for me! And of course no a/c. Nobody here has either heat or a/c.

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#14 redant

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:46 AM

Are termites a problem in HI, I know in FL wood houses are a bit of a problem with rot and termites.

I had noticed your previous house didn't seem to have much of an outdoor area other then the detached tiki hut. My wife and I spend more time on our porch then probably any other room. Was wondering about the lack of outdoor space in such amazing surroundings.

Good luck with the new place, I'm sure you will love the ease of a small abode.
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#15 bgl

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:13 AM

Redant,

Thanks for the comments! Yes, using wood for construction of private homes is pretty much the norm here. The wood is of course treated, but there are still termite problems. Apparently more so at lower elevations, like in Hilo where it's not uncommon to see a house tented for termite treatment. Very unusual here in Leilani Estates, which is at elevation (800 ft or so). Also, the siding of the house will be a composite material that looks like wood. My old house actually did have a lanai, which we used frequently. It can be seen in post #71 (third photo), page 2, in my "PRA adventures with Dave & others" thread. Right now, that thread is on page 2 here. That lanai was screened in. My lanai in my new house is going to be completely open, giving it a very different feel. Rich, my friend and nextdoor neighbor, has a very similar lanai. Completely open, and it was his lanai that inspired me. With the forest all around you, it WILL be a very dramatic experience to sit out on the lanai and enjoy a pleasant afternoon, with the sun setting. The lanai is facing west.

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#16 Stevetoad

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:28 AM

Bo im really good at sitting and drinking outside so if you want me to come over and show you how to enjoy that lanai id be happy to do so! :D
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#17 bgl

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:16 PM

Steve,

Actually, I have a fair amount of experience myself, but don't let that stop you from coming over ANYWAY! :mrlooney: Nothing like a shared experience! :)

Bo-Göran
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http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#18 Jeff Searle

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

Bo im really good at sitting and drinking outside so if you want me to come over and show you how to enjoy that lanai id be happy to do so! :D



Hmmm, I'll be doing that tonight. The weather will be in the mid 50's, so we'll be sitting around a fire, drinking lots of drinks, eating some fresh caught, smoked fish dip and pizza. Andrea actually is making two pitchers of the famous drink of Brazil( and for the life of me, can't spell it!) which is made from Brazlian cane rum, limes and simple syrup. Eight of us in all.

BO....I'll be thinking of you and will raise a glass in your name! :lol:
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#19 Tassie_Troy1971

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:32 PM

looking good Bo . No AC or heat sounds good to me !
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#20 Stevetoad

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:47 PM


Bo im really good at sitting and drinking outside so if you want me to come over and show you how to enjoy that lanai id be happy to do so! :D



Hmmm, I'll be doing that tonight. The weather will be in the mid 50's, so we'll be sitting around a fire, drinking lots of drinks, eating some fresh caught, smoked fish dip and pizza. Andrea actually is making two pitchers of the famous drink of Brazil( and for the life of me, can't spell it!) which is made from Brazlian cane rum, limes and simple syrup. Eight of us in all.

BO....I'll be thinking of you and will raise a glass in your name! :lol:

I got smashed on Caipirinha at a Brazilian restaurant out here. Good stuff but man they go down to easy. Sushi and beer for me tonight. Well beer already.
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#21 bgl

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

Troy, thanks a lot! And no heating or a/c is definitely a great way to live! :)

Jeff, you're thinking of me!? That's so sweet! :rolleyes:

And Steve, Brazilian, Japanese...so obviously time for something Hawaiian! Make sure you bring Jeff along! But you have to share the bed! :lol:

Bo-Göran
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#22 paulgila

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:55 AM


Bo im really good at sitting and drinking outside so if you want me to come over and show you how to enjoy that lanai id be happy to do so! :D



Hmmm, I'll be doing that tonight. The weather will be in the mid 50's, so we'll be sitting around a fire, drinking lots of drinks, eating some fresh caught, smoked fish dip and pizza. Andrea actually is making two pitchers of the famous drink of Brazil( and for the life of me, can't spell it!) which is made from Brazlian cane rum, limes and simple syrup. Eight of us in all.

BO....I'll be thinking of you and will raise a glass in your name! :lol:


dont worry about the spelling,jeff,everyplace i've ever been that has em on the menu spells it differently! :mrlooney:

bo the house is looking amazing! great idea to incorporate the native trees. looking forward to seeing more as it progresses.
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#23 sur4z

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:41 AM

Bo...the house is really coming along.When do you plan to move in? One more question though is how did you found this site? With all the native growth I think it would have been hard to walk the site beforehand.
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#24 bgl

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:27 AM

Paul,

Thanks a lot, and this has been lots of fun. Seeing the progress and be a very active part of it. Will add more photos and comments later on! :)

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

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#25 bgl

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:34 AM

Sur4z,

Yes, it's coming along very nicely! Thank you! Expected move in date is mid March 2012, which would be exactly four months since we broke ground. I know Kevin actually hopes to get it done maybe even before that, but I would be more than happy with mid March. Only two months from now! When you ask about the "site", I assume you're referring to the area where the house is being built? That is actually more than 300 ft in from the street, and you are correct - there was NO WAY to know that when I bought the two acres. I did walk them when I was in escrow, but when you can only see 10-15 ft in front of you, it's impossible to get a good overall idea of what the terrain is like. That didn't happen until I brought in a bulldozer in December 2010, days after I closed the deal. Here are three photos, taken from more or less the same spot and facing the same direction.

PomA1.JPG
December 10, 2010. This was on the day that we actually made it all the way in the back with the bulldozer. A very exciting day.

PomA2.JPG
December 30, 2010. Exact same spot. Lots of weed trees have been removed and the housepad prepared.

PomA3.JPG
January 13, 2012. House now structurally complete.
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#26 paulgila

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:59 AM

what color is the house gonna be,bo? i have lots of "chinese blue" if ya need it! :lol:
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#27 MattyB

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

So I guess you can't use OSB board because it rains too much during construction.

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#28 spockvr6

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:58 PM

Living space in the house itself is just under 1,000 sq.ft. (About 90 sq.m.). Plenty for me!


I am with you on that. Our place on Pine Island is ~900 sq ft and I love it. Its just too easy to take care of and really is enough space to live in.


And of course no a/c. Nobody here has either heat or a/c.

Bo-Göran


You lost me there......With my wife and daughter, if the house varies a degree or two from 72F the complaints start rolling in :mrlooney:
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#29 palmislandRandy

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

Bo,

Great to see all the progress. House looks on the small side, is there a second bedroom for out-of-town guest? :D What's the square footage "under air". And I know most houses don't use ac out there. Can't wait until pictures of the swimming pool! :lol: But I look forward with more pictures as things get done.



I guess Jeff didn't notice his little green "guest house" in post #2 :D Bo, I'd love to see your new home & garden in person someday.
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#30 bgl

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:20 PM

Paul, hmm..."Chinese blue"...I was thinking of something a bit more bold! I think I'll go with beige! :lol:

Matt, OSB - never heard about it so I googled it. And the reason I hadn't heard about it: no one in their right mind would use it here! People certainly use wood, but that only has a limited life expectancy in this high humidity and high rainfall environment. I am going with a composite material that looks like wood. It was actually delivered today. Should be installed by the end of this week or early next week.

Larry, well I'm not expecting any complaints so that would seem to be a moot point! :rolleyes:

And Palmisland, let me know when you're heading this way! Lots to see here! And the "green guest house" is only temporary! Knowing how savvy Jeff is, I'm sure he knew that and will simply wait until I move in! :lol:

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#31 Jerry@TreeZoo

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:00 PM

OSB won't work for exterior but is certainly suitable for interior. My work shed is made of it with vinyl siding covering it. As long as you keep it dry, it is great stuff.
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#32 Z4Devil

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:45 AM

Great report, Bo-Göran. :) And soooo near to the rainforest. Well, your complete name, phone number and address, please. I am currently on the way to the airport and will be available via my cell phone in a few hours again. :D :lol:

Well done and much success in progressing your home castle. :)
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#33 bgl

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

Jerry, I didn't mean to sound critical of the product. It just doesn't seem to be suitable for most uses here. But inside a structure, once the roof is on, I'm sure it would work just fine. :)

Verena, thanks, and this isn't just near the rainforest. This is actually IN the rainforest. The area in front of the house is fairly open and that's important for air circulation to take place. Here's a photo from this morning. The siding, which is a fiber cement product, has been installed over the last couple of days. It's beginning to look like a house now! I just need a front door! :mrlooney:

Bo-Göran

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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

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#34 DoomsDave

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

Yowza, bo, that popped up like a mushroom.

A magic mushroom . . .
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#35 bgl

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:33 PM

Dave,

Indeed! And all this in just two months and a couple of days! And what's even more amazing - Kevin is actually running about two weeks behind his original schedule because of all the heavy rains in November and December! But I am happy with the progress. :)

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

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#36 peachy

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:44 PM

I am waiting to see photos of the actual house. Naturally the construction of the gate-house is interesting, but I want to know where you will actually be living.
Peachy
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#37 bgl

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:34 PM

Peachy,

I am so sorry to disappoint you! :mrlooney: Now if I really wanted to build a gate-house, that would have to be close to the street, a good distance away from the house. But that would take away space from palm plantings. And let's get real - what's more important in life: more palms OR a big impressive house? EXACTLY! :lol: MORE PALMS OF COURSE! My thinking as well! :rolleyes: So I'm going with simplicity - a small cozy house and LOTS of palms! :)

I'll let you know if I have any regrets after I move in! (Fat chance! :lol: )

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#38 _Keith

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:36 PM

Looks to be the perfect size to me, Bo.
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In my post I sometimes express "MY" opinion.   Please do not feel insulted if your opinion differs from my opinion.  That is fine.  You get to have one, I get to have one.  Its kind of like they teach you in Kindergarten, but we don't even have to share.  Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data.  Other terms may apply.


#39 bgl

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:41 PM

Keith,

I'm glad SOMEONE understands! I'll have the guestroom ready when you get here. :)

Bo-Göran
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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

http://lundkvistpalmgardencentral.com

#40 _Keith

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:02 PM

Keith,

I'm glad SOMEONE understands! I'll have the guestroom ready when you get here. :)

Bo-Göran


One day Bo, I hope to take you up on that. My one regret about this house, which I built 6 years ago, is that it is too big. I would have been so much wiser to have built along the lines of what you are doing.
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In my post I sometimes express "MY" opinion.   Please do not feel insulted if your opinion differs from my opinion.  That is fine.  You get to have one, I get to have one.  Its kind of like they teach you in Kindergarten, but we don't even have to share.  Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data.  Other terms may apply.





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