Once we finished cordwooding the house, it was time to start working in earnest on the interior. Clare and I decided it would be best to start the finish work upstairs and work our way down, so that the mess would fall into the as-yet-unfinished first floor, rather than on stuff we had just finished. During the fall and early winter of 2015, our friend Matt had some time to give us a hand (fortunately for us!), and he framed out the area above the second-floor cordwood walls. He then drywalled the whole area, aside from where the second-floor bathroom will be – since we decided not to put any cordwood walls in the bathrooms, we’ll be finishing that room separately.
Clare and I took over at this point, painting the drywall, and putting up trim that I made from leftover cedar boards. Most of the second floor looks pretty well done at this point, as long as you don’t look down at the temporary plywood flooring on the second floor.
While Matt was working, and throughout the winter, I installed ceiling light fixtures on the knotty aspen ceiling, covering both the great room and the second floor.
Working on Nerdwood after work during the previous winters was always a bit spooky, since it gets so dark out there so early, and the couple of portable work lights we have just light a small area, casting mysterious shadows throughout the rest of the house. The track lights and second floor ceiling lights really light the whole place up, and make it more homey to work in. Plus, they are LED bulbs, so they use a tiny amount of juice compared to the energy-hog halogen work lights.
As you can see above, I also put in a ceiling fan over the great room. In addition to having a light in it, it really moves a lot of air, helping keep the whole house an even temperature, even though all the heat is coming from just the floor and the masonry heater. We chose a fan with a DC motor, which is pricier, but is completely silent at all but the highest, “It’s a twister!” fan speeds.
On Christmas Day, the temps outside were hovering just around freezing, so water kept dripping from the roof, then coating the vegetation with ice: