Home Wood Carving Renovations Pricing/Contact

So are you after a characterful patio, deck, or garden shed? How about a magical winding garden path, gazebo, or pergola? Or maybe a complete kitchen, bath, or other living space remodel? No problem. I do enjoy designing and building these types of projects. Renovations are done under the name "Handsome Dan Construction".

I have begun to concentrate on wood carving but until that really takes off I can still be hired for construction jobs. Although I have completed many high spec renovations throughout the Gulf Islands, my real strength is creating comfortable, soulful spaces. Have a look at the pictures below to see what I mean.

Beach House Theme
Yep, simple white planks. Shade variety created using vinegar stain before paint was applied. Polished beach stones fill knot holes. The loft flooring is Yellow Cedar (Cypress) and Alder is on the ground floor. More vinegar stain was used to darken the Alder flooring. It is a safe product that can be made at home, and it costs a fraction of store bought.

Third picture... The bathroom may appear to be an accident waiting to happen. Splinters from worn boards and tetanus shots for all. But this is an illusion as the wood is all sanded smooth, and the reclaimed metal is buffed and lacquered. Better yet, the $3000 saved by not installing imported tile can now be spent on more important things like a deep soaker tub with roman faucets.

Lighting is supplied by aged industrial exterior fixtures. Distressed steel pipe and fittings acts as towel racks, curtain rods and grab bars throughout the home.

Method to the madness.
The initial cost of using profiled Pine planks is higher than drywall until you factor in the overall savings achieved by eliminating all the finishing trim and mouldings associated with nasty old drywall. Once you do that, planks are less than half the cost. These savings can then be spent on the extra man hours to create a truely fantastic space.

The logical benefits include the added shear strength of planks vs drywall. Unfortunately the exterior walls of this home were only 2x4 studs sheathed in 3/8 plywood. The new interior planks will help this home survive a decent earthquake. And as an added bonus, you can install a shelf any damn place you want.

Preschool heating is supplied by hydronic radiant walls. A heated floor was ruled out because the doorways and windows were not framed with a heated floor in mind, and past experience also ruled out heating from the underside of the subfloor.

1. As you can see in the mechanical room photo, a small water heater (set at 130F) heats the water. There is only a 8-10 degree F drop in temperature upon return.

2. In the second photo the pex snakes it's way up the exterior wall. Three of the manifold's four loops are used to heat this 900 sq ft space. One exterior wall and two interior walls (with a short branch to the exterior wall of the bathroom) are heated. No run is longer than 150 feet and each does not vary more than 6 feet. Exterior walls are more heavily insulated (R30) to direct heat inwards, while the interior walls are not insulated so that heat will radiant from both sides. All pex is insulated between the mechanical room and the heated walls.

3. A completed interior wall can be seen in the third picture. Quarter inch hardboard wainscoting covers the heated area, while pine planks cover the rest. On the wall to the left of the art easel is the programmable 7-day timer which controls the 3-speed pump (set to low).

What the hell does all this mean? 900 sq ft of floor with 16' cathedral ceilings and 2019's largest winter energy bill was $60 per month! The cathedral ceilings could only be insulated to R34, but the needed time was taken to do the job right, and that's what makes the difference. Still, I have installed several different radiant floor systems, and radiant walls are my new favorite. They are far less expensive to install and far more efficient to run, especially if you don't want to be restricted to floor finishes like concrete or tile.

Other Work


Handsome Dan Construction and Design
7755 Sunset Drive
Lake Cowichan, BC v0r2g0

Phone: 250 932 1032
email: iart@shaw.ca