Home Woodcarving Renovations About/Contact

Iain can be retained without a lot of fuss for your construction job too. Want a patio, deck, or garden shed built? Maybe a garden pathway, log gazebo, picnic table, timber frame pergola or stone retaining wall? Or perhaps a complete kitchen, bath, or other living space remodel? No problem. Iain loves these types of projects. He does this work under the name "Handsome Dan Construction".

Beach House
As with many beach homes, charm is created with simple white planks. Some planks around the round window were vinegar stained before paint was applied. Polished beach stones fill knot holes.

Local Yellow Cedar (Cypress) flooring was installed in the loft, and wide plank Alder on the main floor. A vinegar stain was applied with a rag to the Alder flooring. It is a safe product that anyone can make at home, and it costs next to nothing. It was then sealed with a water based polyurethane.

In the third picture the bathroom appears 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 drywall. Once you do that, planks are less than half the cost. Other 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 anywhere you want, and without those silly drywall anchors or stud finders.

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 14 gallon single element 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).

I know that initially a hydronic wall system does not sound "artistic", but if you think about it, it actually is. Once the math is calculated, the efficiency and longevity of a system like this is greatly affected by the focus of the installer. 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.

Random Creative Projects

Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.


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

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