Home in the Hills

Achieving Beauty and functionality with a palette of KEBONY, Douglas Fir, AND reclaimed Pine and hemlock from an 1860 barn.


This brand new build in the Mulmur Hills wanted to look like it had been there since the turn of the century — but under the façade perform as well as any R2000 home.


I am grateful to have been chosen to work on the exterior building envelope, cladding, and timberframe frontispiece. It was such a joy to be a part of an old-school “all-star cast” on this special project.

All of the wood on the project was reclaimed — the soffits and balustrade were rough-sawn, old-growth, vertical-grain Douglas Fir, the cladding was reclaimed exterior Pine barnboard from west or south faces (deeply faded gray and eroded), and the timberframe was reclaimed hemlock from an 1860 Ingersoll Ontario barn.

The only new wood is the Kebony decking, which has a 30-year warranty and an expected 60-year life cycle.

Selecting the right breathable membrane (Vaproshield WrapShield IT) was an important first step as the reclaimed 130-year pine barnboard is not like ANY other cladding.

With its deeply rivuletted face, varying thickness, widths, and holes, it was a real challenge for the house wrap to perform as a rainscreen scrim as well.

The deep mortise pockets of the reclaimed Hemlock timbers that were used on the frontispiece had Engineering worried at times but passed with flying colours due to their massive size, the Austrian screws, and the small loads imposed on them.

My favourite feature is the custom Fir soffit vents. They are beautiful, discrete and also help to ventilate the space behind the barnboard so that if it gets well-saturated it is able to dry by stack effect.

Projects like this don’t come by too often and we made the most of it by putting love into every element — that is what makes this beautiful home in the hills ‘sing’.

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