Shake Cottage on Vancouver Island

While cruising the Internet looking for a cottage design for a special location, I came across the Lindcroft Homes website. They had constructed a ­whimsical kids’ treehouse that spoke to me. I contacted them to ask if they could build a cottage here on Vancouver Island with similar lines. They had a design that they wanted to show me. We initially met in the summer of 2009. They liked the location and I felt their design would fit perfectly into the building site. It’s at the end of a kilometer-long, gated driveway and is only visible from the water. Construction started in October 2009. Tim and Daniel* both lived on the mainland near Vancouver at the time, but rented a house here on the island during the construction. All materials had to be packed to the difficult site manually. Nothing was easy with this build, but we all felt that the completed project would be well worth the effort. This was a labor of love. Great care went into all aspects of this cottage.

The timbers, floorboards, front door, and windows were all made from wood milled locally from a friend’s property. The shakes were sourced from a supplier on this island; the shakes for the top part of the building were steamed to achieve the curves and a curved froe was used for the rounded eaves. Lots of work!After the timber frame was up, a level was no longer a useful tool. To achieve the right lines, almost each board was custom cut, making for a slow, tedious pace. The boys building it knew it wasn’t for the faint of heart! Local metal artist Jake James made the front-door hardware and mushroom-shaped bathroom vent. The landscape materials are all local. Tim and Daniel completed the basic structure in March 2010; the interior took another four months to finish.When people see this cottage for the first time??—??almost without exception??—??a smile comes to their faces.It was a pleasure to work with Tim and Daniel; we are ­considering doing another project of the same nature with them in the future.

Floor Area: 600 sq. ft. / 56 m2

Shelter Publications ha s been publishing books on building for 44 years, starting with Shelter in 1973. Shelter is also the publisher of the international best-selling book Stretching, by Bob Anderson. Lloyd Kahn, the editor-in-chief of Shelter was the shelter editor of The Whole Earth Catalog in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Shelter operates out of a production studio located in a garden, and hooked into the world with six Apple computers.

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Denise Spencer - August 23, 2017 Reply

I feel a lot of work went into this charming,cozy home. Great wotk.

rick woodward - September 9, 2017 Reply

absolutely awesome! The rolled eaves totally takes this over the top. Should be made a historical site immediately. I’ve wanted to build something like this for years. The builders are completely on a higher level. Outstanding !

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