MCNZH - Progress (part 7) - stucco, hardwood, moving in


The Mill Creek NetZero Home is substantially completed.

The stucco is finished on the outside. We went with a cement-based stucco because of its looks and durability.

Peter Amerongen built a brick wall behind the wood burner. We used the bricks from the foundation of the house that used to be standing on the property. This wall adds more thermal mass (to capture both solar and wood heat) to the house, as well as a bit of history.


The hardwood that I reclaimed from the old house is installed in the loft:


A 100% reclaimed hardwood floor

The landscaping is over half done:


Field stones and reused concrete blocks were used for the hardscaping.

And we’re currently working to get the solar hot water system up and running:


Peter solders two copper coils together for the solar thermal system.

Did I mention that we’re living in the house already?


Chaos in the MCNZH as the owners scramble to move in while naively assuming that they can “live their lives” at the same time.

Busy times.

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Happy Thanksgiving. Good looking home. Thanks for welcoming us all from the public earlier to tour your home. I like the brick wall.

You say "We went with a cement-based stucco because of its looks and durability." I was told that acrylic stucco may last longer, somethink looks better and is more durable -- but is more expensive. Am I wrong in this or how did you think about it? I was told cement stucco may crack more often and easily than acrylic, which is usually placed on white foam insulation, which you likely did not need for insulating value. I assume too you did not have issues regarding movement of the wall and moisture in the wall which can be factors in choosing stucco.

Congrats on moving in! (although it looks like it might be a bit premature) I am sure you are very busy, but if you could take some time when you can, to describe how your concrete floors were finished, that would be great. BTW, they look fabulous!!

B Ford: We will have at least one more open house; probably in the spring.

To be honest I don't know much about acrylic versus cement-based. My builder usually does cement-based, so we went his way. I guess I was thinking stucco versus vynyl (durable but not so good looking, plus toxic) and stucco versus wood siding (looks good but requires maintenance).

I do know that the 50-year old house that we used to own had cement-based stucco on it that was in remarkably good shape.


A beautiful home, Conrad! Love your loft floor - it turned out so well. So did the concrete though, nice colour.


I dream of building a home some day. Yours is truly beautiful. I do have one comment though. As a physiotherapist working in a hospital, I often witnessed people(not always elderly either)with sudden physical limitations which prevented them from returning home and, usually, THE #1 barrier was the inability to wash/bathe on the main floor. Consequently, I've decided that my "dream" home will have a full bathroom on the main floor so that I will be able to live on one level if need be in future. You never know. Adding a wheelchair accessible shower would have addressed this issue in your case and possibly significantly extended the number of years that you (and others)will be able to live in the home. I am curious as to why you did not include this in your plan. Jackie

P.S. Because of an on-line server problem I lost an auction on a Scan 5-2 (with soapstone sides, top and oven platform). The winning bid: $1100.00 (Retail: > $5500). I almost cried...O.K. maybe I did, a little.

Thanks Jackie,

We did in fact include a full, wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor. I talked about it in this post .

Too bad about the wood burning stove.


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