Entries by Catherine Mohr

Bits and pieces – lots of them

The roof is on and finished, the grey water system plumbed (see separate blog entry), the kitchen counter tops are going in, tiling getting finished, the staircase has been painted and is waiting for a handrail and treads.  We passed the last “systems” inspection, and now most of those hazardous trenches crisscrossing the yard have […]

Starting finishing

This feels a bit like the home stretch… but it is still going to be a couple months long! Now the “punch list” starts – endless details as we make sure the tiling, cabinets, lights, electric switches, flooring, shelves, baseboards (not to mention the final connection of the electrical and water and sewer!) all happen. […]


Pouring the flooring

This week the big excitement was finally pouring the concrete for the downstairs floor! After much back and forth, we decided we’d use wet “stamped” grooves for our crack control joints rather than having them cut with a saw afterwards.  The saw cuts would be a little less conspicuous, but they wouldn’t go all the […]


Warm Floors – but only some of them

In our current two-story townhouse, we always struggled with balancing the internal temperature throughout the house.  During the winter we were always trying to close off the forced air vents in the upstairs bedrooms (as we all like to sleep in cool bedrooms without super heated desert dry air blowing down on us).  Short of […]


Should a “green” house be painted green? In our current townhouse, we don’t have much white, and no two rooms are the same color.  Our living room is orange, bedroom green, the office a steely blue, Nat’s room is bright purple and “rocket red”, her bathroom an undersea mural… The new house has a very […]


Strawbale finishing

The straw bale library is now pretty much indistinguishable from the rest of the house, except for its very very thick walls. The exterior was finished much as the rest of the house was finished.  First there was a scratch coat (although this one was thicker than elsewhere in the house to account for the […]

Grinding forward

The color coat on the stucco is finally done, and we love how the “Spanish moss” color came out. We wandered through the house today making the final tiny framing details list (only three things on the list!), and marking a few places where the sheet rock needs to be fixed (or put in, as […]


Is Wood Green?

Those warm shimmering hues… Oh! how I love the beauty of wood!  As I feed this addiction – am I contributing to deforestation, environmental degradation and global warming?  Am I evil because I love wood so much?   Should you be asking “So, Catherine, when are you going to stop demolishing the tropical rainforests of the […]

The TED talk is up!

It is very exciting that Catherine’s TED talk is now on the TED website.  If you are visiting the blog because you saw the talk, and are interested in the embodied energy calculations, we would suggest looking under the “how to use this site” link over in the side bar to guide you to posts […]