Magazine for professional home renovators.

Bleasby flat roof

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (9) ‘Roofer madness’

“I’ve taken quite a bit of ribbing over our decision to build a house with a flat roof… But the technology is proven.”

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Check out Steve Maxwell’s cabin-building VIDEO series

Here is one of the latest “Sharpie Marker” construction videos that Steve is becoming (sort of) famous for. It’s all part of his new Cabin Building series.

bleasby safety fence

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (8) More hoops and hurdles

Fourteen weeks into his family’s new home build, John Bleasby has passed through about five inspections. They’ve actually ben “pleasant experiences” for the veteran, retired commercial pilot and rookie GC.

Designing joist directions to accommodate pipe, vent and duct runs above supporting walls and structural beams creates the space needed to eliminate bulkheads below ceilings and down walls.

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (7) Losing the bulkhead blues

Building without bulkheads requires careful planning, careful communication with subtrades, and careful coordination between them.


Are you a hardcore contractor?

You won’t get a better opportunity to work for an exciting, hip and happening residential construction company than this

Before the 'White Hats' arrive for inspections during construction, the entire application process needs to be completed. That takes a little bit of planning and a surprising amount of time.

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (6) Calculating time frames for permits

When he was a commercial pilot, John Bleasby didn’t get to file his flight plan after he took off. As a rookie general contractor, he knew enough to methodically plan the time frames for his various building permits. Here’s how he did it.

The ‘replacement’ support beam is welded onto its steel base plate, cast into the concrete pockets of the ICF wall.

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (5) Mistakes will be made

“My professional background in aviation doesn’t like mistakes. But in my new career, in construction, ‘reduction’ in mistakes is a more realistic objective than elimination of them.”

‘Nudura’ ICF blocks come in a number of straight, corner and ‘T’ configurations, and combine an internal web with added vertical and horizontal rebar, resulting in a super-strong, self-insulated wall.

From commercial pilot to general contractor (4): How I became an ICF ‘Block Head’

John Bleasby had heard some negatives about using ICFs from hearsay but decided, after more in-depth research, to use them. He has found four serious advantages of using ICFs over poured concrete foundations and outlines them here. He says using ICFs was one of his best decisions.

Bleasby #3 pic

From commercial pilot to general contractor (3): Half-load restrictions, Half-speed construction

Retired pilot John Bleasby gives us his third of a series of blogs about the home he is building north of Toronto. In this blog, he talks about the delays he experienced this spring waiting for building materials to arrive in trucks hampered by half-load restrictions on township roads.


Taking over a project from another contractor who was fired – or who walked off the job

Sooner of later, you will be invited to clean up another contractor’s mess. If you decide to do this, you need to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes they did. Here’s how.