Nonsense media, Rammed Earth Home build and BC Lake Swims

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So long 2022!  Let’s talk about nonsense media, an epic rammed earth house build and everyday lake swims.

2022 was an epic year. Other than war, pandemic, economic crisis, aggressive inflation/price gouging, puffed up Bank of Canada interest rate increases and mysterious supply chain issues, it wasn’t all that bad.  Here’s a little update to get 2023 going 🙂

Canadians have witnessed pretty intense rate hikes over the past 10 months and I will be putting out a blog soon which will outline the history of these types of rate hikes over the past 30 years as well as the historic reality of how long these high rate environments tend to persist.  Stay tuned!

Despite these changes, Huber Mortgage had a busy year.  We were able to get a large swath of RATE LOCKS in place before too many rate hikes set in, allowing clients to refinance properties at low rates and first time buyers to qualify for their purchases.  

By the way, if you have a new purchase in mind or a renewal on the horizon, get in touch so we can lock in a rate for you.  If rates are lower at purchase/renewal time, you will get the lower rate at that time.

Bet you’ve never seen one of these before!

On a more personal note, my wife Lisa and I embarked on our own home build this summer.  Opting for a non-conventional build, we constructed our home with RAMMED EARTH – the 24 inch thick, 20+ mPa strength walls provide excellent thermal mass to retain heat in winter and the cool in summer, impervious to fire and cheaper than wood (wood prices were at pirate-esque levels all summer)! 

We designed the home, received the owner builder certification required by BC Housing, hired then fired our first rammed earth consultant then found the perfect rammed earth builder; Earth House Holdings, Tony Johnson.

A Different Way to Build

Footings/foundation went in early July then our team of rammed earth builders began arriving on the scene!  I had participated in a rammed earth building course in Prince George in summer of 2021 and this experience helped me recognize a few things to avoid.  It also introduced me to some fine gentlemen whom I hired to help with our build.  

The unique rammed earth build style tends to attract a motley crew of hands looking to help and learn to work with a new build medium. 

Our build was no exception but the folks who helped build these walls were an amazing bunch of hard working and dedicated craftsmen 🙂

On July 15, Adam and his wife Emma arrived and set up their YURT where they lived throughout the summer.  Emma was 4 months pregnant on arrival!  Adam is a jack of all construction trades, Olympic level professional runner and author of the book How Dare You.  Adam and I set up an outdoor shower, outhouse, outdoor kitchen and appliances for the crew to use during the build.  Adam was also rammed earth build foreman as he had worked through the entire Prince George 2021 build, seeing that project successfully across the finish line.

Tony, Earth House Holdings, arrived with massive rammed earth formwork on July 29th and we got things rolling fast. 

Time was of the essence as walls had to be fully set up before mid-October.

Our other builders chose to camp in the woods surrounding our home site so we had quite the little community going from August until mid-October.  In addition to full timers Jonny (plant medicine shaman, skilled carpenter and machine handler) and North (carpenter and concrete expert, professional yodeller), an American conspiracy theorist named Walker came to help for a few weeks (Red Seal carpenter) as well as good friend Dustin (professional free diver and bundle of energy).

The energy around the build was positive and high level with this crew!

okanagan lake west kelowna day time clear sky lake view through the forest trees looking across at the mountain

Our experience was one of general camaraderie, long days, early to bed early to rise, good coffee, good tunes, lots of sun, honest communication and lots of learning.  That being said, it was a hard summer and the work was definitely intense, working up on scaffolding in the blazing summer sun and ramming the earth mixture with compressor powered pneumatic tampers into the patented formwork.

Each day after a hard day’s work, we retreated to the lake to cool down, clean off the dirt and sweat and unwind before dinner and an early bedtime.

Our build adventure continues and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the roof system and windows; anticipating completion in late spring of 2023.

Well, that’s about all for now.  Soon I’ll have a blog prepared regarding variable rates as well as some new information regarding the Bank of Canada’s current (but not original) mandate.  Hint…the current mandate costs Canadians about $50 billion a year more than it should…

We are looking forward to another fine year and wish you all the best in 2023!



PS – One of my hobbies is blogging about mortgages, debt and government policy.  During the day I’m a MORTGAGE BROKER in Kelowna, BC!

Check out the Huber Mortgage Home Buyers Guide HERE

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