Monday, October 29, 2012

Not A Bad Way Of Life

As we wrap up another completed home, it feels like a good time to insert a little company philosophy. No, it's not a 'smarter than' moment, but it feels fitting to stop and recognize an important passage in the life of a construction company such as ours. During the course of the project some of who and what we are gets rubbed off onto the new entity we have created. It can be something basic like the blood Brandon left from his table saw injury or maybe the sore back I gained from trying to lift that 'perfect' stone for the fireplace. I like to think we leave a little more than our blood on a board but who's to say? It's just a house...

When the time comes to walk away from a completed project the feelings can be bittersweet. The construction phase of one of our custom homes takes around 9 months to a year on average, but before the onsite work begins there are months of planning and preparation. For me this process brings many highs, and maybe a low or two, but always the growing sense of substance and presence as each new dwelling sinks its roots into the land.

Building a fully custom home is never boring. Each day brings new challenges and new perspectives  for my crew and I. One day the wind will try and blow us into hiding while the next will be so beautiful that it makes us think: "They pay us to live in paradise." When the clients come to the jobsite, it is always exciting. Though I sometimes am a bit anxious that all our hard work will be well received, they typically bring a level of enthusiasm that is contagious. It reminds us that what we're doing is not just a job and it reinforces that the effort and commitment we give our work is valued. We are creating something that the owners, along with their family and friends, will celebrate for generations to come.

As with anything we experience on a daily basis, it's normal to become a little jaded to the process. That all changes during the last few weeks of the project. With masking tape and Visqueen plastic on the doors and windows, protective coverings on the floors and 3 or 4 different sub contractors plying their trade on any given day, it can be difficult to visualize the finished product. After months of looking at it as just a job, it quickly turns the corner into a creation, that long sought after place where one's vision becomes fully realized.

Standing back to take a long look on that last day can be an amazing reward, especially when sharing that moment with the proud new owners. But there is something more rewarding than this last look, something that I never expected when I first started in this trade: the building of friendships. Many of the people I've worked for and with over the last 20 some years have become my friends. A few have grown into great friends. Together we have loved many homes into being, shaping wood and nails into a celebration of the qualities in life that we strive for.      

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pretty Pictures

Oh oh! I promised myself I would do two posts a month and already I've let it slide. Back to work Donny boy! Here's a quick photo update, on the cabin we're just completing, to hold you while the next 'real' post simmers a little longer.

Back in May I posted a couple times about 'Big Bessie', our one of a kind statement fireplace stone. It was a great challenge getting her into place. Later in the Summer that challenge continued with the sculpted recycled fir flooring around her base.

 As we moved up the fireplace walls to the Loft area careful scribing was required for the second floor fascia and railing detail.

Nick 'massaged' each wood element around the stones in a near perfect manner creating another 'wow' factor in this already amazing center piece of the project.

In the kitchen, the chiseled edge granite became the match maker and unifier for the rest of the color  and texture elements already in place, especially in the joining of the Hickory cabinets with the recycled flooring and Tamarack trim.

Outside, the cabin and garage also were magnified by the final detailing. The garage facade was especially impacted by the finishing touches. The Tamarack (Western Larch) garage doors, rusty corrugated metal wainscot and rust finish lighting combined with the cedar board & batt siding to make a powerful overall statement.

Further unifying the cabin and garage is the gable trim installed to soften the garage elevation and mimic the beam support detail of the Living room porch.