Winter Wonderland

Happy New Year!  Golly, it’s been that long!?  We’re surviving winter (we even had a “blizzard,”) and we have several irons in the fire.

First: when we finalized the design, the contractor providing ballpark pricing said ground breaking would wait until Spring.  Since we had the time, we decided to shop around to make sure we have the right builder.  We’ve talked to 3 and their estimates have been coming in.  The most responsive one is the likely candidate.  We’ll iron that out in the coming weeks.

Several weeks ago Melissa’s dad introduced me to his sawmill, a Wood-Mizer LT15.  There is something just MANLY about turning trees into lumber!  Her dad is excited to provide logs from his yard and mill the wood to use for our interior trim. He had some logs in the queue ahead of ours, and it was a good chance to learn how it works.

38_WoodMizer_01   38_Tree 07_01   38_Tree 05_01

I e-mailed pictures of trees on our lot to our state district Forester, and he ID’d them.  We plan to mill the ones that have to come down for bits like stair parts – and it looks like those will be Black Cherry.


We are in the midst of choosing light fixtures and floor finishes.  The floor finishes (wood/bamboo and tile) have been easy (tile candidates above, burgeoning finish palette below).  It has NOT been so easy to reconcile our different tastes in lighting.  We bought a Loomi Light (competitive with Ikea’s KNAPPA) to check out for fun, but we’ve made no decisions.

38_Loomi    38_BeginningPalette

From the estimates we’ve seen so far, we can save some hard cost by purchasing cabinets direct (with trade discounts) and installing them ourselves.  The options are endless and worthy of a separate post, but after pursuing a few online retailers with frameless box construction, unfinished, delivered RTA (ready to assemble), we’ve found that the local off-the-shelf product is most competitive. Below: a sample of Rift Sawn Red Oak that does not pass, frameless box construction, and a cabinet line we’ll likely use.

38_CabPartsSampleRiftRO     38_BarkerCab_01 38_Aristokraft-Teagan_01

We’re also considering Richlite counter tops made from recycled paper, purchased direct to fabricate ourselves (top left in the palette pic).  The concept is enthralling and price is right, but the colors are a bit lackluster.  We may still spring for granite.

I was raised on garage sales and classifieds, so naturally I’ve kept my eye on Craigslist.  We scored some brand new Western Red Cedar for less than half of retail cost to use for our trellis and stair screen wall, and have some left over.  I’ve always got my eye out for other odds and ends.

38_CList-WRC     38_UsedCommercialDoors_02

I have a heath-care client from my day job with a renovation project from which we  hoped to reclaim the existing doors.  After realizing the amount of modifying (trimming, etc) required to fit our needs, we abandoned that idea.

All in all, we’re moving forward and expecting the shovel to hit the dirt in late March!

I will post again when the contractor is selected and we’re working through the numbers.