Monday, May 17, 2010

The Kitchen?

The kitchen cabinet installation was supposed to start last week but, as this photo from yesterday shows, they're not in yet.
This is a real dilemma, as we won't have cabinets next week either.  I never dreamed that the kitchen would be the holdup.  We gave our deposit in January, four months ago, and they should have been made and installed by now.

Anyhow, most of the lights are up and the Hubbardton Forge fixtures area beautiful.  They have kind of an understated elegance.  I really like the vertical pendant in the Living Room.  It's one of the new designs they just introduced this spring.
The granite and marble are at the fabricator's shop, ready to go.  The Marble is from Vermont and is really interesting.
We'll use that on both of the vanities.

One of the many dilemmas with LEED is that, if you follow the principles, it can greatly limit your choices of materials.  When looking for kitchen counters, we considered many options.  We looked at some of the materials with recycled content such as Eco by Cosentino and IceStone.  They have some nice colors, but the nicer colors actually cost more than most granites.  From what I hear, the glass content can make them difficult to fabricate, which adds to the final cost.  Locally obtained materials also contribute to the final LEED rating.  Materials sourced and fabricated within 500 miles count.  This includes all of New England and gives us a range including most of Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania, continuing several hundred miles into Canada.  I probably would have given up the 1/2 point and chosen something like this Labrador Antique granite, but it's from Norway - well over 500 miles away.  It has really great blue crystals that glow when the light hits them.  My eco-conscious wife prevailed, though, and we decided to go with the Atlantic Blue granite from south-eastern Canada.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vanities, Tile and the Copper Roof

The vanities are done but we're still waiting for the kitchen cabinets.
The vanity for the master bath is walnut, which matches the newel posts.  The medicine cabinets are wrapped up and the small mirror which will go between them is laying on top.
The other vanity and the kitchen cabinets will have a painted finish.

I drove up to New Hampshire to pick up our tile at Trikeenan's factory.
It's in a nice spot in an old mill building overlooking a dam and covered bridge on the Ashuelot River.  I've heard that the purpose of the roof was to strenghten the bridge, like a box beam, and to protect the bridge elements from the weather.

We were ready to have the copper roof installed over the porch but, even though the roof is relatively small, the prices were quite high.  I guess copper prices are going up again.  We decided to use shingles instead.  We'll still have a copper gutter and downspout, though.

Monday, May 3, 2010


The wood flooring is in and last week the finished stairs were installed.
Contemporary Structures fabricated and installed the components, including the custom walnut box newel posts and all of the treads, risers and skirt boards.  The balusters came from King Architectural Metals and were powder coated prior to installation.
My first view of the stairs was from the First Floor, the view shown in the image above, and you can see how the balusters seem to have kind of a random pattern.
My drawings of the stairs were always from the side view, which shows the single and double knot ballusters in an even progression.
From most directions they all look aligned.  I've never used balusters like this before and they really add some nice interest.  The insets in the newel posts are walnut burl.
They actually cut the tops of some of the stringers off so they can fit their prefabricated stairs in.  The skirt boards are routed out in the shop and the treads and risers are all fastened together on site to form a strong, monolithic unit.  There are a few more pieces of flooring to go in at the edges, and the floor finishing starts today.