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Friday, July 11, 2008

Cooking with Gas

No one can touch our quality, quickness or creativity. They might, on a good day, be able to achieve 2 of the three, but never, as far as I have seen, can they hit on all notes all the time - and up here in the Sticks, hitting any of the three criteria consistently seems like a far-fetched goal. The Mountains have a way of humbling us ambitious business people, and good plans go awry more often than you would think possible. Things just get screwed up, over and over and over, and make even the builder's trying hard look a little foolish at times.

That said, Catskill Farms is firing on all cylinders, like a suped-up, mag-wheeled, '67 Corvette. You could even say we have it down to a science - this country construction, dream-weaving business plan of ours. Who would think that a business idea that centers around great design at great prices on great land with great service would be hit? Oh, and did I mention we pay for the entire house, architecture, interest, taxes, architecture and land until the day we close the deal when the house is finished? Our vertically integrated cost conscious approach to quality and creativity (no middleman, none of the time) perplexes those who try to emulate us affordably

Here are the steps going up to the 2nd floor at Cottage 7. Yes, it's true, Cottage 7 only started back in April, and here she is, rounding the final final bend in it's glorious conception. This is a real hot picture in my opinion - and it's all in slight contrasts of materials and colors. Cedar plank hand rail with a clear coat, white painted stair kickers, 1x6 beveled cedar siding with clear coat, Special Walnut floor stain, and wild red wainscotting in the dining room. More subtley, the horizontal handrail and siding contrasts with the vertical wainscotting.

Bad picture quality of the kitchen, but a selection by the owners that I never used before that looks fantastic. The window above the apron sink looks out at the forest.

And our famous barn door leading into the main bath on the 2nd floor.

Double door closets with wrought iron hinges and latches.

Now for the new stuff - we just finished building a 1/2 mile of roads and driveways for our 6 new building lots coming to market (and already spoken for). Not super easy terrain, but it will be majestic when it is all said and done.

And turning the corner to Cottage 9 , with the excavation complete, and the mason to begin shortly. I actually stopped by the job site last night at 7pm, and mason was there working, which of course warms my hard little heart.

and the McInnes Cottage moving along better than really anyone could hope or expect. It's sort of like magic - close your eyes for a few moments and the house is up - close them a few minutes more, and the house is finished. Pinch yourself once and your are sitting on your new sofa, in your new country cottage in the middle of the Catskill Mountains, cooling it bigtime.

Interestingly, this framer likes to build his window and door headers, prefab almost, and then really zoom around installing them.
To be honest, this is a lot to handle, but what makes it possible is our access to great help facilitated by a slow economy. The economic slowdown is really separating the men from the boys, and it seems to be turning out that a lot of those moustaches were fake.