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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks Giving and the Black Eyed Peas

...some quick lyrics from the Black Eyed Peas -

"Like that boom boom pow
Them chickens jackin' my style
They try copy my swagger
I'm on that next shit now
I'm so 3008
You so 2000 and late
I got that boom, boom, boom
That future boom, boom, boom."

Now I know someone will want to point out (incorrectly) that this may be directed at that sorry excuse for a cottage over at Bethel Farms, but that is just one example of the copycats who copied everything but the essence of our homes. It was nice to see the Bethel Farms gang step up their game after my less than flattering description at their attempt to build something attractive - they redid the web photos so you can't (from the photos) see the lack of windows, unflattering front elevation, weird layout, ass-colored siding, etc... Thankfully, they also took the garbage out of the fireplace before they took their marketing shots. What's not so nice is now their customers have to take 3 hours out of their weekend and drive the whole way over there to see the design errors.

I've often said we are the only website whose photos understate the case of our tasteful approach to home design and construction - mostly the real estate pictures tell big lies and a lot of wasted time entails (on the customers' part) finding that out the hard way.

I've often also said our best customers are those most educated in their search - our homes stand out, and I think what amazes the copycats, are fundamentally unique, with personality. Trying to give a home personality by conference call and committee just isn't possible. What we do is hard work - reinventing our homes each and every time - and in the end, I think people, couples and families who choose us understand the uniqueness of our focus and efforts.

Couple of holiday photos from our home on Crawford Rd, Eldred New York.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mid-Century Retro Ranch 2

I'm mean, you tell me this smiling family isn't worth a million pages of paid advertising pages. Laurie and Tony are one of those families that have been questing for an upstate getaway for a few years, with lots of competing (and changing) priorites. In the end, being a big fan of ours ('stalkers' actually - their term not mine), they decided the house, the design and quality, was most important - and that's why we are lucky enough to be welcoming them into the busting-at-the-seams Catskill Farms Family of Upstate Getaways.
This house is very unique, with a great open layout. You'll remember we built one similar last winter that Erin and Greg picked up - that one was yellow, this one is stained bluish green.

The interiors are open and high with lots of windows inviting in the long range views.

And there's old Pete Kestler, drilling another well for us.

In the end, the thing that makes us different, is the fact that we really do 'get it done'. I'm constantly pushing the team to keep the 'slack out the line' or else feeling the rawhide where the sun don't shine.

The other day while driving I was counting up how many homes we built this year - I think we built 15 - which is amazing from a few perspectives - the economy, and the scarcity of labor.

I love 'years in review' set to great music - so here's mine - just imagine some cool tunage to add to the list -
Cottage 14 finished up in January.
Cottage 13 finished up in February.
Farmhouse 10 finished up in February.
Ranch 1 finished up in May.
Cottage 18 finished up in May.
Cottage 21 in June.
Cottage 22 in Sept.
Cottage 19 in Sept.
Cottage 17 in October.
Cottage 23 in November.
Barn 2 in progress.
Micro #3 in progress.
Peter's Walton Gothic cottage in September.
Big addition at my house in June.
Cottage 24 in progress.
Cottage 20 in progress.
Ranch 2 in progress.

That's a lot of construction, by any measure. And amazingly, I still see some new problem once a week, something I've never seen before. One would think at some point you've 'seen it all' - but it appears not.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some Saturday Lucas Shots

Glad he grew out of this phase ...

And his skinhead homeboy phase...

and his 'you looking at me?' phase....

and his "this will be my year book pose" phase...

and the "I'm really too cute for my own good" phase...

"I'm ready for anything phase"...

"Beach bum phase"...

"You can call him a dreamer, but he's not only one"... phase (name that tune and win a house, not).

"I'm trying out for the LL Bean fall catalogue"... phase...

"On forlough"...

Mr Demure...

So, sorry Clay - who accused me of posting great landscape and child shots in order to further entrap him into buying one of our homes.

What's Cookin' at Catskill Farms....

50's Ranch, Do Over for Tony and Laurie, up above Luxton Lake, Narrowsburg NY. I think we just started this house back in September. Windows in, tyvec on, and ready for the siding.

Cottage 23 off of Crawford Road in Eldred NY for Pedro and David. Closing on this house with these gentlemen probably the week after Thanksgiving.

Cottage 24, yet unspoken for, just after the sagey green cabot's siding was installed. Interior floors now going in.

Cottage 20, a 960 sq ft 2 bedroom on 6+ acres, that is in Contract of Sale to Susan from the City. Insulation complete, and sheetrock being installed.

Picture of the boom truck loading in the sheetrock. And below is the spray foam insulation just installed.

Bald Eagle nesting next to the Delaware River. It's like one of those games in the newspaper, Can you find the Eagle in this photo?

We are building a big 5 bay red garage out back at our offices, below of some footing and foundation shots. This place will be big enough to house our trucks, throw a party, play street hockey, full court hoops, etc...

Richard's Barn House is now under construction over on Tuthill Road, outside of Barryville. We hit some rock, and using some lessons from last year, we are pounding out the rock and then using the rock to build our driveways.

Footings...and foundation walls.

And Daniel's micro cottage on a couple of acres is under way as well.

The Dueling Excavators, or The Dance of the Big Machines. David L., can you help us out with a score for this ballet?
Well, there you have it. 7 houses under construction and a big bad barn at the offices.