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Friday, June 29, 2012

Losing Stuff

Resting before kayaking...

And here is something that happens more often than it should - I lose shit, at least misplace shit.  Nothing worse than gearing up for a bike ride, getting the hot tight stretch pants on, the gloves, the helmet, the jersey - get the bike down from the racks and go to get the tire and the tire is nowhere to be found.  Cause twice now, once I put the bike on the roof rack of my car I forgot about the front tire.  last month I left it at the bike store after a tuneup and last week at one of my job sites after going for a little ride.

It's embarrassing to call people up and say 'hey, did you see my front wheel?'  Plus it's annoying to get all mentally amped for a 20miler on these hills 'round here only to have it fall to pieces CAUSE I LOST MY FRONT WHEEL.

Then I was down at my folks and like has happened at least 4 times I forgot my toiletry bag which is bad enough but half the time now I have in it lucas's dumb thomas the train toothpaste (he won't use anything else), or his dumb spiderman toothbrush, or his 75 baby spray on SPF suntan lotion - so then I'm dealing with his meltdown or not brushing his teeth or running all over creation trying to find thomas the train training toothpaste.

Though by Dad's wife did send it back accompanied by 4 Lancaster Cty whoopee pies.

And lucas is always leaving his shit laying around too, so not only do I have to keep my things together, I have to keep his things together, and his things are small (like his 9 superhero figures) and he gets around so we have to a frickin' inventory every time we go someplace.

But at least I have these 3 deer relaxing outside my office this morning.  All bucks with little furry horns.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farm 20

Cute Kid, right?  I always love when people say 'what a cute and adorable kid' cause I'm just saying to myself 'that's half my doing!!'

Farm 20, modeled after Farm 11 is a big time winner on 25 acres in Barryville NY.

 House and Barn.

We don't mess around.

And here's Lucas on the 2nd floor of the barn on a Sunday Morning before washing the car and before the nap and before the kayaking trip up the river that feeds the Mongaup Reservoir that feeds someone's electricity somewhere.  We made up a song which that went as follows - "Washing the car together, yeah, washing the car together, yeah, that's what we do, father and son, yeah, we're washing the car together".  Add in a few verses about superman and ironman and sing it in Hulk's voice and you got 15 minutes of kid entertainment easy.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Be Jamming' -

Flowers, even those boring ones we see everyday, have a kind of magic upon close examination.  True, maybe a more cliche-ish statement could not be made, but on a day of a funeral for a brother of a close associate, they just had a singular simplicity that strive for in our homebuilding.

Yes, it's true, I some somehow compared a flower to our homes, but that's why I'm good at what I do.  I'm shameless.  But, to be honest, actually it's not shamelessness that propels me most - it's more a sense of a mission to continue to build this business in order to provide respite for the weary urban toiler.

FYI, when I saw this sign I went in the other direction immediately, without hesitation.

Wow, tell me that doesn't look like a painting, or an illustration, or some computer-generated graphic - but no, someone actually gets to live in this house in a few months. 

Since I've started this business 10 years ago with little more than a credit card which would have revoked my privileges long before if they had any inkling of the risks I was about to take, I have founded and grew a few businesses. One of the good ones - though super tough - is Ecotech Spray Foam Insulation.  Started at the height of the uber-panic, super-negative March 2009 with the really cool help of the First National Bank of Jeffersonville, we have grown this company ever since.

That's the thing about this journey - the twists, turns in the road, road less taken, risks endeavored, yields unyielded, stop signs ignored - it's been a wild road.  One of the oldest and most important is my relationship with my local bank, Jeff Bank  - I don't think there is a better example of a banking relationship that works, a banking relationship that has organically grown, a banking relationship that had the malleability, the flexibility, the access to the decision-makers, the small town big vision of relationship-building.  You want to talk relationships - then talk about me starting with a $100k loan when I needed $300k in 2003, and evolving that relationship into a $5m+ multiple business, recession-defying co-dependency that has been inarguably mutually beneficially.

It's a very small town do-good story but actually it's a national story of what works.  What works is relationships, credit-worthiness, risk-taking within historical parameters, just general old-fashioned conservative character analysis and bill paying history,

Here's the insulation.

Here's the sheetrock... (after the code enforcement inspection of course)...

And my son, through a grided-grated table at the bookstore.  That boy, for whatever reason be it nature or nurture, is just simply a powerful human being.

And the foundation of Farm 20 (F20G), who must be to be busy in the real life to keep up with his guest blog posts but it don't matter cause we will be showing what he's made of in this cool house creation of his and his newly wedded bride.

Here's the footings of the house.


Here's the foundation of the house...

Here's the frame of the house...  Lucas and I have this soothing house before he goes to bed where we do 'what I did today' where we recount each thing we did that day for his benefit before we say our prayers and go to sleep.  

and the cool garage with green house extension being readied for the concrete slab this morning, under a darkening sky and risks of thunder storms, never a good mix for a newly poured concrete floor.

And lovely Barn VI, just getting started but moving right along.

It didn't take long to move it right along with the tyvek and metal galvanized roof.

And Farm 19 is no Slacker, with perfect lines and dormer and porch and windows and what have you.

Oh boy it just goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover cause this house, like an onion or even better like the firecracker wife in the Blind Side, just keeps revealing itself with each passing day.

and a look-a-like in Sullivan County with a different approach to colors...

And the Big Barn in Narrowsburg NY with the garage in the background.  a year of toil and wallah a masterpiece.

so that's about it.  Thanks for tagging along.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cottage 38 - Sold

Cottage 38 is just one of those magical houses that looked so perfect and effortless it easy to forget all the yelling and screaming and craft and expertise that goes into 'effortless'.  This home is on 3+ acres in Stone Ridge NY and went into contract a few days before the foundation went in the ground.

It's funny how it almost looks like a painting or one of the cover girls all photoshopped up to create the illusion of reality.  But this is the real thing a few days before the new owners took possession.

The sun was just right and the time of day right on as well.  As I mentioned before, you come to realize you can't fake the sun with these photos - you have to wait it out and get that nice day and then rearrange your schedule to get there and get the photos.  I do most of my own photography, not that it's that great.  Just saying.

Front door into the mudroom with white wainscoting, bluestone floor, radiator, 12 pane front door and a little bench.

Visitors really loved this house, for it's flow, it's aesthetically honesty and floor plan functionality.

From the Homeowners - " You guys do amazing work. We are so thrilled how the place has come together. Every time we arrive on the property I pinch myself as its such a magical location, home and overall experience. When we stand on the porch and look out at the front yard we feel like we have our own little park. Last weekend I was speaking with a friend who lives up in Stone Ridge and who's visited the house. After his visit he referred to the home as a "jewel box" with the details and extras we've worked together on. Can't wait for the closing!!"

and the pictures speak for themselves...

Little fox camped outside our offices.


Cottage 38 was a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1300 sq ft home with a finished basement and 3 acres.  It also had a lot of porch with a nice screened section of it just of the dining room.

The bedrooms below.

Upstairs foyer.

Bedroom duel barn doors.

Heading down into the basement.  An additional 650 sq ft with laundry, closets, walk-out double doors and a bath and a gas fireplace.

I think the sunlight in these photos says it all about the type of easy living that this home will accommodate.

 Lucas on the job site...

 and what blog post is complete without the classic 'underwear on the head' pose.  Typically after a night of beer pong, but Lucas is pulling this one off cold sober.