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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dwell - Special Issue

dwell put out a special issue "Renovate Today" that didn't come in my mailbox, even though I'm a card carrying subscriber.  Saw it at the check out counter at Whole Foods down here in Miami Beach.

I don't really like the magazine though I do find things, materials and approaches that we can incorporate into our homes - but this Special Issue was pretty good, with a lot of useful products and applications of said products.

Anyways, if you are looking for a way to burn $9.99, this isn't a bad way to do it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cottage 35 Rental

For the first Time, Catskill Farms is keeping a house for rent, and by the looks of the first 3 weeks, it's going to be a big big hit.

1000 sq ft, just a few miles outside of Narrowsburg, 2 bedrooms, sleeps 5, full finished basement for more room, screened porch, fireplace, 1.5 baths, front porch, huge sunset views, private, fully furnished - I could go on, but I won't.

We are renting it from Thursday at 3pm to Monday noon, for $1000 a weekend.  Wifi, cell service included.

5 weekends already booked.

It's a fun house, I actually squatted there myself for 6 months as I was going through some relationship life stuff and it was super great.  The breeze blows in the back door out the front, the sun sets dramatically, Town is just around the corner, the Delaware River is just around the bend for all you kayaking and canoe nuts.  Hiking abounds, bicycling for those hardy souls who like hills.

Just a super comfortable, well-maintained way to get to know the Sullivan County region, our homes and the neighborhood.

Contact us at Catskills Cottage  - catskillscottage2013@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Miami Beach

It's been a long winter and it's not ending - one of those good old fashioned ones, and I thought it was great and really enjoyed but now it's getting a little long and we didn't even bother plowing our driveway this time because we knew the next few days would melt it off but then it stayed under 32 degrees the rest of the week.

So hello Miami Beach.

At the Philly airport economy parking lot with my sister.


Outside Publix at 5 and Alton, stocking up for the week.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coming out of Winter...

...with a full head of steam.

1000 sq ft Cottage 43 in Livingston Manor, NY on 5 acres.

1400 sq ft Cottage 44 on 6 acres in Saugerties NY.

1900 sq ft Farmhouse 23 in Stone Ridge NY on 10 acres.

Old School House renovation in Barryville NY.

1300 sq ft Ranch VII on 5 acres in Barryville NY.

And Craftsman III in Barryville is about ready to kick it again now that we have zeroed in on a family who is looking to move in and get livin' quick.  1750 sq ft, 5 acres.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Barns and Garages

Here's the Garage I'm building at my house in Eldred NY, right on the border of Barryville.

2 cars, with an area on the side for cows, goats, horses, sheep or a lawnmower.  

It's also got an upstairs area for Lucas' future evolving needs - train sets, play area, a place to take girls (not), smoke a doobie (not), read study and tool around with a ham radio and taking apart computers, reciting Leaves of Grass to fellow high school sophomores, adorned with old school 2'x4' posters of Loni Andersen.  The potential is limitless.

Wide ribbed metal roof, vertical board and batton siding stained barn red (yes, seriously, that's the name).  Cross buck garage doors.  Sharp - and not too big, which was a worry.

Then we got the pole barn going at the office - our 4 structure there since we moved in in 2008.

Then we used a lot of our siding left over from several years of home builds -

this is the fun side below - if I would've thought it thru better, I would have put the fun colors on the public side.

Just big enough to store our materials and our tractor.  It's really turning into a farm, with lots of out buildings, etc...

Outbuildings are cool.  We build a lot of them.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Glasco Cottage, Woodstock NY - Finito.

Says Wiki - "Glasco's name was taken from a glass company located in the mountain area several miles inland. The glass was carried by horse down the "Glasco Turnpike" to the banks of the Hudson where it was shipped on for ports of sale. The settlement along the river where the glass was loaded became known as Glasco."

So, you all know how fond I am at saying how talented, precise, tasteful our clients are - Well, Carl, this Bud's for you.  I'm not sure if Carlos and Carl read this blog (no one admits to it), but they know what I'm talking about - attention to detail, ha ha.  And it turned out frickin' pretty darn nice.

(Also, I like to write these 'end of project wrap-ups' after a martini or two, but here I sit all mature in the cool corner bookstore in Saugerties - so if my humor falls flat, that's why-)

These guys are veteran home owners - a lot of our clients are first time home owners.  They may have a place in the city or something, but haven't purchased anything in the real world (NYC process being unique onto itself), so that's always part of our job - helping them navigate the world of mortgages, lawyers, surveyors, building inspectors, zoning regs, etc... We are like upstate concierges. 

So these guys are veteran homeowners, having previously owned on the oldest houses in Ulster County which probably dates back to the 1600's or so.  Super interesting that they chose 'this new old house' after living in 'that really old house'.  And super cool that we were the team that got to do it.

We were hired at first to take a piece of land and make it build-able.  It was a smaller piece of land, right on a little creek, right off of Glasco Turnpike.  Our challenge was to take this house and make it fit on the land, with the septics, streams, driveway, building footprint, well/septic separations - each of these details have 'setbacks' set by the town, state, DEC, etc... and anytime you have water, you have an added set of rules, and oversights.  So we had the Woodstock stream guy involved, and the surveyor, and the septic guy and the driveway guy and the town highway guy - all these folks with their rules to enforce and we had to insert this house right perfectly just so-so so it fit.  It's the type of thing that you really rely on the professional relationships developed over dozens and dozens of homes, relationships that keep you out of trouble and ask the question you forgot you ask.

These guys knew what was important to them - lot's of porch, with an area gated for the dogs to go wild.  We build dog gates, kid gates, cat gates...  Whatever it takes...

 So we leveraged on this professional expertise as a one-stop shop for these owners.  We do that a lot - help people figure out what to do where, and what not to do, and since we are typically pretty 'on it', we help navigate the sometimes conflicting information coming from the disparate professionals.

This 1300 sq ft 2 bedroom 1.5 bath home was inspired by Cottage 38 over in Stone Ridge.  Boy was that a good house, and boy does this one pick up where that one left off.  We also finished off the 600 sq ft basement but more on that later.

Clean with the light floors and light paint and delicate spindles and french doors and crown moldings.  This is the living room, with the kitchen and dining to the right.

Front door, stone entrance, book shelves, wood burning fireplace, wide plank floors.

First floor half bath with half wall, wainscoting, dueling sconces and stone floor.

I think there were 4 sets of 5' double french doors, 3 sets in the kitchen.

They had these cool pain in the ass to install cabinet clad covers over the refrigerator and dishwasher.

Upstairs foyer leading to the two bedrooms and bath - we used a lot of pocket doors in this home, which is an unusual treatment for us.

Bedroom 1 over looking the stream.

Very good-looking bath, overlooking the stream.

Bedroom 2.

And the basement buildout with gas fireplace and lots of light - overlooking the stream.

Well, another success story.  We are uncommonly consistent in our ability to deliver on our promises - and it's not like we don't encounter problems - both unforeseen and of our own making - but the trick is to identify them and fix them without missing a beat - that really is an important trick to learn - how to look good while being imperfect.  Most of clients are pretty savvy, and have had plenty of lackluster consumption experiences, be it a shoe purchase or a home purchase, so it's not like they don't expect to have a hiccup or two. 

The key is the quick recovery.