The Day no one said Cheese.

Yesterday we poured 1000 sq. ft. of garage floor concrete. That might explain why no one said cheese, or “oh it’s you…again…” or “hey, hold my drink and watch this”… Everything went pretty well, except for the weather, which couldn’t decide if it was going to be sunny or cloudy with rain…or sunny with gusts of wind..or… And then there is the tale of two cement truck drivers-one who was on par with hand gestures and one who wasn’t… In the end, it all worked out and we got the work done!!IMG_4308IMG_4318IMG_4320IMG_4323IMG_4326IMG_4332IMG_4340

Strip, Backfill and Pour (repeat)

We’re still working on the foundation at our Loveland project. We’ve completed the footings, poured the walls and next week we start pouring the floors, beginning with the garage. Things are progressing quickly.

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Did we forget to share photos of the wall being formed?? Of course we did!! So hey, why not add them now, because this wall really does deserve some attention…and they were already edited for a post but just like the missing pairs of socks after a run in the dryer…well…

Looking good, right!! We agree, it is.

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Custom dog door. Lucky dog.

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Custom kid in dog door. Lucky kid.

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Bryan, working his Bobcat magic and backfilling the foundation!

While Bryan backfilled, Eric, Jason and Quinn sat around in chairs…I mean placed chairs down under the mesh…for Monday…yes that is what I meant.

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At the end of the day we had a strategic meeting for Monday’s main event: the garage pour.

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Cheers to the weekend!!

Dirty Thoughts

How often do you think about your septic system? I mean really think about it, dive into it, somewhere between the top layer of fats and oils and the bottom layer of solids and consider just how important it is to our health and environment.

First and foremost, your septic tank is more than just a waste holder, it’s a biological wonderland. Just the word “septic” refers to an anaerobic bacteria environment for decomposition. Bacteria from our bodies, our food, and products we use all end up in the tank playing a role in the decomposition of the wastes we “flush”. As we all remember from biology class, anaerobic bacteria work without oxygen.  In the septic tank then, anaerobic bacteria are working to get rid of nitrates that would otherwise cause algae blooms in the water shed. We have seen how disastrous an overabundance of nitrogen in water can be. One particular example is the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico caused by fertilizer run off in the Mississippi river. Nitrogen found in the fertilizers (along with other chemicals) have caused algal blooms on the surface of the water, removing the oxygen in the water that is important for plant and animal life. We are talking specifically about nitrogen in water, and not nitrogen in the soil, and even more specifically about issues with industrial agriculture.

Looking inside the septic tank, one would see three developed layers: fats & oils, water, and solid waste. As your household waste enters the tank a series of bacterial processes occur to break down whats coming in. Fats, oils and solids are not broken down by the bacteria in the tank and are known as sludge. Sludge stays in the tank and has to be pumped out. What the bacteria does breakdown is added into the water that makes up the middle layer, and is then sent out of the tank into the drain field. The drain field is comprised of gravel, coarse sand or plastic chambers, and pipes. As the “clarified water” is leeched out, it runs across a filtration surface and is further separated and broken down by aerobic  bacteria found naturally in the soil. These bacteria work to finish breaking down waste and destroy pathogenic organisms that could cause serious health problems. This is why septic system design and implementation is so heavily regulated.We depend on our septic systems to function properly so that we have safe, clean water for human and animal consumption and agricultural purposes; and so that our land does not become a health hazard or worse: inhospitable. The picture in my mind is like something out of Mad Max, people with extra or missing limbs/organs or serious health problems and land that can’t support life.

 

Last Friday, the septic tank for our Loveland site was delivered. Check out some of the photos below:

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We’ve Gone Insta!

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Here at Harrington Construction we believe that social media platforms are a great resource. As we continue to grow as a company we are trying to spread the word about what we do, why it’s great and why you or your parents, bothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors…any and everyone, should consider building a sustainable and efficient home! So check us out on Instagram, and follow along for spontaneous pictures of what we are up to!

https://www.instagram.com/harringtonconstruction/

Footed and Foxy

Footed and Foxy…oh lala. Moving into February has us running around like hens in a hen house being chased by the foxes (foxes being jobsites). We’ve poured the footings on our Loveland site, and have been installing the Fox Block and getting things ready for the second part of the concrete pour: the floor and walls. We have some pretty tall walls on the south side of the house, which will make pouring lots of fun, luckily everyone on the crew looovvveesss working with concrete. As our Loveland site continues progressing, we are also moving forward with a residence site in Berthoud, and working out structural details for a project in Fort Collins. There’s lots happening here and as the weather warms up and the sun stays out just a little bit longer each month, we are getting ready for Spring, thawed ground and lots of action!

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A few locals checking out the site…they disappeared once the work started happening, probably out of fear of being volunteered to help…

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All hands, in mud…errr on deck.

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Pump up the jam, pump it up…

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Tiny person, brought for motivational cheering…stopped being useful once a bag of Cheetos presented itself as viable snacking option.

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A quick look at the Fox Block, being installed, check back for more fancy stacking later!

Need Convincing??

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It’s been cold lately, on Thursday the temperature hung around the 20’s, Friday it didn’t get over 20, and today is looking much the same. Cold. Cold. Cold. That also means that the heaters all across the Front Range are running, but not everywhere!!! Oh no friends, up in Nederland, CO (where the temperature is usually 20 degree (F) colder), in the house we finished this spring, the heat is NOT on!!! Say What?!?! You read that right, the homeowners just in the last 30 min sent a text telling us that they have yet to turn their heater on, despite it being so dang cold out. Jealous? I know I would be!!

 

Loveland Project

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Here we are, a month into the “cold” season and we’re starting our newest project in Loveland, near Ellis Ranch. The site is pretty amazing, with nice views of the buttes to the east and the Sylvan Dale Ranch to the west. So far, we have been moving earth, getting the site ready for the foundation. 20151116_090425

Tiny person, in charge of dirt quality and fun. This dirt checked out as as slideable, buildable and nearly edible.

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Bryan and Quinn have been working hard moving dirt for the house pad, shed and driveway. Good job guys!!

This home will be approx. 3,500 sq. ft. of living space, so we are looking at building a large custom, energy efficient, home. It’s exciting to be working with the clients and their architect and we are looking forward to watching this site progress into something beautiful! Stay tuned for more fun!

 

Gaga over Granite!

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Granite is one of those counter top choices that continues to stand the test of time, as far as popularity and affordability are concerned. It’s a durable and affordable choice that comes with a plethora of choices in color and look. Having options ranging from color to the types of crystals found, naturally occurring, in the stone provides a person with adequate choices to fit whatever room they see granite being in.

Another benefit, especially for an efficient and sustainable home is that: granite has a high thermal mass, meaning it stores heat and then slowly releases it as temperatures decrease, stabilizing indoor air temperature adding to the energy efficiency of a space and home.

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Just look at all this mass, waiting to get thermal…

We picked up the granite our homeowners in Berthoud selected last week, and got to work doing the cuts, and installation. Granite is a dusty business, but in the end it is always worth it!

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Shou Sugi Ban in Nederland (say that 5 times fast!)

Have you heard of the Shou Sugi Ban style of wood treatment? Basically, it is charred wood. Traditionally the practice, developed in Japan, uses Japanese Cedar. The Cedar is burnt, cooled and then cleaned/finished with a natural oil. The practice is sustainable as it preserves the wood making paints or other sealers unnecessary, and also acts as a fire barrier. Commonly, we see its finished look as a silvery grey, like in the picture from Houzz below:

The method can, of course, be done to lots of other wood species, and can give a beautiful and interesting look and feel to a room. Check out this other photo here, also from Houzz:

We are up in Nederland, adding a utility shed and lanai..errr should we say, “porch” or “patio” for you mainland folks (some of us lived in Hawaii for a good long while and still use the local phrases…what can we say), to the Passive House we built last winter. The method of siding the homeowner wanted is, Shou Sugi Ban which we are doing on flat cut Beetle Kill Pine; which we picked up from the Forks Lumber Mill just outside of Fort Collins (most of the Beetle Kill the Forks Mill processes actually comes from the Nederland area, so it’s local, sustainable, and beautiful.).

Here are some photos of our Shou Sugi Ban work, along with the additions to the house features:

First a few up close pictures, to show off the look:

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Eric and Bryan welded up these handrails, and built/welded this robust barn door for the shed at the end of the porch!

psst, that welded track is actually meant to rust fast, giving it a nice rustic (see what we did there) look, per the homeowners request!

I don’t know about you all out there reading this but, SIGN ME UP!!!

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Above: Bryan, charring it up!

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There is still a shade structure to be built on this, South Facing, side of the house to optimize the summer shading and decrease the solar gain.

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The look of the Shou Sugi Ban, along with the Corten steel (developed to weather quickly but resist corrosion) gives this new home, a very rustic-been here for ages- mountain retreat-appearance. We like it, a lot! What do you think?

Here are a few of the interior photos. The homeowner has chosen to do a lot of the finish work himself, which is why we have not had many finished interior shots to share.

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Kitchen Cabinets Anyone??

These cabinets are looking pretty sharp, if we do say so ourselves…

Last week we left you with photos of the cabinet boxes being built, looking somewhat like the one below:

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Here’s where last weeks progress took us:

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Completed Assembly of the Almond Melamine Boxes. The Melamine boxes are all Carb2 compliant, to safe guard the air quality, while being easy to wipe down/clean and you won’t have canned goods or other products sticking and pulling up the finish.

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We are excited about the simplicity and understatement of this classic shaker design.

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Quinn, setting and adjusting the blum soft close door hinges.

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Bryan, assembling the natural finished, blind dovetailed, Alder drawer boxes.

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Jason, demonstrating the ergonomic height of the cooking peninsula for the homeowners, who are tall and were concerned about having a comfortable cooking and counter height.