Summers End


Summer is quickly coming to an end. We are happy about the cooler weather, and how well our project in Loveland is progressing. We are looking forward to new projects moving along in their stages of planning and we look forward to hearing from you-when you’re ready to build your dream home.

Summer Hustle


IMG_4693eThese three have been staying busy; unlike the tiny boss chilling in the wheelbarrow above.

Once framing and sheathing wrapped up, we quickly got to work on air/water/vapor sealing, and installing windows, doors, trim and siding.




The design of the homes exterior incorporates wood, stone and brick. The homeowner had two colors of wood that she stained, one very dark and one very light-you could say it’s black and and white in appearance, but up close there is a lot more color variations including tones of brown and green that help give the homes exterior a very rustic country look.


Here is a corner photo of the two stains side by side.


As you can see, there is a lot of character and variation in the color of the siding depending on light and where a person is standing.


The white siding has also been used as an accent color under some windows. The Cupolas along the roofs ridge provide a bit more character along the gable.


The rough plumbing and electrical have been completed and we are getting ready to start blowing insulation.


Just look at that light switch box! We really appreciate the work both the plumbing and electrical contractors have done!IMG_4695e

Here is a photo of the tenting around the fire sprinklers. This is a mandatory step before insulation can be installed. What we are doing, is creating a barrier between the sprinkler line and the cellulose; which will help to prevent/minimize the chance of the line freezing. The netting seen above the line will also be tacked to the studs along the walls, and cellulose will be blown in and dense packed.

Sprouting Up

Aaahh, spring has arrived in Colorado…or at least it seems that way on a bi-weekly basis. One week sunny and hot, the next cold and wet.

As promised, in the previous post a look into how the framing has been going. We have brought on, J & D Builders from Greeley to help us out, and we are really enjoying working with them.


Profile view. The Kitchen area has trusses on. The garage is being sheathed for the second floor.


Tilting up walls. These guys have had no problem working with our double wall framing system.


Looking out the Dinning room window, that tiny person was placed there for scale. The homeowners wanted big windows to really capture the view they have of the buttes and Horsetooth Rock from the North side of their home.


Jason and Bryan standing in the Kitchen.


Looking out from the Kitchen into the rest of the first level. The “tiny person for scale” is standing in the Master Bedroom. The beam is situated over the Living Room.


Here our scale model is standing under the beam and in front of her is the wash room and access to the garage. There are high ceilings throughout. The beams and columns for this project are Beetle Kill Pine, milled from The Forks Lumber Mill, whom we used for the Nederland Home.


Here’s a look into the wall cavity. Soon we will be dense packing a whole semi load of cellulose into these cavities. One the ground is our vapor barrier. Just as on a roof, we must maintain a dry environment for the durability of our materials and the house as a whole.


Scale Model standing in the Garage. Above the garage will be bedrooms.


Here’s a look at some amazing custom made brackets we had done for the home from Charles Lefkowitz at, Sculpture and Functional Metal Work. We will have an upcoming post with more photos of the brackets we are using.



There last two photos are of the column brackets, one from the side, and one from the front. These brackets are giving structural stability and a very modern and industrial look to the home.


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.

Last week we removed the forms on the larger back walls.IMG_4262IMG_4267IMG_4275

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.


Custom dog door. Lucky dog.


Custom kid in dog door. Lucky kid.


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.



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


Cheers to the weekend!!

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:





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!!!


Above: Bryan, charring it up!


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.



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.




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:


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. 

Hyperlocalization of Architecture: Contemporary Sustainable Archetypes

A fellow friend of ours and Passive Haus/Sustainable Building enthusiast, Andrew Michler, has published his book: “Hyperlocalization of Architecture: Contemporary Sustainable Archetypes”.

Andrews Book Cover

Andrew is currently living in a Passive House that he designed and built, in Masonville, CO (with the help, we might add, from one of our companies founders, Eric Harrington). As a builder and a consultant for sustainable building, Andrew believes that; “the best way to change the construction industry is design and build well beyond what is considered possible, and let the industry respond.” –

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Above are photos of Andrews Passive House.

Andrews book explores the connection between architecture and the environment, placing great emphasis on the modernist movement of site responsive design and build. With several interviews from architects around the world, an in depth look at 30 projects and the theory of architecture; this book provides an intriguing and thought provoking look at hyperlocal design and how Archeticts/Designers/Builders are grasping this theory of building and changing designs to fit the environment in which buildings are built.

We encourage you to check it out! It can be purchased here:

If you’re interested in learning more about Andrew, check out his website here: