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Like a rented mule July 28, 2007

Posted by jeff in Uncategorized.

Front stepsIt’s amazing how fast things are getting done! Wonder why now? We should have had our landlords kick us out at the end of April!

The front steps are in place and the stairs off the dining room were being built Friday afternoon. I tell you, it’s going to be a lot easier moving into this house with those stairs there! Climbing ladders with large fragile boxes simply isn’t my idea of a good time!

The crew did a good job with the stairs themselves. I still have misgivings about them. The big one is that Ralph didn’t get the site work done on time. That means there’s still more fill to bring in to the front and side of the house. So the fill’s going to come up to the height of the concrete pad at the bottom of the stairs, I guess, and that’s probably going to have to be good enough! It’s tough to deal with because I’d been hoping to decrease the overall height of the front steps by bringing in more fill – perhaps changing it from a run of 9 steps to 7 steps. On the other hand, I understand that the current setup will save us a couple thousand in not bringing in the fill.

Compromise, huh? Compromise and get ‘er done!

The geothermal is up and running! We have air conditioning in the house! They apparently forgot to run the hoses that take the condensed water from the units to the outside of the house, but it’s all there now. We have a few holes they had to cut in the downstairs lav wall to run the hose to the system in the attic, but they’ve already proved they can patch and paint pretty easily.

I didn’t get much of a chance to play with the geothermal, however, because the floor crew was in the house when I stopped by on Friday. They’d already sanded and final-coated the upstairs and the steps and were just about to start putting the final coat on the downstairs. That means I snapped a few photos and got out of their way. The floors will be walkable by Monday morning at latest, especially with the geo pulling the humidity out of the house!

Island pendants in placeOur electrician appears to have finished his work. The pendants were hung in the kitchen and the lav light was up and running. Not sure about the upstairs because of the floors, but I’ll find out on Monday. The pendants look great following the curve of the island, but it’s hard not to be annoyed since they’re not the pendants we picked out!  Punch list.  It’s all on the punch list!

It looks like we missed something in planning the kitchen/cabinetry/fridge. We modified the back wall behind the cabinetry to recess the fridge to counter top depth. Then we set the projection of the side walls and built up the soffit so that the headband could continue uninterrupted. But no one took into account the fact that our fridge is a French door model! So the right door has to project beyond the wall in order to open more than 90 degrees! I’ve deduced this from the photos since I didn’t get to spend enough time in the kitchen looking at it. Take a look yourself and see if that makes sense. I’m pretty sure we’re out of options here other than carving into the wall, but we’ll take a look at it on Monday.

I’d ask Ralph, but he surprisingly hasn’t answered my last couple calls!

Monday is going to be busy! The remaining pieces of trim are supposed to be finished, the doors rehung, the house cleaned, the deck railings finalized and capped, the slate and granite should get another coat of sealer, the plumbing should be completed, the appliances screwed in and powered up (ovens, dishwasher & fridge) We’re still having a tough time getting the flue completed, thus a gaping hole remains in that wall and the wood & slate around the fireplace hasn’t been done yet. They’re going to have to cover the floor in that area to protect it now. Final door hardware has been a question forever now!  Ralph’s had our hardware order for oh, well, maybe 6 months?

Gotta go pack…



1. Mom - July 28, 2007

Well, hopefully the walruses have flown south because if not, you’re really gonna need Grandma’s hot tub.
I assume Tally looks so happy because the refrigerator is hooked up and she can now get a few icecubes. Hmmm.. a good Scrabble word, unless you’re saving the U for the Q.
Lookin great, W.

2. Lisa & Dave - September 22, 2007


We just bought 4.5 acres at Seven Springs ski resort in PA and are planning on building the maple forest house. We are trying to decide whether or not to go with geothermal. Looks like electrical costs are higher but fuel/gas costs are lower. Can I ask why you decided to go with geothermal?

Thank you for sharing your blog and wonderful pics!! so helpful for us….Lisa and Dave

3. Susan and Tom - September 26, 2007

We have been following your progress for the past few months, as we also are planning to build the Maple Forest house in the next 4-6 months. Our land consists of 4 acres near a lake in Boothbay, Maine, and looks a lot like the land and woods in the original 1994 photos.
We have been anxiously awaiting the rest of your story…what happened after July 28th, when your blog stops? Are you moved in, enjoying the house, and happy with the results? Would you be amenable to two visitors for no more than an hour coming by to see your house in the next few weeks or months? Of course, as an enticement and a way of saying thanks, we would love to bring you some live lobsters to your doorstep, fresh from the waters of Maine.
Thanks so much, either way,
Susan and Tom
PS Lisa and Dave, please email us at slloyd202@yahoo.com if you’d like to exchange ideas, etc.

4. David - November 30, 2007

Congratualtions to you all for pushing through, making the tough decisions, and seeing your dream house materialize before you eyes. I think now that the hundreds, if not thousands, of people that read this blog with anticipation want an epilogue.

We want a happily ever after. Or at least a reality ever after…

How is your day to day life in that house? What lessons have you learned? What went right and what was a little askew in the final analysis?

Enquiring minds want to know. 😉

Thank you for your time and stories.


5. Linda - January 7, 2008

Hi Jeff,

This site is terrific! Thank you! My husband and I are considering building the Maple Forest. This site has been very helpful. But there aren’t photos of the finished house! 🙂 I assume since the last posting was July that you have moved in by now. Do you have any photos of it finished? Would love to see them.

Thanks again!

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