So that’s it–we’ve done it. Kingsbury Shores Cottage 1 version 2.0 is finished, all buttoned up except for a few loose ends. We keep getting compliments from both friends and strangers on how great it looks. I take some pride in that but I’m also quick to point out that it wouldn’t look half as good if we didn’t have a great builder in Art Hultin. I know, both from experience in the modern world and from my research on colonial architecture, how rare such characters are. I’ll put down some further thoughts in time but for now, will just take a moment to appreciate Art and his crew.
There are so many things that went so well on this project–everything from the stuff we can see and touch and love, like the beautiful birch plywood walls, to the things we can’t see but still appreciate, like how incredibly tight the house is (about 150 CFM air loss, or <1 ACH50, according to our blower door test, if you’re keeping score). We’re really grateful, and amazed, at how they were able to get it all done on schedule, even after so many delays before we could even get started. There are too many good things about the new place to list them all but here are a few of our favorite items, so far: the little nook at the top of the stairs, Ellie’s hidey-hole, looks more like a nice piece of furniture than a room in a building; the kitchen, with all its drawers and doors fitting so neatly together and its really lovely bamboo cabinets and soapstone counter; the stair, especially the way the light filters down in the afternoon, with the contrasting mahogany handrail. And it never fails to bring a smile to my face to look at how neat those birch walls look. If there’s one thing that sets this house apart, it’s the quality of both the workmanship and the material of the interior—look at how carefully the plywood is aligned around each room, for example, and running up through the stair.
Of course, because the old cottage was in pretty rough shape, we appreciate some of the more commonplace niceties of the new place all the more, like the smooth, straight, solid deck (Garapa was a great call—thanks to Art for the recommendation); the new outdoor shower; a bathroom you can turn around in and seems so much brighter than the old one; and amazingly, the fact that it’s now cooler inside the house than outside on a warm day. Crisse has been up there with the kids for a week now, and they still haven’t been tempted to run the a/c.
There’s more to say but for now I’ll let some pictures do the talking, all taken last weekend as Crisse and the kids were getting settled in.