Saturday, May 24, 2008

First home purchases!

So a quick update on our construction isn't official yet but a wonderful builder has agreed to trade phasing allocations with us so that we can begin construction this fiscal year instead of next. While we were initially thrilled about the prospect of initiating construction this summer (we can technically begin July 1, 2008 now!), we have decided to delay ground-breaking until early next spring. We feel like we have a lot more research to do and a lot more decisions to make before we begin building. We also want more time with our draftsperson to ensure that our plans are spot-on. Avoiding changes in the future means saving money. But knowing that we can begin construction a bit earlier than before has given us the confidence to go ahead and start making purchases when we find things we like at a good deal. We also figure that buying things slowly, over a period of months, will mean not having to plop down a lot of cash all at once next summer. So our recent purchases include...

We got gorgeous mixed yellow and red birch floors at a good deal ($4.69/ft) from our new favorite store, Planet Hardwood, in Hinesburg, VT, less than 5 miles from our building site. We first met these guys at the Green Expo in Burlington two weeks ago. They have an amazing showroom in Hinesburg, full of fantastic wood floor options as well as AFM Safecoat Paint and Marmoleum options. They are 100% committed to environmentally friendly building practices and only stock wood that they know has been sustainably harvested. Our particular wood (a mix of yellow and red birch) comes from a mill just over the border in Canada, less than 100 miles away. The guys at Planet Hardwood know the mill and the family that runs in personally, one of the many benefits of buying locally!

As for the wood, we love the birch texture and warmth. Yet it's light and airy enough to help us achieve the modern feel we're striving for. We also learned something new...that yellow and red birch actually come from the same tree. The darker coloring (red) is wood closer to the core of the tree whereas the lighter (yellow) is from the outer layers. We will be using this flooring for the entire second floor (loft area/offices, two bedrooms) as well as for the bed platform area in our master bedroom. We got this idea from a beautiful home built in Texas (inspiration photo below). More pictures are available on the Wilde Haire Ranch link to the right under "Modern Farmhouse: Our Aesthetic." We will post our floor plans soon.