Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Homes on the North Shore

Last week I got to go out with a professional photographer to get some pics for a promotional wood products magazine. I've known Carrie for a few years and gotten to accompany her before. She is a married mother of three teens and is a capable volleyball player. This year she was taller than me until we got to the first building site when she changed into her sneakers. Then we were vertically equivalent. My job is to help her find the places using certain products and introduce her to the contractors/owners. She doesn't need a lot of introduction as the woman knows how to talk. I really don't need to say much, just pointing directions will do. At least it gets me out of the office for some fresh air.

The fun part is I get to see what my customers are doing with all the stuff they buy and generally get to give them a hard time about it. We get to have some fun verbal banter which is always good entertainment.

The first place we went to was a few blocks from the lumber yard by the Big Lake. It is a timber frame in process.

The nice thing was that it was about 65F at this site which was about 20 degrees cooler than it was a couple of miles inland.

The next place was right in town and the owners had only moved in about three weeks earlier. The had paper taped to their windows as temporary drapes and for some privacy. That is one of the downsides of living in town and a trade off for convenience. The 10" white pine ceiling is a nice touch.
The next place was up on the hill where things were hot. There is still some work going on outside of the house and the garage is being finished. It'll look terrific in the fall after the landscaping and cleanup are done. Here is the house.
 The garage is built to match the house.
The floor in the upstairs was just being finished.
Meanwhile, back in the main house, the living room was being lived in. I was told the Christmas tree would be stored in the garage when the garage was finished. Not all that unusual up here. Driving through town would reveal many Christmas wreaths that haven't been taken down yet.
The homeowners were very kind and gracious to let us share their space for a little while.

I am not sure how the building business is doing around the country, but up here it is fairly intense. Then again we have a very short building season. It gets very inefficient when the temperatures are below zero and the snow is up to your eyeballs.



  1. That garage attic has oodles of storage space. Thanks for sharing your outing with us.

  2. Those are some beautiful homes. In the fifth photo, with the pine ceiling, is that a furnace or some kind of heating unit to the right? Do you know how that works? It appears to vent through the ceiling - and I'm guessing it heats the next floor up as it goes through?

  3. Sioux, I have lived in much smaller spaces with several other people and it wasn't that crowded.

    jenny_o, It is a type of masonry wood heater. It is a northern European type heater that is generally highly efficient and clean burning. It uses thermal mass to store heat long after the fire goes out. Yes, there is another large room upstairs that I am sure stays warm.

  4. Lovely pictures! I especially like the one with the pine ceiling - wooden planks on ceilings are very popular in Germany. Have not seen it over here, though.

    Home construction is booming here right now, too. When we moved to Florida seven years ago, our subdivision was about half-finished, and it has stayed that way for about six years. Now I look out our back window and I can count six houses in various stages of completion.

  5. Lovely. And so by "North Shore", are we talking Duluth?


  6. PP, being in the north woods most people like at least some wood in their homes. Most of us like a lot.

    Knatolee, wish I could take credit!

    Donna, a bit of design sense and a fair amount of money helps.

    Pearl, from here we look at Duluth as the "Gateway to Central Minnesota." We're a couple of hours beyond Duluth.

  7. nice way to get out of the office

  8. The woodwork in these places is beautiful! Great products, Jono! Hope your summer is going well.

  9. These are beautiful homes. You must have been pleased to see these good results with your material.

  10. Love the houses. There is something wonderful about wood that I sure miss in the concrete and brick houses in Ukraine