Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Howard is Speechless

Today has been one of the most exciting days of Howard's professional career as an architect so far.

Watching dirt get excavated, watching foundations get poured and piers get drilled, watching walls and roofs get framed, watching ducts and piping and conduit get located in unexpected places, seeing the drywall on walls and ceilings change the character and feel of the spaces, watching doors and windows being hung -- everything leading to a finished product that almost exactly looks and feels the way the architect imagined -- that is always the greatest thrill for a creative mind.

I think that's why architects become architects -- to see stuff from their own minds and creative souls get built, get moulded into flesh-and-blood reality, and then get used as hoped and imagined.

But today was a bit special. Why? Because some of the key details that Howard has been fretting and worrying over for the past two years (!!) were built recently, and they came out exactly right.

For the past six months, the contractor and his construction superintendent have been gushing over how good their finish carpenter is. Talking about building high expectations!

Yet over the past month, as the doors were hung, and the baseboards were installed, and the trim around the doors and windows were cut and nailed and stained, and the cabinetry was installed with crown moulding no less, Howard realized that they were right about the finish carpenter.

But only recently, as the construction of the stairs was started, and the rows of columns and capitals were carefully trimmed and constructed, has Howard seen just how truly good this guy is.

A Craftsman -- with a capital 'C'.

All of this finish carpentry has yet to be stained. But when it is, it's going to be spectacular.

The guy who's job it is to do all this staining? Why the painter, of course. Interestingly enough, the painter has become a good friend and confidante of Howard's.

Together, we've talked over and considered dozens of paint options, and always -- always -- it's turned out that we agree on everything. Too dark? I think so too. Too gray? You got that right. Too vivid? That's what I was thinking too! What would you suggest? Good idea, let's do it.

And now everything is coming out perfect. Damn if that's the way it's supposed to be, but hardly ever really is.

As you can see, the front of the house is nearly painted. The colors are perfect. Of course.

If not for the snow -- SNOW? It can't be snowing! It's only October! -- the painter would be finishing up the outside of the house, including the stain on the fascia boards up high and all the heavy timber pieces at the back of the house.

So we wait for more good weather while he continues his craft inside. Shouldn't be a long wait.

You know what they say about the weather in Colorado? Don't like it? Just wait 15 minutes and it'll change. So true.

No, the title of this blog entry is not quite correct. Howard is not speechless. He's ecstatic. Which makes him manic and gabby and articulate and hyper. Oh so hyper.

He can't wait to see what he'll see when he gets back from Chicago on Sunday. His mind will probably be reeling from all the great architecture he'll see there. Wonder what kind of ideas he'll bring back with him...

Still to come on this house, though? Bamboo floors. Stair rails, newel posts, and ballusters. Granite countertops. Porcelain tile. Finished bathrooms. Buckets of stain on wood everywhere. Stained and sealed concrete floors in the walk-out basement. Landscaping. Stone and a huge mantle of wood at the fireplace. A built-in eating nook (a cozy booth... sans naugahyde.)

Howard hasn't shown you any photos of the kitchen yet, has he? Coming soon...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the house plenty of times to know that what is happening to the house now is pretty damn sweet. Especially the stairwell.

10:15 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Thanks... son. The finish carpenter is about to begin the railings, newel posts, and ballusters along the stairs, and he says they will take him about a week. Considering how quickly he's been making progress with his great craftsmanship so far, if they take him a week to complete, these are gonna be some terrific railings, newel posts, and ballusters!

10:53 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger CJ said...

It's heartening to hear that craftsmanship still exists. In this age of high technology, that a guy or gal is still interested in carefully piecing together wood and fastening it with nails to create lasting beauty, is amazing to me. Here's to finish carpenters! And all the people that help to make an architect's vision real.

8:03 AM, October 18, 2006  

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