Exterior Insulation, Windows & Fireplace: 1/21/12 Update

We made significant progress since the last post. It has been a very stressful time of research and decision making. We went from uplifting days of saying “we should build another house one day” to most days saying “NEVER build a house again!!”.

Most of the plumbing and electrical rough ins have been completed. It was difficult to decide on where all the lights would go and where the TV outlets would be placed. All the lighting fixtures have been picked out and will be ordered soon. Central Vacuum has also been plumbed in. Although we won’t have any carpets, we still decided to go with a central vac. It’s very convenient for sweeping up (toe kick), vacuuming rugs, and vacuuming the cars in the garage. It’s also less dusty in the house vs. a standard vacuum. We been living with one for 12 years and decided that we don’t want to live without one.

Our house looks white now (before it was black with waterproofing membrane). Most of the windows and sliding doors have been installed! The large sliding doors look different than I imagined, but we didn’t really communicate much on the windows with our builder/consultant.

Our fireplace was also delivered and put in place. It will be installed now that the cold weather will break this week. We decided that a two sided fireplace would look nice in a corner. It is made by Montigo.

In Search of Modern Doors

It seems like a common problem, the difficulty in finding reasonably priced modern doors. We’ve been doing extensive searches on Google for several months now. I really like this style of European style doors. There seems to be good looking modern doors coming out Italy, but at a very high cost. Milano Doors also make great looking doors, but also expensive. Our builder/consultant also has contacts at custom door makers, but so far we haven’t seen anything that caught our eye.

He did recommend some doors from Frank’s Lumber Door Store. Since we love supporting local businesses, we paid them a visit today.

As with most vendors, 98% of the doors were craftsman. If you browse their web site, you can see that they have some mid-century modern doors for sale. They can also make custom doors. Frank’s sales guys were very nice and even showed us a custom mid-century modern door that they were working on for a client. It was a beautiful Mahagony wood door with floating panels. The floating panels are not only decorative, they allow movement for expansion and shrinkage. It’s only with these floating panels that the door can be warranteed (1 yr. warranty).

The only front door that we liked was this one:

Even with this one, we weren’t too sure. The basic cost was $1,700 – $1,800 (not pre-hung, not stained, no hardware).
Some modernists use commercial steel doors, which is a good idea.
We will keep searching and look for good interior doors and side door as well.
We hope to paint the trim and doors grey for the interior mimicking the Mithun interior.

Our door search continues. Please comment if you have any suggestions. Thanks.

Modern Retail Shopping in Seattle and Vancouver: 3 New Stores in 2012!

Happy 2013!
On modern shopping front, three great things happened in 2012.

1. Room & Board opened their first NW store at U-Village!

Room & Board Opens at U-Village Article

2. West Elm opened their first Seattle store in South Lake Union.

West Elm opens in South Lake Union

3. CB2 opened a store on Robson Street (Vancouver, B.C.).

CB2 opens on Robson Street

1 & 2 are good news and bad news. Good news is that we can actually see the products in person, but the bad news is that now we have to pay tax due to their physical retail presence. Which store are you most excited for? As for me, it’s Room & Board! Happy modern shopping in 2013!