Waterfront Ipe' Deck

A beautiful view deserves a beautiful space to enjoy it from. Whether you look out over San Juan Channel, or a well-landscaped backyard, decks can provide that perfect vantage. This waterfront example seems to float out over the water at times and allows unobstructed views up and down the coast. The decking is ipe' (also called Brazilian Walnut), a dense, durable, and resiliant wood with a lovely color range from caramel, to burnt orange, to dark walnut. Left untreated, ipe' will ultimately mellow to a handsome, silvery grey. The railing here is comprised of ipe' posts and cap rails with view-preserving, long-lasting stainless steel cable infill. 

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A Grand Entrance and a Subtle Screen

After adding a lot of landscaping and hardscaping to get their property into shape, our clients then hired us to create a striking main entryway to the house, as well as a more subtle screen for all things garbage and recycling. The main arbor and gates quietly echo some of the houses' details, while the screen/fence maintain a simple but stylish architectural appeal. As always, it was a pleasure bouncing ideas back and forth with our client in order to achieve a great end result. 

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Deer Fence With Style

Keeping a garden from being an open buffet for deer can be challenging. While there are several options for keeping them at bay, few add any architectural appeal to a property. This sturdy lattice fence (constructed of fully joined 2 X 2s) is seven feet high, but doesn't dominate the scene due to its openess. Gentle curves in the gates and arbor soften the linear feel of things and offer a welcoming entry point.

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Complimentary Craftsman

This fence was created as an architectural extension of the beautiful craftsman home it accompanies. The 6 X 6 cedar posts give a massive feel, but not at the expense of the fine detail of the fully jointed lattices (no stapled sticks here). From the squared and beveled footings to the classic arbor, this fence was a joy to build!

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Funky Cabin

Funky on the outside, functional and warm on the inside. This extra bedroom/guest house/retreat has been deemed"The Cabin" by our client. At 120 square feet its footprint is small, but it allows a lot of uses given its height. The loft accomodates a comfortable sleeping space while the floor level allows a host of possibilities.

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Inspiration from the East

The close spacing of verticle lines coupled with a torii-like gate in this fence project gives it a distinctly Asian feel. Made entire of western red cedar-some of it even harvested and milled in Whatcom county-this project's intent was to add privacy as well as artistically compliment the owner-built "zen" patio within. We also built a small covered  meditation spot in one corner from which to contemplate drops of rain.

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Misc. Structures

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Retreat & Greenhouse

Sometimes sancuary is just steps away. An avid gardener, reader, and relaxer requested we build a getaway space and companion greenhouse on her half acre. Together we came up with solutions to combine found objects, slavaged materials, long lasting new materials, and a look to match the clients' sense of style and fondness for all things tropical.

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Fountain District Fence

While a fence’s primary function is typically as a boundary marker or critter barrier, it can also serve as an extension of a home’s aesthetic. We worked closely with our client here to create a well-crafted fence that would both complement and enhance the property it surrounded. A hint of the Craftsman style coupled with the warm beauty of western red cedar is almost always a winning combination.

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Covered Cedar Deck

A structure built to last is an environmentally sound structure. Tearing off and replacing a deck every 10 years is a waste of materials, time, and money. This attractive covered deck illustrates well (as do all of our projects) the ethic behind "built to last". By eliminating typical failing/rotting points, using fasteners of the proper size and material, and choosing the best lumber available, we create a structure you can enjoy for many years to come.

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Porch Restoration

Northwest weather can be especially hard on structures exposed to the elements. So after enduring 70+ winters, the porch on this classic bungalow was nearly a total loss due to rot and neglect. Unsafe to be on, not up to code, and suffering aesthetically from past revisions, we decided to strip away all but the soundest components and start over. The end result was a safe, code compliant, and aesthetically pleasing restoration of one of our clients favorite spaces in the house; the front porch.

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Lake Whatcom Shed

To successfully integrate this shed with an existing deck of a Lake Whatcom home, it was necessary to build it partially into the slope of the lot. The result was a structure that works with the elements around it rather than against them. The slope was retained with no ugly excavation scar, the 100 year-old apple trees arching over its roof remained unharmed, and the transition to the deck is essentially seamless.

As for the shed itself, it was framed entirely with FSC* certified wood, and the sheathing and lower windows were REStore finds. The clerestory windows above were made in the shop from salvaged glass and native hemlock. Enduring elements include the 50 year fiber cement siding and steel roof.

*FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

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Lettered Streets Fence

Sometimes a family member can be the catalyst for a home project. In this case, a sweet but cat-chasing dog compelled our client to commission a fence for their double lot. The primary objectives were to have an unobtrusive fence that wasn't a visual barrier to the neighborhood, and to create an attractive addition to the property.

Aside from the steel grid panels, the fence is constructed entirely of western red cedar; even the posts. In addition to treating the posts with a product called Eco Wood Treatment, we wrapped each one at both grade-level and the bottom with Vycor flashing to ensure long life.

We also used Eco Wood Treatment as a stain for the fence, which turned the cedar a subtle silver-brown color. This product is completely non-toxic and made just a few miles north of the border on Salt Spring Island, BC.

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Western Red Cedar Deck

Decks are a wonderful way to extend the living space of your home and increase its value. With this project we completely replaced a rotting and unsafe deck from the ground up. The decking, railings, and steps are all hand-selected western red cedar.

Rather than have a lumber package randomly selected and delivered to your site, we prefer to take the time and carefully sort through the stacks of lumber at our local building supply. This way we get the best of what's available, ensuring not only a more attractive deck, but a longer lasting one as well.

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Potting Shed

This quaint potting shed is modest in size by design. Wanting "Just a spot to toss dirt into pots and store gardening tools," this client had us make use of a lonely corner of the backyard by tucking in a unique little structure comprised of about 95% salvaged materials.

The posts and beams are reclaimed Douglas fir, and the door, window and siding are reused material as well. While it's not always possible with every project, incorporating salvaged materials can be a gratifying and cost-effective option. Often the result is a delightful, one-of-a-kind structure such as this.

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Willow Fence

Fences can present an opportunity to do something unique and creative. It seems most fences are constructed strictly as a border or barrier to a property with little thought for design. Our client here wanted a privacy fence, but not simply a wall of wood. We ultimately came up with a panel comprised of willow twigs to accent the top of each section. The willow panels coupled with accent banding break up the "wall" effect and add an organic, natural quality to the fence.

The fence boards for this project were milled locally from a tree that actually came from Whatcom County. We aren't always able to find such completely local resources, but we try.

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Porch Addition

Living as we do in a region of frequent rain and occasional high winds, a south-facing front door can suffer a lot of abuse. Our client wanted to protect the entrance to her home and have a warm, bright place to sit on sunny days. We enclosed the existing open porch with a wrap of windows and a glass/screen door to allow in maximum light and passive solar energy. On sunny fall, winter, and spring days the interior front door can be left open to warm the house with free passive energy and allow in a nice wash of sunlight. In the summer, window shades keep the space from overheating the house.

This project was completed using about 90% reused materials. From the framing lumber, to the windows, to both the exterior and interior siding, this porch is a testament to the beauty and practicality of salvaging solid materials that may have otherwise been destined for the landfill.

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Adaptable Shed

Versatility with street-appeal - that was our intent with this design. Built on sturdy skids for possible repositioning, the owners wanted this structure to initially serve as a shed, and later a studio. Though not initially insulated, the wall and ceiling covering of wheat board can be easily removed for future adaptiations. Wheat board is made from a rapidly renewable resource, wheat-straw. It offers a rich, golden appearance and is manufactured using no out-gassing solvents, such as urea formaldehyde. Thus, no VOCs are emitted into your home or the atmosphere.

The framing lumber was either salvaged material or FSC certified.* In all, about 50% of the structure was constructed from reused materials. The shake siding is western red cedar, a native tree to the Northwest. A fifty-gallon rain barrel was also added to capture water for garden use.

*FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

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Garden Fence

Sometimes a fence is required not so much for full walled-in privacy, but more as a subtle screen and deterrent to critters. This client wanted a fence that would screen certain views from the house, but still allow light into the garden and not appear a barrier to comradery with her neighbors. We worked very closely with the homeowner to get the right combination of criteria in place and add a little style to the fence as well.

The wood here is indigenous western red cedar and all scraps of useable size were given to a local maker of planter boxes. Our goal is always to send the bare minimum of material to the landfill upon completion of a job.

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Misc. Decks/Porches

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Misc. Outbuildings

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Misc. Fences & Gates

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