A House In A Field

Remind me again – who did that?

wpid3052-SMF7620.jpgIt seems like most of our discussions about Dash Landing start with a version of this question.  “Who did the tile?”  “Who designed the house?”  “Who picked out that fabulous green?

The answers to those questions and many more are below.  We’ve said this many times — we were lucky to work with a great group of trades on this project and if their name is below, we’d be comfortable recommending them.

For a couple of these folks, we’ve linked back to posts about them or their work.  You’ll also see a few links on the right hand nav.

We’ll also follow-up with a list of materials, paint colors, etc.  Because that’s the second question we’re asked…


Architect: Rob Whitten with help from Will Fellis.  Here are a few posts relating to the design process.

General Contractor: John Rousseau.  John could be in nearly every post, but this is our favorite.

Decorator/Color Strategist/Spiritual Guide: Krista Stokes.  A few design related posts.


Framing: KC Construction out of Lewiston.  Kyle, Pete, Nick, Eddie & Mikey.

Site Work: Blackstone Excavating.  Russell and Matt should be your first and last request.  Be prepared to use the word “meticulous.”

Roofers: CO Beck from Waterville.  You’ll want Lars to do your project.  Not a lot of chatter, but you’ll get an amazing final product.  Also the inspiration for the “Easy Bake Oven” post.

Tiling: Distinctive Tile.  Ask for Larry.  And then ask for Rob.

Kitchen & Pantry Cabinets: Greg Soper of North Yarmouth Woodworking.  Those beautiful pantry doors that everyone raves about?  Greg built those.  Ditto with the amazing kitchen.

Office & Bathroom Cabinets: Ben Susla

Counters: Linda at Dennis J. King Masonry.  This post explains how we met these great people from far away.

Plumbing: Jon A. Harmer from New Gloucester with able help from Levi.

Electrical: Josh Underhill of Electrical Connections.  Josh deserves extra credit for not rolling his eyes at the person who asked for 24 CAT6 internet drops around the house.

Masonry: Sam Miller.  Sam and his two assistants built the fireplace and the awesome, awesome patio.

Finish Carpentry:  Tom Harris and Dick.  The more we’re in the house — the more we appreciate their work.  And the word you’ll use when you see it is “tight.”

Flooring: Fat Andy’s.  One of our friends who is also designing a new home took one look at our floors, went back to her architect and said “I need Red Birch flooring.”

Painting: Brendan, Randy & crew from Augustine Interiors.

Shower Doors: Tom Olds at Maine Shower Doors.  A little bit of bad luck on this project, but the final product is amazing.

Geothermal : Dave Leonard of Evergreen Geothermal.  Also wins the award for the first guy to drive off our driveway.

Landscaping: Andersen Landscaping.  Need grass in November?  Call these guys.

We’re sure we’re missing some folks, but this is a heckuva place to start.

Team Photo

We had lots of awesome people help pull this place together and a few of them swung by this morning for a team photo.

That’s our general contractor — John Rousseau — in the lower right corner.  The crew from KC Construction make up the rest — Kyle, Nick, Pete, Eddie and Mikey.  (The other two guys joined KC after our project and apparently like free doughnuts and coffee.)  These guys were with us from the very first piece of wood through drywall and it was great to show them the finished project.

(And since “who did what?” seems to be the most asked question about Dash Landing, we’re working on a complete list.  Hope to post it in the next few days.)


“Everything OK up there?”


Toko is evaluating assorted napping places.

Our lack of activity on the blog this week triggered some sort of emergency warning system today.

In short — “yes, we’re OK.”  Especially if a week of cleaning, schlepping, packing, unpacking and desperately trying to stay awake past 7:00pm counts as your definition of “OK.”

Here’s the low down :

* Flying Point Road closed without a hitch.  Dash Landing has been an amazing ride, but leaving Flying Point Road wasn’t without its share of sadness.  Great house in an even greater neighborhood.  We’re convinced that the new owners will fit right in.

* Our punch list is down to just a couple of items.  One of the benefits of great crews is that they all want to make sure things are left “right.”  It’s been like Grand Central Station here on most days with the various trades coming and going.


Driveway crew.

* We’ve decided to replace the bi-fold doors in front of the laundry area with another barn slider. Like a lot of us, washers & dryers have grown a bit “chubbier” over the years — especially with the invention of front-loading washers.  We were “OK” with the doors just barely closing, but when we went to do our first load of laundry, we realized that we couldn’t open the detergent drawer in the washer — it was jammed right up next to the door.  John took measurements today and we’ll install new barn doors in the next couple of weeks.

* The driveway is now paved.  Definitely not on our “to do” list for this year, but it was  increasingly apparent that the driveway wasn’t going to have a good winter.  And given the hill, we decided to bite the bullet — just one more time — and move up the schedule.  2″ compacted base coat now and a 1″ finish coat next summer.

* We’ve been contacted by Comcast about this week’s blog post.  Apparently, those new cable boxes are reserved for new and high value customers.  The good news is that the Comcast folks who confirmed that we’re older and less valuable than expected were much nicer about it…

But even with all that activity, we wake up every morning amazed by this new place.  Not only does Dash Landing exceed our hopes, but — even after eighteen months of visits — the site is far more spectacular than we ever imagined.  The beauty of the sun rising over one end of the field in the morning is rivaled only by its setting on the other side.



“Comcastic” is also a synonym for “bite me.”

comcast twoAs we’ve said on a number of occasions, luck has been with us on Dash Landing, especially with the trades.  We’d have a tough time naming a crew or even an individual that wasn’t great to have on site.  John, Kyle and the KC gang, Greg Soper, Jon Harmer,  Levi, Sam the mason, Josh our electrician, Lars the roofer, Randy the painter and a lot more.  Pleasant, polite, knowledgeable, hardworking — we’d invite them all back for our next project in a heartbeat.

How about our comrades at CMP, you ask?  While these folks drove us to the brink of desperation (303 days!), the crews, engineers and office people were always nothing but pleasant.  They’d show up at the building site, shrug their shoulders, mutter something about Augusta and jump back in their trucks.  It’s not like we had a lot of electricity options and the feeling was that we — collectively — were just trying to push a big bureaucracy along in an orderly fashion.

All that luck came to an end today with our friends at Comcast.

As part of the moving process, we went to Comcast’s local Brunswick office a few weeks ago to schedule the move from Flying Point Road to Dash Landing.  Took a little juggling to get past some arcane “48 hour rule,” but things got worked out.  As an added bonus, the rep told us to “bring our old DVR to the new house because we’d like to move you to Comcast’s newest DVR technology.  The installer will take your old box and install the new one.”  Wow.  Thank you, Comcast!

Tuesday afternoon, the installer showed up on schedule.  A few technical problems, but nothing major.

Where’s our new DVR?  You know the one that you offered us?

Nothing on my work order.  You’re going to have to give them a call.”

Get on the on-line Comcast chat.  Get bounced around a few times.  The rep tells not we’re not scheduled for one, but he’s going to escalate our call.  Someone will call us within 48 hours because we’re important to Comcast.

Seventy-two hours later, no call.  So apparently we’re not that important.

As luck would have it, we were making our 1,000th trip to Home Depot today and decide to swing back by the local Comcast office.  Asked them about the new DVR.

“You can’t have that.”

Excuse me?

“Those are limited to Triple Play and new customers.  You’re neither.”

But we just moved houses and you charged us a new installation fee?

“You’re just moving your service to a different location.  You’re not a new customer.  You can’t have a new DVR.”

Why did you offer us one a week ago?

“Not sure.  But you can’t have one now.

At the end of the day, this is just television.  But it’s not often where you treated with a level of distain and rudeness that almost leaves you breathless.  We’d feel better if this was poorly executed “bait & switch.”  Instead it’s a freakish blend of the Soup Nazi, the mean lady that ran the penny candy store when you were six and — “bait & switch.”  All because “Comcast cares.”

Thank you, Comcast!

“I’m not even going to bother to write a report…”


John and Aman starting the cleanup.

After eight months of design work and eight months of construction, today’s final “punch list” inspection ended up redefining “uneventful.”

We invited Rob up to Freeport to do the inspection with us.  Not only is he far more experienced at this kind of thing, but it was also nice to have him participate in one of the last “official” acts of the construction process.

Things started with a walk around the perimeter.  Checking for compliance to plans, irregularities, etc.  Moved to the garage/barn thingy.  Started in the loft and moved to the first floor.

From there, it was on to the second floor of the house.  Go through each bedroom.  Check every light.  Check every door opening.  Check the utility room / HRV.  Move to the storage area.  Check for the extra conduit.  Move to the first floor.  Same process.  Check the kitchen.  Cooktop.  Fridge.  The cabinets.  Move to the basement.  Same process.  Check the valve labeling.  Check the electrical box labeling.

At the end of 1 1/2 hours — we came up with a mighty small list of things to address in the next week or so.  Even to the point where Rob decided that it wasn’t really wasn’t worth his time to write up another list.

And that’s the direct result of John’s incredible attention to detail.  Like all big projects where you’re seemingly spending your life saving, we’ve had a few ups & downs at Dash Landing, but even the most cynical critic would be satisfied with how John & Aman have wrapped things up.  We’re guessing that a few sub-contractors might feel otherwise after being to do their work multiple times, but the house looks gorgeous thanks to John’s great work.

Here’s some of our “punch list” :


  • HRV has a bit of negative pitch on a pipe and there’s some condensation dripping out.
  • Two thermostats need to be swapped out to be wifi units.


  • A nail popped through a riser on the stairs.  (We’ve all made just over one million trips up the stairs in the last month and no one noticed until last night.)
  • Small crack in the bulkhead floor pad.  (Exactly where everyone predicted….)
  • A bit of paint needs to be redone in a 2nd floor bedroom.
  • Some plywood on the basement airlock needs to be trimmed.
  • Bathroom vanity needs a closure.  (Built by an owner who has a hard time with deadlines.)
  • Fireplace doors (Waiting for delivery.)
  • A bit of drywall around a light switch.
  • A couple of doorstops.
  • Shower door in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.  (Coming tomorrow)


  • One of our garage door openers was missing a light cover.


  • Pantry light.  (Waiting for delivery)
  • Dining room lights.  (Everything is ready.  Once the table is put in place, we’ll use a laser to get the locations right)
  • Generator test (Already scheduled for tomorrow.)
  • Two internet terminations need to be finished in the garage.
  • Two bad terminations in house.  (Owner doesn’t know how to use punchdown tool correctly.)
  • Switch plate in bulkhead airlock.
  • Replace (yet another) defective light from Restoration Hardware.


  • Rob the Tiler missed a smidge of finishing grout in the 2nd floor bath.


  • Gas dryer needs an lp gas conversion fitting that apparently Home Depot doesn’t believe in carrying or mentioning that you need.
  • Speakers.  (Tomorrow.)

Might be missing a couple of items, but you get the idea.  The packing death march continues.  The movers wait for no one.


And it’ll never be this clean again…

Today was “Cleaning Day” for John and the crew.

There were a few trades finishing up, but most of the day was spent making Dash Landing sparkle from top to bottom.  Cleaning windows, dusting every spot imaginable, peeling protective stickers, touching up a few places — from well before 8:00 until after 4:00.  And it’ll continue tomorrow leading up to our “punch list inspection” with Rob later in the day.

The insanity only accelerates from there.  Movers on Monday at 8:00.

Given how incredible the place looks, it’ll be a shame to fill it with our ratty possessions.


Definitely the highlight of the day. These barn doors really give the kitchen a “pop.”


Another shot of the Utah table. Part of today’s work included the mirror.


Wall sconce on the stairway.


Hallway looking towards the master bedroom. One of Rob’s design features was the bookcase at the end of the hallway — really believes that a hallway should never end with a blank wall. Krista thought we should paint it “Mt. Edna” — a dark striking blue.


Bathroom vanities.


2nd floor bath.  We made the mirror a long time ago.  It’s a little narrow for the location, but we’re sticking with it.


2nd floor landing. We’ll throw a chair up there.

Ooooh, shiny!

Just sitting around waiting for the polyurethane to dry…




The Utah cabinet.

For years, we had relatives in Salt Lake City, Utah.  While it would be “bad family form” to call them our favorites, it would be equally unfair not to say that they were high on the list.

Most winters included a visit out there — even when money was really tight.  We’d ski during the day, drink wine at night and listen to stories.  Some were about turning old buildings into B&Bs.  Others were about assorted relatives.  All mixed with a meaningful dose of advice.  (“We never want to hear about you buying a condo…”)  And for reasons that are hard to explain, it’s probably safe to say that we’re working here in Freeport because of some of those stories.

Those relatives eventually moved back here to Maine to retire.  And a few years after that, they decided to move closer to their own kids in Maryland.  As they were packing up for that second trip, they asked us to come over and pick up a gift — a piece of furniture that we now affectionately call the “Utah cabinet.”  Blocky, a little battered, a few paint stains and one of our favorite possessions.

So when we started to plan Dash Landing, we definitely wanted to find a place for the Utah cabinet.  But like a lot of treasures, it’s just a bit “different” and nothing quite made sense.

Until we thought of the location below.

And it’s absolutely perfect.


Small things making a big difference…

Take a look at the photo below.  There’s a small change underway making a HUGE difference in the house in terms of appearance, light, etc.


We’re definitely not going to miss the window stickers…

People from away are now reading the blog.

This post found its way to Barn Light Electric and end up as this post.

Go figure.

Barn Light

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