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Maple Slab Ideas

This last Saturday we showcased some of our rustic barn doors and maple slabs at the Issaquah Home and Garden Show. We had lots of interest in our booth and we got to speak to a lot of people about our products and store. Quite a few people stopped just to admire a maple slab we had on display. I had one group of women ask how someone could use a maple slab in their home. The obvious answer is as a table or bar top. Today, I decided to search the internet for some not so obvious answers. Below are just a few ideas I found online.  If you are interested in replicating any of these projects or have an idea of your own, come visit us and take a look at our maple slab selection. We can sell you just the slab so you can make the piece come to life yourself or we can complete your project for you.  
 

Pedestrian Bridge

They lived in Ardsley, NY… which is a fairly well-to-do town less than an hour north of Manhattan.

Although this property, as it faced the road, was only 75 feet wide, it ran back almost 250 feet deep giving the owners quite a bit of land behind the house. The problem was that a little over half way back, a creek cut the property in two. The little ravine was 15 ft wide but fully 8 feet deep so getting to the rear section (behind the creek) was near impossible.

They needed a bridge… a pedestrian bridge which would allow easy access to the back section for lawn mowing, parties, throwing the ball around, etc.

I’m a cabinetmaker and during those rare times when I’m asked to make something whose structural integrity must carry the weight of people (decks, stairs, etc), I always make it much stronger & more substantial than I think it requires because a) I like the look and b) it will pass any safety test that way…

The following two renderings represented my vision for the bridge. I wanted an arbor over the walkway to which they would introduce vines. As the costs began to escalate, the client established a ceiling to the budget and I had to simplified the bridge (no arbor).

The following photos portray how we netted out. (For reference, my youngest son, Brian is almost 6’4″ tall.)

 

 

Two years later, the client confided in me that the project turned out so well, he wishes he’d payed the extra cost & included the arbor above.
Damn…. I would have loved to have built that original design…..

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

 

 

Chicken Coop Success!

Every year about this time the Millwork Outlet gets quite a few customers in looking for windows, doors, ect for their chicken coop projects. We make an effort to keep items in our stores that are low enough in cost to be used in projects like playhouses and chicken coops. After writing my blog about all the awesome chicken coop materials at the Millwork Outlet I decided to build an example. Sometimes I find people believe you more if you actually build something rather than try to tell them how cool it could be. Originally, I thought I would just build the coop, use it as a display and then sell it. However, once my husband and I had put in the time to build it (about 15 hours total) we decided we wanted to keep it and get some chickens instead. We live on about an acre and have plenty of room for the coop and some free range chickens. Going into the project we knew nothing about chickens and how to construct a functional chicken coop. I did a fair amount of research on the necessities of chicken coops on the backyard chickens website which helped a lot. I have outlined a few of the things I learned while building my chicken coop. 

1) The coop must have ventilation, which is where chicken wire or surplus windows come in handy. 
2) Chickens will poop on anything they can stand on. If you don't want your chickens to poop on it, make it so they can't stand on it by adding a very slanted top. 
3) Chicken nesting boxes should be just small enough for one chicken to fit in and should be easily accessible (otherwise they will lay their eggs on the ground).
4) Chicken food and water should be elevated enough so they can't kick the shavings into the water (learned this the hard way). 
5) Make the coop so it can stay as dry as possible. Dry chicken poop is tolerable, wet chicken poop is stinky! 
6) You will need 4 square feet per chicken if they stay in the coop all day (either due to you locking them in or weather keeping them inside). If they are free range they require less space so long as they have free access to outside. 
7) The roosts should be higher than the nesting boxes so the chickens roost and don't sleep in the nesting boxes. The roosts should also be flat (not round) so they balance easily and far enough away from the wall that they don't hit the wall when they fly up to it. 


A search on Craigslist is a good way to get an idea for how much chicken coops cost. Based on my searches, the coop we built could sell for anywhere between $400-$800. The cost for us to build the coop was considerably less (so long as you don't add any value for our time spent building it). We were able to keep our costs down by building our coop around the materials we found at the  Millwork Outlet. Additionally, we spent some time searching through our scrap wood pile at home. Below is a breakdown of the costs. 
  • Millwork Outlet Shipping Container: $150 (we have others that are only $75) 
  • Millwork Outlet Surplus Interior 18" Doors: $35 each = $70 
  • Chicken Wire and staples: $19 
  • Nesting Box: Free (found in a burn pile and just added dividers from scrap plywood)
  • Roof rafters: Free (found in our scrap wood pile) 
  • Millwork Outlet Metal Roof: $2 per lineal foot = $28 
  • Millwork Outlet Door hinges: $3 each = $12
  • Paint: Free (we used leftover paint) 
  • Roosts: Free (found in our scrap wood pile) 
  • Door Hardware: Free (taken from a tree in our yard) 
  • TOTAL COST = $279



If you would like to see more pictures of our coop, the chickens and the rest of my farm animals or read more posts about our lessons learned raising chickens visit my other blog The Dairy Queens

Step by Step Pictures of our Chicken Coop Construction

 

A map for our treasure hunters

If someone gave me a dollar every time someone said these two phrases at the Millwork Outlet, I would be on a yacht somewhere warm sipping a pina colada. 

1) "WOW! I didn't know you guys were this big...I thought you just did windows" 
2) "Shopping at the Millwork Outlet is like going on a treasure hunt"

Through the years the Millwork Outlet has grown in inventory as well as sheer size. Sometimes we get people in who think our inventory has gone down and we don't have as much stuff as we did in years past. But in fact, it's not that we have less stuff, it's that we have more places to put it so it doesn't feel as cramped as it did before. In an effort to help people realize just how big we are, aid in their treasure hunt and dispel the myth that we have less stuff than before I made an aerial map of the Millwork Outlet. To highlight just how much we have expanded over the years I have drawn in the boundary lines from when we started over 20 years ago. 

The map does a great job of highlighting the fact that the Millwork Outlet has so much more than meets the eye initially. We have four warehouses full of product along with around an acre of stored materials. For our customers who like to search, it's a little like Disney Land, it's almost impossible to see it all in one day! 
 

A map for our treasure hunters

If someone gave me a dollar every time someone said these two phrases at the Millwork Outlet, I would be on a yacht somewhere warm sipping a pina colada. 

1) "WOW! I didn't know you guys were this big...I thought you just did windows" 
2) "Shopping at the Millwork Outlet is like going on a treasure hunt"

Through the years the Millwork Outlet has grown in inventory as well as sheer size. Sometimes we get people in who think our inventory has gone down and we don't have as much stuff as we did in years past. But in fact, it's not that we have less stuff, it's that we have more places to put it so it doesn't feel as cramped as it did before. In an effort to help people realize just how big we are, aid in their treasure hunt and dispel the myth that we have less stuff than before I made an aerial map of the Millwork Outlet. To highlight just how much we have expanded over the years I have drawn in the boundary lines from when we started over 20 years ago. 

The map does a great job of highlighting the fact that the Millwork Outlet has so much more than meets the eye initially. We have four warehouses full of product along with around an acre of stored materials. For our customers who like to search, it's a little like Disneyland, it's almost impossible to see it all in one day! 
 

Alside’s Warranty and How to Make Sure You are Covered…

We have partnered with Aside windows for many reasons and one of those is their commitment to stand behind their window. I often get questions about the warranty on our windows. To see a copy of Alside's warranty you can click here. For those of you who don't care to read through the legal mumbo jumbo I will highlight a few key points. 

1)  Generally speaking the window frame, glass and moving parts are all covered for as long as the Original Purchaser/Present Property Owner shall own and live in the property. 

2) If the Original Purchaser/Present Property Owner sells the home the warranty is transferable one time and the windows will be covered for 30 years from the original purchase date EXCEPT if the window's unit is failed (fog between the window panes). Failed units are only covered at a percentage after a transfer which is highlighted below. 
  • 0-10 years = zero change
  • 11-15 years = owner responsible for 50% of costs to replace 
  • 16-20 years = owner responsible for 70% of costs to replace 
  • 20-25 years = owner responsible for 80% of costs to replace 
  • 25+ years = owner responsible for 90% of costs to replace

But of course a warranty is only as good as it's fine print. How many times have you tried to use your warranty only to be rejected because you didn't keep that UPC label or go online and register your purchase? It happens all the time, but luckily Alside makes it relatively easy to submit a claim and have it accepted. Here are a few helpful hints. 

1) Make sure your window is installed correctly! If your window is installed with Duct Tape and you used a stack of pennies to make sure it's level, you are going to have issues. Feel free to submit the claim, but don't be surprised if the technician doesn't cover it and laughs when he leaves. 

2) Keep your receipts! Your receipts show the date you purchased the windows as well as where you purchased them from. They will want copies of your receipts when you submit your claim. If you can't find your receipts take the time to look up the date they were purchased via your bank records and call the company you purchased the windows from. They may have your purchase on file. As a rule, the Millwork Outlet keeps our customer's receipts on location for one year. 

3) Take a Picture of the Defect! They generally ask for a picture which helps them determine if the issue is covered under the warranty.  

4) Keep Your Stickers! Every window that leaves Alside's factories are tracked with a serial number and each order that is placed with Alside is tracked with a FO number. Both these numbers help the warranty technicians look up your window specifications. These numbers are not only helpful for warranty issues but they are also helpful if your son throws his baseball through the window (which is not covered under warranty). What many people don't know is that Alside offers a discount on their replacement glass units. Which means that if you break your glass and it's not under warranty but you have a serial number to PROVE that it is an Alside window, they will give you a discount on the replacement glass and you don't have to go through the hassle of measuring the unit and taking the chance you measured it wrong. Below I have highlighted the stickers I suggest you keep. 

The Warranty Sticker

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This sticker is found in the top track of the window. It is placed there so that it is difficult to see so people will leave it on the window and not lose it. It has the PO# of the company that sold it, the size of the window as well as the serial number. The gold sticker doesn't do us a whole lot of good even though it looks far more official. Follow the directions on the this one and DO NOT REMOVE!


The Energy Star Sticker

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This sticker is NOT helpful in terms of warranty and tracking your window. This is a generic sticker and only has information about the series of window. However, if you are having your window project inspected and there is a certain u-value requirement on the job you need this sticker to prove it meets the requirement. This is also an important sticker to save if you are trying to get a tax or energy rebate.
 

Custom Projects Pinterest Style

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Recently the Millwork Outlet has jumped on the social media bandwagon and has joined Pinterest. For the most part our Pinterest boards showcase projects that were built out of our materials or could utilize materials we have in our store. Since reclaim has become cool we have seen an increase in the number of crafters who visit our store looking for unique items to incorporate into their DIY projects. I love it when customers come into my store searching for a rustic piece of wood to recreate that rustic shelf they saw on Pinterest. 

In addition to the DIYers, we often get people who prefer the easy way out and hire us to create their projects for them. One look on the Pinterest Epic Fail Blog should convince anyone that just because it looks easy on Pinterest doesn't mean it actually is! Often times you end up spending more money buying the supplies to make a project than you would if you paid someone else to do it. 

Below I have created a photo gallery of some recent Millwork Outlet projects that are truly Pinterest worthy. All the photos are of projects our shop has completed within the last three months. Each project was the vision of our customers but was brought to realty in our door/woodworking shop and uses Millwork Outlet materials. Dan Drllevich, one of the owners at the Maple Valley store, is incredibly talented at finding unique materials to incorporate into furniture and architectural pieces. So, before you go out scouring the local junk yards for materials, set up shop in your too small garage and spend a fortune on tools for the job, make sure you visit the Millwork Outlet to see how we can help bring your reclaim projects to life. 

Overhead Lattice Wine Rack 
Custom built at the Millwor Outlet with 2" x 4" worm wood and iron. Materials supplied by Millwork Outlet.
Custom Oversized Dutch and Carriage Door 
Custom doors crafted by Millwork Outlet. Reclaim wood supplied by Millwork Outlet. Customer supplied antique windows. Door on the right is a dutch swinging door. Door on the left is a 48" wide single door. 
Worm wood sliding barn door and coffee table top
Left: Tongue and grooved worm wood and black walnut sliding barn door built by Millwork Outlet.
Right: Worm wood and cherry tongue and grooved coffee table top. Glass cover will be added when installed. 
Reclaim Dining Table Top and Legs 
Table top built at Millwork Outlet from milled reclaim beams. Heavy table legs built from reclaim 12" x 12" beams. All materials suplied by Millwork Outlet. 
Antique Table 
Planed, sanded and refinished antique construction table. Table bought from Dan Drllevich and refinsihed by Millwork Outlet.
 

Photographing the Difference (built-ins / wall units)

Having shown before & after pictures of kitchens, I thought this next group could be of other built-in wall units we’ve done / hope you enjoy…







Some of our other before & after shots are of exterior work, architectural details, etc / I think I’ll try to post some of those next week / hope you enjoyed

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc. / -12/1/12

 

 

 

 

My Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist

Like most people who work in retail, I have a long list of things I would love to have from the store where I work. Every day I get to hear about all the different ways our customers are remodeling and improving their homes and it makes me think about all the projects I hope to get to one day. I know I am not the only person who has taken a walk around the Millwork Outlet and added to my personal wishlist. The problem is that the Millwork Outlet is often times the last place people think to go to buy a Christmas gift. However, every year I get a few customers who are brave enough to go out on a limb, skip the busy malls and give a gift that keeps on giving for years and years. 

Last year I had a guy bring in his mother-in-law and pick out a new front door for his wife. We prehung the door, installed the door knob and called a super secret number when it was ready to make sure it was a surprise. He hid it in his shed complete with a bow until Christmas morning. When he returned to purchase his back door a few months later he told us how excited his wife was on Christmas morning and how beautiful the new door looks.

I also had a older gentleman who had been in a few times with his grandson who had recently purchased his first home. He bought him a $100 gift certificate because he knew he needed a new front door and figured the $100 would go further at the Millwork Outlet than it would at the Home Depot. If there is someone on your list who is looking for new doors, windows, moulding or reclaim materials we would really appreciate it if you would consider shopping at the Millwork Outlet this holiday season. 

Below I have included my own Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist. Now I just need to figure out how to get my husband to check it out :) 

Venise's Millwork Outlet Christmas List 

  • A new custom raw edge maple slab coffee table
  • A new door knob for my front door 
  • A new 10 lite hemlock exterior door with hinge match
  • A reclaim crown shelf 
  • Quarter round moulding installed around my baseboard 
  • New shaker style cabinet doors for my kitchen 
  • Reclaim wood to be used as chair rail in my dining room 
  • Custom built reclaim wood picnic table for my back yard 
  • PVC brickmold for my entry door



 

It’s time to start thinking about where you’ll hang your stockings this year! 

Every year come Thanksgiving time we get bombarded with people who are looking for a new mantel. It seems as though everyone forgets about updating their mantel until the Christmas boxes come out of the attic and the family stockings are dusted. If you are in the market for a new mantel I would highly suggest you start your project now to make sure it is ready for all your visiting family, friends and if you've been good all year, old Saint Nick. Because each mantel is unique and there is no "standard" size almost every mantel is custom built. When you start shopping for mantels it is best to have all your measurements, a picture of your existing mantel and hearth as well as a few pictures of mantels you like. You can see a few of my favorites below. For more ideas you can also view our pinterest page at https://pinterest.com/MillworkOutlet/christmas-mantels/ 

 

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