Cabinets, Cabinets Everywhere!

Matt loves the look of a good cherry wood cabinet, and with this build he finally gets to live the dream. The fascinating thing about cherry is its propensity to darken in the sunlight. This means that the kitchen will continue to change, and the cabinets will grow even more beautiful with time. It's really something to look forward to! We've been doing business with a local Everett company called Encore Cabinets and have been highly satisfied with the excellent customer service and quality products.In addition to the cherry, there's the alder desk and bathroom, and the oak kitchen cabinets in the attached rental apartment. The smell of all this freshly cut wood is incredible!

The Master Suite has alder woodwork in the Bath…

Master Bath Cabinets

And plenty of Beechwood drawers for the walk-in closet.

Walk in closet

Downstairs is the street-adjacent office…

RE office

And the Two-Bedroom rental apartment with its oak kitchen cabinetry.

Rental Apt

Here is the pièce de résistance- the cherry wood kitchen.


Endre Soos, owner of New World Builders, specializes in cabinetry and did all of the install. Here are a few close-ups:

kitchen island & pantry

Kitchen cabinets

It still looks unfinished, but we are getting so close to done!


Posted on March 31, 2016 at 5:41 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

The Fountain of Youth

You've heard the saying "You're only as old as you feel"? Well I've seen it in action! Matt is making quick progress on the house now, thanks in part to the assistance of my dad. To George Cebert it's all too easy to forget he's 80, even when I'm shouting a reminder at him while he's up a ladder propped against the side of the house. To him, it makes perfect sense that he should be installing siding 30 feet up, and he's not afraid to say so!

Oh well, I'll just appreciate his health and energy for what it is, and have the first aid kit at the ready…

Here's my hard working husband…

30 feet at peak-min

You can see the height is no joke…

Installing Siding-min

And here's my daring Dad. I finally could take a picture once he was on his way down and I relaxed a little.


– Karen

Posted on March 1, 2016 at 10:19 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

The Pacific Northwest

We all must learn to accept the things we cannot change. No more is this evident in building than when dealing with the weather in the Pacific Northwest. We can plan and prepare, but in the end, we are at the mercy of whatever conditions happen to be that day. Fortunately, it's nothing that a good investment in raincoats can't handle… and tarps… lots of tarps.

Tarp for rain

Despite adverse conditions, the trusses are installed. Next, we shingled the roof, and the exterior is ready to be sided. It's starting to dawn on me that this house is getting close to being complete!

Working on roof shingles

Posted on January 21, 2016 at 7:16 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Second Story

I should start by saying that for my husband utilizing space well is a must in any home design, and this project is no exception! That's why we spent so much time drawing plans and blueprints which incorporate ample storage and an intuitive floorplan. Of course this is best illustrated by the master suite's walk-in closet, which will truly be a feature in itself. Also, very necessary with a husband with a wardrobe the size of Matt's.

The floor of the second story was finished, complete with stairs to the lower level.

2nd floor install

Then we repeated the steps of the first floor, framing and building the walls.

2nd floor walls-min

Then came the truss delivery…

Truss delivery 2-min

…So many trusses!

Roof Truss Delivery

But with friends to help, we are having a great time!  It was fun to have Julia pop by with her family. Julia was our first Eckerson Construction Bookkeeper. Her assistance was vital in keeping us on a budget with our first project on this property- the duplex we're currently living in. I can't believe that was 16 years ago! Time sure flies when you're having fun, right Julia?


Posted on December 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Nothing to Something

Have you ever seen a friend's or relative's child for the first time in years? Then you know how to prepare yourself for a huge change in a seemingly short period of time. Consequently, this was the case when our youngest nephew Beau who came to help us build. Similarly, the house has gone from nonexistent to looking like a house in just a few months. Get ready… Here it is!

Floor Finishing

Now, the steps involved:

After the concrete floor was finished, first floor walls took shape…

The support beams, at the top of below picture, are each hundreds of pounds. Yet, they needed to be hoisted up to support the second story. Thank you Beau for helping Uncle Matt with this project!!

then the first story walls were nailed on.

We then installed the floor of the second story. This is where Matt and I are going to live, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it take shape.

Here's Beau, helping his uncle. It was great to have is youthful strength and energy contributed to this project, and his interest in construction is encouraging to see. Maybe it runs in the family…

Beau & Matt


Posted on December 16, 2015 at 4:55 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Supporting Local Business

Now we're on to framing. This is the exciting part, because we're going to start to see the house take shape. We chose Parr Lumber as our supplier. As local business owners ourselves, we appreciated that they are a Northwest family owned company that has been in business for over 80 years.


Finally, all the framing package was delivered…this little forklift on the back of the Parr Lumber truck placed the lumber right where we wanted it. How much work that saved! Now we're set to start framing. Quite exciting!




Posted on December 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Guess Who’s Back…

So, after seemingly countless steps leading up to this point, we finally installed the ground level concrete floor. Now we're getting somewhere! Of course this meant another appointment with the goliath concrete pumper.

First, as you saw, we filled in around the forms with dirt. Then prepped the area with a layer of plastic sheeting.

Back again! This time the pumper was used to create the floor of our rental unit, garage, and home office. Looking good!

Finally smoothed out and drying, the foundation is complete.

If you look closely, you can see that the concrete floor slab is poured in sections. This allows time to fill and smooth without the concrete drying before you can finish the surface almost to a polish. Now that I can better see the floorplan, I can't wait to finally start building the living space in this house!


Posted on December 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Hidden Labors

Well, the foundation is OFFICIALLY DONE. I already had an appreciacion for the hard work it takes, but having a hands-on role in smoothing it gives me brand new perspective.

Here it is in all it's glory:

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention… once the foundation is laid it's back-filled. Which means when it's finished it looks pretty much the same as before it's started. All that hard work is hidden beneath the surface. Make no mistake though, it's EXTREMELY important. Today's lesson is that just like most things in life, a great house wouldn't be what it is without the unseen work behind it.


Posted on November 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Filling and Smoothing

Have you ever noticed that the longer you sit still, the harder it is to start moving again? The same principle applies to concrete. It has to be constantly moving, or it starts to harden. This meant we had to act fast. As soon as the concrete was poured into the foundation forms we needed to shape and smooth it or it would be uneven and lumpy. No sitting still for us!

Many hands make light work they say…

Here I am getting my hands dirty. I have to say I was surprised to learn that smoothing concrete is a lot like leveling flour in a measuring cup!

– Karen

Posted on November 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project

Heavy Equipment

So, this is a concrete pumper truck and it IS as big as it looks. In order to get it close enough to the foundation we had to have truckloads of gravel delivered and spread.


Since we rented it by the HOUR, we made sure to have everything prepped and ready- including extra hands- so we could get the footings for the foundation poured in as timely a manner as possible.

I discovered something about Matt as well. He's FAST! It took him just part of one morning to finish the pour and send the pumper truck on its way. What experience! I wonder what else I'll learn about him on the path to completing our new home…

– Karen

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 8:34 pm
Karen Eckerson | Category: Custom Home Project