R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I’ll tell ya what it means to me.


I am a sucker for a good craft fair. Show me an artisan who has spent hours blowing a glass vase or weeks stitching a quilt, I start digging for my credit card. A furniture maker who has built a beautiful rocker will require my bringing Will back to see. And let’s not forget about the amazing apple sauce or the addicting kettle corn.

But back to my point… We love craftsmanship. However, several forces have conspired over the last couple of decades to “throw shade” on the reputation of the construction trades.  We all know some of this has been earned by a segment of the build-fast industry. But knowing how hard the men and women on our jobs work, I hope to change some opinions.

Here are some examples of work reflecting the contractors’ investment of time, skill, and experience. 12512477_474219506111840_5076241198064488781_n-1The gentleman who installed this stone fireplace surround spent three days cutting, fitting, and laying the stones in the family room. He paid attention to the color and size of individual stones and created a beautifully balanced centerpiece.

The tile installers spend an impressive amount of time preparing the underlayment and determining placement before they ever start cutting.12469615_457606591106465_3148176234363639367_o Not only do they concern themselves with precision symmetry, they spend hours upon hours ensuring that the product won’t shift, move, or crack long after buyers take possession.

We love our plumber. He has been working in Northern Virginia for decades and brings a wealth of experience and advice to our sites. There was no functional reason for him to create such beautiful symmetry with these pipes.plumbing And weeks later, drywall forever sealed it from view. But he cares so he did it.

So, yes. There are contractors out there giving their contemporaries a bad name. But we are routinely blown away by the care and skill the craftsmen exhibit. And just as I envy the quilter’s careful stitching, I wish my two hands could perfectly plumb a house or build a beautiful fireplace around which families will gather. Fortunately, we know people whose hands do exactly that.




Having delivered our youngest to college in Vermont, our nest is, at least for now, empty. Interestingly, the most apparent response I have had to this new phase is a need to change the way our home, the physical space, feels. I am cleaning, straightening, and organizing like I haven’t done since…wait for it… Inest-918898_640 was nesting during my pregnancies. And I have been giving some thought to this metaphor.

We embrace the idea of nesting because it relates to our need to protect, nurture, and provide for our loved ones. When we see a nest perched high in a tree, we admire the bird’s determination and effort to create a stable home that will support its survival. On those sad occasions when we come across a poorly placed or failed nest, we condemn the flighty maker for its lack of judgement.

Responding to life’s different stages by changing our nests seems only natural. If your family is ready to explore creating a new environment that will protect, nurture, and provide for you and your loved ones, building a custom home with a good builder is a terrific option. You will have the freedom to find the right location, define the perfect spaces, and erect a well built structure that will provide lasting value. You can create the nest we all will admire.