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Blog Cabin

Apr 27

Experts Respond

We gathered the big wigs around a table and posed your latest round of Blog Cabin 2012 questions to them. Knickerbocker Group experts Kimberly Tuttle and Marcus Golding, our interior decorator Victoria Lesser and even DIY Network’s head honcho of programming Steven Lerner weighed in. Please read the responses and let us know if we’ve left a crucial question unanswered.

Note: No backup generator is planned, clear coat will be applied to the stones in the basement, the bunk room will not feature closets but other storage options and the main floor of the circa-1880s barn is held up by large timbers that probably couldn’t support the weight of a car.

  • Posted at 11:24 am on April 4, 2012
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167 Comments

  1. Well, here I am at the front of our choo-choo train! I'll just start out by saying thanks for the swift turn around on questions–since I haven't read answers yet, as I'm on a mission. Camac mentioned an article in the local paper about BC and I thought every one might want to see it http://lincolncountynewsonline.com/main.asp?Secti…. Enjoy! Happy Friday one and all! And now to read… Glasses, please? :D B)<3 Kitty

    DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 11:31 am
    • OK. Several clarified answers–thanks. But Please–the BUNKROOM–is there going to be a closet and built-in storage? It looks so -forlorn and needy-and it does need to be decorated for either gender too, IMHO.:oxD<3Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    • I'm thinking no, there isn' t going to be a closet in the bunk-room. They specifically mentioned the bunk-room, guest , and master rooms. They said the master and guest will have nice closets and built-ins but then said there will be storage furniture and built-ins throughout the house. It sounds like an indirect answer saying no, no storage for the bunk-room, but you have plenty of other storage options throughout the house to use for that room.

      UsContessa on April 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm
    • You could be right, Contessa. But it's a big bummer, I think. No place to hang one's clothes…sigh.=/o.0Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm
    • Agreed.

      UsContessa on April 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm
    • Thanks for the link to the article. Have a great weekend.

      SweetLiz on April 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    • You are welcome! I wouldn't have known about the article except for Camac. Back at ya Liz! ;) ^_^<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm
    • kitty, thank you for the link and thanks to Camac for heads up on the article. Did you notice that Mr. Lerner from DIY mentioned that the winner of the Chesapeake BC decided to live in the house year round ?

      LLColeman on April 28, 2012 at 2:50 am
    • Yes! LL and that's what was so cool about it Chesapeake, except for garage and storage outside, it had everything to deal with weather, including a generator. The Maine house is being built sort of piece meal and is lacking in several important areas IMO. Mel mentioned yesterday that they brought Mr.Lerner on board from Virginia's own Courthouse Construction. That has my head spinning. I wonder how many of the Virginia team are onboard? and, is this an effort to clear the slate from the crayzee Blog namecalling fiasco–or what?

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 28, 2012 at 10:49 am
    • Don't know, Kitty, but "Piece-meal" and also "bass-ackward" would be my summation of this renovation's process. I noticed we have not heard much from Don G; DonD already gave up in disgust. Don't know if they will be checking back in to see the progress.
      Glad Victoria and Courthouse Construction are on the case !

      I read some of the Knickerbocker website yesterday, and ironically they have a specialist in their group who is certified for "Aging In Place" projects…(of course, this is called a "vacation home" by DIY–thus the lack of closet space–even though many wish they could have a full time residence there.) and DIY hopes they are appealing to young families,,,ask me, in my aged demographic, if I could give two hoots about game tables and monster screen t v s?
      With a view like that, I would trade all the tv sets and gaming consoles for a picture window in a dormer upstairs, and some A C. That is luxury that lasts, and truly matters, IMO.

      LLColeman on April 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm
    • Just a note, the Knickerbocker Group sign is still on site, so they are not replaced.

      Camac on April 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm
    • Thanks again Carole! I sort of figured, since we have Kimberly and Marcus as part of the team answering some of our questions, but you confirmed it and I really appreciate you. Apparently, with the Lincoln County News confirming a new project manager and he is the one from the Virginia Blog Cabin, some things have changed, hopefully for the better. We've all been frustrated with such a differently run BC–it's almost like being thunderstruck by the differences from previous Blog Cabins! Onward and Upward now, I hope! ^_^:) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm
    • Shazam! Kitty–I just replied to you a 2nd time and Admin swooped into the blog like a flying monkey from Oz—I must be an evildo-er this weekend. Nothing I said was any more critical than what I read on this page, but my comment was zapped.

      LLColeman on April 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    • Oh, LL! Were you on the yellow brick road or in the beautiful poppy field? The Colorfully Beautiful poppy field is a no-no to cyber admin, don't you know? Sorry you got zapped. I would've been same place as you–who wants to skip along a hard, rigid yellow brick road where everybody else is–I like doin' my own thing, don't you? :p;)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm
    • Well-ll, I quoted your "piece-meal" summation and agreed with that, and wrote that for my aged demographic, not everyone cares about game consoles and giant t v s. I realize this contest is geared toward young families. I'd just prefer a view out back through a dormer window and AC on the 2nd floor.

      LLColeman on April 29, 2012 at 12:59 am
    • I understand that there is some kind of wall unit AC in the upstairs man cave. It will get very hot up there when the roof heats up in the summer sun.
      I understand why no central air. Cannot do it without the ducts.

      Jeff on April 29, 2012 at 8:42 am
    • They say there will be split wall hung AC units for the Master Suite downstairs and the mancave (troll hole) upstairs. No roof vents as there is no attic to speak of. All upstairs rooms seem to have vaulted ceilings. I'm wondering just how uncomfortable those two upstairs bedrooms will get with only ceiling fans (cold breeze on you all night) or open windows for ventilation. And, of course no views from upstairs.

      Clive on April 30, 2012 at 9:46 am
    • Here! Here! I agree and would have preferred that they figure out windows for views and cross breezes. With no arrangements made for AC ducting I will be miserable in most of that house! Clive mentioned the other day that there are also health reasons for air conditioning. I have been summering in My beloved Maine all my life, but have developed physical issues which now require AC. And Maine can and does get very hot part of the summer. People with cardiac issues need AC. If one is prone to get shingles, one must have AC. etc. etc. But to have no benefit of cross breezes even is unthinkable–and thoughtless too, on the part of planners/designers….o.0:S Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm
    • If Carol does move to the house full time she will be the first winner to keep a BC. Her family are affluent so It's very possible they can pay the taxes etc and live there when she & her husband retire in a couple of years. She also has friends living in the area which will help I'm sure. Good luck to them and many blessed years in Matthews together.

      Sally on April 30, 2012 at 9:38 am
  2. Thanks for answering the questions, very helpful and insightful!. It is interesting that the barn never had water or electricity to it..The change to the staircase, kitchen and guest suite sound great!

    memanbepa on April 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm
  3. To bad about the old chimneys up top. Should have removed them when the generous donation was made.
    I am sure the new owner will have to deal with removal some day, and the roof will need to be redone again.

    It is a unique feature though. ;)

    Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm
  4. Thanks for answers to many of our questions. Things are looking very good. I'm getting very excited. I sure hope you have a weekend get-away contest in our future!

    SweetLiz on April 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm
  5. Thank you for the quick turnaround on some of the questions. I notice that the generator question did go unanswered. I certainly hope they decide to do something about the basement – cannot believe they are even considering not addressing its problems. Stlll, all the positive efforts are appreciated.

    izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    • I read somewhere that there is no generator, but you are welcome to add one yourself.

      I am with you on the (rock solid) basement issues.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    • Actually right below the picture above it is stated that they won't have a generator. The only thing I noticed on the basement question is that they are thinking about applying a clear coat on it. Not my idea of an ideal solution.

      EdinOregon on April 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm
  6. I'm wondering where the electricity in the barn went…….

    Nebraska on April 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    • Sounds like there never was any electricity to the barn.

      MJCBS on April 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    • I swear there is a light fixture in one photo!

      Nebraska on April 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
    • Hi, Nebraska….. I thought there was Electricity at the barn…In the recent photos of 20, it shows the front of the Barn and there is some kind of fixture above the Barn door and I thought it was a light fixture..
      No electricity at the barn and having to park your car there at night would be a concern for me, what are they thinking? Doesn't seem like they are trying to make it easy for the New Home owners!!!
      Just my Thoughts……Have a good day!!!

      Jennie/Florida on April 28, 2012 at 10:34 am
    • Even if the barn was strong enough to park one's car in it, I can't imaginge crossing that road during the tourist season. One might have to wait a long time to get home or sprint across the road. Personally I am a little too old for sprinting anymore! ^_^

      EdinOregon on April 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    • Hi Ed, I don't sprint anymore either.. maybe they could to put a Zip-line with a bucket seat to go from the barn to the BC…… WHEEE!!

      Jennie/Florida on April 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm
    • There is still a light fixture over the barn entrance. If there isn't power in there now, I don't think it would be too difficult to hook up power to the barn. They appear to be preparing to bring the power from the southern corner of the BC side of the road to the house with an underground line rather than the current line running overhead from the power lines on the barn side of the road.

      Camac on April 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm
  7. Am I understanding correctly that the homeowners have to park on the barn side of the street and carry groceries,etc., across the street to the house ? Also, have never had to rely on well water ( I remember my grandparents did) so I am curious what that means in expectations for your water supply ?

    izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    • One could always back the car up over the lawn to the front door and unload as long as the future planned planter boxes are not blocking that area.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm
    • Ooooo…I hope those planter boxes will go out in the side yard South of the front yard! There is not enough space to crowd in more at the front! Surely they'll do a pull-in drive for groceries, kids, and handicapped or elderly along the North side, near the front door, and keep those planters completely opposite. They could use oyster or other seashells to "pave" the driveway like they did in Mathews VA, and then one could park the car across the street in the barn. There must be, however, close accessibility for certain people, as stated!^_^B):o<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    • I don't think you want to park in the barn Kitty. They said that the timbers supporting the barn weren't stong enough for a car! That would probably be like parking on top of a sink hole. ^_^

      EdinOregon on April 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm
    • Phooey! Ed, I was counting on protecting my wheels from the elements, especially in the winter. But you're right, the more snippets I read, the more I see that there are lots of loose ends which will remain dangling for the winner to figure out, when awarded this address….B)o.0;) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 28, 2012 at 12:01 am
    • Good points! As I recall near BC 2012 starting point, it was stated by someone with DIY , that there would be some type of driveway at the left (North)side of the house where one could pull in and unload groceries, children, and certainly anyone with physical disabilities were mentioned. Nothing in detail was described, but I internalized the point as it would apply to me, should I happen to win. I've always understood there would be no garage and that purpose would be served by the barn across the street. But the convenience of a pull up driveway is neither forgotten nor unneeded. On the contrary! It is a necessity for all! Hope DIY hasn't changed THAT midstream too!

      The 2nd issue Izzyguest, is the well and its water–a very common thing in most rural areas, including Waldoboro and Lincoln County Maine. Major branches of my ancestry are Mainers and I'm certain they had wells, though the only well owners I remember well (no pun intended) were my grandparents, in New Harbor, just Down East of Waldoboro. I recall being used to the water then, as a child and never getting sick from it, though today, I buy spring water when I'm back in Maine. I cook with well water, bathe with it clean with it, whatever. The biggest issue with it is accumulation of lime and iron staining on appliances like sinks and toilets. There are water treatment systems such as reverse osmosis or salt treatment for hard water. I used that system for 11 years at my last place in Virginia. The best thing that can be done if one has well water is to invest in a geothermal heat and air conditioning system which i also had those 11 years–I regret that i don't have that now.. A well is not a bad thing–just different. and one needs to work with it, especially if there's a drought, becoming more conservative with water use–but that's an entire other story–don't know if they'd let me print the directions here….:) ;) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    • Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions.

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    • My pleasure. :) ^_^ Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    • I have well water, like everyone else who doesn't live in "the village", and I don't have a filter. It tastes fine, doesn't leave deposits and so far I haven't had any ill effects. The only drawback I've found is when we lose power, there's no working pump to get the water out of the well.

      Camac on April 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    • Good point. I've never been bothered by well water, except for a few rare times when the water smelled like sulpher or rotten eggs. Now that I mention that, I'm having a senior moment and forgetting what exactly happened for that issue to go away–I think it was a good rain?:$ phooey! My house has always had a side holding tank for extra water, but you're right, whenever we had power outages the lack of pumpability was always a problem. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!^_^ Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on April 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm
    • I've dealt with well water for almost my entire life (lived in a city for a couple years). You just have to learn to be aware of how much water you're using. Do a load of laundry every day, not 6 loads on Saturday. No 20-minute showers. You CAN get clean in a few inches of water in the tub, it doesn't need to be up to the overflow. You can use it extravagantly in March but not in August.
      Also, you can probably find a commercial water hauler to bring a load if the well runs low.

      MJCBS on April 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm
    • There is also no Fluoride in well water, so if you buy bottled make sure it has added fluoride or use a rinse daily. lol Betcha you can tell what business I'm in :)

      UsContessa on April 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm
    • Well, that's an excellent point, especially for kids. We need fluoride for our teeth.

      Lea on May 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    • That's untrue. It depends on whether the ground the well is situated contains fluoride minerals in the rock or not. Some areas have too much, some too little. That's why people on well water should have it tested, not just for the possibility of bacterial contamination but to ensure it has a good balance of minerals. If the well water has a high fluoride content there may be need of a filter system and the users shouldn't use toothpaste etc. with added fluoride. Too much fluoride can be harmful and will turn teeth permanently brown if consumed.

      Clive on May 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm
  8. Thanks Mary- & everyone else for so many details regarding BC, I enjoyed the article too, Thank You to everyone who played a part in getting that link posted to the blog.
    I confess here & now I am going to want to win this home just for the back yard and view. A huge deck, a fireplace, a hot tub and a patio—
    Thanks DIY, early on many bloggers asked for a decked out, large budgeted back yard landscape and you guys really came through!!

    Mel on April 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm
  9. Thank you Mary for your quick response in answering our questions! I'm so glad there will be screens on the windows..
    Sad we didn't get our center window where the original front door was. Wouldn't a round stain Glass window fit in between the two doubles?
    Glad to hear there are Apple trees on the property…

    Jennie/Florida on April 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm
  10. Shades of the 2010 BC I read. "If you want cool air just open a window". Great advice so long as you're not one of the 20% or so of Americans who suffer from respiratory problems and respiratory allergies.

    DIY & builders FYI AC isn't just for cooling. Quite a lot of people need it just to live a reasonably comfortable life, even in the more temperate regions.

    If you're going to create a luxury home that will be valued in the region of $3/4 million AC should be a 'must'. So should a secure basement and an area near the house, on the same side of the road, to park a car.
    What exactly do you mean by "The barn can be used for lawn mower and general — but not car — storage". Can a car be parked in the barn or not?

    Clive on April 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    • The barn doors look wide enough to admit a car – I wonder what they meant by that ?

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    • I would guess the wooden floor would not support a heavy automobile. I would look into reinforcing the wood planks underneath.
      Lots of DIY projects to do for the lucky winner of this home/cabin.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm
    • I have followed Dream Home/ Green Home/ Blog Cabin builds and sweepstakes for many years, and it seems to me that this one is being done on the cheap (in comparison).
      I understand that you cannot please everyone, but basics (that I have in my home) are lacking in this BC.
      Going to be interesting to see what kind of sweepstakes dollar value is placed on this home when completed. Cash option please.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm
    • I wonder if they blew too much of the budget on reconfiguring the inside.

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm
    • I don't think they planned on having to rip out an replace all the rotten flooring, but hard to believe that put them over any budget. The tax breaks on the acreage the gave away to someone else should cover their costs alone.

      I am amazed that they were not even going to replace the old roofing/shingles until someone else donated the cash.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm
    • That surprised me too.

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm
    • And I am still puzzled over the basement/unholy pit situation.

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    • I am going to sleep down in the unholy pit the first night.

      Wonder how one keeps the pipes from freezing.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm
    • You gather all the little critters coming under that loosey-goosey basement door and get them to keep the pipes warm.

      izzyguest on April 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    • Hi Clive Mary has a note above that explains the reason for not parking in the Barn.

      Jennie/Florida on April 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    • Marys note above was added after our comments. Thanks Mary.

      Jeff on April 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm
    • At the top of the page right below the picture they stated that the barn is held up by heavy timbers that won't support a car. It's no fun keeping a car outside in the winters they get in Main Clive.:(

      EdinOregon on April 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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