November 18th, 2009

Deck and Cabinets

Over the last couple of days, the main visible change on the house is that our deck is now framed out. That leaves just siding, our entry patio and the ecoroofs as the remaining exterior things to do. And speaking of ecoroofs… In addition to our ecoroofs, we have a soakage trench in our back yard to handle any runoff from the roofs. Initially we weren’t going to have anything for a couple of reasons. First, having completely vegitated roofs is considered to be an adequate stormwater management facility according to the city’s stormwater management manual. And second, the city only requires stormwater management plans if you are introducing more than 500 square feet of impervious area. Our footprint is less than this. During permitting though we were asked to put in something (soakage trench, drywell, etc…), I then sized a soakage trench to manage the area of our parapets which gave us a trench that was about a foot long. The plans examiner then went ahead and resized it to be ten feet long. Just recently our contractor was talking to people at BES who assured us that the ecoroofs are considered adequate management for the whole building and we shouldn’t have had to do anything extra. I suppose this means that we are extra equipped in the case of an epic downpour.

Working on the Interior

Our cabinets are just about done… Not that the house is ready for them yet, so the plan is to have them sit around the shop for a while until our flooring is in and then install them on top. Additionally, the countertops should be underway soon. We’re getting stainless with an integral sink. Something that not only gives us the look we want, but turned out to be the cheap option. We were pointed at a place in Scappoose who is doing the whole thing for about $1200, and seeing as how a kitchen sink by itself will run $900 or more, we’re getting a pretty good deal on the whole package. But thats still a couple weeks from being done so right now what we have is a pile of cabinets.

They were made by our friend Bren (Earthbound Industries) and we worked out a few details to make the whole thing as clean as we could. There are no pulls on anything. The drawers have little finger notches, and the doors on the uppers hang below the cabinet so that there is something to pull on to open them. Additionally, standard practice for cabinets is to have edge banding on all the doors to give the impression that – rather than being plywood with veneer – it reads as a piece of wood… For our cabinets, we are treating the doors as the surface that they are. When closed they complete a single surface (they were cut from the same sheet of plywood), when opened you break that surface revealing the layers inside.


  1. Matt and Katherine,

    Love the cabinets! Absolutely fantastic. I’ve followed your blog for a little while, and have enjoyed seeing your development. Perhaps we could do a mini-interview at some point in the next few weeks? I run a website called “Portland Built” ( and feature all the great things being created in our fair city.


    Comment by Shawn Busse — November 18, 2009 @ 16:56
  2. […] couple of slow months, this morning has been very busy. Bren (Earthbound Industries) who built our cabinets is also made our built in shelves, and those are going in today probably to be finished in the next […]

    Pingback by harpoon house » Progress — December 22, 2009 @ 15:10

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