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Cougar Canyon Retreat

Cougar Canyon Retreat

Design by:
Photos by:
La Center, WA
Timber Design by Arrow Timber Framing
Michael Shultz

About the Decision Makers

One thing is for certain about this spread out rustic single level home design. It is a piece of cake to get your 10,000 daily steps on your pedometer! That of course, was just a byproduct of a home designed for a big family get togethers and entertaining large crowds. Dave and Brenda wanted a rustic large layout from the get-go, but ended up with more space than they had originally intended. Rare is the design that travels from idea inception to building completion without taking a life of its own.

I always find it interesting to watch how different couples go about planning and making decisions. Dave and Brenda seem to have a casual approach with their decisions.

They also tended to make decisions in bigger batches, often on the job site or at the planning table, “thinking on their feet.” Before going further, I should add that this casual approach of making quicker, on the spot decisions, with less research and data, is in no way better or worse than a thoroughly researched and documented planning approach.

Just like a dump truck and a fast sports car have different trade-offs, Dave and Brenda chose the right approach for them. At least it appeared that way from my perspective. I have no way of knowing what was going on in their heads for sure, but they seemed to be enjoying the building process every time I interacted with them.

And THAT is perhaps one of the most important concepts we can apply to both building and living. Here are three questions to ask yourself to find the best approach for you: “What kind of philosophy or decision making approach will allow me to be in the moment as much as possible?” Or, “What approach would give me the most enjoyment? Or stated otherwise, “What kind of approach would cause me the least amount of pain? ;>)

From my observation, Dave and Brenda have been married long enough that they intuitively knew what approach would work best for them and were OK saying NO to the trade-offs their approach excluded, such as:

*Not being able to make the most informed decision.

*Not securing the absolute best price.

*Accepting some of extra costs to remedy ill-informed choices.

*Simply deciding to live with some decisions they regret.

But even for couples like Dave and Brenda who intuitively know what they are about, taking a moment to think about their thinking, would still be a worthwhile endeavor. For others of us who are less relaxed or partnered with someone with a markedly different method of making decisions, taking a moment to think and talk about HOW to make decisions can have a huuuuge payoff!

This conversation will often turn tactical, trying to agree on the details of WHAT you want. (This is also valuable. But make sure you are both on the same page as to How you roll. It seems like this unassuming detail is the hidden engine behind a lot of conflict.

Speaking of enjoyable processes, I was involved in cutting a 10x24x34′ beam on this project too short! Yikes! But I could smile and take the blow on the chin without reeling! Why? Because we had followed our process with the field install.

According to our process, field cut beams are measured twice. Separately by two competent artisans. If the measurements are in alignment, the beam is cut! I’ve been down the road of triple, quadruple and quintuple checking… for me, that process stinks! Way too much fretting and worrying, I say. The good news was that the job was not held up for eight weeks. Because we saw our own beams, we were able to replace that beam the next day!

Now, I can’t pretend there was no pain. And Yes, there may have been a little bit of “French” used upon the discovery of the mistake. But we stayed true to our process and accepted the trade-offs! Just like Dave and Brenda did as they built their rustic style single level forever home. It really was fun to watch them in action and be part of their team!

-Bert Sarkkinen

Find Out How We Can Bring Your Vision to Life

Are you interested in this home or want to learn more about timber framing in general? Contact our team at Arrow Timber Framing for more information. We also provide custom home plans tailored to your needs and preferences. You can reach us by phone at 1-833-212-0202 or using the contact link below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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