Family Fun

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Family Fun

As featured in the Nspire Magazine Summer/Fall 2015 Coeur d’Alene Editionfamily-fun-horz2

By: Kristina Lyman/Photography by: Larry Conboy

One Monday morning, an excited homeowner showed up to the construction site of his new lake cabin with a design idea. Enthusiastically, he showed his contractor a video of Shou Sugi Ban, an ancient Japanese technique of charring wood. Then, with some cedar and a propane torch, he tried it. He liked the look of the blackened wood so much, he decided to use it as siding for his cabin.

“You can buy charred siding,” says general contractor, Doric Creager, “but it’s expensive.” So instead, the homeowner decided to do it himself. He enlisted the help of his family, and every Saturday would hold a Shou Sugi Ban party. In about a month, they managed to char enough wood to side the cabin.

family-fun-horzIt was a big project, but not as daunting as you might imagine. A large portion of the house is glass. When all the siding was charred, carpenters went to work installing and sealing the wood to keep it from flaking. The burning process not only creates an interesting look, but also protects and preserves the wood.

It’s not very common for a homeowner to get this involved in a building project, but this family had a good time doing it, and it will be something they will remember for years to come.

“Usually when the homeowner offers to help, we tell them the price just went up,” Doric laughs. “But they did a fine job.”

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