Spring Newsletter, 2016


By: Wayne Coolidge
   When I started my business 32 years ago, I never thought about handing off the reins to one of my children – I didn’t have any. Heck I was just a kid!  But as the years progressed, Wendy and I did have two beautiful children, Rebecca & Melissa.
   They were both involved in the family business as much as any child would be. They were involved with conversations around the dinner table, dragged to job sites, attended job site meetings, and put on the cleanup crew. Although the girls were young, I must admit that I did occasionally think about a new name for the company- Coolidge & Daughters.
   As Rebecca got older, we thought it would be a good idea if she spent part of her summer working on site. She started on the window washing crew for a large dormitory renovation that we were doing. I think she figured out very quickly that this business was not for her, for I had to fire her twice the first week for not doing a good enough job. Looking back, I now think she knew exactly what she was doing – she was not going to spend her summer in a hot dorm washing windows all day! (This is very similar to the technique that I use with Wendy to get out of loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry).
   Melissa’s start on site was just as tenuous as her older sister’s. She started on the demolition crew. On her very first day, she created an avalanche of debris that rained down on her and almost knocked her unconscious. She spent the rest of the day on the client’s couch. I had to fire her also as a precaution for everyone else’s safety.
   So as much as both girls wanted to be involved on site to make their dad happy, their interests laid elsewhere. Both went off to college and got their degrees. They started down the path of their desired professions, which was not construction.
   So that was that. There was no one to hand the business down too. End of story. That was until a new chapter was written. Melissa gave birth to a son, Granger. He is only two years old but he already helps me with measurements and he screws off sheathing. Meme Wilson even made him his own tool belt.  He carries his real hammer and tape measure in it while he helps me with the ongoing renovation at his house– this kid is a natural!
   I think I have seen a foreshadow of my future and my legacy.

Home Tip

   As Spring approaches and the snow has melted away, it is time to take a walk around the exterior of your home and check for loose or leaky gutters. If they are not draining properly, it can potentially lead to water getting into your basement or crawl space. Make sure all the downspouts are facing away from your foundation and are clear of debris.

Take a Shower with Nature

   There are numerous reasons for adding an outdoor shower to your home. A place to wash up after going in the pool, gardening, working out, or just a spot to reconnect with nature. Whatever the reason, you can create an outdoor shower as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it.
   The two most common approaches to adding a shower are to either add it on to the house and match the colors and/or hardware to your house, or put it off the beaten path and camouflage it with nature. Some styles of outdoor showers resemble stalls while others are simply a pipe attached to a tree with no walls at all. Of course, you will want to consider your location and the status of peeping neighbors before deciding which route you will choose.
   Regardless of the style, you will need some type of material to make a durable surface for the floor. Water will wash away ground and you don’t want to be standing in a mud puddle or on rocks while you shower. Some options include patio stones, wood slats, or smooth stones. If you are going to use the shower at night, you will need to add lighting. You will also want a place to store your shampoo and soap, as well as having a hook or stand nearby for your towel. As the runoff from your shower will be going directly into nature, think about the products you are using and choose those that are safe for the environment.
   Another benefit of an outdoor shower is it can serve as a second shower when you have guests at the house. It can even be a washing station for your pets. Add a second shower head or hose near the bottom to wash pets easier or for just washing off feet.

Dine-in Kitchen

   Having a separate dining room is ideal for family meals or larger parties, but sometimes it may be more convenient if you want to dine in the kitchen. Adding an eat-in kitchen to your home can be a small or large scale project, all depending on your space and the purpose.
   First, evaluate the space for your dining needs- it is especially key in small spaces to have just enough as not to overwhelm the room. Also look at the traffic flow and find out how you can work around it so that the new table does not obstruct the main path. If there is an empty corner, a small café table and chairs could work perfectly.
   If you want to increase storage in your kitchen, your best bet may be to add bench seating or a booth. With this design, you could include storage underneath and overhead. To increase counter space, another option is to add an island or add onto an existing counter. As the primary purpose will be serving as a counter, you will want it to remain high for working on, and add high stools to double as a table. If space is tight, you can add a folding table to any counter and have chairs stored nearby.

Hardware Store Help

Take a picture. It’s never fun to run all the way to Home Depot to find two different things matching what you need- and of course you always opt for the wrong one. Before you leave, no matter how “sure” you are, take a quick picture of the item. That way you can be sure to purchase the correct item and if there’s any doubt, you can always show the picture to someone who works there.

Fun Suggestion

DIY Wood Tray!
  • (4) 2ft 1×4 boards
  • (2) 14″ 1×4 boards
  • (2) handles
  • 1 1/2 inch wood screws
Place the (2) cross section pieces down first, then lay your (4) longer boards across the top. You’ll want to screw from the bottom so the screws are on the bottom of the finished tray. Sand, stain, and add hardware of your choice!
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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1701
Dover, NH 03821-1701