This is the sort of…

This is the sort of e-mail Pam sends us -- I wanted to document it, because it's just so good. I don't know whether all general contractors are so thorough and thoughtful, but I really appreciate her combination of skills (smart, thorough, patient, funny, stern when needed, timely, communicative, great design sense, and more) and her generosity with them.

"First, I'm still working with the two millwork shops on the custom made trims. The shop I used for your exterior trims is proposing to use Eastern White Pine and thus they are much higher. Eastern white pine is a slow growing pine, very clear and knot free, with tight graining and lots of rings. The other place is proposing to use Radiata pine. Radiata is a fast growing pine that is native to the US but is now plantation grown all over the world. Lots of pine lumber used in the US comes from Radiata grown in Chile or even New Zealand. Your windows, for instance, are made of Radiata pine. If we order pine doors they will also be Radiata. Since it grows faster it is not as tight ringed as Eastern White Pine but it is clear and stains well. Most likely, your original trims are some variant of Eastern White Pine. So the question is, which will better match the old trims? We will be staining up both types as well as some old trim, then tung oil, to see how they all look together and then we can make a final decision.

"On the 2nd floor trims I think we should go with red oak vs. poplar. As you saw from the samples I brought to your place poplar can be pale, or greenish, or brownish. The last time we used poplar we were using a very dark mission stain, so it didn't matter what color the underlying wood was. Since we are going lighter and the floors are red oak, I think we should use red oak on the trims. I have two lumber yards working up quotes.

"On the doors, does it make sense to use the pine on the first floor and the oak on the second? I think we had talked about using oak everywhere but does it make more sense to stay consistent with pine on the first floor? Your other (old) doors are pine (pocket door and tall doors)."

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