Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Much?

We are frequently asked the cost of building a project. Universally the answer is: It depends what you build. Following is a list of some of the elements that go into homes in our region and their installed costs. The prices will vary depending on the supplier, contractor and the market conditions at the time of the bid. These prices were provided by suppliers and contractors in early 2009.

Because there are thousands of small choices that make up a home, it is easy to see how the price can vary by sometimes large amounts depending on those choices.

For a larger view simply double click on the chart or to recieve a pdf of this list, please e-mail a request to: and we will send you a copy as soon as possible.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Wing's Castle

One overcast and blustery day a few weeks ago, the kids and I were looking for something to do. We had exhausted all of the usual diversions and didn’t want to travel too far in the rain. Like the proverbial New Yorkers who have never visited the Statue of Liberty, we had never visited Wings Castle even though the idea had come up many times.

As we drove up the driveway I made scary haunted house noises to everyone’s delight (my children are 2, 6, and 9 years old) as the outline of the castle appeared in the mist. Peter Wing drove by on his tractor carrying a load of stones and Toni Wing met us at the path and began the fascinating narrative of their life’s work.

The Castle sits on property that was once part of the Wing family farm. When Peter returned from military service in 1969, Toni and he began to build Wing’s Castle. Peter had no formal training as an architect, artist or builder, but that didn’t even slow him down. He learned as he built and let nothing stand in his way. Toni has an innate sense of design and a love of the antique which informs her work.

It is hard to describe the artistry, craftsmanship and beauty everywhere you look while waking through their home. There is nothing which has not been thought about carefully and detailed with loving care. Wings Castle does not fit in any neat category of art or architecture. The nearest I can come to a description is a cross between a design by the Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi, and a wild artistic interpretation of a medieval castle.

I returned to visit the Castle and found Peter continuing his work on the groin vault above the passageway to the soon to be completed bed and breakfast annex of their life’s work.

In the upcoming year we will be celebrating the quad centennial of Henry Hudson’s voyage to our neighborhood. In our back yard we have one of the best examples of the early settlers’ tradition of owner built homes: Wing’s Castle.