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From the ground up


This is the sixth installment in a series that chronicles the building of a New Mexican home, from the ground up.

Las Cruces Bulletin

How does a house say “Welcome?”

Bienvenido. Velkommen. Aloha. Selamat dating. Witam. Bem-vindo. Or maybe it just coyly bats its eyelashes and opens its doors.

The From the Ground Up house is blossoming. It has curves and soft angles. It shyly shows off panoramic views, and beckons visitors with unique extras. The house is starting to flirt.

Builder Daniel Kolson walked me through the house last week, pointing out details both in place and on the way.

“At this point, we are finished framing,” Kolson said. The house has walls (albeit see-through wooden frames) and doors and windows. The exterior corners of the building are covered in a shiny metal called thermo-ply, Kolson said. “It covers the edges so they have a rounder appearance,” which adds to his vision for the house.

Vigas dress up the front of the house, and pull a viewer’s eye to the thick wooden front door, which, when opened, has an irresistible view through the center of the house and out the 12’ X 8’ sliding glass door that leads to the spacious patio, and eventually, all the way to the mountain.

The great room/living room sports striking arches unlike any I’ve seen before.

“I saw the arches in an old adobe house and started doing it. They give it that old adobe pueblo style look,” Kolson said.

Capitalizing on Las Cruces’ abundant natural light, the house has two skylights in the entrance way, one in the main hallway and one in the master bath.

Even though the house is now, obviously, a house, it isn’t ready for inhabitants. The wooden bones of the wall frames need to be covered with drywall, a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. According to the Diffen Home Improvement website, it is used to make interior walls and ceilings. Drywall construction became prevalent as a speedier alternative to traditional lath and plaster. The most common brand of drywall is Sheetrock, a trademark made by the US Gypsum company.

“Right now,” Kolson said, “we’re working with the electricians, the plumbers and the HVAC installers.” Over the next two to three weeks, the workers will be “putting in everything that goes behind the Sheetrock walls.”

The installations and inspections should take two to three weeks, which gives Kolson time to pick out the plumbing and lighting fixtures. Right now, Shawn Brownfield at Sher-Wood Cabinetry is putting together a package for Kolson.

“He came out and looked at the house to get a feel for the style,” Kolson said, so the cabinets enhance the Southwestern look.


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