For $1.2 Million, I Want Cedar Shingles

When I drove up to this expensive spec home in Greenlake, I guessed that its steep price reflected the land value more than the building quality. It had that penny-pinching Hardiplank/rough-cedar/splotch-of-shakes siding combo used in most new construction nowadays. Don’t get me wrong; Hardi has a lot of good points, but looking like a million bucks is not one of them.

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So I wasn’t expecting much as I walked in – another builder’s special full of pinched rooms and bland finishes, to be exact. I was pleasantly surprised. They put more thought and money into the inside than the outside.

Because it’s new construction, there are a lot of dream-house spaces tucked in here, like a wet bar with a wine fridge, a walk-in pantry, a huge two-car garage with a deep sink and workbench area, a sitting area with a balcony, and a combo kitchen, family room, and dining room. The finishes are a definite cut above the ordinary, with slab stone counters in all the bathrooms, elaborate molding (unfortunately, painted; I’m betting MDF), and upgraded cabinetry.

Since I’d spend more time inside (gazing at the view of Greenlake) than I would outside (cringing at the pseudo clapboards), I’m willing to overlook the siding faux pas. But, geez. For this kind of money, they could have ponied up for cedar shingles, top to bottom.

Price: $1,239,950
Location: 2129 N. 63rd St., Seattle, WA 98103
Square footage: 3740. Lot size: 5008 sq. ft.
Bedrooms: 6 Baths: 4
Last sale price: new construction
MLS#: 26182809
Click here for detailed listing

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  • Eric

    I’m psyched that you wrote about this! I just checked it out on Sunday as well… I too was pleasantly surprised by the finish in the house and agree with your summation. The only thing I really feel I need to add is that the kitchen is not at all on par with the rest of the house. Separating the microwave from the rest of the appliances was a mistake, the island was made a bit too small for an aisle that is a bit too wide and, most importantly, no serious cook would buy a downdraft cooktop. For $1.3M, I would expect a commercial range and designer hood.

  • Amy Helen Johnson

    Ah, yes, the kitchen layout. Done more with an eye towards filling the space than cooking efficiently.

    The work triangle is horrific. I think the stove and the sink are at closer than 4 feet apart, meaning that two people are going to be bumping into each if they cook together. And the frig is across an aisle from the peninsula so that you have to make a left-hand turn around the end of the counter in order to get to the stove (not to mention that its open door blocks anyone from walking from room to room). And the island clogs circulation within the triangle.

    The lack of a commercial-style stove doesn’t bother me as much as the choice of the downdraft. I can always replace a stove. But without any kind of hood there at all, it’s going to be hard to install one. No existing ducting, meaning I’m going to have to open up the ceiling and run some out through the side of the house. A simple replacement issue becomes a remodel involving multiple trades.

    But not everyone likes cooking as much as we obviously do. The kitchen sure is pretty and that can be enough for some people.