Clients came to architects David Burdett and Stefanie Werner of DAS Studio in NYC with a design dilemma: their lakefront house did not take advantage of the property’s views. And the building was divided into many small rooms, creating awkward spaces that were not functional for contemporary living. The clients wanted a clean, light, and modern aesthetic, but they also wanted to pay tribute to their home’s rural setting and past.
The solution that DAS crafted involved gutting the house to create new, larger interior spaces that maximized the lake views. To honor the homeowner’s modern aesthetic while simultaneously acknowledging the home’s rural location, they came up with the idea to use a very traditional wood floor, wide plank pine flooring, but to finish the floor with a white stain for a light, clean, modern look. The homeowners, who were both actively involved in researching and selecting the products used in their home, turned to a local sawmill, Hull Forest Products in Pomfret, Connecticut, to make their wood floors. Hull Forest Products, which ships its floors mill-direct nationwide, was able to supply wide pine floors up to 19 inches wide with plank lengths of 12+ feet.
To achieve the look shown above, the floor was stained with one coat of Duraseal Country White. Then the floor was lightly buffed and sanded, and another coat of Country White was applied. The floor was then finished with four coats of Duraseal Traffic water based poly, satin finish. The grain pattern of the pine floors and the white coloring were a perfect match to the project’s design criteria.
To link the three floors of the house functionally and aesthetically, the homeowners commissioned custom thick stair treads from Hull Forest Products, who made them from the same wood used on the floors. The stair treads are a perfect match for the floors, and they create a seamless flow between the home’s three levels. The stairs function as a bridge between floors and time periods, for, as Burdett points out, “the stair design contrasts the chunky heaviness of the solid wood treads with the slender detailing of the [modern] steel stringers and balustrade.”
The completed house, with work done by West Mountain Builders of Washington, Connecticut, displays the successfully executed design and vision in every photo. As Burdett says, “It is a contemporary renovation of an older house, working with existing proportions and heights to achieve a contemporary living space that is respectful of the original house.” The home is a poster child for how to reconfigure an old house to be a gracious and suitable host for a whole new generation.
Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the metro NYC and metro Boston area, as well as New England’s biggest producer of White Oak products, is hosting a series of FREE and FUN events during the month of October that highlight the value of local working forests and the forest economy. Open to the public, these events are designed to foster a greater connection between people and forests, and we hope you can attend!
Sawmill Tour at Hull Forest Products October 7th – Pomfret, CT
A fascinating behind-the-scenes “how it’s made” tour of a modern sawmill facility – watch as we turn raw timber into finished forest products. Learn how sustainably harvested local wood is milled into lumber, flooring, post and beam timbers, and more. A must for builders, architects, contractors, and designers. Also recommended for families or anyone curious about how wood products are made. Tours are an easy .4 mile walk and take approximately 90 minutes. Tours will be offered on a drop-in basis from 8am – 2pm. Please note that this event was listed incorrectly in TLGV’s Walktober Guide. It is being held on Saturday October 7th.
Date: Saturday October 7, 2017 8am-2pm
Location: 101 Hampton Road (Route 97) Pomfret Center, CT 06259
Woods Walk #1: The Man Behind the Yale University Forests October 15 – Union, CT
Join us Sunday October 15th for a 2-hour 2-mile guided walk of Hull Forestlands’ Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale University Forest founder George Hewitt Myers. Walk participants will learn about changes in the land over time since the days of the Nipmuck Indians, early farming in the area, and the man behind the Yale Forests, who worked to create this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. Walkers will tour the site of the Myers family summer home and cemetery. This tour also showcases sustainable forestry and the ways in which woodland management can improve and diversify bird habitat. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers on this walk.
Date: Sunday October 15 1:30 pm (raindate October 22 at 1:30 pm)
Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.
Contact: Hull forester Michael Bartlett (860) 377-0117
A 2-hour 1.5- mile guided tour over moderate terrain at the Westridge Farm Forest and the neighboring Pachaug State Forest. Led by foresters from both Hull Forest Products and the state of CT, participants will view and discuss recent woodland management activities, see beautiful old stone walls, and then cross into adjacent Pachaug State Forest to visit cultural artifacts including an old shingle mill site.
Date: October 21st 10 am (rain date is October 28th at 10 am)
Location: 611 Wyassup Road, North Stonington, CT
Contact: Hull forester Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550
Woods Walk #3: Historic Steerage Rock October 22 -Brimfield, MA
On this 2-hour guided woods walk you will learn about historic Steerage Rock, once a favored camping site of King Philip, son of Massasoit, and a landmark on the old Indian trail that later became known as the Bay Path, which served as a landmark for the pioneer settlers of the Connecticut Valley. Participants will view actively managed woodland and enjoy a vista of Brimfield Common as well as a view of the path of destruction left by the the 2011 tornado. Bring binoculars. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Date: October 22 1:30-3:30 pm, rain or shine
Location: Steerage Rock Road, across from 1 Harnois Lane, Brimfield, MA
Contact: Hull forester Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117
Woods Walk #4: Enhancing Wildlife Habitat, Improving Forest Health, and Creating New Opportunities at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center – October 28 – Spencer, MA
Join us for a guided woods tour over moderate rolling terrain to view and discuss recent woodland management activities on the 100-acre working forest at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center. Participants will walk new recreational trails created during a 2017 timber harvest and observe enhanced wildlife habitat, a young hard maple stand that will serve as a future sugarbush for the camp, areas where stump grinding has been completed to reclaim old fields, and areas that were once pasture land that have since converted back to woodland.
Hull Forest Products is excited to be a project partner with The Last Green Valley, helping to accelerate the pace of woodland conservation in the Southern New England Heritage Forest! We will be providing practical advice to more woodland owners and helping them create sound management plans for their #workingforests.
Sabine H. Schoenberg, founder of SNH, was looking for healthy, sustainable wood flooring that would also be good for the indoor air quality in the home, so she turned to Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, known for its forest-to-floor wood flooring.
A family business since 1965, Hull Forest Products utilizes locally grown and sustainably harvested wood to mill custom-made wide and long plank flooring. Hull Forest Products ships its floors nationwide, making it the mill-direct wood flooring source for metro NYC and beyond.
Looking for a modern kitchen that’s also cozy ? Consider adding wood flooring. For a primer on how to warm up an industrial space with warm wood tones, check out this white kitchen in Boston’s South End. The cooler elements (white brick, white macaubus quartzite, white cabinets) juxtapose with the warm variegation of the Hickory wide plank floors, upping the cozy factor. The copper faucet and pot rail add another warm element.
Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop in Charlestown, MA, transformed the space’s quirks, including an old pizza oven and a triangular shaped alcove, into functional shelving (made from leftover hickory flooring) and extra storage space. With no upper cabinets, the space is open and filled with natural light.
The homeowners used Hickory flooring throughout to add a warm lived-in feel to an otherwise industrial and modern space and help pull the look together. The warm toned wood continues up the stairs with modern square edge and square ended Hickory treads and risers laid over white painted wood. The high color contrast between the light sapwood and the darker heartwood in the Hickory flooring and stairs adds texture and warmth–like a cozy blanket–preventing the space from feeling stark.
The original stairway in the home was traditional, and the homeowners wanted to modernize it, but due to building codes, they could not change the footprint of the original steps. Together with their c0ntractor, Michel Beaudry, and their architect, Bunker Workshop, they devised a zig-zag pattern that ensured each tread was the same size as it had been previously, but with a modern line and no overhanging nosing. Hull Forest Products custom milled the Hickory treads and risers to their specifications.
The homeowners wanted to source their floors locally, which led to their decision to choose Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the greater Boston area, and a producer of custom-milled wide plank floors and stairs from local wood. “We absolutely love our floors,” say the homeowners, who completed their home renovation in 2014. “Their character is one of the favorite characteristics of our home.”
The wood flooring and stair parts shown in the photos above are Hull Forest Products’s natural grade Hickory, with knots and color variation, finished with a water based poly. No stain was used. Some of the knots were defected out by the installer to create a cleaner look that is closer to a premium rather than a natural grade floor.
This fall Hull Forest Products is offering four free and fun events for the whole family that celebrate Connecticut’s working forests and locally grown wood products. We hope you can join us for one of these guided woods walks or for the Hull Forest Products sawmill tour, where you can watch us turn locally grown wood into beautiful and durable wood flooring and lumber.
1.) Town Forest Provides Recreational Opportunity, Wildlife Habitat, and Forest Products
Join us for a walk on the 45-acre town forest owned by North Brookfield, Massachusetts, and learn how long-term forest stewardship can be applied to manage land for multiple uses and benefits, including recreation, income, and renewable energy. Hull Forest Products currently manages this land, and through the use of whole tree chipping, much of the low quality and traditionally non-merchantable timber has been removed and utililzed to produce renewable energy, while improving the conditions in the forest. The property is being managed for recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty, and the long-term production of forest products. Part of the forest is being turned into a woodland park for town residents to fish, walk, and picnic. This is a one-mile loop walk over moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Date/Time: Saturday October 3rd, starting at 10 am.
Location: 20 West Brookfield Road (Route 67) North Brookfield, MA, 01535. Signs will be posted.
Contact: Ross Hubacz (860) 576-1546
2.) This Was His Forest: George Hewitt Myers, the Man Behind the Yale University Forest
Join us for a 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of Hull Forestland’s Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale Forest founder George Hewitt Myers and today the only private inholding in the Yale Myers Forest. Learn about the man behind the Yale-Myers Forest and how he worked to put together this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. See the site of the Myers home and family cemetery. This walk will be led by Hull Forest Products forester Mike Bartlett, who has received the “Mr. Walktober” award from TLGV for hosting over a thousand Walktober participants in his 15 years of volunteering for Walktober. The tour will focus on sustainable forestry, how woodland management can improve bird habitat, and the life and times of George Hewitt Myers. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers. We hope you can join us!
Date/Time: October 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm (raindate is 10/25/15 at 1:30 pm)
Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.
Contact: Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117
3.) Timber! A Guided Tour of the Wilford Farm Woodlot
Join licensed forester Chris Casadei for this 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of the 170 acre Wilford Farm forest; participants will get to view and discuss recent woodland management activities including an improvement thinning and an Ash sanitation harvest designed to pre-emptively salvage Ash trees before the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that has infected Ash trees across Connecticut. The Wilford Farm woodlands have a history of active forest management since the old farm was disbanded, and they comprise a rolling landscape with a vast network of streams and wetlands as well as excellent wildlife habitat. Moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers.
Date/Time: October 3, 2015 10 am rain or shine
Location: Willington, CT. From Route 74 head south on Parker Road, take a left on Cowls Road, then left on Busse Road, and left on Meadow Lane. Follow Meadow Lane to the end. There is plenty of parking in the cul-de-sac.
Contact: Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550
4.) From Forest to Flooring: Making Local Goods from Local Woods at the Hull Forest Products Sawmill
Tour a modern a sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility and learn how locally grown trees are sustainably harvested and milled into lumber for flooring, furniture, post and beam timbers, railroad ties, pallets, and more. Watch as logs are transformed into lumber before your eyes. This is a great “how it’s made” type of tour that the whole family will enjoy. Tours take approximately one and a half hours and are an easy .4 mile walk.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a modern sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility. Here’s what a past tour participant had to say about the experience:
“Many, many thanks for the wonderful tour of the Hull Forest Products facility. I was impressed beyond words. To see hardwood timber–right off the logging truck–being transformed with sophisticated computer-controlled milling machines into finished product right before my eyes was truly amazing. This process must be experienced firsthand to really appreciate the enormous effort required to deliver such a diverse array of wood products from railroad ties to wide plank flooring.
And to think that this family-owned manufacturing company is based right here in Connecticut at a time when sadly, very little seems to be made in our country any more. I will not only recommend your beautiful timber and flooring products, but will do so proudly and enthusiastically.Thank you for allowing me this exceptional opportunity. Keep up the good work! ”
Date/Time: October 17, 2015, tours offered from 8 am to 2 pm
Choosing wide plank flooring? Here are five points to keep in mind.
1. Know the size of your project. When choosing wide plank flooring, first estimate the square footage you will need based on your room’s dimensions, then add 10-15 percent, depending on the shape of the rooms. Your sawmill or supplier will need to know your square footage needs to determine whether they have enough material in inventory to process your order ASAP. Also be sure your site conditions are appropriate for wood flooring (for example, installing solid wood floors below grade is not recommended).
2. Think about wood species. Spend some time browsing photos of different wood species, and learn about the properties of the woods. Are you choosing a species of wide plank flooring that makes sense for your needs? (If you are a perfectionist who can’t stand the look of distressed floors, you probably want to go with a harder wood that won’t show wear easily, like Ash, Red Oak, White Oak or Maple.)
Don’t get too hung up on the color of a particular floor you see in a photo, as the same wood can look very different depending on the finish you choose. Applying a stain can also change the color of a floor dramatically. You may want to experiment with different finishes to make sure you get the look you like best. At our sawmill, Hull Forest Products, we offer free unfinished samples – just go into one of our species galleries, click on a photo, and select the “more details” button to order samples of any floor.
Figure 2, below, shows the range of coloration between various types of clear satin sheen finishes. The finishes were applied to samples of our unfinished Select grade White Oak flooring.
3. Consider grades of wood when choosing wide plank flooring. Once you’ve decided on a species of wood, you’ll have a choice of grades within that species. All of our flooring grades perform well; the grade is purely a matter of style and cost. We call wood with clear grain and few to no knots “Select” grade. Wood with natural character markings like knots or bark pocket is called “Natural” grade. Premium grade is a midpoint between these two grades.
4. Consider plank widths. Plank widths affect the price of your floor and they have a big visual impact as well. Choosing a range of plank widths (known as “random widths”) is less expensive than requesting floor boards that are all 7″ wide, for example. This is because the material does not have to be sorted as much or ripped to 7 inches. Figure 3, below, illustrates the look of a floor with random widths. The plank widths are a mix of 9-14 inches.
Compare the look of the random width floor boards in Figure 3 to the floor shown in Figure 4, below, which features plainsawn White Oak floor planks that are each 10 inches wide. This gives you an idea of the visual impact of random widths vs. equivalent widths.
5. Do you want unfinished wood flooring or prefinished wood flooring? In some cases, such as an apartment in a high rise that doesn’t allow on-site wood finishing, this question may already be answered for you. It may depend on whether you are building a new home or already living in an existing one. The up-front cost of prefinished flooring is higher. On the other hand, if you are hiring a professional to finish your floor on site, there is a cost and an inconvenience factor associated with that, too. Some people prefer the look of a site-finished wood floor because it will have a snug, square edge with no bevel, compared to a prefinished floor, which will have a slight microbeveled edge on the long sides of the planks. You also have a greater range of finish options when site-finishing your wood floor. It’s up to you, so weigh your options.
As always, we are here to answer your questions! Happy browsing, and when you’re ready to find the perfect wood floor for your home, give us a call or send us an email. 1-800-928-9602 Browse wide plank wood floors anytime at hullforest.com.
Did you know that you can enhance wildlife diversity on your own property through woodland management? Read on to learn how you and your forester can create greater biodiversity through silvicultural practices.
“Forest” is the largest land category in Connecticut, with approximately 60 percent of the state covered in forest. Since the statistic began being tracked in 1952, Connecticut’s net growth of trees has exceeded removals, and today the ratio of growth to removals is more than 2:1.
However, there is a noticeable lack of diversity in the age classes of Connecticut forests (and southern New England forests in general). Connecticut’s forests consist of 69 percent mature stands, 25 percent intermediate stands, and just 6 percent regenerating stands.
There is a critical loss of young forest habitat (also known as early successional habitat) in the state. When there are not enough young forest stands, then species that prefer low-lying vegetation are fewer in number. A diverse mix of forest age classes is beneficial because it provides the maximum range of wildlife habitat. Forest management is one way that landowners can influence the future composition of Connecticut’s forests.
Woodland Management Can Diversify Habitat
Forests change constantly, with or without human intervention, and over time a new tree species comes to dominate another through a cycle called succession. Some people oppose intervention because they fear it might harm wildlife, but in the long run, doing nothing can lead to conditions that are unfavorable for the very wildlife they want to help. Woodland owners have an important opportunity to influence the type and quality of wildlife habitat on their land through active forest management.
Openings within a forest create edge habitat. “Edge” is the term for where plant communities meet, or where successional stages or vegetative conditions within communities come together. This is often the richest area in a forest in terms of wildlife abundance and diversity. Having a variety of habitat cover types and timber age classes is beneficial for many species of wildlife, including birds, because of the abundance of edges they create.
Working with a licensed forester, landowners can plan for timber harvests that not only provide income, but also create the desired timber age classes and habitat conditions favored by wildlife species. If the landowner’s neighbors also own forestland and have similar goals, then the habitat management can be implemented on an even larger scale.
Check out this handy Foresters For the Birds guide produced by Vermont Audubon to see how you as a landowner can work with a forester to promote habitat for specific bird species in your woodland.
Habitat Case Study: The Myers Pond Forest
In 2014 scientists from Connecticut Audubon and the CT Agriculture Experiment Station conducted bird habitat assessments on over 25 woodland properties in Connecticut. One of the most intensively managed properties they visited was Hull Forestlands’ own Myers Pond Forest in Union, CT, which has been actively managed for timber production since 1900, with a recent focus on hemlock removals and white pine regeneration.
Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation for CT Audubon, personally photographed a wide variety of birds and habitats on the land, including sedge/tussock meadow, open water, riparian, and upland bird habitats. Comins hailed the property as “One of the crown jewels of forestland in Connecticut.”
Jeffrey Ward, Chief Scientist at the Dept. of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment station, said the Myers Pond Forest was the “best managed property he had seen” in their bird habitat assessments. In addition to a wide variety of birds, the Myers Pond Forest is home to many of the common woodland mammals of eastern North American, including white tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, coyote, bobcat, and beaver.
The Myers Pond Forest is an excellent example of how intensively managed forests provide a wealth of wildlife habitat while at the same time producing timber to meet the needs of society. For more information on Hull Forestlands’ Myers Pond Forest, you can access the forest history here: Myers-Pond-Forest-History-2020
Learn more about woodland management for your property. Check out our youtube channel for videos on our award-winning forestry and timber harvesting services, as well as our lumber and wood products manufacturing (utilizing sustainably harvested local timber). See where harvested wood goes and how it is utilized in a zero-waste operation to make products that store carbon throughout their service lives as well as by-products that reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Read reviews from clients who have used our forest management, logging, and timber harvesting services.
Contact the Hull Forest Products forestry department today for a free no-obligation consultation. (860) 974-0127 extension 4.
Hull Forest Products is participating in the second annual National Bioenergy Day event on October 22, 2014, to help show the public, elected officials, media, and other stakeholders how local companies are utilizing bioenergy.
Hull Forest Products supplies mill quality as well as whole tree wood chips to many New England institutions that utilize biomass heating, including Ponagansett Middle and High Schools in Rhode Island, Mt. Wachusett Community College and the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor Center in Massachusetts, and Bennington College in Vermont.
One ton of wood chips has the energy equivalent of approximately 60 gallons of heating oil, but unlike oil, wood chips are a renewable (and local) source of energy. Hull Forest Products’s woodchips come from trees grown in family-owned working forests, and their use helps promote a healthy market for local wood, which in turn helps keep forests as forests in our region.
Please join us at 99 Canal Street, Putnam, CT from 3-7 pm on October 22, 2014 to learn more about the availability of woody biomass in southern New England and how this resource is being put to use locally. Bioenergy experts will be on hand, along with residential and commercial pellet boiler information, food vendors, and live music.
Hull Forest Products is hosting two woodland walks in October 2014 in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober event. These guided walks are a great opportunity to get some exercise, enjoy the fall foliage, and learn how our licensed foresters help woodland owners manage their land for forest products, wildlife, and recreation. We hope you can join us and bring the whole family for these free, fun, and educational events!
1.) Hatchet Hill Hike, Woodstock, CT | October 11, 2014, 9 a.m.
Hull forester Mike Bartlett will lead participants on a 2-hour hike over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain (there are some steep slopes) to tour the Walker family woodland, which has interesting geological features and some of the best scenic vistas in the The Last Green Valley.
Participants will learn how much a tree can expand its crown in one year; how to age a pine tree by its branch whorls; the difference between even and uneven aged forests; which tree species are shade tolerant and which are not; and how foresters manipulate sunlight to promote desired seedling regeneration.
In the same family for over 160 years, the Walker family woodland has been managed for recreation, wildlife habitat, and forest products, and it is an excellent example of how working forests can meet the needs of society while simultaneously providing multiple environmental benefits.
Date/Time: October 11, 2014 9 a.m. Address:#1914 Rte. 198 Woodstock, CT. This is the West side of Rte. 198, 2 miles north of the intersection of Routes 197 and 198.
2.) Working Family Forest and Shelterwood Harvest Tour | October 19, 2014, 10 a.m.
Hull forester Chris Casadei will lead this 2-hour walk over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain that was farmed in colonial days, as evidenced by the beautiful stonewalls that still crisscross the land.
Participants will hike the 165-acre property to view and discuss recent forest management activities there, including areas of improvement thinning and a 17-acre first-phase shelterwood harvest designed to remove a declining stand of pine and low quality hardwoods and replace it with upland oak regeneration. This is a great opportunity for anyone considering a shelterwood harvest to get a firsthand look at a textbook example.
Participants will learn what forestry techniques are used to establish a new generation of seedlings from a particular species or group, giving the landowner more control over what regenerates. Other topics include how to protect the health of the residual stand and how income generated over time from the sale of timber can mitigate development pressures on family forestland owners.
Leashed dogs are welcome on this hike.
Date/Time: October 19, 2014, 10 a.m. Address: From Rte. 138 in Griswold, head south on Bethel Road, take the 3rd right on Stetson Road and follow to cul-de-sac, plenty of on-street parking is available.