2012 spring home improvement

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A look at recently updated homes in Whatcom County


  • Wednesday, April 25, 2012The Lynden Tribune & Ferndale Record present

    A supplement of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record

    Home ImprovementHome ImprovementFeaturing

    Don't get messywith septic work ............ C3

    Blending the PNWwith a Tuscan vibe.......... C5

    Beauty in Birch Bay ........ C18


    Birch Bay Beauty

    Vande Kieft

  • SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENTC2 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Ferndale Record

    Difficult Installationshave

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  • C3SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Ferndale Record

    Down and Dirty: Baker Septic offers diverse waste-management services


    7 6 6 3

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    Marnie Jonesfor the Ferndale Record

    FERNDALE Sometimes the sludge flies, according to Baker Septic Tank Pumping marketing manager Lisa Hanley, but with 26 years of experience in septic tank maintenance, the company is well-equipped to provide a necessary, if messy, service. In addition to pumping septic tanks in five counties, installing new septic sys-tems in Whatcom and Skagit counties, and providing licensed inspection services in Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties, the Ferndale-based company provides portable toilets and hand-washing sta-tions for special events, agricultural fields and construction sites. Baker also services waste-processing systems on recreational vehicles. The Baker septic service area now in-cludes Point Roberts as well as Snohomish and San Juan counties. According to Baker Septic owner Jus-tin Wells, whose grandfather David Wells started the company decades ago, an oc-casional loose hose is only one of several dangers his employees might face on any given day. Driving a commercial vehicle has its hazards, he said. And there are, of course, biological threats. Wells, who has personally faced bit-ing dogs and cascading sludge, explained that in addition to bacterial contamina-tion, which calls for lots of hand washing and careful laundering of contaminated garments, there are threats such as the exposed hypodermic needles which are sometimes dropped into the companys portable toilet units. We do extensive safety training be-fore employees are allowed out on their own, Wells said. This is in addition to further weekly safety meetings, where staff focus on a new topic each week. In his hazardous oc-

    cupation, Wells explained, safety has to be a priority. The Baker Septic staff ranges from roughly 11 to 17 individuals according to seasonal needs. However, at its core, it is still a family affair: In addition to Justin

    Wells, who owns the company along with Phil Merwin and Tom Strain, employees include the founders son, Mike Wells, and Mikes wife Jennifer. Office manager Buffy Adams is in-tegral to the staff, while her sister Mandy

    Wages works in scheduling and, according to Hanley, runs a tight ship. Hanley, who has been employed in the Baker Septic office for just two months, describes the

    Baker Septic Tank Pumping employee Dan Rhoads pumps at a Bellingham residence. Ferndale Record | MARK REIMERS

    See SEPTIC on C4

  • SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENTC4 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Ferndale Record


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    team as warm and welcoming. I was their Employee of the Month in March, the marketing manager said. Theyve been so gracious. While Hanleys is a permanent position, the company has also added seasonal staff to help with a busy toi-let rental schedule. While portable toilet rentals keep Baker Septic drivers busy into the summer, septic system installation, servicing, and mainte-nance remain a mainstay for the company. Tank pumping isnt pretty, but its a recession-proof gig, said Justin Wells. Wells said the sludge that his company removes goes to a processing facility to be dewatered, with some of it winding up as agricultural fertilizer on non-food crops. Often, a septic system inspection will result in the happy news that sludge levels are normal, bacterial action is lively, and no pumping is needed. When trouble is detect-ed, however, Wells said, an old adage applies: Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure. For Wells, the work of installing, inspect-ing, and maintaining septic systems is much more than just a necessary evil its a way to support a healthy, local lifestyle. The environmental impact of a septic system is much smaller than that of a sew-age system, he said. Wells describes a septic system as a personal-scale treatment facil-ity, comparing large-scale municipal waste treatment to the agricultural model wherein Whatcom County residents eat lettuce from Texas and Mexico. A septic system is self-sufficient, local and natural, he said. Regardless of advances in chemical and technological processing, Wells said, the natural bacterial processes in a septic system comes out ahead. Theres nothing that can beat good, old-fashioned soil, applied properly, to clean the waste effectively. Baker Septic Tank Pumping has offices at 5703 3rd Ave., in Ferndale. Its phone num-bers are 360-383-0013 (Whatcom County), 360-708-4881 (Skagit County) 360-544-2040 (Island and San Juan counties) and 425-231-6115 (Snohomish County). Email Baker Septic at info@bakersep-ticpumping.com or visit www.bakerseptic.com. Email Marnie Jones at bentbarrow@gmail.com.

    Septic: Get dramatic effects with paint For many people, the onset of spring and summer is the ideal time to take on a home improvement project. Paint is a popular choice for those looking to freshen up their space, given that it is an easy, eco-nomical activity and a fun way to make a dramatic difference. In fact, painting tops spring home im-provement wish lists, according to the 2012 Spring Home Improvement Survey by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. With seven of 10 homeowners who are planning home improvement projects, nearly half (49 percent) cite painting as the most desired need. They say that bedrooms and bathrooms are the first targets for fresh paint (both at 29 percent), followed by liv-ing or family rooms (28 percent). People are looking for more cost-saving ways to enhance their spaces, said NARI chairman Paul Zuch, certified remodeler. Some of the most dramatic transformations are projects like resurfac-ing cabinets or changing kitchen or bath-room hardware, as well as painting the in-terior or exterior of your home. With todays technologies at your fin-gertips, determining the right paint color is easy and anyone can be their own interior decorator.

    Here are some pointers: Choosecolorslikeaprousingcoordi-nated color collections. Its easy to achieve designer looks in your own home with HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, said David Bromstad, HGTV designer. Each of the collections represents a style to match your own, and features colors that work to-gether in any combination. The wallpaper coordinates with the colors and the exte-rior color collections highlight your homes architecture to achieve a harmonious look room to room, inside and out. Seeyourfinishedlookwithoutpick-ing up a brush with Sherwin-Williams color visualizer, where you can digitally re-paint your space, or get inspired with Chip It! (www.letschipit.com), which instantly turns any online image into a color palette using more than 1,500 colors. With the mo-bile ColorSnap app, you can turn anything that inspires you into paint colors. Capture

    an image with your smartphone and you will be able to see the paint color and two complementary colors. Livenupyourlivingareabyrevamp-ing the bedroom, giving new life to an old piece of furniture or staining the deck. Defineyourstyle.Makeastatement

    combining bolder paint colors with their neutral counterparts. Usehigh-qualitymaterials.Spendinga little more at the outset saves money in the long run. For more tips, visit www.National-PaintingWeek.com.

    Paint can brighten a room and your spirits quickly.

  • C5SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Ferndale Record

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    LYNDEN Little remained in doubt for Howard and Maryann Vande Kieft when it came time to build and furnish their Tuscan retreat never mind the fact that the home sits on Lyndens Homestead golf course in a purely Northwest enclave. But since the Vande Kiefts were build-ing purposefully on a view lot, with visions of Mount Baker and the Twin Sister flood-ing the back of the home, they did twist in some definite Northwest flair to an oth-erwise completely Tuscan-influenced de-sign. We planned it out, Maryann