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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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Presented by the Lynden Tribune & Ferndale Record

SPRING

home garden

Featuring The Curry Home ...............C3 The Caroff Home ..............C10


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Spring Home & Garden

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Spring Home & Garden

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Hidden garden grew on a nautical theme Curry family property off Sunrise Road, evolving since 1974, will soon be for sale By Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune

   CUSTER — Barb and John Curry’s home and garden are a bit hard to find. They will have to grant access, but it is worth the feeling of walking onto the pages of Better Homes and Garden magazine.    A long driveway off Sunrise Road in north Whatcom County follows a field and then a hedge lining the garden’s edge, lending a sense of boundary to those within and privacy from the world without. The Currys have lived in the English-inspired Tudorstyled home since it was built in 1974. Soon they will relocate to a condo with views of water in South Bellingham and their “garden” will have to be in container form.   The 2,064-square-foot home (not counting basement) has held up well over the decades, in part due to the family’s three now-grown children having a dedicated play space in a basement recreation room and also the “top-notch” builder, Ron Kaaland, they originally used, Barb said. Kaaland, now deceased, encouraged them to use the best of materials and it made a big difference as the years went by.    First impressions are a heavy boattimbered door — burned and stained by a friend — at entry leading into a spacious living room with a large-stoned fireplace to the left and a dining room beyond in the corner. The red-tiled kitchen and its cozy nook are straight ahead with further steps down to a

The garden, its gazebo and assorted nautical items have been put together over 43 years as a place of quiet retreat for Barb Curry and family. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

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Spring Home & Garden TV area by a wood stove where John likes to sit with his coffee. Knotty pine wood paneling gives a cabin-like feel to this space. Stairs to the three bedrooms are to the right of entry. The master bedroom, with a bath, has steps in its corner to one of the attics. Special treasures from her children’s lives were kept there until they were old enough to have them in their own homes.    The wallpaper, selected for a 1970s home, still seems relevant. Barb has never tired of it. The hard oak floors, never replaced or refurbished in all these years, look new. They have been maintained with waxing every few years. The rec room, accessed through a door in the garage, has a beautiful tin ceiling with a copper-colored finish. Built-in bookcases line one wall. Storage for games is against another wall. Exposed aggregate flooring extends through the garage into the laundry and adjoining powder room.    Previously, the home had more photos of family and art from collections, but that has been thinned to disperse to family and to better show the home to prospective buyers. The larger attic, accessed by a hallway pull-down stair, contained numerous totes of Christmas décor.

An old rowboat with fishing gear conveys the Curry family’s close ties to the fishing industry. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

The Garden    But the Garden is what earns its own special attention.    It can be seen from each room of the house through larger-than-usual picture windows. Even the attic and the restroom off the laundry afford breathtaking views, with distinct elements carefully framed. A bicycle by a tree. A boat anchored into a pretend beach. A gazebo, built in the 2000s, like an island in the middle of the garden. A rivulet, a tributary of Dakota Creek, hurrying by full of spring water.    Closer up, more small flowers reveal themselves. Flowering trees stand out. More nautical things appear. Glass balls. Driftwood. The gazebo contains quilts, play swords, small castles and seashells artfully

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Spring Home & Garden

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Spring Home & Garden

Birds and wildlife can find habitat in the lush expanse of the Curry acreage as well. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

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arranged. A children’s play area is set up behind one of the hedges above the creek.    Forty-three years ago, the trees were smaller, of course. The landscape was different. The Currys found this property by looking for evergreen trees, a creek, and to be away from the road.    “Things grew up around us,” Barb says.    As she talks, the clouds shift and the natural light accents another section of the garden.    The first plantings were closer to and around the home and geared for shade. John, whom she married 49 years ago this June, retired from commercial fishing two years ago. His last fishing vessel was the F/V Reality. A love of all things nautical, which has sustained their family, is especially showcased in the garden. Alongside the garage to the right, a wooden boardwalk was put in above larger beach rocks when grass didn’t fare well there. A rowboat, originally belonging to John’s father, has a permanent resting place there. Bits and pieces of this and that were brought in over the years from visits to the shoreline, from friends and family.    From a brick patio you are able to wander farther beyond into the garden.    The whole family can claim a connection to the water. John and Barb met as children living on Lummi Island. Their two

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden daughters Chantel and Nicole, now in their 40s, started working on their dad’s fishing boats at an early age, usually going to the waters of southeast Alaska. (Today, Nicole, with a partner, has the fishing troller Karen L that operates out of LaPush. Barb says they sell to exclusive inns and restaurants such as The Willows on Lummi Island.) Son Lance, some years younger, eventually joined the family fishing livelihood too.    “It put them through college,” Barb said. At the end of a season, their money earned would be put directly into a college fund. Likewise, Barb fished alongside the girls when they were pre-teen, for shorter stints over five seasons, and her money went toward the garden as it expanded as well as the lawn, light fixtures, the play area and a grand piano for the house.    The garden took more shape and refinement via classes with Susan Schwiesow, owner of The Garden Room in Bellingham. When the Curry children were in high school, they helped to remove grass and haul in soil.    “I’m not a perfect gardener,” Barb said, although a viewer might wish to differ. She has leaned toward allowing nature to enjoy a stronger presence in her space, such as flowers that have reseeded themselves. The hellebores, prolific this spring, “love their spot a lot.”

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The rec room has a copper-colored tin ceiling, built-in bookcases and exposed aggregate floor. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

   She sees what she’s planted now mixed with what nature has wrought. “I love them blending.”    When friends ask if she is sad to leave it all, she replies with a firm, “No, I’m ready

to downsize.” As she will have less home and garden to care for, there will be more time for grandchildren. Instead of the playground section of her yard to romp in, they can go to Boulevard Park.

   Note: The property will be marketed at 34.55 acres with the home. It will only be seen by appointment. The family will be keeping some acreage in the area.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Spring Home & Garden

Taylor’s wants to enable your backyard relaxation From pools to barbecues, and more, Lynden firm welcomes warm weather By Nick Elges sports@lyndentribune.com

   LYNDEN — After a long and in many ways bizarre winter, the spring and summer seasons in 2017 feel like an especially deserved treat. Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy the warmer weather — when it finally does arrive on a consistent basis — is in the comfort of your own backyard.    If you already own or are looking to buy a pool or spa to help in that relaxing process, Taylor’s Backyard Center provides installation and maintenance of such units. The company also sells and offers installation service on fencing, driveway gates, hand railings and other outdoor living amenities that go along with backyard dreams.    Since 1994, Taylor’s has operated as a small, family-owned business on Van Dyk Road. It was started by Bob and Debra

Taylor, and although son Jesse Taylor and daughter-in-law Samantha Taylor have taken over the helm more in recent years, the founders are still definitely involved.    Debra Taylor, whose main duty today is keeping the books, estimates the company has about 100 active clients per year. This season, Taylor’s is quite busy with a backed-up schedule caused by the unusual winter and wet spring. The long waiting list makes it imperative for pool owners to think ahead.    “The biggest thing is if you are looking to purchase a swimming pool or looking to get your pool open for the summer, now is the time to do it,” Debra Taylor said. “Be proactive and don’t wait until the week before Memorial Day weekend to get your pool open.”    When the ground freezes and the rain is heavy, pouring concrete and digging walls for the pools becomes a difficult task. So with the way it has been in the past several months, several people who were booked last year for installation or other service on their pools are still on the waiting list.    Taylor’s also offers free water testing

— no previous purchase with the company needed — and same-day response in emergency maintenance situations.    “Owning a pool is a lot more work than most people imagine until they have one,” Taylor said.    When it comes to what a pool can add to a home, however, the value may be inestimable.    “We’ve seen people who put pools in

their homes because it brings the family together,” Debra Taylor said. “We have found that it adds a new dimension to your home.”    If you are looking to set up an appointment with Taylor’s, you can call 360-7560909 or email info@taylorindustries.com. Or learn more about the company online at www.taylorindustries.com or just come by the store at 1071 Van Dyk Rd.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

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DUPI club digs up, puts in for education ‘Digger Uppers and Putter Inners’ has roots going back to 1945 By Brent Lindquist brent@lyndentribune.com

FERNDALE — The DUPI Garden Club began in Ferndale more than 70 years ago, and the Cline family has been involved in some capacity for much of that time. DUPI, which stands for “Digger Uppers and Putter Inners,” began in 1945, and its members work to promote beautification of homes and grounds. “We’re an educational club,” current club president Sherry Cline said. Cline’s grandmother, Esther Hand, was never a member of DUPI, but many of her friends from around the north county were back in 1945, and she found herself quite involved with DUPI’s activities. “One of their big projects was picking flowers out of their gardens for Me-

morial Day,” said Linda Cline, Sherry’s mother and Hand’s daughter. “They always picked the irises and the snowballs. Nowadays, those things aren’t even blooming around Memorial Day anymore.” Education is the main focus of DUPI. The club meets on the third Tuesday of each month September through May at United Church of Ferndale. Each meeting features a different topic to learn about. The group’s April meeting, for example, dealt with square-foot gardening. The Mount Baker Orchid Society also visited recently. March’s topic was the history of house plants. When the club’s meeting schedule finishes in May, the field trips begin. Throughout the summer, DUPI leads trips to various destinations, keeping the emphasis on education. The club donates to local food banks, and has a presence at the Old Settlers Picnic in Pioneer Park each year. “We have a flower show during Old Settlers, down at Pioneer Pavilion,”

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dents about gardening and its benefits. DUPI doesn’t have a Facebook page or a website, but anybody interested in participating can call Sherry Cline at 384-4262.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

A unique design into new Northwest home Mike Caroff had his own definite design ideas that Gerrit Dykstra, others turned into reality By Calvin Bratt editor@lyndentribune.com

The Caroffs’ Northwest retirement home was all Mike’s design, carried out for the most part by local builders and suppliers. Points of intersection of wall to foundation, and wall to window or door, required some special crafting of a joint. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

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   WHATCOM — Design and art and craftsmanship define who Mike Caroff is. For 15 years he was a senior designer for Cooper-Pacific Kitchens. He builds furniture. He is an accomplished wildlife photographer.    So when Caroff retired from Southern California to Whatcom County in 2013, by instinct he already had his dream home well established in mind. He had built a small scale model of it. He just needed to find the right people up here to make it happen.   He did.    Another retiree friend in the Northwest recommended that Caroff’s first contact should be to Gerrit Dykstra, veteran Lynden custom builder, and it proved to be the right call. From the owners’ unique concepts through all the stages of construction with subcontractors and suppliers, Dykstra and company delivered a central county home, off Mission Road, for Mike and Ruth Caroff to move into in June 2015.    Caroff knows his design may not be for everyone, but it definitely fits his “aesthetic sensitivity” and achieves goals he had developed over decades, he said.    “Conceptually in this house, there has been virtually full planning — except perhaps the placement of the lights — that


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was clear in my mind,” he said.    For instance, the kitchen area where the couple will begin a day is fully open to the eastern morning sun, while the living room where they relax in the evening takes advantage of setting sun.    The garage is drive-through — no backing up needed. And for a pair that continues to pursue their artistic impulses, each gets half of a linked workshop building that they can walk to under cover even in a Northwest rain. Coming here    After 38 years in and around Los Angeles, the Caroffs literally wanted to get off the beaten trail. “It was time to trade in asphalt for forest,” he said.    Mike was born with some pedigree in design. His father is Joseph Caroff, who most famously created the 007 logo for James Bond (but doesn’t always get credit for it). He is “still going strong at age 95” in New York City, his son said.    Mike’s 28 years in kitchen design with three different companies was all about “fulfilling other people’s dreams,” not his own — especially in terms of practicality. He did enjoy the interaction with people, but of course not the inevitable job complications.    When he visited the former co-worker

The Caroffs can walk from their living space, left, into workshop and artist studios, right, without feeling a raindrop. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

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Spring Home & Garden

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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here, Mike realized that northwest Washington put him close to the ski slopes of Mt. Baker — he’s still schussing at at age 69 — and also amongst birds and wildlife for his camera shooting. The Caroffs started looking at property that was open enough for good sun exposure but far enough from neighbors that no one would be bothered when Mike got his woodworking saw blades a-whirring.    “I wanted to be out of town, but close enough to the necessities of life,” he said.    They settled on five acres with a road, a well and electricity all put in, and it was laid out just fine directionally for Mike’s house plans too. A unique design    On first talking with Dykstra, Caroff brought up his design perspective that “good design is the elimination of the extraneous.” That meant, for instance, that he wanted no casing or trim around doors and windows, no baseboards.    “I didn’t want anything extraneous. What it does is cleans it up, particularly in the interaction of all the little stuff.” Caroff did a drawing of what he had in mind for the juncture of window to wall “and to their credit they came up with a solution to that,” he says of the builders.    Dykstra enlisted a former employee

All elements in the living room, from wall unit to couch, are positioned in alignment with the floor tiling. (Calvin Bratt/ Lynden Tribune)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Upstairs, green plants get their dose of skylight sun. (Courtesy photo)

Spring Home & Garden and now residential draftsman, Gerald Veltkamp of Homeward Design in Lynden, to draw up the complete plans needed to get building permits and a crew started on the Caroff house on Sept. 25, 2014.    The project took exactly nine months. Almost every day, Mike was on site from the couple’s interim rental to watch and photograph the progress.    Caroff appreciates that Gerrit Dykstra — on what the builder agrees may be his last full house project — was willing to try some things he hadn’t done before in a lifetime of custom building.    Take the floor tile, for instance. Twofeet-square porcelain pieces set the dimension of the main living area, at 50 feet by 24 feet, divided by the stairway up. Veltkamp says that he had never quite drawn a place according to the tile size, as here, and nowhere do the internal walls overlap or intrude upon the square patterns across the floor.    The exact lining-up also applies to the 14-foot couch and walnut-fronted wall unit already in place in the living room — Mike’s creation, of course — and will hold true for the bookcase he is still building to go behind the couch. Everything honors the dimensions of the tiles. Radiant heat is underneath.    The Caroffs had always liked the bowed roofs they saw in older warehouse and industrial buildings. They got that effect in the exposed timber framing done by the Cascade Joinery for the second floor. The upstairs has a master bedroom and guest bedroom at its opposite ends, with separate offices for Mike and Ruth in the middle.    He designed the stairway wide enough to be fitted with a motorized transport lift — if needed in their old age, Mike says with a laugh.    Ruth was the one to say that a consistent light gray interior paint color was “too much,” so that all in one morning the painters added the mint green on the stair-

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Spring Home & Garden

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C16 way and second floor that, yes, now everyone likes.    In all, the house has 15 separate skylights. The uppermost ones let in sunshine to a row of plants lining the upstairs hallway.    As to lighting, that is the one area where Mike expected some tweaking from his thorough planning. For more sunlight control to the west, the Caroffs ended up adding blinds along with a few other things “for the comfort of living here,” he said.    Originally, a basement was planned. That got jettisoned when it became known that a building of 4,000 square feet would need a sprinkler system. It is instead 3,998 square feet, with the workshop/studio areas slightly larger than planned.    Out in his wood shop, Mike is building a larger replacement of his kitchen table of 20 years ago. He is also creating head and foot boards for their master bed. “Everything is a work in progress,” he notes, allowing room for the new ideas still percolating in his mind.    He tapped “lots of sources” for this house, Mike agrees. The extensive kitchen cabinetry is a textured laminate from his former employer, Cooper-Pacific. The floor tile also is from California — he calculated it was worth the transport cost.    Mike came across the exterior wood,

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

a clear cedar, at a Los Angeles show. It is treated with a warranteed transparent stain that handles the weather well and should last for 25 years. On the exterior, as inside, there was to be no trim at the juncture of wall to foundation, and Dykstra builders again had to craft something, a metal flange cap, that they hadn’t before. Settling in    The house is a gallery to display some of Ruth’s unique artwork as well. Her specialty is “wildlife sculptural painting,” three-dimension representations of snow geese, wolves and elephants in a way that feels like they are moving off the wall toward you.    Ruth’s at-home studio not only is her working environment — it is also where two Swedish blue ducks have free run.    Blanco, an aging poodle-terrier mix, is Mike's companion around the place.    Both Ruth and Mike exhibit and sell their artwork at a premium level. They have been in the Jansen Art Center of Lynden and they are eager to find out more about potential outlets in the Northwest.    They feel that they are adapting to the wetter more moderate climate, knowing it delivers a great outdoor environment for their interests and gave them the setting for their new home.

Retired from Southern California, Mike remains avid in wildlife photography here. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)


Spring Home & Garden

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring is

in the Air! And Our Garden Centers are NOW OPEN! On Saturday, April 1st, we celebrated the arrival of spring with the grand re-opening of the CHS Northwest Garden Centers. We’ve loaded up on exciting new products, beautiful plants and trees and luscious ceramic pots. Come take a stroll through one of our great CHS Northwest Garden Centers and get inspired! The stores are full of everything you need to make your yard a true showcase!

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

Bringing the old back to life

You might scarcely recognize the Markel house on Lingbloom Road from its core original (left) to final current look. (Courtesy photos)

Draftsman Clyde Libolt delights in home transformation projects By Ashley Hiruko ashley@lyndentribune.com

WHATCOM — Clyde Libolt started his residential drafting business in 2004. After years of drawing up plans for customers, Libolt has hit a landmark. He just invoiced his 900th project. His work can be seen around the county. Some of the beautiful houses on Lynden’s Bradley Ridge were drafted by Libolt’s own hands. The Woods Coffee at Boulevard Park in Bellingham was first an old structure brought back to life in his sketches. Other remodels, transforming old homes into cohesive buildings meshing the old with the new, are scattered

around the area.    “Sometimes the house may be tired and the materials are outdated, but it still has character,” Libolt said about remodels. “The people want to remodel their house because they enjoy the neighborhood and they don’t want to move. They want to stay where they are at.” At 1134 Lingbloom Rd. east of Ferndale live Greg and Patty Markel. Their home was a two-bedroom, one-bath 800-square-foot house originally built in 1949. It had a hip roof, meaning all sides sloped down toward the walls. “I guess it was a square box,” Greg Markel said of his property before it was remodeled. “[There was] nothing very remarkable about it, but it had pretty good bones when we bought it.” When the Markels decided to purchase the property in 2004, they were up against numerous other people bidding on it. It was during an upswing in the

housing market. The Markels ultimately won out with the sellers, not because they had bid remarkably higher but because they agreed to remodel the house instead of tear it down, as many of the other intended buyers planned to do. “The owners were an older couple,” Greg Markel said. “They were in their 80s and the mindset they had was you make do with what you had. You don’t needlessly throw things away. The house that was there was restorable and they didn’t want to see it torn down. Nostalgia, I guess, if you will.” Libolt was added to the mix and came up with a remodeling plan. It took the couple three years, from start to finish, to complete the project, transforming the “square box” into a split-level home with a new enclosed garage, two more bedrooms, office space and an open staircase that greets visitors at the front door.

“Everything really flows very nicely. We were just very happy with the design we ended up with,” Greg Markel said. One difficulty of remodeling homes is to get the finished product to appear cohesive. “How do we do that to another home, built with different material (and) different construction type, and make it look like it’s brand-new?” Libolt said. “A big challenge a lot of the time is the roof. How do we make the roof blend so it looks like it was built that way?” Michael and Charlene Hornstra’s house at 9022 Jackman Rd. had been redone a couple of times across decades before Libolt was tasked with drawing up plans for a new remodel. “Looking at the ‘before’ and ‘after,’ you would never know it was the same house,” Libolt said. “They did a great job on the construction end of it.” The garage flat roof was difficult to


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Before The house of years ago at 9022 Jackman Rd., Lynden, was adequate for a small farm in its time. (Courtesy photo)

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Spring Home & Garden work around, he said, but with his background in roof trusses, Libolt was able to draw up plans for an added new master bedroom and bath. Libolt’s profession doesn’t stray far from what he was doing to begin with. He thought of becoming a woodshop teacher and graduated with a degree in industrial education from Washington State University. But in student teaching, he realized it wasn’t for him. After marrying and living in Seattle, Libolt missed the feeling of Lynden. He began working for Louws Truss Inc. in 1992. His job focused on coming up with an estimate of costs for trusses needed to build a house or addition onto an existing building. Customers would bring in draft plans. They all varied in quality and some would lead to customers spending more money down the line. “Some of the farmers did good plans,” Libolt said. “Some of the architects did really bad plans.” Libolt was convinced he could produce a better product. He spent two years learning AutoCAD, a drafting software used to create blueprints, and soon changed jobs to work in contractor sales at Westside Building Supply. For some time he earned his chops by selling and purchasing windows, doors, lumber and hardware. He learned

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

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C22 about windows, sewer systems and other components that go into a house. After three years of that, he was ready to go on his own. He began his Libolt Residential Drafting Inc., composed of himself alone. “I’m a one-man band here,” he said. “I don’t have any employees and I’m working over 40 projects all at the same time.” Some could say Clyde’s path was almost predestined. His uncle Willis Libolt drew up plans for years at Vander Griend Lumber, a company in Lynden since 1939. In that era, lumber companies would often draft up a house cheaply or for free, as long as you bought the lumber from them. “Plans back then were very simple and drawn by hand,” Libolt said. “They didn’t require nearly as much detail as the county or the cities require now. They were very simple three-page plans and today it’s very difficult to get it under eight pages with all the detail you need.” Libolt soon came across one of his uncle’s original projects, and was tasked with remodeling it. Just down the road from the Hornstras’ place, at 8927 Jackman Rd., sat a house drafted by Willis Libolt and owned by Sal and Della Biondolillo. Libolt’s plans added a garage and a bonus room to the home his uncle had drawn up years be-

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

Spring Home & Garden

After The transformation to the Hornstras’ house of today is really a complete remake. (Courtesy photos) fore. “[My uncle] drew the plans for a lot of houses around here clear into his 80s,” Libolt said. “At the end of his career he was

very encouraging of me in doing what I’m doing. He had told me that the amount of requirements of cities and counties were just overwhelming and he had to bow out

at that point.” Libolt will continue the legacy left behind in the houses of Whatcom County and will soon invoice his 901st project.

LANDSCAPE MULCH


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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