Friday, May 28, 2010

May Profile: EcobuildersNY

Building is in the genes of the Najdek family of Millerton, New York. As residents of this Hudson Valley community for ten generations, the Najdek's have been makers of fine furniture, cabinetry, and homes. As the third generation of builders in the family, Donald Najdek worked for many years in high end home construction throughout the Hudson Valley. In 2007, realizing a changing landscape in his industry, Donald began to rethink his building methods of the past. On December 1 of that year he made the decision to take his business in a new direction and EcoBuildersNY was born.

Donald's vision was to continue creating beautiful spaces for his clients, but re-think the science behind the construction of these spaces. Like the generations of builders before him, Donald wanted to build sound structures he knew would last for years to come.

Today, EcoBuilders' range of capabilities are extensive. Donald and his crew of seven full time employees complete projects from rehabilitation of historic homes to design of contemporary residences, pool houses, cabanas, decks, and even projects as small as changing out fixtures. Donald's goal is to provide each client with his undivided attention regardless of the size or scope of their project. He not only acts as a general contractor and builder, but also as a consultant to home owners, professional architects and designers. Researching and understanding the best alternatives for each project are the core of his mission. Donald is committed to utilizing high performance, energy efficient, and when possible, locally produced building materials.

In addition to smart construction, job site waste and energy conservation are of key importance to EcoBuilders. At each of their job sites, rather than setting up one large dumpster, many small dumpsters are put in place so that waste materials may be separated. By segregating all waste when it is initially removed, recyclables can be easily delivered to larger recycling facilities and clients realize significant savings by returning materials that may be repurposed (ie. concrete, metal materials and 'clean' wood).

EcoBuilders strives to conserve energy at their sites by generating their own power as often as possible. One of their trailers is equipped with solar electric panels and a battery bank system for power generation. This system decreases the need for fossil fuel powered generators and also works particularly well at sites where access to power is limited or during times when electricity must be turned off at a job site.

EcoBuildersNY is a great example of how today's builders are rethinking building practices and making our homes more comfortable while also minimizing our carbon footprints. This ensures a healthy way of life for us and generations to come.

To learn more about EcoBuildersNY please visit Donald Najdek may be contacted at 845.233.0928 or

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wood question of the week

How many board feet are in a board measuring 1 inch x 6 inches x 8 feet?
a. 8 BF
b. 12 BF
c. 4 BF

Answer: C, 4 BF
Board footage is calculated by multiplying (Length (feet) x Width (inches) x Thickness (inches)) and dividing by 12.
In this case: (8 feet x 6 inches x 1 inch) /12 = 4

*Note: Width and Thickness are nominal, so in this case 6" width and 1" thickness. In the lumber industry, "nominal" and "finished" dimensions are different. Nominal dimensions are the original measurements of the board in its rough state. Finishing the board (making it smooth and/or adding a profile) removes small amounts of wood material therefore diminishing the nominal dimension. A nominal 1x6 board will have "finished" dimensions of 13/16" x 5 1/4" (or somewhere in this range, depending on the manufacturer and their equipment).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Refinishing your wood deck

With the summer months fast approaching, you may be looking for a way to spruce up your outdoor space. Refinishing a wood deck is a simple do-it-yourself project that will give your home a fresh new look.

Steps to take:

1. Wash/power wash your deck.

2. Sand your deck and railings taking extra care in areas where the wood has splintered.

3. Apply stain and/or outdoor sealer to your deck depending on the look you'd like to achieve.

Sit back and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wood question of the week

What specie of wood is most often used for making baseball bats?

Answer: Most wooden bats are made from White Ash, but in recent years Maple has become a popular option. This trend started with the success Barry Bonds had with maple bats during the 2001 season.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wood question of the week

What pest is affecting northeastern Hemlock trees?

Answer: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is related to aphids. These pests extract sap and nutrients from hemlock foliage which prevents new growth. Hemlocks may die within 4 years or persist in a weakened state for many years. Currently 20 countie...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

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