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After 16 years of building for other people, author Steve Mittendorf was thrilled when he got the chance to build his own home on a steep hill on San Juan Island overlooking Puget Sound in the south and Vancouver Island in the north. He and his wife decided on a timber-frame house, a natural for lofty ceilings, long views, and big openings for windows. They gave their timber frame an updated twist by using glulam beams laminated from kiln-dried finger-jointed 2x Douglas fir. To take advantage of the spectacular view to the west, Mittendorf decided to build a deck over the lower living space, which required the careful selection and installation of a membrane. The long, thin house has bump-outs for additional kitchen space and for a window seat overlooking the deck and the water beyond.
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