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WHO WE ARE

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BLACK LOCUST CRAFTSMEN

Black Locust Craftsmen is a small residential construction company, located in Burlington, VT. We work with clients to meet their unique design and building needs. Our approach harkens back to the days of the small town builder, whose work ranged from New Construction and Remodeling to Historic Restoration and Shop-Based Woodworking. We focus on one project at a time to give you our fullest attention. You can expect clear communication, transparency, respect and time-honored craftsmanship, the driving principles of Black Locust Craftsmen.

Whether you envision storage improvements, an heirloom piece of furniture, salvaged doors given a new life, a neglected porch reimagined, or a kitchen built with generations in mind, we will work together to realize your project. Attention to detail is paramount. Your project emerges out of the unique requirements of site, space, time and budget.

VISION

Relationships are formed over time, built on trust and respect. Our work takes shape through these connections. Our building process allows space for the practical, mechanical, and work of necessity; as well as the beautiful, detail-rich work that will add depth to the day-to-day. These qualities are intertwined in a double helix of form and function, a marriage of utility and beauty, epitomizing what we know is Craftwork.

FOUNDER

Nathaniel Plasha is a carpenter, joiner and cabinet maker with 15 years of experience in Fine Home Building. His building process is informed by traditional machine and hand tool techniques, honesty of materials and a focus on wood species of New England. Late Victorianism, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Classic Modernism are starting points for his design perspective. Whether providing aesthetic pleasure, contemplation, efficiency or utility, he believes in the art of time-honored craftsmanship, and brings a focus of head, hands, and heart to his projects.

Nate has been living in Burlington, VT since 1997. When not building for others, he can be found making furniture for his family, portaging through Adirondack canoe trails, or riding his classic motorcycle through Vermont’s mountain passes.

 

HOW WE WORK

 

All projects start with a site visit, during which we determine your project’s scope, time frame, and budgetary constraints. This meeting serves to establish a vision for your project. As we progress, you can expect responsiveness and clear communication.

We embrace a sustainable building approach, preferring to use local resources and craftspeople. This allows us to reinvest in our vibrant local economy.
Just like building, design can be detail-rich or simple and concise. The extent is determined by your project. Having a clear vision and plan enables everyone involved to see exactly what it is we are building. Typically, design work is part of the overall project cost. However, we also offer this as a stand-alone service.

Most of our work is within an hour radius of Burlington, however, we do make exceptions  for special projects in New England. 

 

TYPE OF WORK

NEW CONSTRUCTION

New Construction projects start with a blank slate: a home in need of more space, an empty wall waiting for a run of cabinetry, a kitchen minus its hutch, a shaded part of the yard beckoning a deck, a garden without its shed.

This is our Design Process: together we will experiment with the possibilities of what could be. Referencing current and historic examples, a picture will emerge that is decidedly unique. New Construction projects are typically a fixed price, determined and agreed upon prior to work commencing.

 

REMODELING

Remodeling projects can be large or small, simple or complex. As with preservation carpentry, there can be strong parameters, such as existing rooms or architectural features that cannot be altered.  However, within these constraints, rooms can be gutted, walls moved, fixtures relocated, floors restore, insulation added, and new utilities run.

Sometimes these projects call for design work and zoning or building permits. A balance of practicality, creativity, and flexibility drive remodeling work.

PRESERVATION CARPENTRY

Preservation carpentry jobs have strong preexisting parameters, such as siding or architectural details, windows or doors with particular characteristics, or porches with turnings no longer mass-produced. What can we save? Where do we stop?  What needs to be fabricated new? What can be rebuilt? These are questions that we answer based on our knowledge and experience. Much of this type of work is time and material based.

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