Porches and Decks
Additions and Dormers
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Barns, Silos and Bridges
Stone Patios, Walks and Walls
Oddities and Painting
Interior Projects

Sure, I enjoy renting a man toy, especiaIIy with a Iot of digging or grading to do.  This job invoIved both-digging out aIong a buiIding where the earth was piIed too high and causing rot, and then removing an oId decrepit retaining waII and regrading this inner city back yard.

Residential, Light Commercial and Farm Restoration, Renovation and Construction
With over 30 years in design and construction, I'm pleased to introduce a synopsis of my work, my general mission, and photo-journals of past jobs.

I am proud to have added a presence on Thumbtack too, in 2015, with the following link:

http://www.thumbtack.com/ny/east-chatham/windows/construction-home-remodeling-services">General Contractor<./a>

You can reach me at (518) 392-6956, or contact me at my e-mail address: stevedahlin@hotmail.com 

Brief Overview
My company was established in 1990 and has been providing outstanding work ever since. I specialize in residential and small commercial building and design/building. My customers particularly value my diverse areas of expertise, including all phases of construction, in new buildings, renovation, reuse, and restoration, together with long experience in the aesthetic, technical and structural aspects of design. I am located in East Chatham, NY 12060, and typically travel up to a 50 of 60 mile radius for building work, but design work can be done at greater distances. 

Design vs. Build
While I enjoy designing the work I do, and there is a useful efficiency in having the designer do the work, I am comfortable doing the work of other designers or designing work for other builders.  While I arrived there (in the design-build field) having "evolved" into it, there are some in the industry today that say design-build is a viable model for the future.

Farmboy does College

Raised in farm country and with uncles and other relatives in the building trades, Steve was exposed to carpentry from childhood (alas, no pictures are available of his early work, such as a downhill go-cart with steering, executed in wood, or a catapult fashioned from popsicle sticks).  In college, 2 years of civil engineering proved interesting but not inspiring, and he left for Texas and for work remodeling houses with his brother.  Soon, being near UT Austin, he discovered their degree program in Architectural Engineering.  Before long, he was back at school and studying building structures, energy systems, building materials, and, in the UT school of architecture, architectural history and passive solar design. His Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering is one result of those years of study.

Austin to Boston
Steve moved to Boston around 1987 and worked for two years with Simpson Gumpertz and Heger,consulting engineers, in their Building Technology Division, where he focused on roofing and waterproofing and building envelope issues, in diagnosis and remediation.  Then, moving to the Seattle area, he worked another two years in Everett, WA for a small structural design firm, doing structural design in wood, steel and concrete, on structures such as houses, light commercial buildings and marine structures. 

Back to the Field
Mr.Dahlin then “retired” from engineering and started a business in remodeling construction.  In Seattle, he became  known by the Seattle City Building Department and was on their “expedite” list so that he could bring in a set of plans for an extensive remodeling job, and it would be rushed through their intensive permit process and he would walk out with a permit in a couple of hours.  He performed this design work, doing architectural and structural design and drawings, for two other contractors in Seattle as well as for his own work.   

New York Bound
In October 2001 Mr. Dahlin drove onto the west end of I-90, at the shores of the Pacific Ocean, and headed east, getting off just short of the Mass border, to settle near Chatham, NY.  Starting in restoration in old houses, he soon branched into a wider variety of work.  

In the convening years, I've become proficient at tree trimming, generators, sump pumps and other pump installations.

One-of-a-kind Jobs
With tongue in one cheek, Steve will remark that he specializes in doing things he’s never done before.  More precisely, let's say, there  was no one else around to do a particular unusual job that the customer needed, and Steve said “well,sure, I could do that.”  For example, note the conical silo roof (see "Barns"), the curving skywalk at the geodesic dome house (see "Additions"), or the choir risers that fit onto the marble steps at the church (see "Oddities").  

New vs. Old Work
On the other hand, I have done quite a few jobs that resembled past jobs, like porches, bathrooms, kitchens and houses.  And yes, they are easier to estimate.  Estimating new construction may be nearly an exact science, and I enjoy the faster rhythm of new work when I do it, but renovation presents more creative challenges and allows us to work with the charm of old buildings.   

Work that "Disappears"
In restoration, my mission is typically to make something look right instead of deficient.  And when I'm done, it only looks as it was supposed to all along, and probably just like it did when it was new.  So it has a tendency to “disappear” because it’s only conspicuous if it’s wrong…….. Therefore, an owner needs to keep in mind the work that was required to restore it, and perhaps should keep a photo documentary of the “before” and “during” as well as the finished product. 

Green Work? Solar?
We have been able to purchase local lumber from local mills for some jobs, and prefer to shop locally rather than from big box stores. We also try to reuse or recycle old materials whenever practicable. The "Greenest" things you can do to an existing house are: 1. Preserving and modernizing it as opposed to demolishing and replacing it, and 2. Upgrading it's insulation and weatherstripping. 

As for Solar, I'm equipped and qualified to design passive solar or water heating features.  After all, the sun's heat is free, if you get it, and new passive solar design can be very inexpensive, if you're building a wall facing southward with a roof overhang and a floor and windows anyway.