Bob Vail: Wood geek

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We sat down to talk to Bob Vail, president of Vail General Contracting about sustainability, Eastern White Pine, a techniques for building tight, quiet and amazing homes.  Read Bob’s questions after the video.

How long have you been working with wood?

All my life. I’ve been in business for 35 years, and started working with wood when I was a child.

What is it about wood that you love and appreciate?

It’s just natural. It’s an appreciation for American history and the lasting qualities of wood. All you have to do is look at old public buildings; look at a piece of furniture that’s been passed from one generation to the next to see the value. Some of my most prized possessions are pieces of beautiful wood furniture that’s been passed down through my family to me. New England has fabulous architecture that dates back from the early days of our country; it’s all wood, and it’s still here.

Wood is something you connect with, whether you’re building a building or a ship; it’s incredible to see the creations that can be made with wood.

Wood projects aren’t something you replace every 10 years like a car. Even the worst-built homes will last 200 years!

Favorite wood project?

My own home will always be one of my favorites, because it represents me and my work. I’m not afraid to take any of my clients into my home to show them what I can do. I built the kitchen cabinets, the mantel, the whole house.

Where do you think wood fits into today’s home improvement/building industries?

We talk about preservation and being green and what’s good for the environment. Wood is a renewable resource that, under proper stewardship and use, means we don’t have to deplete our forests. We can use wood wisely and it will support and sustain us forever. We build with it, we’re artists with it, and it’s strong and beautiful and renewable and it lasts. It’s the greenest thing going!

 

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