Not Much to Report

Do I have a loan? No. I have three banks working on it, I’ve paid for more appraisals. The most recent appraisal was the highest yet, putting my loan-to-value (LTV) at 44%, and yet still no finalized loan. I do have “preliminary approvals” at two banks but I’ve heard that before.

Business is doing good to the point where I’d almost be there to just self finance, and I think perhaps in another year (maybe two) I could indeed to do that, not need a bank at all, but I don’t want to wait, still, you’d think with my strong financials getting a loan would be the least of my problems.

I have however recently done two interesting things. The first is I found a coppersmith to make me a custom copper sink. I found them on eBay actually and I asked them if they could customize one of their designs. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It is a large copper farm house style apron sink with two bowls and 5 square quatrefoils on the front. There is a slight concavity to the front face, which will allow it to blend in nicely with our countertops, which are curved along the outside wall of one of the towers. See the kitchen post. This was $1500, which if you’ve ever priced out as sink like this is a great deal, of course I bought it direct from the fabricator, not from a middleman.

My Custom Copper Sink

My Custom Copper Sink

The second thing I bought is a sconce. This is also a custom design. I saw this light fixture at Disney world hanging off Cinderella’s castle and I had to have it. Of course that one was maybe 6 feet tall, mine is half the size, but it has all the style. What I particularly liked was that it didn’t have a fake candle. I’m not a big fan of fake candle light fixtures, I like the light bulb to be enclosed in shaded glass or something (in the case of my sconce it is mica, which is technically a rock, just a sort of flexible rock crystal they can cut so thin as to make it pliable). Glass shades give you greater flexibility in bulb types as well. I also liked how the metal came up and formed a basket around the glass. Finally, and importantly. I liked the angle of it. I see a lot of “torch” sconces where the torch is held parallel to the wall, but I don’t think that is period correct and I simply also prefer the look where the torch angles away from the wall. This thing is custom made in Texas, is solid steel, 3 feet long, weighs a good deal, has a nice antique finish on it. $380, I am getting a little bit of a discount because I’m buying in bulk. We’re going to need a bunch of these sconces all around the 1st floor interior. Neat huh, and I also think it is a good deal.

This is my sconce, there are many like it but this one is mine.

This is my sconce, there are many like it but this one is mine.

My Sconce, Front View

My Sconce, Front View

My Sconce, Side View

My Sconce, Side View

The inspiration for my sconce, see on Cinderalla's Castle at Disney World.

The inspiration for my sconce, see on Cinderalla’s Castle at Disney World.

My sconce was done by Iron Gallery LLC, I shopped around and they gave me the best deal and all told I’m super impressed by the quality of the work. In addition to doing lighting they do other things like doors, and I tell you what it is really hard to find giant metal 10 ft x 4.5 ft gothic arch castle doors on the shelf at home depot, and we plan to use this same company to do both some of our other light fixtures (like the ginormous one in the great hall) but our custom doors as well. Actually one of the doors I picked was one of their stock doors, if you browse their site maybe you’ll find it, it is square but with a gothic arch window.

One of the goals I have with my blog is to reputationally reward the suppliers used on the build. For two reasons, one because people who do good work deserve credit, and one because I know how hard it is to find some of this stuff and I hope to be helpful to any future would be castle builders. So I plan to plug the vendors contractors and everyone else I use as I use them so long as they continue to perform and provide me deals and do good work and all that jazz. If I wanted to be funny I could say it is like reverse product placement, instead of them paying me, I pay them. I really need to figure out how to do it the opposite way…

So that is all, when I do have a loan, which could be by the end of this month if I’m lucky, or by Valentine’s day, or maybe not until this Summer if I’m really, really, really unlucky, I’ll post here first thing.


  1. Thanks for the update! I’m really enjoying looking at your progress. I think I read in one of the other posts, but I’ve now forgotten, how much are you trying to finance?

    Best of luck, sir!

  2. So funny you posted today. Have been wondering what was going on and
    glad to hear it appears progress is being made! What talent you have! The sink
    is gorgeous and the sconces so perfect. Disney knew what he was doing. Please post
    more. That is do great you are giving kudos to your sources and listing them!
    My giant rug, 13×21, sold, may or may not have mentioned that previously. Just
    wanted you to know we can do and have access to unique floor coverings. Living vicariously
    through your blog! Best to you and your family.

  3. Thanks for the update. As a future builder, I appreciate the vendor call-outs and explanation of ideas, inspiration, and approaches. As always, best of luck.

  4. Frank McDonald says:

    I am an architect in Chattanooga and a director of 2 banks. I don’t want to cause you more grief but I would be glad to discuss your plight with the loan committee, where I’m headed in 2 hours. I can discuss your project with my bank at any time. If you are interested, please let me know. Your site looks like many along the Cumberland Plateau – awesome!

  5. I would like to thank you for creating this blog; it continues to serve as an inspiration to my wife and I for our goal of castle-buildingmanship. I still have 11 years left in the Navy before I can retire and start my construction phase, but we are actively planning and saving for right now. Your design is beautiful and I look forward to seeing it completed. Best of luck in you endeavors.

  6. Have you considered a private mortgage instead of a bank mortgage? If you’d like to discuss please email me. My wife and I are planning our castle now, and would be interested in following your progress and perhaps helping out.

  7. Yes Kerry, there isn’t much we haven’t tried. However, I do have good news to report, I should have my loan finalized in a few days.

  8. Patrick Balfour says:

    Just came across your site today, looking for ideas for our own Castle. We own a manor home now but looking to move to perhaps Nova Scotia to build a castle on a cliff looking out over the ocean.
    Love your design and look forward to future updates

  9. I noticed the Slytherin hoodie in the photo above with you holding the sconce. How cool, considering I make similar items and just returned from an awesome weekend fantasy convention, with Harry Potter the predominant theme. I have loved castles since I can remember, and having my own is a dream too, so I will follow your progress with great interest.

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