Saturday, November 29, 2008

Remodelers Fall Showcase - October 10-12, 2008

The Parade of Homes held their Remodeler's Fall Showcase the weekend of October 10-12, 2008 and we were one of the feature homes.

Here is a link to the article that was featured on our house:

The next link will take you to home along with a VIP 360 tour that one can take of the home:

In addition, our home won an award for Excellence in Building Green - below is the press release:
GREEN BUILDING AND REMODELING AWARDS new in 2008 Green construction is a rapidly growing segment of the home building and remodeling industry. As such, BATC has added a new award to honor excellence in Green building. Entrants submitted several photographs and a comprehensive description of their home or remodeling project. They were also asked to submit a short description of their company’s green philosophy, how they worked to raise awareness of green building techniques and materials on the job site, as well as key green features the used. Judges, including members of the BATC Green Committee and Mike Williams, Executive Director of MN GreenStar, carefully reviewed all materials and selected the best entrant in each category.

  • Excellence in Building Green, RemodelingShowcase Renovations, Inc., Corcoran, for their whole-house remodeling project located in Monticello
  • Excellence in Building Green, Single-FamilySummit Design-Build, LLC, Shoreview, for their contemporary/industrial styled home located in Minneapolis

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Final Episode of Our House on Blueprint for Green

It's been a while since our last post, but here is a copy of the final episode of Our House on Blueprint for Green which aired this past Saturday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting Settled

Well, we are gradually getting somewhat settled in the new house. We officially closed on our construction loan on July 2nd and have converted over to a home mortgage. Work was still being done right up until closing and there is still fine tuning that will be occuring over the next several months. Last weekend, Shelly and I started hanging pictures in the house and it is starting to feel like home again. It's amazing that some of the things that we've moved in have been packed away since leaving Wisconsin Rapids over 3 years ago.

Last week, Bryan Anderson, our architect had a professional photographer out at the house all afternoon and into dusk shooting pictures. We are very excited to see what the professionals can do with the photos vs. Shelly's I-phone or our Sony digital camera. This coming week, Channel 11 will be here on Wednesday for the final episode of Blueprint for Green and it will feature Bryan, Showcase Construction and me! I've already been warned by Amanda the shows producer that we only have 5 minutes for everything and everybody, so I will have to succinct whatever I say.

Here is a round robin tour on the inside of the house with photos:

Dining area and living room:

Outside screen porch area:

Office area with entry to our bedroom at the end through the pocket door:

Entry to our bedroom:

Entry to our shower:

Laundry & utility area that is just outside the bathroom and with an entry from detached garage:

Upstairs sitting area:

Aaron's Bedroom:

Abby's Bedroom:

The garage which was our home from November until the end of May is now emptied out and has room for both of our cars.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shaping up the Place with Landscaping

Well, we are in the final steps of the house project and over the past week, Bever Landscaping ( and designer David Sonka have been working to complete the landscaping out at the house. The weather was great and as a result they were able to complete before the storms on Friday afternoon. The rains on Friday evening was a good test of the drainage system, permeable pavers and the infiltration areas and we are happy to report that everything functioned as planned. We also have 2 rainbarrels that are full for watering the new plants - it's so cool.

Here are pictures of the finished landscaping on Sunday morning, June 29th:

This is patio area off the screen porch with a mulch walkway to the firepit.

This is looking up from the infiltration gardens towards the porch outside the master bedroom - it reminds us of a Japenese garden.

The area behind the garage will be our vegetable garden - inside the rock borders as seen in the pictures below:


We have gradually started moving things back into the house following the past 2 weeks of working on polishing the concrete floors. The floor looks 95% improved and there is still some work required on the trim and in the corners along with a massive clean-up that is planned for tomorrow. So, we are almost completed with the project and we can take the rest of the summer to enjoy and relax.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Mid-Summer

To all of our Swedish Relatives,

We wish all of you a happy, safe and festive mid-summer. It's hard to believe that 1 year ago we gathered here in Minnesota for the family reunion. The weather here is just as nice as it was a year ago; however, it is definitely not as hot. So much has happened in a year at our homestead and that is probably why the time has flown by. I've included some pictures from a year ago below:

As for the house, you probably noticed that there hasn't been any posts on the blog since Memorial Day. The reason is that we are not quite settled in our new home as originally expected. There were some complications that we have been working through in terms of the polished concrete floor and that has been a set back that we are dealing with for the next couple of weeks. Even though this is an inconvenience, we have to look at it as short term in order to enjoy the long term benefit knowing that our floor is going to be what we expected. (Glass 1/2 full). On a positive note, the landscaping started this week on Thursday and that is quickly taking shape and we can't wait to see the progress over the course of next week. So, here is 1 year transtion:

This is a permeable paver system that is being installed by Bever Landscaping ( and the pavers were donated by Borgert's ( The permeable pavers allow water to infiltrate through the gravel and into a underground piping system that will take the water to a rain garden area and control erosion.

This will be the new vegetable garden as it gets a lot sun due to being southern exposure.

The gutters on the back side of the house - high ones will go into rain barrels.

Now an update on the polished floor work that is in progress, this is the polished floor that we expected. The company that is doing it now is Concrete Treatments Inc. out of Plymouth, MN ( We will let all of you be in the judge in comparing the work with now and before pictures below.

The picture below shows the transition from the polished floor at 1500 grit compared to the first pass at 100 grit after the acrylic finish (plastic) that was removed.

The picture below shows transition from the office area following the first pass in removing the acrylic to the master bedroom which is the original floor.

Our bedroom and bathroom floor that is considered a polished floor - you make the comparison as you look through the final pictures depicting the floor in May prior to moving in and finally taking you back to the floor as it stands this weekend.

Here is the floor finish in mid-May and only 8 days prior to us moving in following the floor being sealed.

Following the acrylic/plastic finish on the floor.

The final picture is Friday, June 20th with the new sub-contractor:

Overall, for the most part everyone that we have worked with on the house project in the last 2 years has been outstanding. We've developed some great relationships and it is hard for everything to draw to close.

Stay tuned as we finish up over the next several weeks and prepare for the final episode with Channel 11 & Blueprint for Green. In addition, our home has been selected to be a part of the Remodeler's Showcase in mid-October.