S: John & Cheryl Koch * Our New Home * Freeman, South Dakota
FC: Our New Home Freeman, South Dakota 2009-2010 | John & Cheryl Koch
1: Once upon a time . . . | ... a young couple married and dreamed of a long life together. One of their dreams was to have an energy efficient house that would help them to be good stewards of the earth. The dream began in the 1970’s and came to fruition in 2010. | We bought our first home—a House of Harmony—in 1972 in Aberdeen. The 14' x 70' mobile home was moved to Miles City, MT, where we lived in the Green Star Trailer Court till moving to Lincoln, NE, in 1975, with our new baby, Kristin. | In Lincoln, NE, we bought this 1920's two-bedroom bungalow in the center of town at 610 Marshall Avenue. We lived there while John attended the University of Nebraska to get his doctorate. Laura was born during the three years we lived in this house. | We moved back to Miles City in 1978 and bought this 3-bedroom ranch house at 317 Ponderosa Drive. We lived here from 1978-1987. | From 1987-1993 we rented homes in Sioux Falls & Parker, South Dakota, and Grahamsville, New York. | In January, 1994, we moved into this house at 2405 Mockingbird Circle in Sioux Falls. John's Dad, Bud, lived with us and later, Cheryl's mother, Dorothy did, too. We lived there until 2010 when we finally saw our dream house become reality.
2: In 2008 we bought this lot, 1025 Stern Circle, in the new subdivision created by Gillas & Scott Stern at the southern edge of Freeman, SD. We liked the idea of the border of 15-year old ash trees and the proximity to the Freeman Arboretum. | We have accepted the fact that we will be heavily dependent on sump pumps in this location because Freeman has a very high water table. In addition, 2009 proved to be a very wet fall. Farmers still were harvesting their crops in December. Our basement seemed more like a swimming pool at first. It was dug by DOYLE BECKER of Marion, who did all the dirt work.
3: Our research into energy efficient homes led us to a company in Watertown, SD, ENERCEPT, that manufactures structurally insulated panels (SIPs) of styrofoam that have passed rigorous industry standards for temperature retention. Their panels were used in the construction of the Research Station at the South Pole, where summer temperatures average -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Visiting the company and knowing two families who have these homes convinced us that this was the route we wanted to go. | ENERCEPT, put us in contact with CHARLES HELLAND, a draftsman with whom they work a lot. We started looking at books for design and evaluating what we wanted in a home. Then with Charlie's help we created our floorplan. | Once we had signed off on the design, the panels were built and delivered to Freeman. The placement of every window, every door, all electrical and plumbing had to be decided before the panels were manufactured. | We had engaged MARK EWERT, EWERT CONSTRUCTION of Marion, as our general contractor. Mark's son RYAN is his partner in building. Occasionally Mark's dad, Irvin, helped, too.
4: Since he had never built an Enercept house, Mark subcontracted with JOSH BARBER of RPM CONSTRUCTION to help with the erection of the SIPs part of the house. We opted for an entire Enercept envelope —basement to roof, except for the garage. The basement panels went in quickly, Mark framed the garage and the initial dirt work was completed when ... | OLD MAN WINTER decided to change the construction landscape, causing a delay for a time.
5: Watching two workers construct the walls was fascinating. It truly was akin to building with Lego blocks. Match up the numbers, slide in the panels, fasten and Voila! | By day's end we had a wall showing the space for the slider into the breakfast nook plus the walls and windows for the Kitchen and the TV room.
6: Things moved quickly then with the raising of the walls followed by the challenge of a very high roof.
8: . . . and now the garage is enclosed. | One massive beam is the support for the entire center section of the roof. Mark said it's the most amazing one he's ever seen.
9: The arrival of the Andersen windows and the insulation blanket made the house fully enclosed. We think Mark & Ryan must be Eskimos, doing this is such cold weather!
10: SCOTT RUML did our plumbing and TED PIDDE of Valley Electric our electrical. KLEINSASSER Heating and Cooling was engaged to install the geo-thermal heating system. John had done negotiations with COLIN KLEINSASSER when we first began planning the project. Colin did a very thorough job of estimating our needs, determining we should install six wells and use a Hydron module for the actual temperature control. Tragically Colin died of a heart attack before we got to the construction, but his son MORGAN and employee JOSH RUDD did a terrific job of executing his plans. | Here is the Great Room with our specially designed feature wall and looking out towards the adjacent dining room. The windows are at the back of the house. | Above is the Kitchen and right is our Master Bedroom looking towards the closet, with the windows on the front of the house.
11: With Mark's and Ryan's interior framing making good progress, it was time for us to get involved. We had decided to do all our own tile work and all the painting. Fortunately, Mark had access to a professional tile saw which made our amateur efforts less so. What he couldn't provide was young knees! We spent some chilly mid-March days but the sense of accomplishment was well worth it.
12: Our talented painting crew included friends MELA DEE AMMANN and MARY PENNINGTON. With ceilings at 9 feet high, we were grateful that Mark left the scaffolding! | Ryan Ewert did the installation of the oak floors once the painting was complete. | Don't think all Cheryl did was take photos...she was very much a part of the painting. She just needed to record the process on her breaks.
13: What to do with a 21-foot ceiling was a big question for us. We knew we didn't want to be up there painting but we didn't know what to put up. Mark sent us to RENNEBERG HARDWOODS in Brandon. Looking at their displays we fell in love with this Red Elm. | Mark was very receptive to all our ideas. He built this beautiful crown molding to house fluorescent lighting and to finish off the walls where they meet the ceiling. We also chose to use in our foyer an old wrought iron chandelier we found at Dad's Parker Museum. We had it rewired at Lamps and Shades in Sioux Falls. The gentleman who did it thinks it may have been hand-forged.
14: The Great Room & The Dining Room | As you enter the front door, you look straight through the house to the French doors at the back. On your left is our "feature" wall—conceived as part museum, part library. Looking the opposite direction towards the front, you see the dining room separated only by a pillar. The paint colors from Pittsburgh Paints are shades of brown: dusty trail, stony creek, and rain barrel. The accent wall in the dining room is oregano. | At right, John is looking from the Master Bedroom to the hall at the other end of the house.
15: The Kitchen & Breakfast Nook | DOREEN ANGLIN and her talented staff at PRAIRIE HERITAGE designed and built all our cabinets for the Kitchen and the Master Bath. We chose to stay with oak because we know we love it. Doreen suggested the raised dishwasher (easier on the back), full extension drawer glides with soft close hardware, corner drawers instead of lazy Susans. The mixer lift was a feature Cheryl had wanted since she first saw Edie's in Aberdeen. We opted for more shelving rather than a sit-at counter so that we would have the space in our breakfast nook. The 36" high counters and the undermount sink are two more of the features we love. We chose laminate countertops.The buffet counter provides easy serving. All the cabinets have under cabinet xenon lighting and plug-ins are plentiful. There even are plug-ins above the cabinets for potential display lights. We purchased a new suite of LG Appliances from Smidt Furniture in Freeman.
16: The Master Bedroom & Bathroom | The comfortable Master Bedroom is approximately 15 feet square, with a spacious walk-in closet. The adjoining bath is 12'4" x 8'3" plus the 4' square shower. The Laundry Room is 5'9" x 11'. The shower is an Onyx shower system which Mark and Scott installed. The free-standing tub is Jazz from Maax. The paint colors are dusty trail, stony creek and the accent wall is burled redwood. The carpet is Mohawk's SmartStrand installed by RAY WIPF of Freeman.
17: Meanwhile spring is in full swing and outside work continues. The driveway and sidewalks were prepared and poured. The concrete-based siding in Linen color gives the house its sunny disposition. AND it's guaranteed for 25 years! | The full front porch, approximately 35 feet across, is trimmed in a low maintenance Deluxe Rail system purchased at Lowe's. The deck floor is EverGrain, made from recycled materials. The Craftsman style door and sidelights are Oak Park by Jeldwen. The deck, the doors, and windows came from Freeman Lumber. All were chosen for their low-maintenance!
18: The back of the house shows the progress as well. From the left would be the TV Room. The bump-out with the glider is the Breakfast Nook. The single window is under the sink in the Kitchen. The tall center section is the Great Room. Farthest right is the Laundry and the Master Bath. | At last came move-in day: Wednesday, June 16, 2010. PARKER TRANSFER of Sioux Falls had been at our house there since Monday and now brought our things to Freeman. Mom had spent a few days with Greg & Theresa and arrived here on Thursday.
19: The Great Room | The centerpieces of this room are the 1919 Mason Hamlin baby grand piano inherited from my piano professor, Genevieve Truran and . . . | . . . the shelving unit which displays some of our antiques, books, photos, souvenirs, and music. This combination tells who John and Cheryl Koch are. The Morning Glory horn Edison cylinder phonograph was a gift from my dad, Mylo Preheim. Many of the antiques came from his collection.
20: The Art Wall & The Dining Room | As you enter the foyer you will see some of our art works. There is a pen and ink by my brother Greg Preheim; a watercolor by Syd Sonneborn; a print by Mary Groth; two images of frontier Miles City by Montana photographer L. A. Huffman, and pieces we collected on our travels in New York, Maine and Norway. | The dining room set also was Miss Truran's. With no family remaining, no one wanted it. I am thrilled to have it! Laura and I refinished it. The hutch was another of Dad's antiques which I refinished as well. | We really want our home to be a place to enjoy music so our design keeps the option of using the dining room for seating, should we host recitals or musicales in our home.
21: Master Bedroom & Master Bath
22: The Kitchen & Breakfast Nook | Mom's Bedroom | Mom chose pink and green for her new bedroom. She has her familiar blonde bedroom set and lots of family photos plus a very large closet!
23: The TV Room | Rather than going with a completely open concept, we chose to put solid oak double pocket doors between the kitchen and the TV Room so that music could happen at the same time as TV watching. | John & Dad salvaged the sconces in the TV Room from the Egyptian Theater in Sioux Falls. It had been built in 1915 as the Colonial but in the 1970s was replaced with a parking ramp. | The barber chair manufactured by the KOCH Company was patented in 1891. | The fact that Dad had been a barber and that it has our name on it convinced us to put it in our new house. | A half-bath near the TV Room and Mom's Bedroom complete the floorplan—except for a much-appreciated utility closet.
24: The Basement Antechamber | The antechamber actually is a rather large area at the bottom of the stairswith minimal purpose. We use it as a library and craft area. The long hall provides a gallery for posters from our theatre performances. | With square footage equal to the main floor, our basement is a place for overflow. Our offices are here, plus guest quarters and storage. John even has a theatre rehearsal space equal to the size of the stage at Pioneer Hall! He is especially happy with his 4' wide stairway. | The portrait of Cheryl as Dolly Levi was done by a student, Susie Carlsen, Jr., at Miles Community College. The posters from Dolly and Pajama Game were designed by Marcus Hartse, a friend from Miles City. They are among those on display in the hall.
25: Our Office & Additional Guest Quarters | Our two Mac computers are the center of our productivity. | John and I purchased this rolltop desk (via Dad) from the Oddfellows Hall in Parker, SD, in 1975. We stored it until 1978 when it became the first project I ever refinished. I'm glad I didn't know how much work it would be ahead of time! Thanks to Sam Annalora I got it done. | The couch is a double hide-a-bed so functions as a guest room when it's needed. My Roland keyboard lives here, too. I appreciate having a space to display some of my musical souvenirs. The room is light and comfortable in spite of being in the basement.
26: Guest Bedroom & Bathroom | And, of course, the room is decorated for our daughters. It includes some of their things and photos of them. It also includes the Northern Tissue prints that were so popular in the 1950s. The oval mirror was my Grandma Jensen's. The little rocker in the corner belonged to Great Grandma Koch. The old typewriter and table are Laura's souvenir of her Grandpa's collection. The books are her special ones—autographed or first edition. | Since we love having guests, we definitely wanted a bonafide guest room and its accompanying bath.
27: . . . and they lived happily ever after! | So the adventure continues. Building a house is an exhausting and exhilarating project. There's no such thing as perfect planning, but nothing is more exciting than seeing your plans work out. The hours of creating ideas, researching them, and finally watching them come to fruition . . . WOW! We hope to enjoy this house for many years to come. | prepared lovingly by Cheryl Preheim Koch, December, 2010