With their third build, a couple decides to start fresh.
Story by Carol McGarvey
Photography by MIRZA KUDIC
Featured in November/December 2021
When you build your third home, there might be the thought that you would know just how and when everything happens. Not so, says the homeowner. “Each build is different. Each situation is new. That’s just how it goes.”
Your family’s needs and budget determine the type of home that is most appropriate for you. In general, tiny little houses are a good choice for people with small families or small plots of land. Alternatively, people with ample land may want to construct large villas if that fits their needs.
That’s what happened when a homeowner couple met Kevin McGlothlin of Sundance Homes through a friend. “They brought me a plan, and we tweaked it as the building process evolved,” McGlothlin says. “But while the home turned out with slightly different details than originally planned, it all worked out beautifully. Having built two previous homes, they knew what needed to be done.”
And what about building a home during the COVID-19 pandemic? “Not always easy,” McGlothlin points out. The key word was delays, he says. From lumber to cabinets to flooring, everything was delayed. All builders ran into problems, so the delays were universal.
The couple was thrilled to find their 1-acre lot at Maffitt Ridge, near the Dale Maffitt Reservoir, where their home backs up to woods. The development was formed about five years ago, but they were able to get their primo wooded lot and couldn’t be happier with it.
They went with a modern farmhouse style, opting for an open-concept plan. A great-room greets you. To add to the spacious feeling, its 18-foot vaulted ceiling commands immediate attention. Dark wood beams are at the peak of the vaulted ceiling.
Three huge windows with black framing soak in the wooded view beyond and help define the living room space. At one end is the fireplace, which is flanked on two sides by built-in shelving. A neutral sectional sofa offers seating. A 12-foot Christmas tree behind the sofa will be the center of attention during the holiday season.
The huge open kitchen and dining area offer lots of room for gathering family and friends for holiday and other meals. “Both of our families are based in Des Moines, so we will be hosting Thanksgiving,” the wife says. Snow-white cabinets give a fresh and airy look. The long kitchen island in black provides lots of buffet space. A rectangular table with chairs is nearby.
Burnished gold hardware adds a touch of detail. There’s a six-burner gas range. Touch one of the cabinet panels and be prepared to be surprised. Behind it is a walk-in pantry with open shelves for storing less-used appliances and extra staples, along with a computer center.
A complete change
“Our previous home was all natural maple, so this is a complete change,” the husband points out. “I really recommend working with a designer. Jessica Lemmo kept us on our color path and created a site for us to see what we had ordered, along with photos, so we always had a point of reference. It worked beautifully.”
Two accent walls have a subtle accent design with board-and-batten detail for emphasis. It’s white-on-white, so it doesn’t stand out in a loud way but does provide visual interest.
The approach to the garage includes a mudroom area with cubbies and hooks for jackets and coats.
Outside from the living area is a welcoming covered deck with seating for relaxing and for providing extra space for larger crowds.
On the other side of the home is the laundry room. It features a dramatic black-and-white stylized star pattern, which their designer ordered from Wayfair. Nearby is the master suite. The neutrals in the large master bedroom give a soothing atmosphere.
The home has a number of inspirational signs, including this one in the master bedroom: “The world needs who you were meant to be.”
The master bath has a walk-in shower with a glass French door, a long double vanity, and a separate makeup spot. A huge walk-in closet begins at the end of the room.
The home’s lower level includes a family room with a bar area and two bedrooms for the couple’s two college-age sons. One is at Boston College in Massachusetts, the other at Iowa State University in Ames. He is the fourth generation to attend ISU. Another room, empty now, might become a theater room.
There’s also a vault room, which can be used as a tornado shelter. The planning for that spot included a door that opens inward so that fallen debris wouldn’t prevent it from being opened if something blocked the doorway. The room is also vented for fresh air.
The home is wired with Ring, which has five cameras set up around the home. “With one app, you can set the thermostat while you’re away from the home and see an unfamiliar face in the driveway,” the homeowner says.
The home has 3,800 square feet-2,400 on the main floor and 1,500 on the lower level. With geothermal, the couple’s monthly electrical bill only runs $133.
“No matter what anyone says, building a home is very personal,” says the husband. “Make sure you choose a builder who has the passion for your home as we did with Kevin.” •
- Builder Sundance Homes
- Geothermal HVAC Des Moines Comfort
- Lumber H.L. Munn Lumber Co.
- Windows Pella Windows
- Flooring America
- Appliances Warners’ Stellian
- Cabinetry, front door Moehl Millwork
- Quartz countertops Stonehouse
- Glass, mirrors Sassman Glass
- Trim carpentry Executive Interiors
- Interior design Alt Design