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Home Edition 2012

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If you have plans to build
a new home, remodel your
existing home, or redecorate
... look to the advertisers
inside – from start to finish,
they can help you realize
your dreams.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Sections C & D
We proudly present
our 2012 Home
Edition featuring
several Humboldt
area building
and remodeling
projects to give you
inspiration!
TThursdayy,, Sept p ember 20,, 2012
Pat and Barb Colwell
new addition
M
itch
an
d
C
h
an
tel Frid
olfson
n
ew
d
u
p
lex
Ken and Connie Hutchinson
garden
B
ru
ce
a
n
d
S
a
n
d
y
K
irch
h
o

n
e
w
a
d
d
itio
n
Gary and Sonja Peyton new hom
e
To
d
d
a
n
d
N
ico
le
Le
e
n
e
w
d
e
ck
Kevin and Paula Skow
new home
M
ic
h
e
lle
B
o
y
in
g
to
n
re
m
o
d
e
l
2C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Jeanne Raine
In the summer of 2011,
Mitch and Chantel Fridolfson
began building a new home
on 15th Street North in Hum-
boldt. They purchased the
vacant lot, knowing that its
proximity to the river would
be a plus. However, instead of
building one home, they de-
cided to build a duplex as an
The Fridolfson duplex located on 15th Street North.
Mitch and Chantel Fridolfson in the kitchen of their new home.
investment for their future.
The homes are slab con-
struction. They feature two
bedrooms on the main floor,
with one bedroom and an of-
fice/den on the upper floor. No
steps can be found at the front
or back door. The Fridolfson
home also features a good
amount of storage.
Fridolfsons
build new home
See Fridolfsons, 3C
Dining room
of the Fridolfson
duplex.
Choose your battles
When merging belongings
you may not agree with each
other every step of the way, but
it’s not worth picking a fight.
Choose what is most important
to you so your protests carry
more weight.
For example, it’s okay to
put your foot down when it
comes to painting an entire
room a color you detest, but
it may be better to let it go if
you’re talking about the color
of the bathroom rug.
Likewise, let your spouse
have his or her way when
you recognize what is mean-
ingful to them. You may hate
the rocking chair in your liv-
ing room, but if it belonged
to your spouse’s great-great-
grandmother, you better learn
to love it.
Decorating tip for newlyweds
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Paul and Lori
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Stamped
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walkway
for Mason-
Lindhart
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20x16
bathroom and
mud room
addition for
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 3C
“I had an idea of what I
wanted,” said Mitch. “I found
something close to my idea
The den or office of the Fridolfson home.
and then modified it.” In order
to keep the costs of construc-
tion to a minimum, Mitch also
did the electrical, plumbing
and heating himself.
One of the most unusual el-
ements of the Fridolfson side
of the duplex is the stamped,
stained, and heated concrete
floor. The in-floor heat uti-
lizes heat packs, installed by
Mitch. “We really enjoy the
floor,” said Mitch. “It’s nice
waking up on cold winter
mornings and being able to put
your feet on the warm floor.”
The U-shaped kitchen con-
tains custom built, multi-level
oak cabinets. “I like the way
we designed it to accommo-
date our needs,” said Chantel.
“We wanted an open floor
plan, and that’s what we have.”
The kitchen is staffed
with stainless steel appli-
ances. There is an abundance
of counter space, with a large
sink built into the island/bar
area. The counters are covered
with a high definition lami-
nate countertop. Tile covers
areas below the cupboards and
above the counters. All doors
and drawers of the cupboards
are slow close.
The adjoining home is sim-
ilar to the one in which the Fri-
dolfsons now live. However,
the patio is larger, and there is
Fridolfson
from 2C
Open floor plan is a true benefit of the Fridolfson home.
The living room of the Fridolfson home looks to the
patio.
The floor of Fridolfson home is stained, stamped and heated.
See Fridolfson, 4C
It’s time for raking leaves,
pruning shrubbery, and other
seasonal fall lawn care tasks.
Never has the old adage
“work smarter, not harder”
been more apt than when tack-
ling yard work and preparing
lawns for next season.
Here are some smart ways
to handle fall lawn care:
Good posture can prevent
backaches when raking leaves.
Keep your head up and back
straight. Relieve back pressure
by raking using the “scissors”
stance: whereby you place
one foot forward and the other
back, reversing position after
several minutes. When mow-
ing, move the mower with
your body weight as much as
possible, rather than relying on
your arms and back. And use
ergonomically designed rakes,
shears and pruners that require
less hand strength than tradi-
tional ones. Put away the loud,
smelly leaf blower. Nothing is
worse than raking leaves on a
windy day, only to have them
blown around. Rake leaves
onto a tarp and drag it away.
You can easily clip handles
to it to make it easier to haul
when full of leaves. Remem-
ber, dragging leaves away is
easier on your back and envi-
ronmentally friendly. Weeding
can be made less painful if you
adhere to the old gardener’s
trick of weeding after it rains.
When earth is dry, it’s harder to
pull out the whole weed with-
out breaking off the top. After
rainfall, the ground is damp,
making it easier to pluck out
entire weeds. This way, weeds
can easily be added to leaves
and other debris that need to
be hauled away. Remember,
fall is your last chance to put
your lawn in order before next
season’s warm weather.
Easier fall
lawn care
Owning a home is a
365-day-a-year commitment,
a mortgage to pay, a yard to
maintain and bills to juggle.
But experts say that evaluating
key exterior elements of your
home at least once annually
can prevent some bills from
skyrocketing.
If your roof is damaged by
severe weather or is old and
leaking, investing in a new
roof made of durable polymer
slate or shake tiles will pay off
for decades to come.
For exterior trim pieces,
swap out wood trim that is sus-
ceptible to rotting and insect
infestation with urethane and
PVC trim products.
For functional areas of
the home, like windows and
doors, use solidly-constructed,
man-made products.
A recent report on return-
on-investment and home
repair, the “Remodeling
2011–12 Cost vs. Value Re-
port” (www.costvsvalue.com),
shows that replacing older, in-
efficient windows with upscale
vinyl windows is one of the 10
most popular projects with
payback for homeowners, and
has a higher projected return-
on-investment than several
other popular home upgrade
projects, including bathroom
remodels or additions, major
kitchen remodels or the addi-
tion of a master suite.
Investing in your home’s exterior
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Finally getting
around to your
honey-do list?
I
f you just finished a
home improvement
project, it’s time to
review your homeowners’
insurance. Don’t let all your
hard work go up in smoke!
Call our office for a
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4C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
The master bathroom of
the Fridolfson home features
much storage space.
Main bathroom
of the Fridolfson
home.
less yard space. The cabinetry
is darker. Though still heated,
the floor is tiled rather than
stamped. A fireplace will even-
tually be added to this side of
the duplex.
Mitch, son of Fred and
Deb Fridolfson, graduated
from Humboldt High School
in 2004. Chantel, daughter
of Roger Carlson and Crick-
ette Pederson, graduated in
2007. Although they had
known each other for quite
some time, they met again at an
Iowa/Iowa State game. They
married on Sept. 17, 2011.
This dynamic pair has cre-
ated two beautiful homes in
a beautiful setting. Having
completed much of the work
themselves, Mitch and Ch-
antel take great pride in their
home. The open floor plan, the
heated floors, the ample stor-
age space, and the large rooms
insure easy living for years to
come.
Fridolfson
from 3C
The large spare bedroom on the first floor of
the home of Mitch and Chantel Fridolfson.
Bright color splashes can
be found in the master bed-
room of the Fridolfson home.
Not all home decorating ideas require a big investment of
time and money. If you’re looking for a quick and affordable
home interior decorating idea to freshen up a room, try this one.
Rearrange the furniture: Pull your furniture away from the
walls. Try positioning it at intriguing angles. For example, a
sofa arranged diagonally across a narrow living room will make
the room look wider.
Decorating idea
New technology in your
home can sometimes leave
you feeling overwhelmed
by gizmos and gadgets. But
if you choose your technol-
ogy wisely, you can simplify
your domestic life rather than
clutter your living space with
products you don’t use.
Here are two simple ways
technology can help you
streamline your home:
Control atmosphere
The ability to control your
environment is vital to one’s
comfort level. You may al-
ready have a programmable
thermostat, but did you know
that the latest models come
with Wi-Fi, allowing you to
control your home’s climate
from your mobile device?
Not only that, modern ther-
mostat models are so smart,
they learn your living patterns
and set a schedule for you ac-
cordingly.
Improve communication
Everyone is quick to jump
at the latest mobile devices
when they become available,
but when was the last time you
updated your landline tele-
phone? New developments in
landline technology are mak-
ing your home phone easier
and more convenient to use.
Consider swapping out
your older telephone in favor
of a modern device with high
functionality. For example,
Panasonic’s new Link2Cell
models allow you to make
and receive cell phone calls
using your cordless telephone
system via Bluetooth technol-
ogy, whether or not you have
landline service. You can even
transfer contacts from your
mobile phone to the Panasonic
cordless handset so you can
easily dial your stored num-
bers.
Synching a mobile phone
with your landline allows you
to place your cell anywhere
in the house that provides the
best reception and still roam
freely on your landline’s cord-
less handset. You’ll also have
far better sound quality and
peace of mind knowing you
won’t miss an important call.
Two ways new
technology
can make your
home life easier
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 5C
By Phil Monson
When Todd and Nicole Lee
moved to their residence at 9
River Oaks five and one-half
years ago, it provided the best
of both worlds.
Perched on a hill in the
northeast corner of the neigh-
borhood, the Lee family has a
taste of country living with the
east fork of the Des Moines
River just 100 yards away, and
yet a paved road and quick
access to all the amenities of-
fered in town.
But the hilly location lacked
flat, outdoor living space that
the family also desired.
After extensive research and
Todd and Nicole Lee
and two of their children,
Christian (lower left) and
Reagan, enjoy their ex-
pansive back yard with the
completion of their new
deck. Independent photo.
hours of labor over nearly two
years of working on the proj-
ect, the Lees are enjoying 800
square feet of new decking that
surrounds their home.
“I started work on the deck
in the fall of 2010. I got some
of the framework and basic
stuff up before winter. I worked
on the project that winter and
continued in the spring, sum-
mer and fall of 2011. I worked
on it after hours between foot-
ball games, baseball games
and track meets. I finished it
up in the spring of 2012,” Todd
said.
“It wasn’t exactly a quick
process. But I did it all by my-
self. It took a while, but I did
it the way I wanted it and I’m
happy with how it turned out,”
Todd said.
Instead of going with the
traditional cedar wood for the
deck, the Lees opted to use lat-
est composite material. While
most costly, the simulated
wood material provides the
natural look with long-lasting
life and little maintenance and
upkeep.
“We used composite mate-
rials instead of the traditional
cedar wood. Nicole and I had
looked at some different op-
tions. We researched it quite a
New deck enhances Todd, Nicole Lee home
Nicole (left) and Todd
Lee used their creativity
in designing and building
their new deck surround-
ing their home located at
River Oaks in Humboldt.
Independent photo.
See Lee, 6C
Prepping a house for sale.
Sellers want their home to sell
fast and bring top dollar. Here is
how to prep a house and turn it
into an irresistible and market-
able home.
1. Disassociate yourself with
your home. Make the mental de-
cision to “let go” of your emo-
tions and focus on the fact that
soon this house will no longer
be yours. Picture yourself hand-
ing over the keys and envelopes
containing appliance warranties
to the new owners! Don’t look
backwards, look toward the fu-
ture.
2. De-personalize. Pack up
personal photographs and fam-
ily heirlooms. Buyers can’t see
past personal artifacts, and you
don’t want them to be distract-
ed. You want buyers to imagine
their own photos on the walls.
3. De-clutter! People collect
an amazing quantity of junk.
Consider this: if you haven’t
used it in over a year, you
probably don’t need it. If you
don’t need it, why not donate
it or throw it away? Remove all
books from bookcases. Pack up
knickknacks. Clean off every-
thing on kitchen counters. Put
essential items used daily in a
small box that can be stored in
a closet when not in use. Think
of this process as a head start on
the packing you will eventually
need to do anyway.
4. Rearrange bedroom clos-
ets and kitchen cabinets. Buy-
ers love to snoop and will open
closet and cabinet doors. Think
of the message it sends if items
fall out! Now imagine what a
buyer believes about you if she
sees everything organized. It
says you probably take good
care of the rest of the house as
well.
5. R ent a storage unit. Al-
most every home shows bet-
ter with less furniture. Remove
pieces of furniture that block or
hamper paths and walkways and
put them in storage. Since your
bookcases are now empty, store
them. Remove extra leaves from
your dining room table to make
the room appear larger. Leave
just enough furniture in each
room to showcase the room’s
purpose and plenty of room to
move around.
6. Remove/replace favor-
ite items. If you want to take
window coverings, built-in ap-
pliances or fixtures with you,
remove them now. If the chan-
delier in the dining room once
belonged to your great grand-
mother, take it down. If buyers
never see it, they won’t want it.
Once you tell them they can’t
have an item, they will covet
it, and it could blow your deal.
Pack those items and replace
them, if necessary.
7. Make minor repairs. Re-
place cracked floor or counter
tiles. Patch holes in walls. Fix
leaky faucets. Fix doors that
don’t close properly and kitch-
en drawers that jam. Consider
painting your walls neutral col-
ors. Replace burned-out light
bulbs. If you’ve considered re-
placing a worn bedspread, do so
now!
8. Make the house sparkle!
Wash windows inside and out.
Rent a pressure washer and
spray down sidewalks and ex-
terior. Clean out cobwebs. Re-
caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
Polish chrome faucets and mir-
rors. Clean out the refrigerator.
Vacuum daily. Wax floors. Dust
furniture, ceiling fan blades
and light fixtures. Bleach dingy
grout. Replace worn rugs. Hang
up fresh towels.
Bathroom towels look great
fastened with ribbon and bows.
Clean and air out any musty
smelling areas. Odors are a no-
no.
9. Scrutinize. Go outside
and open your front door. Stand
there. Do you want to go inside?
Does the house welcome you?
Linger in the doorway of every
single room and imagine how
your house will look to a buyer.
Examine carefully how furni-
ture is arranged and move piec-
es around until it makes sense.
Make sure window coverings
hang level.
Tune in to the room’s state-
ment and its emotional pull.
Does it have impact and piz-
zazz? Does it look like nobody
lives in this house?
10. Check curb appeal. If
buyers won’t get out of their
realtor’s car because they don’t
like the exterior of your home,
you’ll never get them inside.
Keep the sidewalks cleared.
Mow the lawn. Paint faded win-
dow trim. Plant yellow flowers
or group flowerpots together.
Yellow evokes a buying emo-
tion.
Marigolds are inexpensive.
Trim your bushes. Make sure
visitors can clearly read your
house number.
How to prepare your
house for sale
The economic stimulus package
gives you a 30 percent federal
tax credit on the installed cost
of a GEOTHERMAL system.
NEW this year - also get a state
credit of 20 percent of the federal
amount. Plus there are great
rebates available from the utility
companies!
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515-332-1506
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BUILDING? REMODELING?
TERRY BUSSE OWNER
We specialize in new construction
and remodeling projects!
See us for
all your
wallboard
needs!
Please feel free to stop in or
call us to update or build a
new abstract for you.
Candace Robinson, owner
Title Guarantee Member
Member Iowa Land and Title Association
Member American Land and Title Association
Northcentral Title Company of Humboldt
718 Sumner Avenue ~ Humboldt, Iowa 50548
515-332-5822 • Fax: 515-332-5822
6C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
A back yard view of the Todd and Nicole Lee home located at River Oaks. Independent photo.
Lee
from 5C
Christian and Reagan Lee enjoy the back yard of their home in Humboldt. Inde-
pendent photo.
Nicole Lee (center) and two of her children, Reagan (left) and Christian, enjoy the
backyard flower beds at their home. Independent photo.
See Lee, 7C
bit,” Todd said. “The compos-
ite stuff was quite a bit more
expensive.”
“We were learning toward
going with cedar decking or
a treated cedar wood. But af-
ter I saw a neighbor down the
street put in a lot of time power
washing, staining and sealing
his deck, it looked like it took
him a long time doing all of
that,” Todd said.
“To this day, that steered me
toward going with composite
material. I knew watching him
do that, I didn’t want to be do-
ing that,” Todd said.
“As big as our deck is,
that would be very time-
consuming,” Nicole said. “It
wraps around the whole entire
house.”
“Our home is built on a hill.
There is no flat place on this
lot,” Todd said. “The house
sits on high ground. But as you
look out the back yard, there is
a gully that runs towards the
south to the river,” Todd said.
“When we bought the
house, Todd probably liked it
more than I did because of the
lot and the wooded area out
back. The downfall I had about
this place was the lack of yard
for having flowers. There were
no flower beds. The deck kind
of helped provide flower beds
and Todd did landscaping that
tied it all in together to make
me happy,” Nicole said with a
laugh.
“I gave her plenty of oppor-
tunities to have her flowers,”
Todd said.
“There are flower beds lo-
cated all around the house,”
Nicole said. “We just finished
landscaping in June.”
“We have landscaping and
tiers of block that provide for
flowers. We had to stair step it
because nothing is flat on this
Nobody enjoys honey-do
lists. Nobody wants to spend
their entire weekend re-roofing
a house or fixing the kitchen
sink. So the tendency is to let
these projects go, put them
off, procrastinate. There’s al-
ways that age-old philosophy:
there’s nothing to do today that
can’t wait until tomorrow. And
it’s not because you’re lazy,
but more because of the exact
opposite: in this busy day and
age our to-do lists always run-
neth over. However, these are
necessary chores that have to
be taken care of right away.
It’s a responsibility that comes
with owning a house.
Don’t think of this advice
as a guilt-trip, but instead a
firm warning for the future.
The problem won’t just go
away. And the more you sit on
home repairs, the worse these
problems are going to get. And
this means that more time and
money will eventually have to
be spent to put right what was
once a quick and affordable
fix.
There are several reasons
we put off home repairs, but
try not to let these excuses
get in the way. Here are some
common ways we postpone
the inevitable and some ad-
ditional tips about how to get
around these rationalizations:
“It’s not a big deal!” Yes,
it is and you know it. It’s easy
to be forced into fixing your
home. Believe it, when that
furnace breaks down in the
middle of a cold winter night,
you’ll be calling that HVAC
guy ASAP. But don’t let it get
to that point. Avoid that incon-
venience and shelling out big
bucks after the fact. Stop the
problem early and you’ll never
have to deal with future disas-
ters.
“I didn’t know it was bro-
ken!” A lot of problems do
go unnoticed because they’re
hidden from view: on top of
roofs, inside the walls, up in
the attic. This is why you have
to occasionally inspect your
house to make sure things are
running well, and if you don’t
know what to look for then
hire a trained inspector to look
things over. If you’re having
trouble with your toilet, call
the plumber, and while he’s
there have him look over other
areas of the house to make sure
everything is up to snuff.
Take care of those nag-
ging problems! Prevention is
the best solution. Home repair
doesn’t just refer to things that
are broken; it also means keep-
ing things in proper working
order. No machine, device, or
structure runs forever. For in-
stance, you have to take your
car in for oil changes every
few months. You have to ro-
tate your tires every so often.
Well, the same goes for your
house: continual maintenance
is key to sustaining an efficient
household.
“I don’t know how!” Of
course you don’t. Not all of
us are trained craftsmen, and
sometimes the simplest chores
end up being the most compli-
cated. That’s why how-to man-
uals exist. If you don’t have
time to read the instructions,
then ask a friend or family
member with some know-how
to help you out. Or if you don’t
want to impose on anyone, this
is why contractors exist.
“I don’t know who to con-
tact!” It’s called the Yellow
Pages. But once you open up
to the home repair section, you
may be overwhelmed by the
amount of professionals out
there. That’s why pre-screen-
ing is essential.
This could be a close fam-
ily or friend recommending
someone to you. Here are
some questions to keep in
mind as you’re comparing pro-
fessionals: Is he/she trained
and trusted? Are they near
your location? Do they guar-
antee their work?
Home repairs:
maybe they’ll just
go away, right?
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 7C
Lee
from 6C
Todd and Nicole Lee enjoy some of the outdoor space they have added onto their
home at River Oaks in Humboldt.
A view of the large deck surrounding the Todd and Nicole Lee home in Humboldt,
located at River Oaks. Independent photo.
lot,” Todd said. “It was kind of
challenging to do some of it.”
Todd readily admits the
sense of accomplishment he
has with the project now com-
plete.
“I’m glad I didn’t get paid
by the hour. I wouldn’t want
to know how many total hours
I put into the project,” Todd
said.
“Todd is a perfectionist. He
had many offers of help from
others, but he did it all by him-
self,” Nicole said. “He likes
things done a certain way. And
if it wasn’t he would rip it up
and start over.”
“I have a limited back-
ground in construction. So I
bought a couple of books and
did some reading and educated
myself before starting out,”
Todd said. “We hired some-
body to come with a Bobcat to
dig the footing holes. I started
mixing bags of concrete, got
those holes filled in and went
from there,” Todd said. “It was
a challenge to get the base
poles level to start with in that
steep area behind the house.”
“Todd researched the proj-
ect real thorough,” Nicole said.
“Underneath the deck he built
a paver patio that adds to it.”
“That provides usable space
down below the deck space as
well,” Todd said.
“The kids use the added
space quite a bit. Our oldest
son, Ryan, has friends over
and that space works well for
entertaining,” Nicole said.
“The paver patio is good-
sized, too. Probably 600
square feet,” Todd said.
Todd and Nicole say the
new deck is a vast improve-
ment over what they previ-
ously had.
“When we moved here,
there was a rickety deck in
place,” Nicole said.
“The people who built the
house and lived here before us,
they had a job opportunity that
necessitated them to move to
Missouri,” Todd said.
“The deck was not finished
and it was in the material we
had not chosen. So at that time
we thought we had to do some-
thing to finish it off. We de-
cided to tear it down and start
over,” Nicole said.
“The way the house is built,
it is designed to have a deck
built around it,” Todd said.
“The ledger board that you at-
tach everything to was already
there. They had intentions of
doing something similar to
what we did, but they weren’t
allowed to do so.”
Todd also added a little ex-
tra to the deck on the northeast
corner.
“Design-wise, I had an idea
in my head. On the north end
there is an octagon-shaped
extension to the deck that I
added after I got started, be-
cause I didn’t want it to look
too plain or square,” Todd said.
“I thought it needed something
to draw the eye.”
“I added a star design into
the decking outside the back
glass door. Because of the size,
I wanted to add that on to help
break it up. Provide a focal
point,” Todd said.
“There were some tweaks
along the way. Basically I
knew when I started what I
wanted to do,” Todd said.
“Todd did a lot of landscap-
ing at our home when we lived
in town. Out here, he kept say-
ing to me, ‘am I ever going
to be done? You keep adding
more for me to do?’ Now I’m
doing another flower bed with
roses,” Nicole said, laughing.
“We’re coming to an end. I
think.”
“I would think so,” Todd
said with a laugh.
Todd and Nicole are both
Humboldt natives.
Todd is employed with
Humboldt County as Conser-
vation director. Nicole is em-
ployed as a nurse with Trinity
Regional Medical Center in
Fort Dodge. She has been em-
ployed there for 15 years. She
is a nurse case manager.
They have three children.
Ryan is age 17 and will be
a senior at Humboldt High
School in the fall. Christian is
age eight, and will be in sec-
ond grade this fall. Reagan is
age seven and will be attend-
ing first grade.
“I really enjoy it out here.
We’re close to town but it is
like living in the country. We
have good neighbors. I enjoy
seeing the wildlife in the back
yard. I have no regrets about
moving out here,” Todd said.
“We all enjoy it out here. It
gives the kids more room to
run and play. We have a big
yard and plenty of space for
them,” Nicole said.
“We have good neighbors
and there are kids who are our
kids’ ages nearby. I feel secure
or safe with them out here,”
Todd said.
And now with their new
deck in place, their home is
complete.
Americans generate a lot of
garbage; and while recycling
is on the rise, most families
can do more to reduce the
waste they create.
This season, strive to go
greener. Some simple organi-
zational tips can help you get
started.
The best way to cut down
on the garbage you create is to
never generate the waste in the
first place. Start by organizing
your finances online. Elec-
tronic bank statements and bill
payments are a fast, secure and
earth-friendly alternative to
paper statements.
Consider putting a stop to
catalogs and junk mail. Most
companies allow you to order
straight from their websites.
Not only will you be eliminat-
ing paper waste, you’ll be re-
ducing the amount of energy
needed for mail delivery.
Recent research by the
American Dietetic Association
shows that 83 percent of work-
ing Americans typically eat in
and around their workspaces.
But if you’re transporting your
food in single-use bags or
wrapping paper, your midday
meal is creating more waste
than necessary. Make going
green convenient by opting
for reusable containers that ef-
ficiently use the space in your
lunch box or bag.
Organizing your storage
spaces can be an enlightening
experience, especially if you
haven’t done so in a long time.
Not only are you likely to dis-
cover you have a lot of stuff
you don’t need, you’ll also
learn you have a lot of stuff
you don’t want.
Instead of tossing your
duds in the landfill, sort out
what is usable and donate
those clothes, toys, books, and
knick-knacks that you’ve out-
grown to a secondhand store or
charity. This exercise will en-
courage you to be more mind-
ful when making questionable
purchases in the future. Re-
member, today’s impulse buy
is tomorrow’s garbage.
Clearly mar king your recy-
cling bins will encourage the
members of your household,
as well as guests to recycle.
Consider adding a recycling
bin to every level of your
home, so there will be no ex-
cuses to throw recyclables into
garbage cans. Post information
about what can be recycled in
a central location, like your re-
frigerator.
Doing your part for the
planet starts at home. By get-
ting organized this season, you
can reduce your contributions
to your local landfill.
Better organization can
help your family go green
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8C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Jeanne Raine
Late in 2010, Ken and Con-
nie Hutchinson purchased the
property at 412 Fifth Street
South from Jim and Mary
Nemzek, who were moving
to Minnesota. Connie loved
the house, which was built
in 1916. With its high mop-
boards, wooden floors, roomy
interior, and excellent condi-
tion, Connie knew it would be
Jim Nemzek prepares
the soil for his garden.
The Nemzek garden with the gravel paths completed.
The Nemzeks only got the outer raised beds in the first year, but were able to plant
in them.
The Nemzeks prepare to add more raised beds. A
raspberry bed is toward the front and street side. An
asparagus bed is along the backside (west).
The greenhouse and perennial flowerbed in the
Nemzek’s garden.
Jim Nemzek stands in the completed garden.
a great home for the Hutchin-
sons. Ken also saw the prom-
ise of living in the home, but
more than the house, he fell in
love with the garden.
Jim and Mary Nemzek
purchased the South Fifth
Street property in 1996 from
the Halversons. They spent
a great deal of time updating
and refurbishing the home. A
few years later, they also pur-
chased a small house adjacent
to the property. The Nemzeks
enlisted the help of Bob and
Joey Krug to remove the small
house from the property in
2006. The land was then lev-
eled and barren.
Because Mary enjoyed
“digging in the dirt,” the
Nemzeks purchased a small
greenhouse and placed it on
Hutchinsons love new garden
See Hutchinson, 9C
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 9C
the north side of the new
property. There, Mary planted
seedlings and nursed along in-
fant plants of species unavail-
able in the area.
At this point Jim and Mary
decided to plant a garden on
the property. “I’m a farm girl
at heart,” said Mary. “I like to
work in the dirt; it’s therapeu-
tic. This became our own per-
sonal little farm. I loved it.”
The garden was a slow
process, which took a lot of
planning and a lot of labor.
Mary would often sit upstairs
in their home, looking over the
balcony, dreaming and mak-
ing plans for the garden. Jim
did the manual work to make
sure Mary’s dreams became a
reality.
At first the property con-
tained only a greenhouse and
a small shed for the garden
tools. The shed was built by
master carpenter Erland Nel-
son. In order to keep animals
out of the area, the Nemzeks
built a six-foot tall, 250 run-
ning foot cedar fence in 2007.
Jim also dug an 18 inch deep
trench installed one-half inch
wire fencing. It was attached
to the bottom of the fence to
discourage animals such as
rabbits, gophers, moles, and
voles. Jim stained all of the
boards.
A load of railroad ties was
the means for Jim to create
raised beds for the vegetables.
With the help of William
Schaffer and Jim’s little red
cart, Jim moved in railroad ties
to raise the proposed beds. He
created paths through the gar-
den using landscape fabric and
25 tons of gravel to keep the
weeds at bay.
“We were very careful
about what we put in the gar-
den area,” said Mary. “The
Krugs brought in some won-
derful topsoil.” Jim, again with
the help of his little red cart,
brought horse manure from
the fairgrounds to fertilize the
crops.
“We were careful to put
the correct ratio of dirt and or-
ganic materials with no chemi-
cals,” said Mary. “I am a great
reader, so I would discover
these needs through my read-
ing.”
“In 2007, we planted the
first raised beds around the
perimeter and the flowerbeds
on the walkway to the green-
house,” said Jim. “We planted
flowers that were known to
attract certain butterflies and
bees needed for the pollination
of our plants.” We also put in
cover crops to enrich the soil.
Outside of the raised beds
the Nemzeks planted aspara-
gus beds on the west and two
rows of raspberries on the
south and east.
Finally in 2009, the Nemze-
ks planted the inner beds of the
garden with vegetables. They
harvested several plants and
replanted their garden in 2010,
rotating their vegetable crops.
“We got a tremendous amount
of produce from that garden,”
said Mary. “It was all we could
possibly use and then some.”
The Nemzeks continued
to add to their garden in 2010
when they began a grape ar-
bor. However, the grape shoots
had only taken root when the
property was sold to Ken and
Connie Hutchinson.
Ken and Connie have con-
tinued the vision of Jim and
Mary Nemzek. Ken relishes
his time in the garden, plant-
ing, weeding, and enjoying
the art of growing plants. He
The Hutchinson garden. The Hutchinson garden produced well.
also continues Jim and Mary’s
commitment to keep the gar-
den organic, making use of a
double compost pile and no
spraying. He has added pots of
marigolds to keep certain bugs
away from the plants.
Ken appreciates the raised
beds and limestone pathways.
“After a rain, I can still work
in the garden as I don’t have to
step in the mud,” said Ken.
After Mary’s dreams, Jim’s
labor, and Ken’s caring con-
tinuance of the plan, the gar-
den on Fifth Street South is a
special space which has been
enjoyed by the Nemzeks, the
Hutchinsons, and anyone else
lucky enough to step through
the garden gate.
Hutchinson
from 8C
Not all home decorating
ideas require a big investment
of time and money. If you’re
looking for a quick and afford-
able home interior decorating
idea to freshen up a room, try
this one.
Lay an area rug: An area
rug is a wonderful way of
defining a conversation area.
Try one that complements the
room. Lay it at an angle be-
neath your coffee table.
Decorating idea
1717 8th Ave. N.
Humboldt
Give Marlene Thompson,
Lori Flurey, or Marcy Illg
a call at 515-332-5530
for all your real estate needs.
www.humboldtcomls.com
Member MLS
We look forward
to the opportunity
to list and sell
your home and
to show you the
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available in
the area until
you find your
“dream” home.
64th 2012
Fl exst eel • La- Z- Boy • Si mmons • Ri ver si de • Chr omcr af t
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601 3rd Street
Webster City, IA
✦ Landscape Design and Installation ✦
✦ Irrigation Systems ✦
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✦ Retaining Walls ✦
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Remodeling
Windows
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Siding
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Countertops
Rich Conlon, owner
515.332.4443 • Cell 515.368.3510
10C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Jeff Gargano
Bruce and Sandy Kirchhoff
spend most of their time in a
recently completed sun room
addition at their home along
the west branch of the Des
Moines River.
Other than a patch of dirt
they plan to seed to grass this
The back side of the Kirchhoff home on 9
th
Street South.
Sandy and Bruce Kirchhoff are pictured in their new sun room, just completed
this summer. The Kirchhoffs spend most of their time in the sun room.
The opening from the dining room to the sun room
used to be sliding glass doors that led to a deck.
For-
merly a
kitchen
window,
the open-
ing now
serves
as a pass
through
space from
the kitchen
to the sun
room.
fall, the 17’ by 14’ addition
looks like it has always been
there.
“We had thought about it
for four or five years,” Sandy
said. “We knew it would be
nice being along the river, and
the extra space would be good
when all the kids are here.”
The Kirchhoffs showed a
photo of a sun room they liked
to their contractor and he took
it from there.
“We are just amazed that he
could do all of this just from a
photo,” Sandy said.
The first step in the proj-
ect was detaching and moving
their deck and trellis. It was
saved to be re-attached later.
“It has special meaning
because my Dad helped build
it,” Sandy said. Her father was
the late Erv Sleiter who also
helped build the home they
are living in and many of the
homes in south Humboldt.
Originally planned as a
16’by 14’ addition, it was ex-
panded to 17’ by 14’ to work
around an existing kitchen
window space. The kitchen
window now is an open space
from the kitchen to the sun
room. Sliding glass doors
were removed and that area
was expanded and now serves
as the entrance to the sun room
through the dining room.
Construction started in
June and took about a month
to complete.
A cement crawl space was
built to support the addition.
Under the floor there is 10
inches of fiberglass insulation,
plus four inches of foam insu-
lation. They were able to tie
into the home’s existing heat-
ing and cooling system.
The two by six inch exte-
rior walls were insulated and
house wrap applied. There is
12 inches of fiberglass insu-
lation in the ceiling, plus one
foot of blown in insulation.
The sun room features 10
patio windows, plus a patio
door. The vinyl windows are
low e, argon filled double pane
with a lifetime warranty.
Sandy chose an Arizona
sand color for the interior
walls. The same paint was then
used in the dining room.
The Kirchhoffs feel for-
tunate to have obtained wood
stain to match the rest of the
house. A neighbor, JoAnn
Burns, had a gallon of the fruit
wood stain.
Sandy said she doesn’t plan
to have window coverings .
“We like the light. There is
only a short time that it gets
real sunny. Then the river trees
shade it,” Sandy said.
A ceiling fan helps circu-
late the air. They have a tele-
vision in the sun room where
Bruce, Sandy Kirchhoff enjoy new sun room
See Kirchhoff, 11C
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9 North 5th Street • Humboldt • 515-332-3326 • www.worthingtonins.net
Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 11C
Kirchhoff from 10C
New sliding doors lead from the sun room to the
deck.
The Kirchhoffs preserved and re-used the deck and
trellis on the house, re-attaching it after the sun room
was constructed. Sandy’s father, the late Erv Sleiter,
helped construct the deck and trellis.
they spend most of their time.
“We’re really happy with
the way it turned out,” Bruce
said.
“I don’t think we’ve sat in
our living room since the addi-
tion got finished,” Sandy said.
Their daughter, Tammy, did
the landscaping around the ad-
dition.
Bruce and Sandy are both
Humboldt natives. Bruce is
a 1962 graduate of HHS and
Sandy is a 1964 graduate.
They were married in 1965.
After high school, Sandy
went through the nursing pro-
gram in Mason City. She has
worked for 37 years at Hum-
boldt Care Center South and
continues to work there part-
time.
Bruce attended Fort Dodge
Junior College and studied in
the food marketing program.
He is retired from Procter and
Gamble. The Kirchhoffs have
three children. Tammy and
Chad Kuker live in Fort Dodge
and have three children: Ty-
son, eight; Katie, four and
Lauren, two.
Troy and Jen live in Hum-
boldt and have two children:
Tanner, 15; and Cade, nine.
Tiffany and Mike Clay live
in Humboldt and have three
children: Brittney, 16; Jacob,
12; and Logan, 11.
The Kirchhoffs are mem-
bers of Zion Lutheran Church
where Sandy is in the chorus
and serves as secretary-trea-
surer. She enjoys walking ev-
ery day, reading, shopping and
following the activities of her
grandchildren. Bruce also en-
joys following his grandchil-
dren and he owned a race car
for 12 years, racing in Web-
ster City, Alta, Algona, Boone
and even Knoxville one time.
Bruce and Sandy also enjoy
traveling.
The Kirchhoffs moved into
their three-bedroom home in
south Humboldt in 1972. Over
the years, they’ve completed
a number of improvements to
the home.
“We have some land and
thought about building a home
there, but we enjoy this loca-
tion. It’s nice being along the
river,” Sandy said. “The sun
room is something we’ll en-
joy as we get older and travel
less.”
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VICINITY
MAP
First 9 Lots
to be sold
at AucƟon
Sept. 23
1:30 p.m.
• Big wooded lots
• 5 year tax
abatement
• May 2013
compleƟon,
Phase I streets
• Near new middle
school, high school
• Humboldt
County Housing
Development
Corp.
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515-332-4467 OR 515-368-3400
Owner
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At your convenience, in the
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home, I’ll plan with you ... any
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bathrooms, decks, fences, garages, lawn
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515-295-7761 • Algona
12C The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
Making You Feel Right at Home
When you’ve found the right home, Bank Iowa will help you
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THERE
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 1D
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2D The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Kent Thompson
During the past seven
years, Kevin and Paula Skow
have taken a special pride in
posting the “SOLD” sign in
front of the properties listed
with their company, Humboldt
Realty.
It meant finding someone
a home they really liked and
helping the seller move a prop-
erty they no longer needed.
As for the Skows, long be-
fore A&E came out with their
“Flip This House,” reality TV
series, the Skows were do-
ing it themselves — purchas-
ing properties, fixing them up
and then reselling them — of-
ten times living in the homes
while the remodels were going
on.
Other times, the Skows
would find a new place to call
home, only to find out some-
one wanted it more. They
would sell the property and
relocate.
The term “living out of a
suitcase,” seemed to fit the
Humboldt couple who had
moved nine times in 12 years.
“We don’t collect much,”
Kevin and Paul Skow spend a lot of time in the kitch-
en, as both enjoy cooking.
Paula said of the couple’s pen-
chant for new places and new
spaces.
That’s why an anticipated
business move and a new resi-
dence for the Skows seemed
like an unlikely pairing at first.
Last winter, the Skows
purchased the former Thomas
Jewelers building at 608 Sum-
ner Avenue.
“I originally purchased a
lot at the corner of 6
th
Street
South and 1
st
Avenue South.
Then we started looking at
available downtown space,”
Kevin Skow said.
The Skows previously
rented space in the basement
of the Abens-Marty-Curran/
Humboldt Mutual Insurance
building at 513 Sumner Ave.
“We enjoyed our time there
and really miss the people, but
the stairs and lighting were
difficult for some of our cus-
tomers,” Paula Skow said.
Kevin came across the
Curves and Thomas Jewelers
building and thought it would
make an excellent location for
Humboldt Realty.
As the Skows were ready-
ing to remodel the building
for their real estate office, the
duplex they were living in also
sold.
“We thought, why not
make living space in the back
end of the jewelry store? We
wanted to make something
cool downtown. It’s just a
change in locations. Instead
of having the living quarters
above the storefront, they’re in
the back,” Kevin said.
Beginning last Feb. 1, the
Skows started a total remodel
of the interior of the former
jewelry store, taking the build-
ing down to the bare block
walls, with new studs, sheet-
rock, ceilings, flooring, wiring
and plumbing.
“We probably should have
Skows combine work and the pleasures of home
See Skows, 3D
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 3D
made a video, because a lot
of people can’t believe the
change,” Kevin said.
The west side of the build-
ing had been vacant since
Thomas Jewelers closed six
years ago.
Originally constructed by
Sande Construction Company
of Humboldt in 1977, Kevin
said he was able to take a look
at the original blueprint of the
building before beginning the
remodel.
Thomas Jewelers, Lane
Clothing and Country Porch
were the businesses the build-
ing was originally constructed
to house, with Clark Lane and
Robert O. Thomas the owners.
“We knew we wanted it
open and usable,” Kevin said
of the office space and living
quarters.
There were some challeng-
es, because it’s a long and fair-
ly narrow building, 155-feet
long by 19-feet wide, Kevin
Skow said.
The total square footage is
3,971, that includes a double
wide garage and shop area in
the back, as the Skows have
use of the unfinished portion
of both the building housing
Curves and their own business.
“Having a garage and a
shop area in the back was re-
ally just icing on the cake,”
Kevin said of the downtown
living quarters.
First off, the Skows have
developed a modern and very
attractive storefront for their
realty business, which in-
cludes a scrolling TV monitor
of available properties in the
front window.
A new front door, trim
and façade helped update the
downtown locale.
“Because of the narrow
width, we had to do a number
Skows
from 2D
Kevin and Paula Skows have lived in nine different residences in the past 12 years.
They believe they’ve found a place to call home in the converted living space in the
back of their Humboldt Realty office, and they are “Enjoying” it.
A modern kitchen with plenty of cupboard space is the first room beyond the of-
fice area of the Humboldt Realty business.
A bright and well planned front office area is where Paula and Kevin Skow meet
with real estate customers at their Humboldt Realty business.
A façade and entrance redesign provided a new look to the 600 block of Sumner,
Dura-ceramic floor tile
is pretty and provides for
easy clean up.
Walls were taken out
and added from the for-
while still maintaining the integrity of the 1977 build-
ing.
mer Thomas Jewelry building. Double wide closets now
take up space that previously held precious jewels.
A nice waiting room area was built into the front half
of the Humboldt Realty building.
A small master bedroom provides
enough room for a bed and a full length
mirror (not pictured).
See Skow, 4D
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4D The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
of plumbing cuts in several
places to get water where we
needed to and yet keep the
space open,” Kevin said.
The office area features
wood filing cabinets and cre-
denza, office desk and confer-
ence table. A narrow hallway
leads back to Kevin’s office
which is open with a large
rectangular desk and mounted
flat screen TV. Kevin’s wildlife
prints, which have taken wall
space in some of the Skow
abodes, are now relegated to
the office area.
Beyond Kevin’s office is
a small waiting area that in-
cludes a fainting coach, small
wood-framed settee and a pad-
ded reading chair.
“It’s a nice little room to re-
lax in,” Paula said.
The office bathroom fea-
tures a cherry wood vanity
with black granite countertop
and theater makeup lights.
As a space and storage sav-
er, the Skows were able to put
in two hallway closets.
At the end of the office
hallway is the living quarters.
The kitchen features knotty
alder wood cabinets with mix
and match Formica counter-
tops to accent the glazed Dura-
ceramic beige/gray floor tile
that are found throughout the
office and home.
“We wanted it (the kitchen)
to be open and usable,” Kevin
said.
“We both like to cook,” the
couple added.
Paula said she wanted to
do something a little different
with this kitchen.
“Kevin is big into oak but
we wanted to try something
different and go with a more
modern décor,” Paula said.
There is a large food ser-
vice island with inlaid sink in
the middle of the room, along
with built in locations for all of
the stainless steel appliances.
The living room features
matching his and hers leather
recliners and a sofa with ma-
hogany end tables and enter-
tainment table.
The master bedroom and
bath is cozy and compact, yet
very functional with pocket
doors and a large walk-in
closet off the bathroom, which
Paula labeled as a “must have.”
The building features an
electric heat pump system to
provide dependable and eco-
nomical heating and cooling.
The Skows were able to
move into their downtown
apartment in April and love the
convenience and simplicity of
their new home.
Kevin said the home/office
concept is really practical from
a business standpoint.
“On days I don’t have ap-
pointments, I have a big shop
area to build things and play
around,” Kevin said.
“It works great for night
and weekend appointments,”
Paula added. “It’s pretty neat
that I can cook or do laundry
while I’m waiting.”
“By living here, we can be
open longer if need be, or if
someone needs something, we
can get to a location without
having to stop by the office
first.
“It’s a lot like a duplex.
There are no windows and
skylights. It might be crazy to
some people, but we like it,”
Kevin said.
“We’ve taken care of prop-
erties for so long, the last
thing I want to do is mow the
lawn when I get home,” Kevin
joked.
Outside of cleaning the
front sidewalk in the winter,
the home/office is pretty main-
tenance free. In their spare
time the Skows enjoy spending
time at the lake and enjoying
the company of their children
and grandchildren.
“It’s going to be really nice
this winter when it gets dark
early and we are just steps
way from being home,” Kevin
commented.
It’s easy to see why the re-
altor couple are “SOLD” on
their new purchase.
Skow
from 4D
Kevin Skow really likes the fact of
having a large garage area behind his
downtown business and home, facing
the alley between Sumner Avenue and
1
st
Avenue South.
Kevin Skow and wife
Paula have been owners of
Humboldt Realty for the
past seven years.
Rustic tin lettering, ini-
tials for “Humboldt Re-
alty,” greet customers at
Paula Skow’s desk in the
front office.
A brightly-colored clock
with roman numerals
highlights the living room
wall space in the modern
style décor at the Kevin
and Paula Skow home in
downtown Humboldt.
The master bathroom has a walk-in shower and
countertop basin lavatory. 307 5th Street North • Dakota City • 515-332-1076 • Fax 604-1076
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 5D
By Marilyn Dodgen
Pat and Barb Colwell own
one of the oldest homes in
Humboldt, having been built in
1891. On Nov. 1 of that year, it
was dedicated as the parson-
age next door to the Unitar-
ian Church, at 308 North Taft
Street.
The church was built in
1880, by Humboldt founder
Stephen Taft and his fam-
ily and church members. By
1925, the Unitarians were no
longer worshiping in that facil-
ity and the parsonage became
a rental property.
Ray and Helen Lindhart
moved into the church build-
ing where they lived, oper-
ated their funeral business
and raised their three children.
They moved in 1961, to the
Avery House, at 612 Second
Avenue South and the con-
The Pat and Barb Colwell addition will have brick\red shutters that will tie in with
the other windows in the house. Landscaping may have to wait until spring.
The Colwell house,
taken before the new
addition was built.
The Colwells enjoy sitting on their new front
porch in the cooling evening temperatures.
gregation of Zion Lutheran
Church rented the old church
building while they built their
present complex at 1105 –
11th Avenue North.
After a few years as a rental
property, the former parson-
age was purchased by Minnie
(Nelson) Harte and she and
her sister, Rose Nelson, lived
there for many years. Minnie
was 102 years old when she
died in 1985. The property had
stood vacant for several years.
It was then sold at auction and
purchased by Don Jensen, who
updated the heating system
from oil to natural gas and did
some other needed repairs.
The house was then sold to
Dan and Linda Hawkins, who
lived there with their young
family until the early 1980s.
The Colwells purchased the
house in 1986, while Pat was
serving his 22 years with the
U. S. Navy. Barb and their
two sons lived there for seven
months. The house was rented
for the next six years by the
Jerry Knudsens when the Col-
wells were stationed elsewhere
until Pat retired from the ser-
vice in 1993, and moved back
to Humboldt.
Their first major renovation
was updating the very outdat-
ed kitchen in 2002. In 2003,
they had a two story garage
built in front of the old garage
and added a covered patio.
Over the years, the Col-
wells have added a 16’ by 24’
deck with a pergola for shade
over white wicker furniture
and hanging basket plants.
Woodworking is Barb’s hob-
by, so most of the projects she
built, with Pat helping when
Colwells own one of the
oldest homes in Humboldt
See Colwell, 6D
Once-upon-a-time you loved
the look of your living space, but
now it feels so last-century. If this
sounds like you, consider inject-
ing new energy into your home by
making a few high-impact chang-
es without a high-roller budget.
Clever use of colors in com-
bination with smart lighting can
enliven rooms so they give off a
more compelling, modern vibe
without the need for costly re-
modeling projects or expensive
furniture.
Color both soothes and stirs
the senses. Accent walls are a
great way to introduce bold color
and contrast, infusing a room with
a sense of adventure, playfulness
or drama. Bring vitality to any
room by painting one wall a vivid
shade to frame a focal point such
as a dramatic piece of artwork.
Accent walls are usually solid
with no doors or windows, unless
there is something special about
these features you want to high-
light, such as a spectacular view
or interesting architecture.
If you find yourself intimidat-
ed by vibrant colors, use neutral
tones on your primary walls with
a darker, more intense shade on
your accent wall.
Lighting is one of the most
dramatic areas where things are
changing in home décor. Not only
are new bulbs such as CFLs and
LEDs offering greater energy ef-
ficiency, light fixture styles and
lamp styles are also changing.
Remember those recessed
lights so popular years ago? De-
pending on how they are used to-
day, they may make a home look
outdated.
For the bathroom, use wall
sconces placed on each side of the
mirror for evenly lighting the face.
For bedrooms, living rooms
and family rooms choose strong
bold shapes for your table and
floor lamps.
Match decorative accessories
like pillows and lamps to your ac-
cent wall color, incorporating the
color, or shades of it, into a variety
of textures. Framed photos, an in-
teresting vase or impressive plant
will stand out well against an ac-
cent wall, making the perfect fo-
cal point. A buffet lamp (a smaller
version of a table lamp) adds am-
bience and makes an ideal accent.
Giving your home an up-to-
date look doesn’t need to break
the bank or your back. Simple
tweaks can give your interiors a
much-needed face lift.
Modernize
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Jim Sr. & Donna Porter
Founders Jim Porter
Co-Owner
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1952 – 2012
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Cell: 515.368.2191 Home: 515.373.6352 Email: stdickey@q.com
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6D The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
needed.
Inside the house Barb re-
built the north wall of the liv-
ing room, due to water damage
Colwell from 5D
caused by lightening striking
the chimney to the log-burning
fireplace. She built a new oak
front and mantel and added
open, oak shelves on either
side of the converted gas log
fireplace. Their flat screen
television is mounted above
the mantle.
Their latest project was
beyond her spare time and ca-
pabilities, so they hired a con-
tractor to add a new sunroom
to the front of the house. The
addition measures 18’ by 20’
and is surrounded by Pella
wind-out, casement windows,
with enclosed inner-blinds and
roll-up screens. There are two
on the north and on the front
are two more, with a centered
picture window. The section
above is holding the space for
the stained glass window that
was above the original front
picture window. This old win-
dow has to be refurbished be-
fore it can be installed.
Barb chose copper accents
throughout the room, so she
selected copper curtain rods
that hold a rust colored valance
with embroidered gold leaves
and small flowers. There are
matching side curtains, with
gold cord trim at the ends of
the rods.
A double glass-paneled
French door opens into the
living room. A similar French
door on the southeast corner
opens onto an open porch that
An intricate, multi-colored tile borders the heated,
13” by 13” tiles inside the front door.
Pat and Barb Colwell are holding three framed pho-
tos, of the original house and church, taken back in the
early 1900s. The original pictures were provided by the
Humboldt County Historical Museum.
Barb used tile purchased in Portugal to finish the top
of the table of the set brought back from their service
years in Spain.
See Colwell, 7D
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CONSTRUCTION • HUMBOLDT • 515.332.9866 • REMODELING
Tom and Sara Carlson • New Shed
Dean and Mary Berte • New Shop
Mike and Tonya Heier • New Home
Gary and Sonja Peyton • New Home
Nate Ubben • New Shop
Don and Pam Olson • New Garage
Jim and Julie Vermeer • New Addition
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 7D
has a tile floor and will eventu-
ally have a hot tub in the cor-
ner. This porch measures 12’
by 27’, and extends east from
the original front door.
A new ramp has replaced
the front steps, built by friends
for Pat who is recovering from
a stroke. (At the back of the
house, the half-bath/laundry
room has been remodeled
by their contractor, with the
help of family and friends. It
includes a wheelchair acces-
sible tiled shower, a non-slip
tiled floor and safety bars. The
adjoining former back porch\
sunroom has been converted
into a main floor bedroom).
Inside the front French
doors is a 5 ft. deep section
of 13” by 13” tile with a five-
inch Mosaic border of brown,
tan and cream and inserts of
copper.
This tiled area extends to
the west corner of the room
and over to the doorway lead-
ing into the living room, pro-
viding a protected walkway
from any outdoor snow or rain
that brings dirt into the entry.
From the tiled area to the
north wall is an oak floor. Barb
has used round braided rugs
under several pieces of fur-
niture to prevent marring the
floor. In the northwest corner
is a darker oak unit that in-
cludes a four-shelf bookcase, a
laptop armoire style desk and
an audio cabinet with storage
for DVDs. A flat screen televi-
sion is mounted above.
Other furnishings include
two matching, sienna brown
cowhide recliners with otto-
mans, a hanging basket chair
from Spain and in the center
of the room is a low table and
chairs that were also brought
from overseas. The tabletop
was created by Barb, using
Portuguese tiles that she pur-
chased while living in Spain.
The tile replaces the glass top
that she said was broken years
ago.
Copper and antique brass
flowerpots, vases and lanterns
and furniture door hardware
have been used as accents
throughout the room. An over-
head, copper Harvest Breeze
fan, with light, is centered in
the 9’ ceiling. More overhead
light is provided by four re-
cessed light fixtures. There
are also five recessed surround
sound speakers in the ceiling.
The forced air heating sys-
tem and air conditioning was
extended to the new room
from the house and a full crawl
space makes it accessible.
The section of flooring in-
side the door that is tiled is
heated. Hot and cold air regis-
ters in the floor are also copper
finished.
The front master bedroom
windows had to be replaced
with shorter ones due to the
roof pitch of the new room.
Brick red shutters will be
placed on the front windows to
match the rest of the window
shutters on the main house.
When designing the new
sunroom, the Colwells wanted
to preserve the historical es-
sence of the original house.
Even on cloudy days the
new sunroom is a pleasant
place to relax, with plenty of
light from the windows. Hope-
fully, the outdoor landscaping
can be done yet this fall, com-
pleting the overall appearance
of the front side of the new
room.
Colwell
from 6D
An oak and tile fronted fireplace, with side shelves
was built by Barb, replacing water-damaged areas
caused by lightning striking the chimney.
Matching, cowhide recliners swivel to allow viewing
either the television or activities in Taft Park across the
street to the east.
The 16’ by 24’ deck and overhead pergola provide a
relaxing, summertime area.
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515-332-2152
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Larry Erickson • New Deck
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Jim Vermeer • New Addition
Nate Ubben • New Shop
Mike Heier • New Home
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503 Sumner Ave. • Humboldt • 515-332-1593
O
lson & Humboldt County Abstract Co., Inc., and its
forerunners, have been providing title abstracting
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company’s founder, Stephen H. Taft, was the original
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8D The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
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By Kent Thompson
When Michelle Boying-
ton and Jason Meier moved
into their home at 910 5
th
St.
S., 1-1/2 years ago, there were
many things they liked about
the house and also some things
they wanted to change and up-
date.
That process is now under
way, with remodeling upstairs
and some changes downstairs,
as well as exterior modifica-
tions.
On the outside, the home
had been recently resided with
some new trim and doors.
Last year the couple added
a new metal roof to the home.
“It’s a greater short-term
expense for the benefit of the
long-term,” Michelle said of
the roofing material invest-
ment.
Metal roofs offer better
heat dissipating properties
than other roof types. Surpris-
ingly enough, even during se-
vere heat conditions (and there
have been plenty of those this
summer), metal roofs are able
to cool off quickly during the
nighttime hours. Another ad-
vantage is the durability and
lifespan of a metal roof.
A metal roof can complete-
ly seal out water, survive high
winds, and shed snow. It’s re-
sistant to fire, mildew, insects
and rotting.
“We are happy with it and
know that it is going to last for
a long, long time,” Michelle
said.
“We still have some facia
and soffit work to do,” Mi-
chelle said.
Some of the other complet-
ed work included taking out
some trees that were too close
to the home. The couple also
restained the small deck lo-
cated off the south side of the
house.
“We wanted to add a fence
outside this summer, but it was
so hot, we decided to wait,”
Michelle said.
The couple has two young
children, Carter Meier, 2 ½,
and Brooklyn Meier, 1 ½. The
kids like to explore in the big
back yard and the land around
the house.
The fence would not only
safeguard the children when
outside, but would provide
the family with added privacy
from the street.
Located south of the trailer
court, the home offers advan-
tages of seemingly being in
Boyington finds country living in town
Michelle Boyington and
children Brooklyn and
Carter Meier, live with Mi-
chelle’s finance Jason Mei-
er in south Humboldt. The
couple is making gradual
home improvements to a
well maintained home on
5
th
Street South.
A new metal roof can
dissipate the heat well on
warm days, allowing for a
house to cool off quicker.
Teal has been chosen as the color for the downstairs living quarters.
See Boyington, 2E
Curious children will put any-
thing in their mouths. But many
household items can be deadly
when swallowed.
One of the most dangerous
hidden hazards for children is
powerful magnets. Unlike those
typically found on refrigerators,
magnets in children’s toys and
even in desk toys marketed for
adults can be extremely powerful.
When swallowed, these magnets
can attract one another internally,
resulting in serious injuries, such
as small holes in the stomach and
intestines, intestinal blockage,
blood poisoning and even death.
While the Consumer Product
Safety Commission has worked
with the toy industry to pass stan-
dards to prevent magnets from de-
taching from toys, parents should
always check toys for magnets
to ensure that if present, they are
secure. Discard any toys that can-
not be fixed and never let children
under 6 play unsupervised with
magnetic toys. Products labeled
for users age 14 and up do not
have to comply with the toy safety
standard, so parents must be espe-
cially vigilant about keeping them
well out of children’s reach. Teach
your children never to put mag-
nets in their mouths.
According to the AAP, com-
mon abdominal symptoms, such
as pain, nausea, vomiting, and
diarrhea could be a sign magnets
were swallowed. Be sure to seek
medical attention immediately if
these symptoms occur.
Magnets aren’t the only items
children are putting in their
mouths. In 2010, more than 3,400
children swallowed lithium button
batteries, according to the Nation-
al Capital Poison Center. Tears in
the esophagus and internal bleed-
ing are some of the common in-
juries associated with swallowing
batteries. Keep loose and spare
batteries locked away and store
any product that uses button bat-
teries out of reach.
In addition, childproof your
medicine cabinet. It’s easy to mis-
take a dangerous pill for a deli-
cious piece of candy. Lock away
your medicine and throw out any
old and unnecessary pills. If you
suspect your child ingested medi-
cation, call Poison Help immedi-
ately: 1-800-222-1222.
A child’s curiosity can be
dangerous. Take the necessary
precautions to prevent these situa-
tions and be sure you are prepared
for anything.
Keeping children
safe from hidden
household dangers
Federal tax credits are also available for existing homes worth 10% of the cost of
materials only (labor not included) up to $500 maximum until Dec. 31, 2011.
For additional details on these tax credits, visit www.energystar.gov.
By adding 6 inches of insulation in your attic you could save as
much as $577 a year. Find out how the litte changes add up
at TogetherWeSave.com.
Humboldt County
Rural Electric Cooperative
www.humboldtrec.coop
Humboldt County REC members are eligible for a rebate when you increase
your attic insulation to R38 or greater. Call us at 515-332-1616 for details
or visit www.humboldtrec.coop.
Blanket Your Attic in Savings!
1175 South 32nd Street • Fort Dodge, IA 50501
(515) 573-3292 • Fax (515) 573-5146
QUALITY ♦ INTEGRITY
DEPENDABILITY ♦ DIVERSITY
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commercial buildings
1903 1st Ave. South
Fort Dodge, IA
515-955-5868
Phil D. Stephenson,
C.K.D.
www. a t l a s k i t c h e n . c o m
www.wood-mode.com
What inspires you?
Whatever your inspiration, as Wood-Mode design
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Cheryl Curry
Painting
515.332.5569 or 890.0099
• Interior Painting
• Wallpapering and Removal
• Staining
• Varnishing
Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 1E
the country while still being in
town.
There are corn and bean
fields next to the house on the
south, and across the street to
the east. They live not far from
where 5
th
Street turns into 11
th
Avenue South.
The exterior features West-
ern Ohio cut stone strategically
placed as a pathway from the
property’s full circle crushed
rock driveway.
There is also fieldstone
stairs that lead to the front
door. The landscaping helps
accent the country nature of
the home and the setting.
While in the city limits, the
Boyington property was origi-
nally part of the neighboring
farmland, so there is no city
water.
“We were worried earlier
this summer about our well,
but everything has held up
fine, despite the hot weather,”
Boyington said.
“We lived in Rutland be-
fore, and Jason said there was
no way he was moving to
town, so this is a nice compro-
mise, we’re in town, yet we’re
surrounded by farm fields,”
Boyington said.
Interior work has been
mostly aesthetic in nature so
far, with more remodeling
under way or in the planning
stages.
The walls in the downstairs
living room were burnt orange
and lime green and yellow.
The couple repainted those
in a teal color.
“It makes the inlaid brick
fireplace stand out, so we re-
ally like that,” Michelle said.
A metal spiral staircase
that ran upstairs has been tak-
en out, with plans for a more
“kid friendly,” hideaway wood
staircase in the offing.
The couple is currently re-
modeling an upstairs storage
area into a master bedroom
and bath.
“It takes a lot of work, but
we are doing it as we have
time,” Michelle said.
The upstairs features three
large elevated windows facing
the east and vaulted ceilings
that provide an excellent open
space to develop a master bed-
room.
In addition to the upstairs
remodel, the plan is to have
new carpeting in the down-
stairs and also update one of
the downstairs bathrooms.
Plans also include level-
ing the floor in the unfinished
basement to provide room for
the washer and dryer, which
currently sit off the dining
room on the main floor.
Exterior plans include add-
ing a patio and fire pit out the
back door to the west.
In addition to some of the
exterior features, another thing
Michelle really likes about the
home is the murals that were
painted on the bedrooms.
The girl’s room features
a meadow scene with fishes,
frogs, butterflies, birds, squir-
rels and turtles. It is heavy
with rich greens and light blue
hues.
The boy’s bedroom is “all
boy,” as they say. It features
four-wheelers and motorcycles
racing on a motocross track,
complete with hills, curves and
jumps.
It really appeals to young
Carter, who is all about cars,
trucks and tractors.
The open kitchen features
a small island nook with a full
cabinet and working two-sided
porcelain sink and faucet.
Exposed cherry wood raf-
ters in the interior of the two-
story home provide a country
feel. There is also track light-
ing along the home’s kitchen
and dining room area.
Modern built-in cabinets
are flanked by two large pic-
ture windows in the kitchen
and living room.
“We really like looking out
the windows across the field.
We have seen a lot of deer
and some foxes since we have
lived here,” Michelle said.
“Jason has a big family, so
it is nice to have a big, open
area for family gatherings
and get-togethers,” Boyington
said.
The old adage about loca-
tion being a selling point also
applies, as Michelle is just
blocks away from her parents
and her sister.
Both Michelle and Jason
work out of Fort Dodge. Mi-
chelle works for Heartland
Communications, where she
keeps busy working on the
Farmers Hot Line, a buyers
and sellers directory for all
kinds of livestock and agricul-
tural related products and ser-
vices.
Jason is independently em-
ployed with his family’s truck-
ing company. He does a lot of
local hauling out of the Fort
Dodge area.
Michelle likes the roomi-
ness of her country-style, in-
town house. She hopes with
the improvements the family
intends to make, that it can be
a functional and enjoyable liv-
ing quarters for many years to
come.
Boyington
from 1E
An aggregated flat stone
sidewalk runs from the
driveway to the front steps
of the house.
The airy openness of the
home allows the family to
host friends and relatives
and also work on home im-
provements while remain-
ing in the home.
Michelle says she really
likes the family’s inlaid
brick fireplace, the cen-
terpiece of the large living
room.
Michelle Boyington
in daughter Brooklyn’s
bedroom, along with son,
Carter. The inviting colors
make a perfect play room.
Custom oak cabinetry
is build around space for
modern appliances in an
L-shaped kitchen.
Michelle Boyington and
children Carter Meier,
2-1/2 and Brooklyn Meier,
1-1/2, are photographed in
Carter’s bedroom with a
mural of a motocross track
in the background.
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Pella Window & Door Showroom • 4116 University Ave. • Cedar Falls • 319-277-0145 •
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Pella Window Store • 125 North 27th Street
Fort Dodge, IA • 515-955-7080
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OPEN
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Thurs., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
100 East State Street
Downtown Algona
515.395.1761
Dave Vitzthum
1202 11th St. S.W. • Humboldt, IA 50548
515-332-4372
Thanks to all who allowed us
to serve their electrical needs
during the past year!
Let us help you with your
building or remodeling ideas!
Residential • Commercial • Farm
2E The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Jeff Gargano
Seeking a more open floor
plan and additional space for
entertaining, the Peyton family
purchased a new 1,900 square
foot home under construction
in the Riverview Heights Ad-
dition.
“We really liked the house
we were in, but there just
wasn’t enough room for the
kids to have friends over and
for us to have our own space,
too,” Gary Peyton said. “I’ve
always wanted a new house.
We were at my sister’s new
condo at Thanksgiving and it
had a pretty open floor plan,
one I wished we had.”
Gary’s wife, Sonja, wanted
to be on the east side of High-
way 169.
“It was pretty limited. This
house already had the base-
ment in and floor on. We felt
the timing was right. Our old-
est daughter had a few more
years of high school. We want-
ed her to be able to enjoy it.
We wanted our house to be the
one the kids came to,” Gary
said.
The Peytons were able to
modify parts of the plans for
the home, which has a three-
car garage.
“The rafters were already
ordered, otherwise we would
have liked to have had attic
storage above the garage. We
had that in our previous house
and really utilized it,” Gary
said.
Some of the changes to
the plan made by the Peytons
included removing a walk-in
pantry in the kitchen in favor
of additional cupboard space,
adding a breakfast nook down-
stairs, adding gas fireplaces
both upstairs and downstairs,
wood on the steps going down-
stairs, wide baseboard and
trim, and the addition of stone
The Peyton family is pictured in front of the stone surrounding their lower level
fire place. From left to right are: Sonja (holding Millie), Kinzie, Cassie, Karlee and
Gary.
Stone adorns the front of the
Peyton home.
One of the
many custom
features of the
Peyton kitchen
is this large
pull out cut-
ting board.
The Peyton kitchen fea-
tures a one level eating bar
with room for six people.
This gas fireplace is located in the main floor living room.
A view from the kitchen shows the open floor plan at the new home of Gary and
Sonja Peyton.
See Peyton, 6E
Peyton family likes open floor plan
204 Br oadway, Eagl e Gr ove
515- 448- 3843
1209 Cent r al Ave. E. , Cl ar i on
515- 532- 2887
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Hwy. 3 East - Humboldt • PH. 515-332-4525
Is cultured
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Residential
Commercial
• New Homes and redos
• Interior and Exterior
• Pressure Washing • Caulking
• Texture Spraying • Staining
• Mold Repair • Epoxy Floors
Plant Maintenance • Offices • Churches • Nursing Homes • Motels • Dealerships
Tracy Bachman 573-4187 Cell Phone 571-0645
See Photos on 4E-5E
Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 3E
A spacious walk-in closet is located in the master
bedroom.
A custom made medicine cabinet allows for extra
storage space in the main floor bath.
A basketball court and storage building are located in the backyard of the Peyton home.
A tray ceiling in the living room sets off the room.
The Peytons have both a covered porch and a patio in the back yard.
Between books, toys and
years of accumulated “stuff,”
a home can feel cluttered. And
most families quickly run out
of available storage space.
However, with a few smart
tweaks, you can create new
storage solutions for much-
needed space, and dramatical-
ly alter the feel, flow and look
of your home.
Furniture can be used for
dual purposes to create extra
storage space. Beds, for exam-
ple, can be built into walls to
open up a room. Drawers and
other types of storage units can
be added into or place under-
neath bed frames.
Instead of chairs, use
benches with storage under-
neath or inside to save space
and create an extra area for
storage. Like beds, benches
can also be built into walls.
Consider thickened walls
or hidden spaces between
rooms that can be opened up
and carved out with shelving
or closets. Just be sure your
plans don’t pose a conflict
with your electrical wiring or
plumbing.
Adding shelves to closets
will give you more storage
flexibility and make the most
of your space. In some cases,
you can even remove the doors
to those closets for more reach.
The added shelves will appear
built-in and part of your room.
If you have a basement, think
about installing shelving units.
Take a look at how you
currently use your home and
consider how rooms might be
reworked to create spaces that
meet your needs in smarter
ways. For example, do you re-
ally need to use a spare room
as an office? Does your din-
ing room go unused because
of the seating in the kitchen?
Take a look at your home more
holistically and determine how
each room should and could
function.
Don’t forget about spaces
under stairs. Carve outs or
shelving can be added to spots
along the wall or staircase, or
under the staircase.
If you have high ceilings,
an architect can help you iden-
tify options for building in a
completely new storage area.
Creating accessory outdoor
storage can help you organize
and bundle more cluttered
items, such as tools and yard
equipment. With these types
of projects, one must consider
zoning regulations and other
elements, such as pest, rodent
and environmental and tem-
perature controls. Ensure that
the storage area will serve its
purpose and keep your items
safe.
An architect can help visu-
alize storage opportunities that
people might not consider or
think are feasible. He or she
can help you apply many of
these storage building solu-
tions.
Most importantly, before
you purge your precious be-
longings, take some time to
create some space.
Creative ways to add storage to your home
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Bridal
Registry
4E The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012
The first lots at the new
71-acre Eagle Ridge housing
addition in Humboldt will be
auctioned off on Sunday, Sept.
23, at 1:30 p.m. The pre-de-
velopment lot auction will be
held on the site of the housing
development with lots 11-19
offered.
Infrastructure is currently
being installed. Temporary
roads have been graded and
rocked so people can view
the area. Lots have also been
marked out.
The auction is being co-
ordinated by members of the
Humboldt County Housing
Development Corporation
(HCHDC). The Eagle Ridge
Housing Addition can be ac-
cessed by turning east off of
the end of Elmhurst Avenue in
southwest Humboldt.
“The auction of lots 11-
19 allows people time to plan
their new home. If the weather
conditions are right, they could
actually get their foundation
work done before winter,”
Dave Dodgen, vice-president
of the HCHDC, said.
While there are 43 total lots
in the development, there will
be 22 lots developed in Phase
I and the balance of lots of-
fered in Phase II of the proj-
ect. There is a mix of hillside/
riverside/wooded lots ranging
in size from one-half acre to
nearly three acres. The small-
est lot offered is 130’ by 150.’
The remainder of lots in
Phase I will be auctioned off in
the spring of 2013.
“This is an opportunity to
get a jump start and get a good
buying opportunity of your
choice lot,” Dodgen said.
HCHDC President Cheryl
Rhead said many of the lots
are heavily wooded.
“Buying a lot this fall
would allow the new owner
time to do some clearing and
planning for their new home,”
Rhead said.
The single family residen-
tial development is located on
land east of Elmhurst Avenue
with many of the lots over-
looking the west branch of
the Des Moines River and the
Reasoner Dam. All utilities are
being installed to the lots and
streets are being paved with
curb and gutter.
Anyone who purchases
a lot will have five years in
which to construct a home.
The new homes will be eli-
gible for a graduated five-year
tax abatement program.
The Eagle Ridge project
comes on the heels of the Riv-
erview Heights housing ad-
dition, which was a series of
developments that started in
2000 and led to the construc-
tion of 57 new homes in the
city of Humboldt. Those new
homes now carry an assessed
valuation of more than $12
million.
Financing for the develop-
ment will come from Tax In-
crement Financing (TIF).
The housing project will
utilize about 35 acres of land.
An additional 36 acres of
Standing on what will be Eagle Ridge Drive are Aar-
on Burnett, Cheryl Rhead and Dave Dodgen, members
of the Humboldt County Housing Development Cor-
poration. Lots 11 through 19 at the new Eagle Ridge
development will be auctioned off on Sunday, Sept. 23,
at 1:30 p.m. The auction will take place at the develop-
ment site in southwest Humboldt, just off of Elmhurst
Avenue.
Some grading has been completed and gravel laid down to allow people to come and see the lots that will be
auctioned off at the Eagle Ridge housing development in southwest Humboldt. Access is off of Elmhurst Avenue.
The auction of lots 11 through 19 is set for Sunday, Sept. 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the site of the lots.
Lots 11 through 19 will be auctioned off on Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. as development takes off at the new Eagle
Ridge housing subdivision in southwest Humboldt.
mostly timber will likely re-
main undeveloped.
Humboldt City Adminis-
trator Aaron Burnett said there
has already been a lot of inter-
est in the project. Burnett has
more information available at
Humboldt City Hall, or peo-
ple can call (515) 332-3435.
People can also visit the city’s
website www.ci.humboldt.
ia.us for more information.
First auction for Eagle Ridge housing addition is Sept. 23
The Peyton kitchen is open to the dining room and living room.
The varied heights of the cupboards give a unique look to the kitchen.
The Peytons chose to use a laminate countertop in the kitchen.
A close up of the
Peyton fire pit area.
Stone
surrounds
the gas
fireplace
in the
lower
level of
the Peyton
home.
Thursday, Month 00, 2012 The Humboldt Independent 5E
to the front of the house.
The original plan called for
a raised eating bar in the kitch-
en, which is open to the dining
room and living room.
“We made it all one level
for more usable space,” Sonja
said. They have six bar stools
at the eating bar. The black
kitchen sink faces out towards
the living room and dining
room. Black appliances were
chosen along with custom
built oak cupboards and lami-
nate countertops.
The interior walls were
painted tan and the plush low
level shag carpet matches the
earth tone colors. Laminate
wood flooring was used in the
kitchen and linoleum in the
bathroom/laundry room on the
main floor. A stackable washer
and dryer were chosen for the
main floor laundry room.
The main floor has three
bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The master bedroom has a
large walk-in closet.
Downstairs is a large fam-
ily room with stone fireplace,
big screen television with sur-
round sound, eating bar and
several canned lights in the
nine foot high ceiling.
There is an exercise room/
office, furnace room that dou-
bles as a storage area, plus a
tornado shelter covered on all
sides by concrete.
There is one bedroom
downstairs and a full bath with
another stackable washer and
dryer.
Plans call for the down-
stairs to be decorated in an
Iowa State theme.
Egress windows let in an
abundance of light to the lower
level.
Some additional features
of the house include surround
sound both downstairs and up-
stairs. Speakers were located
throughout the house and even
on the patio. Gary installed a
central vacuum system, in-
cluding a handy connection
under the kitchen sink for easy
cleaning in the kitchen area.
There is a security system in-
stalled.
Solid core oak arch doors
were chosen along with nickel
plated lever handles. There are
ceiling fans in each room.
A high efficiency furnace
coupled with two by six insu-
lated walls mean heating and
cooling bills are more reason-
able than expected. The house
is so tight an air exchanger
helps bring in fresh air.
Outside, a colored concrete
patio with a fire pit and sitting
wall was installed. There is
also a basketball court for the
kids, and a 10’ by 20’ storage
shed.
In the garage and basement
furnace room, Gary chose to
use car siding instead of sheet-
rock to make it easier to hang
items to store.
One of Gary’s biggest chal-
lenges this year was keeping
his new lawn going during the
extreme drought.
“It takes about five to six
hours a day to water it,” Gary
said.
They plan to do landscap-
ing next year.
The Peytons moved into
their new home at the end of
May. They were fortunate
enough to have sold their
home in south Humboldt and
were able to rent it back from
the new owners until the new
house was completed.
The Peytons have three
children: Karlee, 16 a junior
at HHS; Cassie, 13, a seventh
grader at Humboldt Middle
School; and Kinzie, nine, a
third grader at Taft Elemen-
tary.
Gary is a Coggon native
and a 1984 graduate of North
Linn High School. He ob-
tained a double major in ag
business and ag education
from Iowa State University
in 1989 and started working
for Continental Grain in their
Wayne Feed division. It was
while training in Humboldt
for 16 months that he met his
future wife, the former Sonja
DeWinter. Gary was assigned
a district in Batesville, IN,
where he worked for a little
over a year.
Gary and Sonja were mar-
ried in 1992. Gary then accept-
ed a position with Beam In-
dustries in Webster City where
he worked for seven years.
Sonja is a 1988 graduate
of HHS. She obtained an AA
degree from DMACC and then
double majored at UNI in el-
ementary education and early
childhood. She taught (fifth
grade for three years and sev-
enth grade for three years) and
coached basketball and volley-
ball in Webster City.
In early 2000, the Peytons
moved to Humboldt. Sonja
started teaching kindergarten
at Mease Elementary School
during the 2000-2001 school
year and remains a kindergar-
ten teacher there today.
Gary started with EFM in
Humboldt in 2001. He is one
of the owners of the company,
which now employs eight peo-
ple.
“If we could have changed
the floor plan, we might have
done a few things different like
make the main floor laundry
room bigger and had storage
above the garage,” Gary said.
“We love our new neigh-
bors and love being on a cul-
de-sac,” Sonja said. “We’re
happy with the way it turned
out. It’s home.”
Peyton from 10D
The lower level bath-
room also has a stackable
washer and dryer.
A carpet runner is sur-
rounded by oak on the
stairway heading to the
lower level.
This view shows the
expanse of the lower level
family room.
The main entrance to the Peyton home features tile
flooring.
The dining room in the Peyton home has sliding doors that lead to a covered porch
and patio area.
Rick Titus of Clarion started his business, called “The Country Store”, in
1975 and even though he has moved into town now, he has no intention
of retiring any time soon. “l enjoy and love doing this.” said Titus. “I’ve
covered every corner of the state because I’m an expert, and that is not
meant as a boast. I don’t think anyone else in the state does exactly what
| oo." Wbat be ooes, ls sell ano lnstall tbe Fuego Flame (brano name) ñre-
Rick Titus in his 37th year of
selling and installing more
efBcient Breplace inserts.
- photo by Les Houser, Wright County Monitor
place lnsert, wblcb be belleves are tbe most e|ñclent lnserts on tbe market, |or tbe money. However, lt took blm awblle to ñno
out about tbat brano. ¨| was llvlng ln Llttleton, Coloraoo. ano came across a brocbure |or tbe Heatllator ñreplaces, wblcb were
made at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,” said Titus.“When we moved back here 3 years later, I decided I was going to call them and become a
dealer.” Titus was soon displaying the units at county fairs and got some business. But then in checking back with his customers,
to his amazement, he found out they were sending most of the heat up the chimney.
¨| tben trleo selllng otber branos o| ñreplaces llke Preway, ano Majestlc ano |ouno tbey were no better. Tbese were touteo to
be energy e|ñclent, bavlng |ans ano aojustable oampers, but tbey stlll were not burnlng llke a wooo stove, so | just kept looklng. |
was selling wood stoves, but not everyone wants a wood stove in their home.Then I found out about the Fuego Flame Fireplaces,
wblcb were as close to wooo stove e|ñclency as you wlll ñno.Tbls company maoe Zero Clearance ñreplaces ano also maoe |our
ol||erent slzeo lnserts, so now | coulo o||er my customers a super e|ñclent ñreplace, or lnstall one o| tbe lnserts lnsloe o| tbelr
e×lstlng wooo burnlng ñreplace, no matter bow large or small," Tltus salo. 8ut tben lt wasn't long be|ore be |ouno a ñreplace
tbat bas an unusual sbape, llke a two sloeo, or see-tbru. or arcbeo openlng, ano tbese lnserts woulo not ñt. So be oecloeo to just
make tbe lnserts |rom scratcb to ñt tbese unusual ñreplaces. He even bullt an lnsert to ñt a |our sloeo ñreplace |or 8lll Knapp
in Des Moines.
Tbe Fuego Flame ñreplace lnserts can make any ñreplace burn up to 70° e|ñclent, ano neeos no electrlclty wblle keeplng 99°
o| tbe beat ln tbe bome. |t burns slow llke a wooo stove wblle keeplng tbe beauty o| tbe ñreplaces overall appearance ano |un o|
watcblng tbe ñre. Once tbe lnsert ls lnstalleo, tbe average ñreplace can beat 1,000 to 1,500 square |eet o| a well lnsulateo bome,
wblle uslng 2/3 less wooo, ano protects tbe bome |rom runaway ñres. |t can burn most o| tbe nlgbt on just 3 or 4 barowooo logs,
leavlng you a nlce beo o| bot burnlng coals to lgnlte new logs come mornlng. ¨Some o| my customers use tbe ñreplace 24/7 all
winter long, and rarely hear their furnace kick on. Thus they save a tremendous amount of fuel each month. These inserts literally
pay for themselves by saving the customers fuel,” Titus says. The inserts are made using 12-guage steel, which Titus said transmits
tbe beat qulcker because lt's llgbter. Cool alr |rom tbe bouse enters unoerneatb tbe lnsert, ano ls tben clrculateo up tbe back o|
tbe ñreplace wltb tbe beateo alr e×ltlng out tbe top, all wltbout tbe use o| a |an. Tbe temperature o| tbe alr comlng o|| tbls lnsert
varles |rom 200 to 1000 oegrees. Tltus says, ¨You bake ln your oven at 350, ano you can |eel tbat klno o| beat comlng out o| tbe
top o| tbe ñreplaces beat openlng. Most beat clrculatlng ñreplaces oo not come close to puttlng out tbat klno o| beat, |or tbey
send all their heat up the chimney.”
Tbe Fuego Flame lnserts are lnstalleo uslng an lnsulateo celllng, wblcb prevents tbe stove beat |rom golng up tbe ñreplaces cblm-
ney. The insert damper control is on the inserts face plate, so you can close the doors and then close the damper. The inserts
also burn wltb tbelr oamper 95° closeo, tbus maklng tbe wooo burn nlce ano slow. Tbe twln glass ooors are maoe uslng ceramlc
glass, wblcb wlll take 1400 oegrees temperature, so you never bave to worry about breaklng tbe glass wltb beat, ano you get to
enjoy watching the slow burning logs inside. These twin doors are easy to clean with very little effort. “Remember when you
were a klo slttlng arouno tbe campñre, or at a |amlly reunlon, bow mucb |un lt ls to slt arouno tbe campñre? Well, you can bave
tbat same |un ln your bome wltb a real wooo burnlng ñre ln your ñreplace all wlnter long, ano enjoy tbe romance o| tbe Names:
ano everyone coulo use more romance, rlgbt? |t ls actually mesmerlzlng to watcb tbe Names, ano you oon't even bave to say a
woro as you watcb tbe ñre. Now you can bave tbe romantlc com|ort o| a camp|ire ano enjoy all tbat warmtb ln your bome sa|ely
ano e|ñclently," salo Tltus.
For tbose tbat can't or oon't wlsb to burn wooo, Tltus o||ers super e|ñclent gas logs as an optlon. He starteo selllng tbose ln
1991, ano tbey o||er tbe same nlce Name e||ect, but wltbout tbe work ano cleanup |rom real wooo. ¨|'ve got people wbo bougbt
a ñreplace |rom me ln tbe 70's ano 80's tbat are now bavlng me put gas logs ln tbose same ñreplaces," salo Tltus. Tbese gas logs
are capable o| beatlng up to 1,000 square |eet o| tbe average well lnsulateo bome, so l| you bave a power outage, tbese gas logs
will keep you toasty warm, and keep the pipes from freezing in your home.
Tltus bas covereo a large area o| tbe Mlowest ln bls sales ano lnstallatlon travels,¨| bave bullt ano lnstalleo unlts ln ñreplaces |rom
Mlnneapolls to Kansas Clty ano all over |owa." salo Tltus, ¨|'ve learneo tbat l| | go to a county |alr, | get buslness |rom tbat area."
He also |eels tbat woro o| moutb bas been bls best aovertlslng, ano tbat tbe personal attentlon be can o||er gets tbe sales. ¨| oo
all the work myself,” said Titus.“I don’t even charge for estimates when I come into your home. I feel an in home visit is the only
way I can know exactly what the customer needs.” Titus is also not afraid to tackle, or at least look at, any chimney problems
lncluolng a crackeo cblmney. ¨|'ve ñ×eo one o| tbose many tlmes |or someone," salo Tltus. ¨| lnstalleo a stalnless steel llner lnsloe
tbe cblmney ano maoe lt sa|e ano e|ñclent." Tltus e×plalneo tbat tbese lnserts are not llke otbers tbat you can buy, ano tbat lt
takes some tlme to lnstall tbem. ¨Tbls ls not a qulck ñ× job," salo Tltus. ¨| oon't just sbove lt lnto your e×lstlng ñreplace, collect
a cbeck ano leave. Most o| tbe otber lnserts on tbe market make your ñreplace look llke lt bas a wooo stove sboveo lnto lt, ano
tbey cbange tbe wbole look o| tbe ñreplace by puttlng a blg metal sbrouo arouno tbe lnsert. |t takes me |rom sl× to elgbt bours
to do this, but it will be done right and you’ll never need to do anything more with it.” Titus has even thought of people who like
to cook |ooo over a wooo ñre. ¨|'ve oevelopeo a barbeque grlll tbat wlll ñt lnsloe tbere," salo Tltus. ¨You can grlll steaks or bake
potatoes. |t wlll work great |or puttlng a outcb-oven ln tbe ñreplace too." Feel |ree to contact Plck at Tbe Country Store |or
more ln|ormatlon. You can call eltber 515-532-3881 or 515-293-2455, or vlslt bls webslte at: www.ñreplacesattbecountrystore.
com, or email him at yahtitus@gmail.com. “We don’t know what the future holds for our electrìcal system in this country,” said
Titus. “If someone wants to control us, they could cut off the electricity, food supply, or disrupt our fuel. Everyone should have
a way to heat their home without electricity.”
515-532-3881 or 515-293-2455 - www.Breplacesatthecountrystore.com
Call now and we will begin planning
the perfect fit for you! p y
Let us help design your
new landscape area!
C ll d ill b i l i
General Contractors
Gilmore City, Iowa
Doug Lanning • 515.373.6159
Jim Peters • 515.373.6402
L P
Construction
Your Full Service Lumberyard
With An In-House Design Service
■ Award Winning Building Designs
■ FREE Computerized Estimates
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1920 CENTRAL
AVENUE
FORT DODGE
Office 515-573-4166
Fax 515-573-4880
1-800-362-2846
6E The Humboldt Independent Thursday, September 20, 2012