Post-Occupancy Update on Plum Street

August 26th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

The ball is still rolling on Plum Street in Northfield.

We’ve occupied our new house all summer and we love it. It fits us so well the kids don’t want to leave home!

I now better understand the elation expressed by our clients after a few months in their new home, especially after a remodeling. Life is easier when the house doesn’t get in the way but instead facilitates everyday everything. The speed at which we get used to improvements is amazing. We are glad to have a good series of photos to remind us from whence we came.

Of course, owning a house means projects of all sizes. As you see in the photo above, I’ve been busy building a limestone retaining wall from the salvaged remains of a barn foundation. The patio will serve as a level place to sit and relax outdoors and to give homes to Mary’s many potted plants.


And, the gutters are on at last. Instead of the common K-style gutter, we used a more angular seamless gutter. These seem to complement the roof lines and the detailing of our soffits. I don’t think it is our fault, but we haven’t had rain since installing the gutters. Too bad: we’re looking forward to filling our new rain barrel.

The barrel came from the entrepreneurial spirit of Bruce Anderson, who has sold over 400 barrels modified for this purpose. We will use the water we catch for watering flowers and plantings along the south side of our lot. Hopefully this will help keep things green and minimize the runoff from our roof.

Landscaping will begin this fall. We’ve already relocated some hostas and peonies that had found temporary lodging in our garden. The lawn took some damage during construction, so it needs some serious help, too. The list goes on, but we are very pleased with our newly remodeled home.

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Cub Scouts: Green Team Request

August 13th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Cub Scout Pack 300
, in Northfield Minnesota, has been selected as the Green Team at EconoFoods for the months of August, September and October 2008.

We are asking for your help in making our Green Team experience a fruitful one by depositing your cardboard, newspapers, magazines and phone books in the bin. The funds we raise will be used to provide scholarship for kids who otherwise can not afford to join scouting as well as to help defray the costs of outings and projects.

Cub Scout Troop 300 thanks you for your support of Scouting!

Also, recruiting efforts are underway for the 2008-2009 school year. If you know a boy interested in scouting, please contact me today.

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Progress is… Noisy

August 12th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Noisy Northfield street work outside the offices of VIVUS Architecture and Design

Northfield’s remodeling Fifth Street this summer, and I have a front row seat.

As you can tell from this photo from my office window, I get to hear and see the action first hand.

The project is part of a larger improvement of Fifth Street from Water Street to Washington Street, including utilities and streetscape upgrades. For more, see this link.

Getting to our offices will be a bit tougher for a few more weeks. Thanks for your patience!

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Farmhouse: Second time around

August 11th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Phase one of the farmhouse remodeling is complete

We like it when our clients are happy with our work; perhaps the best is when they ask us back to advise them on subsequent alterations. This is the case with this Farmington, MN, farmhouse, for which we designed an addition a couple of years ago.

The goal was to expand the house in a way that enhanced its character and provided a new master suite and an attached garage. The construction work is finished, and the Owner is now considering how to improve the front entry and provide a space for gardening in the cooler months.

We are delighted to be back on the job and have already reviewed one set of design options.

See our previous post about the design effort, and stay tuned for the future modifications.

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