Lake&Home Magazine Jan/Feb '19

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JAN / FEB 2019



JAN / FEB 2019


photo by Studio Three Beau




VOLUME 21 • ISSUE 1 • JAN / FEB 2019

10 From the Office


by Erin Hintz

Lakes Area 12 EVENTS

Events Calendar



Marking a Milestone 20 Years of Lake & Home Magazine

by Alicia Underlee Nelson



Look at that View Enhancing Your View of the Lake with Windows by Jen Miller


Minneapolis Lake Home and Cabin Show

Lake Gifts 42 SHOPPING

Gifts for the Lake Lover

Choosing the Right 44


Alexandria, Minnesota



The Timelessness of Tile

by Patrice Peterson



FEATURED HOME 100 A Home with a Country Feel by Patrice Peterson

FEATURED HOME 112 Building a Forever Home by Angela Garvin

Lake Area Docks and Liftsv Your Questions Answered 66 124 INTERIOR DESIGN

by Our Panel of Experts

68 Hottest Interior Design INTERIOR DESIGN


54 LaFerme

Trends for 2019 by Danae Branson

Spotlight on Design 74


Service Directory 128


Lake Melissa 130



Ravnik & Co.

FEATURED HOME 76 A Cabin to Cherish

Creating a New Foundation to Build Family Memories by Andrea Canning

FEATURED HOME 88 Timeless Charm on

Lake Melissa

by Alicia Underlee Nelson

Cover photo by Tiffany Sass of TEM Photography Story on page 76



Volume 21, Issue 1 • JAN / FEB 2019 Lic. #BC520694

PUBLISHER Kip Johnson EDITOR Brent Rogness CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kip Johnson ADVERTISING/MARKETING CONSULTANT John Burns LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE – ADVERTISING SALES Erin Hintz • 218-205-2120 Jerry Shea • 218-205-7454   SUBSCRIPTIONS In the U.S., one year $23.95; two years $42.50; three years $54.00. Elsewhere add $5.00 per issue. Back issues are available for $5.00 per issue, plus shipping and handling. Subscriptions can be purchased online at

LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE Published bimonthly by Compass Media 118 S Vine St | Fergus Falls, MN 56537 (218) 205-2706 Unless previously agreed, all rights remain the sole property of Lake and Home Magazine. ©2018 Compass Media Except for purposes of review, material contained herein may not be reproduced without prior written consent. Printed by LSC Communications, USA



For almost as long as I can remember, Lake & Home has been a familiar name in our home. My dad was a part of the magazine from the ground floor, and still is. My parents also built several houses while my brother and I were kids, so guess you could say I was raised to love this stuff. Naturally, I thought my dad’s job at Lake & Home Magazine had to be about the best job imaginable (aside from his job in sales at the radio station when I was very young and was convinced that he went to the radio to sing and play banjo). Fast forward nearly 15 years and Ben Underwood gave me the opportunity to become a part of the magazine that I had basically grown up beside. While every job has its day, on most days, it fully lives up to my childhood ideal of working for Lake & Home. Many local, niche magazines come and go, but Lake & Home has truly withstood the test of time as we now celebrate our 20th anniversary. Ben Underwood had an incredible vision for this magazine and through more than 15 years of publishing Lake & Home, never strayed from bringing our readers local stories about local homes, written and photographed by local professionals. Our new publisher, Kip Johnson has stayed true to the foundation that Lake & Home Magazine has

been standing on for decades, but his outstanding eye for graphic design and fresh ideas have breathed new life into the magazine. We’re a small company, allowing each of us to really bring our own talents and ideas to the table, and every one of us takes an enormous amount of pride in each issue we publish. But, the fact of the matter is that none of it would be possible without our advertisers. I work with many of the businesses that you see within these pages and they are nothing but the best; a wonderful group of incredibly talented people. They are also the source of Lake & Home’s editorial. The homes that we feature were built, designed, and landscaped by our advertisers, and they provide us with the knowledge necessary to write each article we publish. I can speak for the company as a whole when I say that we are incredibly grateful to these business owners, many of whom have been with us since day one. After 20 years in publishing, more than 300 homes have graced the pages of this magazine. We’d like to thank each and every homeowner who has welcomed us into their beautiful homes. And of course, we would not be here today without you, our readers. The idea

that Lake & Home has been a tool and idea source in building and remodeling so many homes in our area is astounding. We’ve heard from many of you when we have the opportunity to visit, whether you’re at our office to pick up the most recent copy, calling for subscription renewals, or stopping to see us at home shows. To hear that Lake & Home is an essential tool in putting together the vision for your home never gets old. We’re humbled by the fact that so many people have made Lake & Home Magazine a part of their building or remodeling experience. We’re celebrating in style as this issue is, no doubt, our biggest issue to date. We’re thrilled to be bringing you inside not two or three, but four stunning Minnesota lake homes. You’ll also find a 2019 calendar inserted into your copy, as well as a special section and map of the Minneapolis Lake Home & Cabin Show, where we hope to see you all in February! And of course, we’ve brought you new ideas and inspiration with articles such as Hottest New Design Trends of 2019, Enhancing Your View of the Lake, and an article on timeless designs with tile. As we wrap up the production of this issue and go home to celebrate the holidays, we are exceptionally grateful to all of you, and we look forward to what’s to come for Lake & Home Magazine in the new year, and the next 20 to follow. ~L&H

Erin Hintz Advertising Sales

Events Calendar Throughout Minnesota: January 19-21

February 24

Alexandria January 2, 16 February 6, 20

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend. Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with kids under 16

Handicraft Support Group and More 11 a.m. Douglas County Library Work on knitting, crocheting and other needlework with other stitchers 320-762-3014

January 6

Alexandria Bridal Show Holiday Inn Alexandria Noon Fashion show, vendors, food samples, door prizes, giveaways

January 6, February 3

Read Between the Lines Book Discussion Carlos Creek Winery 2 p.m.

January 11

Paint for a Cause Art Bar 39 6:30 p.m. Create a painting to support Relay for Life

January 11-13, 18-20

“Baskerville: A Sherlock Homes Mystery” Andria Theatre 7:30 p.m. A mystery/comedy play

January 20

Lakes Area Wedding Expo Carlos Creek Winery Noon Runway show, vendors, drawings, giveaways

January 21

Empowered w/ Rachel Hollis Downtown Alexandria New York Times best-selling author

February 2

Murder Mystery Dinner Carlos Creek Winery 7 p.m. Dinner theatre and a four- course meal

February 6

Winter Whiskey Tasting The Garden Bar on 6th 6:30 p.m.

February 7

Quad Squad Improv Raapers Eatery & Ale 6 p.m. Comedy and taco bar

Alexandria Polar Plunge Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria 1 p.m. A benefit for Special Olympics Minnesota

Backus January 6, 13, 20, 27 February 3, 10, 7, 24

Cribbage at the Backus American Legion American Legion Post #368 1 p.m. 218-947-3156

Baxter January 21, February 18

Books, Burgers and Brews Prairie Bay Grill 6 p.m. Book discussion and food. Books at Brainerd Public Library.

Bemidji January 3, 10, 17, 24. 31 February 7, 14, 21, 28

Open Stage Brigid’s Pub 1:30 p.m. Open mic for poets, acoustic musicians, actors, writers 218-444-0567

January 4, February 1

Headwaters Open-Mic CoffeeHouse Headwaters Music and Art 7 p.m. Family friendly open-mic music & spoken word event

January 4, February 1

First Friday Art Walk Watermark Art Center 5:30 p.m. Explore art, speak with artists and enjoy free refreshments

January 6, February 3

CiderSong Headwaters Music & Arts 6 p.m. Free cider and community singing event

January 7

Celebrate Fishing Speaker Series Headwaters Science Center 5:30 p.m. Meal, door prizes and talk from Matthew Breuer, North Country Guide Service 218-444-4472 to RSVP

January 10, February 28

String Art Class TreeHouse at Compass Rose 5:30 p.m. Create your string art map of MN. Pre-register online.

January 13, February 10

2nd Sunday Cribbage Tourney Bemidji Brewing 1:30 p.m. Free tournament, prizes for 1-3 place



January 17-19

Hockey Day Minnesota Lake Bemidji’s South Shore Outdoor Minnesota Wild and Bemidji State University hockey games, concerts, events

January 19

Bemidji Jaycees BRRRmidji Plunge Lake Bemidji 10 a.m. Proceeds benefit local non-profits

January 24, February 14

February 4

Bemidji Concert Series: Hornheads Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, Bemidji State University 7:30 p.m. This five-piece ensemble performed with Prince and Chaka Khan 218-755-2915

February 8-10

Bemidji Outdoor Sports Show Sanford Center Boats, spas, ATVs, giveaways and more

Letter Stamped Necklace Class TreeHouse at Compass Rose 5:30 p.m. Create a rose gold necklace. Pre-register online.

February 15-16

MN Finlandia Ski Marathon Buena Vista Ski Area This event draws elite cross-county skiers but is open to all

January 24-26

February 17

Quilting and Sewing Retreat A Stitch in Time Sewing, classes, food and shopping

January 25-27

Vocalmotive Dinner Show Bemidji High School Commons 6 p.m. 218-444-1600 ext 3315

January 26

Candlelight Snowshoe Lake Bemidji State Park 6 p.m. Start at the Visitor Center, enjoy campfires and refreshments 218-308-2300

January 30

Adult Cross Country Ski Lessons Gillett Wellness Center Bemidji State University 4 p.m. Must pre-register online

February 1-2

BSU JazzFest 2019 Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, Bemidji State University Performances and workshops from regional bands and guest artists 218-755-3365

February 1-3, 8-10

“Room Service” Paul Bunyan Playhouse A zany comedy

February 2

Winter Techniques: Digital Photography Workshop Lake Bemidji State Park 6 p.m. Start at the Visitor Center, enjoy campfires and refreshments 218-308-2300

Bemidji Orchestra: “Hamlet” Bemidji High School Auditorium 3 p.m. Shakespeare meets Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Debussy

Brainerd January 5

3rd Annual Crappie Flop 2019 Paradise Resort Bar & Grill 10 a.m. Prizes awarded. Must be caught day of.

January 5

3rd Annual Sample’s Agate, Gem and Mineral Shop’s Agate Show Northland Arboretum 10 a.m. Door prizes, vendors, food, free agate stickers for kids 13 and under 218-537-3988

January 7 February 4

Brown Bag Author Visit Brainerd Public Library Noon Meet author Susan Davis (January) and Frank Weber (February)

January 18

A Billy Joel State of Mind Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 7:30 p.m. Billy Joel classics played by a large band

January 19

6th Annual Northern Pike Contest Green Lantern Bar and Grill 3 a.m. Fish fry to follow. Register by January 18. 218-764-2323

January 19

Brain Buster Trivia Challenge First Lutheran Church of Brainerd 2 p.m. Fundraiser for scholarships to Central Lakes College.

January 20

Full Moon Snowshoe Hike Northland Arboretum 7 p.m. Bring winter boots/snowshoes 218-829-8770

January 25

Remembering Bobby Vee Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 7:30 p.m. A tribute to Minnesota’s own Bobby Vee performed by his family

January 26

Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza Hole in the Day Bay, Gull Lake Noon Free shuttles from Brainerd International Raceway

February 1

Master of the Guitar Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 7:30 p.m. Laurence Juber (guitarist for Wings) and jazz guitarist Martin Taylor

February 2

The Big Event Cragun’s Legacy Courses & Grille 5 p.m. Social, raffles, live music, silent auction to benefit Brainerd Public School Foundation

February 7-10

2019 MnUSA Winter Rendezvous Cragun’s Resort and Grill Snowmobile ride & gathering

February 9

Maple Syrup Day for Beginners Northland Arboretum 9 a.m. Learn to identify and tap trees and collect syrup. Pre-registration is required. 218-829-8770

February 16

Intro to beekeeping Northland Arboretum Noon Call to sign up 218-829-8770

February 23

Snowshoe Class Northland Arboretum 9:30 a.m. Pre-registration required 218-829-8770

JAN / FEB 2019 13

Events Calendar Breezy Point January 11-13

Rod Building Class Build your own spin or casting rod Grand View Lodge

February 1

Crosslake January 5, February 16 Adult Drawing Class Kicks on Route 66 10 a.m. RSVP by phone 218-692-5425

Signature Signs DIY Wood Sign Party Billy’s at Breezy Point 5:30 p.m. Reserve a spot to make your own wooden sign 218-831-2670

January 19

February 17

Family Skate Night Breezy Point Ice Arena 6 p.m.

Adult Painting Class Kicks on Route 66 10 a.m. RSVP by phone 218-692-5425

January 31 – February 2

16th Annual WinterFest City of Crosslake Medallion hunt, skating, sledding, bonfires, helicopter rides, SoupFest contest

Cass Lake February 22-24

Old Style Pucker Toe Moccasinaan Leech Lake Tribal College Must attend all three dates 218-335-4247

Crosby February 2

Cuyuna Lakes Chamber 15th Annual Ice Fishing Contest and Scorpion Homecoming Serpent Lake Ice fishing, Scorpion snowmobile event

Detroit Lakes January 4

Blind Joe Detroit Mountain 6:30 p.m. See the contestant from “The Voice” perform live

January 5

ULTRA 80s & Older Classic Cruise Snowmobile Ride (North) M State parking lot 9 a.m. The ride focuses on vintage snowmobiles, but any sled is welcome 218-849-3069



January 9, February 13

Brown Bag Lunch Series Becker County Museum Noon Bring a lunch (or call to reserve one for $8) and enjoy free admission

January 12

The Big Detroit “1 Lunger 100” Race Holiday Inn on the Lake 11 a.m. Vintage single cylinder 100-mile snowmobile race

January 17

A Billy Joel State of Mind Historic Holmes Theatre 7:30 p.m. A 14-piece band led by Mick Sterling plays Billy Joel hits

January 19, February 9

Family Day at the Museum: Snowflake String Art Becker County Museum 10 a.m.

January 19

ULTRA 80s & Older Classic Cruise Snowmobile Ride (South) Becker County Fairgrounds 9 a.m. Vintage sleds emphasized, but all are welcome to ride to Vergas and back. 218-849-3069

January 29

February 21

February 7-18

East Gull Lake February 22

Classical Music Night Historic Holmes Theatre 7 p.m. Featuring classical music from The Exquisite Trio

Polar Fest City of Detroit Lakes Fishing derby, ice golf, fireworks, concerts, polar plunge and more

February 16

ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally & Swap Meet 8 a.m. Detroit Lakes City Beach 218-849-3069

February 16

Deuces Wild Historic Holmes Theatre 8 p.m. High-energy dueling pianos show

February 17

Wine Tasting Dinner at The Lodge The Lodge on Lake Detroit Time TBD

February 19

Polar Explorer Paul Schurke Historic Holmes Theatre 7 p.m,

“Call of the Wild” Historic Holmes Theatre 7 p.m. Jack London’s classic tale is presented on stage.

Snowshoe by Candlelight The Legacy Golf Course at Cragun’s 5 p.m. Food, live music, one-mile walk. Snowshoe rental available.

Fergus Falls January 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 February 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27

Winter Farmers Market Riverfront Square 2 p.m. (Wednesdays) 10 a.m. (Saturdays)

January 2, 16, 23, 30 February 16, 13, 20, 27 VFW Bar Bingo VFW Washington Ave. 7 p.m. 218-739-2697

Events Calendar


January 2, 16, 23, 30 February 16, 13, 20, 27

Midweek Trivia The Spot Panini and Wine 7:30 p.m. Local and regional musicians perform 218-998-2551

January 3, 10, 17. 24, 31 February 7, 14, 21, 28

Live Music Thursdays Union Pizza and Brewing Co. 5 p.m. 218-998-8888

January 3, February 7

Open Mic Night The Spot Panini and Wine 7:30 p.m. Local and regional musicians perform 218-998-2551

January 7, 14, 21, 28 February 4

Stained Glass Class The Flower Mill 5 p.m. Pre-register and pick out pattern and glass in advance 218-998-0544 ext. 9200

January 14, February 11

Library Book Club Fergus Falls Public Library 6:30 p.m.

January 26-27

Needle Felting Workshop Weekend Kaddatz Galleries 10 a.m. Artist Jaana Mattson helps you create with felted wool. Materials provided.

February 22

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play Kennedy Secondary School 7:30 p.m. Jazz, blues, and folk rock trio 218-736-6082

Great River Arts Open Mic Night Great River Arts Association 7 p.m.

January 12-13

2nd Annual Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza Green Prairie Fish Lake Skating, fat bike races, a chance to break a world record 320-249-1504

January 12

Test Your Trivia Hackensack American Legion Post 202 7 p.m. 218-675-9191

How to Write a Novel in Seven Steps Carnegie Library 4 p.m. Bestselling author Jess Lourey offers expert advice to 20 teens and adults 320-632-9676

January 18-20

January 26, February 23

Hackensack January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 February 6, 13, 20, 27

Back to Hack Penguin plunge, chili feed, fish fry, music, community bonfire, fireworks

Lake Park February 2

Midnite Riders Classic Old Timer’s Snowmoblie Run 8 p.m. registration

Little Falls January 3, February 7

Growers and Makers Markets Sprout Food Hub 10 a.m. Indoor marketplace featuring local products

January 26

Pierz KC Buffalo Feed & Raffle Pierz Ballroom 4 p.m. Buffalo burgers, sides, dessert, raffles, adult beverages, and live music 320-277-3860

January 31

Cardmaking with Jan Gerth Carnegie Library 5 p.m. Supplies are provided. Limit 20 attendees, 16+ 320-632-9676

February 1

Galactic Cowboy Orchestra Great River Arts 6:30 p.m. Unique jam/jazz/rock band

February 5

Wire Wrapping in Jewelry Making Carnegie Library 5:30 p.m. Make jewelry from your sea glass, rocks and shells. Limit 15 attendees, 15+ 320-632-9676

February 9

Brothers Tone and the Big Groove Great River Arts 6:30 p.m. A rock ‘n’ roll Valentine’s Day show

February 9

My Path to Becoming a Writer Carnegie Library 1 p.m. Presented by bestselling author and MN Book Award winner Allen Eskens 320-632-9676

February 16

All City Pool Tournament American Legion Post 108 (to register) 9 a.m. Double elimination tournament, six bars participating, bring a partner 320-632-6988 (Dick)

New York Mills January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 February 7, 14, 21, 28

Sit ‘N Stitch New York Mills Regional Cultural Center Noon and 5 p.m. Practice knitting, weaving, crocheting, quilting and embroidery.

January 10, February 14

Open Mic Night New York Mills Regional Cultural Center 7 p.m. Free to all, open to musicians and spoken word artists

January 18

SongBlast Dueling Guitars New York Mills Regional Cultural Center 8 p.m. Lively live music

JAN / FEB 2019 15

Events Calendar Mahnomen January 11

Red Dirt Road Shooting Star Casino 8 p.m. Great harmonies and a cool light show

January 26

Snowmobile Safety Class Mahnomen High School 9 a.m. Contact Mahnomen Sno Drifters in advance to sign up

January 11

Free Family Movie Night Ottertail Community Center 6:30 p.m. Popcorn and beverages are available with a donation.

January 26

11th Annual Friends of Friends Fighting Hunger Event Thumper Pond Resort 5 p.m. Dinner and silent auction to benefit United Way

February 8

February 8-9

Locash Shooting Star Casino 8 p.m. A mix of modern country and classic rock

OTR-ON ICE Otter Tail Lake Live music from Aaron Simmons, Tigirlily, Dirt Road Dixie and more

February 22

Park Rapids January 12, February 16

Sara Evans Shooting Star Casino 8 p.m. Multi-Platinum country entertainer

Nisswa January 6

Lakes Area Music Festival: Winter Series Lutheran Church of the Cross 2 p.m. “Winter Journey” chamber music concert

February 22-24

2019 Gull Lake Frozen Fore Hole in the Day Bay, Gull Lake Snowmobile drag race, golf, live music, craft beer, pancakes and brunch

Ottertail January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 February 7, 14, 21, 28

Itasca’s Lantern Lit Snowshoe Event Along Schoolcraft Trail Itasca State Park 5 p.m. Ski or snowshoe, warm up by the campfires or listen to live music 218-699-7251

January 15, February 12

Circle Time Under The Pines Itasca State Park 10:30 a.m. Activities for kids 2-5 at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom 218-699-7251

February 2

21st Annual Fishing Derby Fish Hook Lake Raffle, $150,000 in prizes, band and dance at American Legion 218-732-5238

Trivia Night The Otter 7 p.m. 218-367-2525


February 9

Old Time Logging Demo Itasca State Park 11 a.m. Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers demonstrate how to fell and haul trees 218-699-7251

February 23

Tapestry: Heartland Concert Association Park Rapids High School Auditorium 7 p.m. A musical tribute to Carole King

Pelican Rapids February 10

Community Show Pelican Rapids High School Noon and 2 p.m. Young dancers perform

February 16

2019 Jaycee Ice Fishing Derby The Ice Hole Bar on Lake Lida 9 a.m.

Pequot Lakes January 18-19

26th Anniversary Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous Trailside Park Show, trail ride, meal and program 218-831-1636 (Dave)

January 26, February 23

European Style Pheasant Shoots Hunts Point Gun Club 9 a.m. Includes meals, blaze orange required, rental shotguns and gear available

Perham January 12

February 12

Beer and Brats 2019 Silvermoon Lounge & Steakhouse 5 p.m. Sample eight craft beers and brats at this Relay for Life fundraiser

January 12

MN Snowmobile Safety Certification Otter Trail Riders Snowmobile Club 9 a.m. Field test and driving for certification, room for 40, lunch provided 218-639-3683 (Jesse)

January 18-20

The MN Monster Buck Classic Perham Area Community Center Hunting and fishing gear, guides, outfitters, seminars

January 26

Shimmer & Chic Bridal Show Lakeside Golf Course Noon Venues and vendors for brides and grooms

February 2

Bruce Archer Disgruntled Brewing 7 p.m. A blend of country, blues and rock

Pine River February 2

13th Annual Back to Basics Pine River Backus High School 8 a.m. Free event with vendors and seminars about sustainable living 218-587-8000

DIY Wood Sign Party Bites Bar and Grill 5:30 p.m. More than 100 designs available 218-831-2670

Walker January 19 Chippewa National Forest 2019 Winter Trails Day Shingobee Recreation Area 10 a.m. Sledding, cross-country sking, snowshoeing, hot cocoa by the fire 218-335-8658

January 25-27

Ice Fishing for All with Disabilities Camp Bliss Weekend retreat with food, gear and lodging included

February 9

Leech Lake Frostfest Walker City Park 11 a.m. Snow golf, live music, craft beer, food and activities

February 14

Valentine Candlelight Ski Shingobee Hills Recreation Area 5 p.m. Meet at the chalet. Cocoa by the fireplace after. 218-335-8658

February 21-24

Eelpout Festival Leech Lake Ice bar, polar plunge, helicopter rides, fish fry, dog sled rides and more

Have an Event?

Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to have featured in a future issue of Lake & Home Magazine? Send your event info via email to:


JAN / FEB 2019 17


Change was in the air in 1999. We stood on the cusp of a new century. We were curious about the future, fretted about the possibility of a Y2K meltdown (remember that?!) and many of us thought about our New Year’s resolutions a bit differently that year. For this publication, 1999 was also a year of new beginnings. After carefully surveying the market, Ben Underwood decided the time was right to launch a high quality, design-driven magazine that focused on unique properties in the Minnesota lakes region. It was a carefully considered decision. “I came from a newspaper background—my family was in the newspaper business—and I kind of had a desire to be an entrepreneur,” explains Underwood. “And after kind of evaluating the western Minnesota area, I thought that a magazine that focused on a building and lake home kind of slant had some potential. I thought about possible advertising, researched it for six to eight months and looked at printing costs and distribution.”

“You finally have to kind of take the leap,” Underwood says. He quit his job as a financial planner in the fall of 1998. The first copies of “Lake & Home Magazine” rolled off the printing press on a Friday night in March 1999. The staff started small – just Underwood, a small pool of freelance writers and a parttime accounting and distribution person. Underwood designed, edited and sold ads for the publication himself until he could afford to hire an editor.

Builders, designers, vendors and architects in the region were doing excellent work, but unless someone was invited to a family home or lake cabin or had access to the portfolios of the people who contributed to the project, the average person couldn’t see the craftsmanship and quality area businesses were known for. If they were interested in building, remodeling or decorating, homeowners had to physically leave home to go into a showroom or office to gather information and connect with experts.

There was no easy way to see photos, samples and swatches that would spark their imaginations for their own projects from the comfort of their own homes. The internet existed, but Facebook wouldn’t be founded until 2004 and Google wouldn’t be used as a verb for years. Underwood wanted to make it easier for homeowners to access inspiring images and information. But that would require a significant investment.

The magazine showcased local homes, highlighting their unique features and detailing the design process through informative writing and eye-catching photos. It expanded to include articles that consulted experts for advice on building, remodeling and even the specifics of design elements like floor coverings, paint, fireplaces and appliances. The striking photographs and attention to detail made “Lake & Home Magazine” a useful tool for homeowners. “It was kind of an idea book for people,” Underwood says. “We’d get a number of calls from people who would say ‘Where did those blinds come from on page 32?’ and that kind of stuff.” Readers who were that determined were obviously a boon to advertisers. In Perham, bhh Partners has advertised in “Lake and Home Magazine” since its early

days and principal architect Tony Stoll has seen how important it is for clients to have good design sources with which to refer. “A lot of people will bring us cut sheets of something they see in a magazine,” Stoll says. “People see something they like and that helps direct them toward us. And having educational information in there about construction tips and design concepts is always helpful. That spurs a lot of that discussion and it directs them toward us.” From the beginning, Underwood gave his advertisers as much attention as he gave his articles. Underwood and his advertising consultant John Burns developed a kind of marketing partnership with their advertisers. “We’d want to learn and we’d ask a lot of questions,” Underwood explains. “We spent a long time learning about their business and always felt that that was

JAN / FEB 2019 21

kind of a hallmark of our sales process. I was proud of that.” Burns is proud of that legacy, too. And he still advises his advertising team to use this marketing focused approach today. “We wanted to work with people to improve their business and not just be there to sell them an ad,” says Burns. “We do a needs analysis to learn about the business and then see how our product can help the business grow. We’ve had advertisers with us for 20 years and that shows the success of the magazine.” Getting to know their customers enabled the team to craft ads that reflected each client’s unique selling points. That’s benefitted businesses of all sizes.

Ron Holstrom, owner of Ron Holstrom Antique Floors in Fergus Falls, was one of the first in the region to offer antique and reclaimed wood. “Lake & Home Magazine” helped him to connect with very specific customer well before reclaimed wood became a trendy product. “The magazine enabled me to reach the few people that might be interested and intrigued,” says Holstrom. “In that sense, it was very important. I don’t have a large store or any kind of presence like that. I needed to do that for my business, since it was an unusual product.” Since lake home owners reside all over the country, many copies of “Lake & Home Magazine” are sent out of state. Advertisers were surprised (but pleased) to hear from customers outside of their regular service area.

“That magazine might reach way out of your area,” says Holstrom. “It could present you to people who would never know you were there or what you do. We would go all over. We would end up going to Montana. I don’t think there’s anywhere I haven’t been in Minnesota or North Dakota.” When the magazine launched in 1999, conventional wisdom assumed that the arrival of a new century would be a key period of transition with a marked “before” and “after.” In reality, the year 2000 dawned much the same as the year before. There was no major crisis. That came later.

“We were improving the quality, the graphic design, the photos and also gaining advertising acceptance. And then we ran into the big financial downturn, the financial crisis which really affected the home and building industries as well as the financial markets,” says Underwood. “Then we had a major downturn in advertising revenue. Many of our advertising clients went out of business. That was a difficult period in 2008 and 2009.” The financial crisis hit every industry. Everybody had to adjust. Its effects still linger today and influence the building process, starting at the very beginning with financing. “Government regulations tightened up a lot and kind of affected the process in that there’s a lot more to it,” explains Mark Eifert,

JAN / FEB 2019 23

American Federal Bank market president and a long time advertiser. “Where we saw the biggest hit was to self-employed individuals. It was tough to get qualified. But because of the way we’re structured, we’re flexible and try to find workarounds as best we can. Government regulation was a game changer.” The economy and the businesses in the pages of the magazines re-organized, re-strategized and rebounded. By that point, the next big change for the home building industry was well established; the educated and design-centric homebuyer was here to stay. “The internet has opened up the whole world,” says Dave Erwin, owner of Dave Erwin Construction in Battle Lake. “Twenty years ago, the homeowner relied on the builder to know everything and took all of their suggestions as the god gospel on

how things had to be done. It’s not that way anymore.” The rise of sites like Houzz, Pinterest and the prevalence of design shows on HGTV revolutionized the home building process. They’ve democratized the design process, made new ideas accessible and made design a topic of popular conversation. Customers are more informed than ever before. Now customers bring the experts ideas instead of the other way around. The experts find themselves spending more time guiding customers through their options. And for good reason – there are more choices now than ever before. “Twenty years ago there weren’t smart homes,” says Erwin. “Look at how much appliances have changed in 20 years. Now you have touchpads on your refrigerator so you can start your grocery list.”

Technology in the publishing industry changed radically during the same period as well. Advertisers and “Lake & Home Magazine” staff worked through the changes together. “We started off with transparencies, remember those?” Underwood laughs out loud. “As a kid, I used to watch a newspaper come off a press. Then we were all digital. As kind of an older person, that kind of amazed me, digitally putting together a magazine.” The products in the pages evolved, too. And industry experts are excited about what that means for the quality of the homes they build.

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“There’s always new construction materials, new construction techniques, we’re building much tighter, more energyefficient homes,” explains Stoll. “The life of a home is going to grow just because the quality of materials, construction and energy efficiently is increasing. The homes are going to hold up really well.” With more products to cover, more homes to feature and a wide range of businesses to profile, “Lake & Home Magazine” was in a good place. It had reached a new phase and Underwood was ready to relinquish the reins. “As a small publisher, you work hard and put in a lot of effort,” he says. “Sometimes you just tire and it’s time for somebody else to take over.” In the last issue of 2015, the letter from the editor included a farewell from Underwood and a hello from Kip Johnson, the magazine’s current publisher and creative director. At the time of the magazine’s purchase, he had led the publication’s design department for a year. “I think Kip is doing a good job of keeping the quality and the integrity of the magazine,” says Underwood of his successor. The elements that readers love are still there – the featured homes, the expert advice, the educational stories. Johnson’s background in design has given the magazine even more of the visual edge that homeowners want. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” says Stoll. “It’s very true when it comes to designing a home.” ~L&H


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photo courtesy Bercher Design & Construction

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hen you purchase a cabin, the view is just as important as the square footage, the number of bedrooms and baths, and the location. It can be the selling point; the topic of conversation; the focal point of the whole room. In order to enhance that view, you will want the ideal frame. How often do we stop and look at the frame around a picture? How often do we consider the glass showcasing that sunset view soaking into the lake? Overlooking the windows in your cabin can cost you that beautiful view you fell in love with. So let’s step back from the view for a moment and focus on the glass, screens, and the size and styles of windows that frame that lake view. “There are so many things we can now do with windows. There are several options of glass, exterior and interior options, a variety of trims, and colors,” Patrik Blondin, sales and marketing manager of Minnkota Windows, explained.

There are so many various types of glass you’d be surprised: float glass, safety laminated glass, obscured glass, annealed glass, and tempered glass, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “There is a certain coating that you can put on the glass that will allow for great visibility and still keep the heat in during those winter months,” Blondin stated. Ah, yes, those Minnesota and North Dakota winter months. “Another thing to consider is the size of the glass. The greater space of glass the more natural light you let in, as well as that view you’re looking for. Not to mention security and low maintenance care.” A best seller at Minnkota Windows is their Euro Series Tilt & Turn. The Euro Series is a larger unit that offers greater glass space, not only enhancing the view but offering a unique design that catches the customer’s eye, as well as that year round energy efficiency the customer’s wallet appreciates. The Euro Series Tilt & Turn is a European-style window with two distinct functions. It swings in like a door or tilts the top of the sash into the room for ventilation. The Euro Series multi-


photo courtesy Minnkota Windows

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name a few. The standard fiberglass mesh is flexible, economical and easy to install. The aluminum wire screen is a stronger and durable screen that resists rust and will not sag. The copper bronze window screen offers superior strength and durability in a bright gold finish. The list of screen material goes on, but what it really comes down to is the mesh. “The mesh has a huge impact on visibility,” Blondin stated and went on to say, “Everything from the type of mesh, to how tight the weave, will have a big impact on your view.” Not only does the mesh play a large factor in visibility but how that mesh is weaved can also jeopardize that view. “A customer would ideally want a weave that is not as tight or thick which gives it more of an invisible look; a look our company has made more of a point,” Blondin stated.

photo courtesy Minnkota Windows

locking points secure all four sides, which allow for fresh air to enter the home. This design has curbside appeal and makes it impossible for an intruder to enter from the exterior. People tend to have a love-hate relationship when it comes to window screens. While they tend to serve a purpose, they also stand between you and that view you’re looking to soak up. “You want a screen that enhances your view, but screens are also meant to keep bugs out and in the Red River Valley wind is a factor, so you’re going to want something durable and easy to clean because of the dust that flies through the air and gets hung up on the screens,” Blondin commented. There are many window screen materials to consider such as your standard fiberglass mesh, aluminum wire screen, and copper bronze window screen to 32 LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE JAN / FEB 2019

While Blondin would recommend a fiberglass coated screen for say a patio door because it is more durable against pets scratching at the door, he recommends something more along the lines of an invisible screen

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to improve visibility. Invisible screen mesh has 50 percent more visibility and improved airflow over standard fiberglass screening. With 50 percent more visibility and improved airflow, not only will you be able to see the whitecap waves across the lake, but feel the wind carry those waves. Indoor climate control has been a blessing to those who prefer to skip the screens altogether. “People don’t open their windows like they did years ago. In that respect, people take their screens out,” Blondin pointed out. For our northern climate and view of the frozen lake, it would be ideal that the windows in your cabin catch the sun throughout the day. As the sun rises, the natural light and warmth should start to spill into your cabin. It should draw you into the morning like a cup of coffee. The sun should make its way around your cabin like it does the earth; offering a warm spot on the rug for the family dog to nap in. Come evening, a sunset view over the lake; a view so clear and crisp, it allows you to see each streak of color in the sunset reflecting off the lake.

Size and style definitely play a big part in capturing the view. The larger the window, such as the fixed unit picture window that offers large sightlines and strong energy efficient performance, can encompass and enhance a view that will likely be the topic of conversation among guests. Double hung windows add a classic look to any room while limiting the rolling

horizon. They draw your attention to the towering trees that backdrop the view. Bay windows not only add additional space, but draw you into the view. Bay windows are like the boat on the lake of windows when it comes to enhancing the view. For the ultimate shore to shore, waves to sky view, floor to ceiling bow windows may be ideal. The frame is just as important. A frame that clashes with the interior wall or competes with the view can be a distraction. Mother Nature is quite an artist, so a modest or natural frame is all you’ll need to enhance that view. “We offer a number of wood grains on vinyl to match that knotty pine or that more rustic interior wood feel that cabins have,” Blondin commented. There are many components to capturing that perfect view when considering windows for your cabin. The wrong glass can distort that view while a thick weaved screen clutters it. If the frame doesn’t complement the view, it steals from it. So before purchasing or replacing windows in your lake cabin, take a moment to consider all those components.

photo courtesy Minnkota Windows


The focal point in your cabin shouldn’t be inward. Instead, your living space should accentuate the amazing view you first fell in love with. Choosing the right windows ensures you’re treated to picturesque scenery from the comforts of your home. ~L&H

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The Lake Home & Cabin Show brings the ‘up north lifestyle’ to the Twin Cities MINNEAPOLIS: The Lake Home & Cabin Show®, an annual three-day public event that showcases the lifestyle of lake home and cabin living, will be back at the Minneapolis Convention Center, February 15 through 17, 2019. This will be the 15th show season for the Lake Home & Cabin Show and according to Dave Greer, producer of the show, this popular event continues to grow because it is a niche show that is custom built for everyone who already owns a lake home or cabin and for anyone who’s dreaming about someday owning one. “You’d be hard-pressed to talk to anybody from the Midwest who doesn’t have a fond memory of spending time at a lake home or cabin,” Greer said. “This show touches a part of us all.” The show exhibits include lake and cabin country builders, remodelers and real estate, unique furniture, furnishings and rustic décor from across the U.S., native landscaping, lakeshore maintenance, boats and other marine products and equipment, plus a variety of other products, gifts and services related to the lake home and cabin lifestyle. 36 LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE JAN / FEB 2019

“When a lake home or cabin is bought or changes family hands, typically the new owners have definite ideas about personalizing their ‘new’ property, but often times they’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start,” Greer said. “That’s really at the heart and soul of the Lake Home & Cabin Show – to blend the allure of the secondhome lifestyle into a focused event so the crowd can meet the businesses serving this market – and have a great time doing it!” Another distinctive element of the Lake Home & Cabin Show is its interactive features, displays and seminars that involve and engage people coming to the show. For example, this year the show brings us “Wild About Raptors,” a live bird display featuring hawks, owls, eagles and other raptors from The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. Naturalists from this internationally acclaimed research and rehabilitation center will also be giving presentations each day on the Lakeside Seminar Stage. ~L&H

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See you at the show! 49 Signs.......................... 616 & 617 (Madison Show Only) American Door Works................................................ 410 Aquarius Home Services............................................701 B-Dirt Construction........................................... 513 & 514 Baratto Bros......................................................251 & 252 Blue Ox Timberframes............................................... 358 Boat Lift Helper...........................................................621 Capital Granite..........................................................254 Enercept....................................................................851 Great Furniture Gallery.............................................. 330 Highpoint Homes.......................................................401 Hillside Lifts....................................................... 119 & 120 Lake & Home Magazine............................................631 Lake Area Docks & Lifts..............................................230 Wes Hanson Builders........................................748 & 749 Wilkening Fireplaces........................................ 216 & 217

Start enjoying your hillside home like never before. The installation of a hillside lift will allow you easy accessibility from your home to the water and back again. Manufactured by the most trusted name in the incline elevator industry, you will feel secure knowing that you are investing in a safe and reliable outdoor tram that you can enjoy year after year. Call us today to schedule a free onsite evaluation or visit our website to request a budgetary estimate!

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Winter Romance Close to Home | Carlos Creek Winery 320-846-5443 | Have cabin fever yet? Get out with your sweetheart during those cold winter months and warm up with us at the Winery! Enjoy wine sampling, live music, Sparkling Sundays or Tapas Thursdays. We also feature our Valentine’s Food & Wine Pairing dinner and a special Valentine’s Weekend wine sampling with cheese & chocolate.

Creative Touch Boutique 320-762-8786 | 516 Broadway St, Alexandria, MN We are a boutique store in downtown Alexandria, which carries home décor, gifts, and clothing. We specialize in women’s clothing with an emphasis on being cute, comfortable, and

affordable. One whole section of the store is devoted to Minnesota clothing which includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats for both men and women. Also included in this section are gift items and home décor with a lake theme, which includes personalized lake signs, lake map jar candles, cribbage boards,


beer glasses, and coffee mugs. You will also find hundreds of signs with many featuring lake sayings. Follow us on both Facebook and Instagram. The store is open year-round, seven days a week, right in the middle of the bustling downtown Alexandria shopping district!

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Choosing the Right


Insulat ion

Learn more at

Cellulose Blown-in Insulat ion what is it?

Loose insulation made of cellulose (typically shredded recycled paper) that is blown, poured, or packed into wall cavities and attic spaces.

what to look for R-value measures the insulating ability of materials. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-value. Blown-in cellulose typically has an R-value of about 3.5 per inch, so a 17 inch layer gives you R60.




per sq ft


of building




sustainable features Provides good insulation value, is quick to install, and is made from recycled paper.

fun fact Some building supply stores will let you rent the cellulose blowing machine for FREE if you buy at least 10 bags of insulation.

Cotton Batt Insulat ion what is it?

Insulation made from recycled clothing, such as denim jeans, which give these insulation batts their distinctive blue color. Typically 85 percent of the content is recycled material. It’s made for insulating cavities such as stud walls, attics, and floor joists.

sustainable features By using waste products, recycled cotton insulation provides a market for recycling and an incentive to keep these materials out of landfills. It also takes less energy to produce than many other forms of insulation. It’s formaldehyde-free, uses non-toxic fire retardants, and its insulation value is comparable with fiberglass or cellulose. ‘Blue jean’ insulation is also very easy to work with yourself and isn’t itchy.


$1.20 to $1.50 per sq ft AVERAGE COST




of building



Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulat ion $1.00 to $1.50 per board ft AVERAGE COST

what is it? Spray foam insulation is sprayed as a thick liquid into cavities and other spaces, where it sticks and expands, forming a network of cells (bubbles). Closed-cell spray foam is less permeable to humidity than open-cell spray foam, and has a higher insulating value, about R5.5 per inch.

what to look for Spray foam insulation must be mixed and installed correctly at your home, by a trained technician. In a very small number of cases, incorrect application of spray foam has sometimes resulted in ongoing fumes and smells when the foam failed to cure properly. Check for references from customers when you are choosing a spray foam insulation company. Also be aware that you should stay away from your home during spraying and for about two days after while the foam cures. The exception is small spray foam jobs, for small cracks around sills, window openings, etc., that can be done yourself, carefully, with spray foam cans available at hardware stores.

3-5 years PAYBACK

life of building LIFESPAN

sustainable features Spray foam can save a lot on your heating bill, especially when applied throughout the walls, attic, and basement of an older, less airtight home. It insulates and seals drafty air leaks at the same time, by filling in cracks and holes in your building envelope. Closed-cell spray foam carries concerns about its blowing agent. Some products still use HFCs that have high global warming potential. Some companies are switching to hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent that is much less harmful to the global climate.

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Expanded Polystyrene Board Insulat ion what is it?

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid polystyrene foam board with a more open structure that is more permeable to humidity than extruded polystyrene. If you break a piece of EPS, you see its characteristic structure of little beads of foam all stuck together.

what to look for For insulation in contact with the ground, such as under slabs and exterior foundation walls. Look for products with a low global warming potential (GWP), that use carbon dioxide or water as their main blowing agent. You can also ask whether the manufacturer has switched from HBCD flame retardant, to less toxic PFR (polymeric flame retardant).

~$2.50 per sq ft of wall AVERAGE COST




of building



sustainable features Expanded polystyrene has a high insulation value to save energy, and is one of the few types of insulation that can be used underground, such as under a slab or on the outside of a foundation wall. Unlike extruded polystyrene, expanded typically does not use high global warming potential (GWP) blowing agents, so expanded polystyrene is environmentally preferable to extruded polystyrene. This difference is decreasing as manufacturers of extruded improve their blowing agents.

Extruded Polystyrene Board Insulat ion what is it?

Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is a rigid polystyrene foam board with small, closed cells (bubbles). XPS is quite uniform in its internal structure. Polystyrene has a high insulating factor of R4 to R5 per inch.

sustainable features Extruded polystyrene has a high insulation value to save energy. However, it is often made using HFCs as a blowing agent. HFCs have a high global warming potential (GWP), which means the manufacturing process has a strong negative impact on our climate. Companies are reducing their HFCs and switching to blowing agents like water and carbon dioxide, that have lower GWP.

Hempcrete Walls

~$2.50 per sq ft of wall AVERAGE COST




of building



what is it? Hempcrete is a solid material made from mixing industrial hemp fibers with a limebased binder. The mixture is packed into forms and left to cure and harden. Hempcrete is a wall system that requires structural support, such as wood framing, to hold the weight of the roof and upper walls. The hempcrete itself becomes harder over many years, as it gradually absorbs carbon dioxide and turns to limestone. Hempcrete walls can be built in place by packing the hempcrete into forms, or made by stacking prefabricated hempcrete blocks that have their own internal structural support. Hempcrete has an R-value of about R2.5 to R3 per inch.

sustainable features ~$40 per sq ft of wall AVERAGE COST

varies PAYBACK

100 years LIFESPAN

Hemp is a renewable agricultural product that stores carbon dioxide as it grows, and takes very little energy to produce. The binders are also lime-based and don’t require the highemission Portland cement that concrete does. Hempcrete does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is resistant to fire, insects, and rot. Hempcrete is also breathable to water vapor. On the down side, hempcrete’s R-value per inch is not very high (R2.5 to R3 per inch), so you have to build a thick wall or add another layer of insulation.


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Fiberglass Batt Insulat ion

what is it?

Batt insulation made from fine fibers of glass matted together. Fiberglass batts are a common insulation type available in many sizes to fit standard stud and joist spacing. It can also be purchased in rolls. A six-inch thick layer has an insulation value of about R-20.

what to look for

$0.80 to $1.00 per sq ft AVERAGE COST

R-value measures the insulating ability of materials. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-value. Fiberglass batt insulation typically has an R-value of about 3.2 per inch. Choose the right size and thickness to fit your stud or joist space so that the insulation fits snugly but does not get compressed. Also look for fiberglass batt made from recycled glass.




of building



sustainable features A thick layer of effective insulation will cut your energy bills by reducing heat transfer between your home and the outdoors. Some fiberglass insulation products are made from recycled glass, making them even more sustainable.

Fiberglass Blown-In Insulat ion what is it?

Loose insulation made of fiberglass that can be blown or poured into wall cavities and attic spaces. Typically contains 20 to 30 percent recycled glass content.

what to look for R-value measures the insulating ability of materials. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-value. Blown-in fiberglass typically has an R-value of about 2.5 per inch, so a two-foot-thick layer gives you R60. Ask for a higher recycled content if available.

sustainable features Provides good insulation value in places where you have a lot of space, like an attic, and is quite easy and quick to install. If your attic is accessible, this makes a good doit-yourself project, just ensure you don’t block the soffit vents in the attic with insulation, because they need to let air into the attic.




per sq ft


of building




Fiberglass Rigid Board Insulat ion what is it?

Board insulation made from fine fibers of glass pressed together into a rigid board. It can contain a high percentage of recycled glass. Rigid fiberglass boards are designed to be installed as exterior sheathing on walls, or on the interior side of basement walls. The boards have enough strength to support themselves and allow for cladding and finishing fasteners to go through them.

what to look for $3.5 per sq ft of wall AVERAGE COST

Look for a high recycled glass content. Rigid fiberglass boards are more often used in commercial applications and soundproofing, and can therefore be difficult to find in small quantities for home use.

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of building



sustainable features A thick layer of effective insulation will save you money on your energy bills. Rigid fiberglass boards allow you to add insulation value to exterior walls and foundation walls. Some brands have a high proportion of recycled glass content, reducing waste. Typical insulation value is around R3.5 per inch.

Insulated Concrete Forms

$0.80 to $1.00 per sq ft AVERAGE COST




of building



what is it? Concrete forms made of blocks of polystyrene foam or other rigid insulation, connected together with a space in between for pouring a concrete wall. ICF can be used for foundation walls and above-ground walls.

what to look for Works for construction of new walls, not so practical for retrofitting. Look for the highest R-value of the insulation layers, which typically maxes out at R22 for ICF. This is not high enough for a really super-insulated house, but the designer/builder can always add an extra layer of insulation to the outside. Check what kind of foam the ICF is made of - expanded polystyrene is a good choice, with low VOC emissions and low global warming potential.

sustainable features Durable, well-insulated, airtight and sound-dampening wall with no thermal bridging (it’s insulated fully on both sides). On the down side, concrete takes a lot of energy and emits high greenhouse gases in its production.

Reflective Foil what is it?

Also called a radiant barrier, reflective foil is shiny foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, and/or cardboard, designed to reflect radiant heat away from a space. It is most often used in an attic in hot climates, because in summer the roof is the part of the building that receives the most radiant heat from the sun.

what to look for

$1.00 to $2.00 per sq ft


life of roof

Reflective foil only works if it has an air gap between it and the heat source. This gap AVERAGE could be half an inch or more, as long as the foil is not directly in contact with the PAYBACK LIFESPAN COST hot surface. Note that the foil will increase the temperature of your roof as it keeps the attic less hot. JAN / FEB 2019 49

Structural Insulated

Insulat ion

what is it? Structural insulated panels (SIPs) consist of foam board, expanded foam, or straw core insulation, sandwiched between two structural boards typically made of oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood. SIPs contribute both insulation value and structural strength to the wall. Walls and ceilings made of SIPs can be constructed quickly by assembling the pre-manufactured panels.

what to look for

$8.00 per sq ft of panel AVERAGE COST



50 years



Check the claims of enhanced R-value that may be overstated. The insulation value of a SIP is higher than a stud wall of the same thickness, due to reduced thermal bridging, but some SIP panels are too thin to be really what you need for a super-insulated house such as a Passive House in a very cold climate. Look for panels that are 8 to 10 inches thick for an advanced house in the northern USA or southern Canada climate. Also consider the type of insulation material - what is it made of (polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, plant fiber composites, etc.), and how low is its off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

sustainable features Provides an insulation layer without any thermal breaks or bridges (continuous insulation). Also makes air-sealing of the building easier, by simplifying on-site construction and having fewer gaps to seal. Depending on what kind of insulation is in the core of the SIP, it can have high insulating value and low VOC emissions.

Open-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulat ion what is it?

Spray foam insulation is sprayed as a thick liquid into cavities and other spaces, where it sticks and expands, forming a network of cells (bubbles). Open-cell spray foam is more permeable to humidity than closed-cell spray foam, and has a lower insulating value, typically about R3.5 per inch.

what to look for Just like closed-cell polyurethane spray foam insulation, spray foam insuluation must be mixed and installed correctly at your home, by a trained technician. In a very small number of cases, incorrect application of spray foam has sometimes resulted in ongoing fumes and smells for the homeowner, when the foam failed to cure properly. Check for references from customers when you are choosing a spray foam insulation company. Also be aware that you should stay away from your home during spraying and for about two days after while the foam cures. The exception is small spray foam jobs, for small cracks around sills, window openings, etc., that can be done yourself, carefully, with spray foam cans available at hardware stores.

sustainable features Spray foam can save a lot on your heating bill, especially when applied throughout the walls, attic, and basement of an older, less airtight home. It insulates and seals drafty air leaks at the same time, by filling in cracks and holes in your building envelope. Open-cell spray foam typically uses water or carbon dioxide as a blowing agent, less harmful to the Earth’s climate than the HFC blowing agents that are still being used (and gradually being phased out) in closed-cell spray foam.


$0.60 to $1.00 per board ft AVERAGE COST

3- 5



of building



fun fact Spray foam was invented in the 1940s, but could only start to be sprayed in homes in the 1950s, with the invention of the Blendometer by Walter Baughman. This handy machine could mix the two components of spray foam together onsite, which then react together to make the foam.

JAN / FEB 2019 51

Mineral Wool Rigid Board Insulat ion what is it?

Board insulation made of mineral wool fibers, literally melted and spun fibers of rock, pressed together into a rigid board. The rock is a combination of volcanic basalt and recycled slag, a product of the steel and copper industry. Mineral wool boards are designed to be installed as exterior sheathing on walls, or on the interior side of basement walls. The boards have enough strength to support themselves and allow for cladding and finishing fasteners to go through them.

what to look for $3.75 per sq ft of wall AVERAGE COST

Used as added sheathing on walls, to add insulation thickness to the exterior. Strapping and siding can be installed over it. Also good for insulating the interior of basement walls.

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of building


sustainable features Mineral wool rigid boards can cut your energy bill dramatically by reducing heat transfer through your walls and foundation. This insulation is durable, highly fire resistant, not damaged by occasional water, and provides good sound dampening. Mineral wool requires more energy to produce than fiberglass, but is very durable and can be a more sustainable choice in the long run.


Mineral Wool Batt Insulat ion what is it?

Batt insulation made of mineral wool fibers, literally melted and spun fibers of rock, matted together. The rock is a combination of volcanic basalt and recycled slag, a product of the steel and copper industry. Mineral wool batts are designed to be installed in wall cavities, floors, ceilings, and attic spaces.

what to look for R-value measures the insulating ability of materials. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-value. Mineral wool typically has an R-value of about 4 per inch, so a 2x6 (5-anda-half-inch) layer gives you R22. Choose the right size and thickness to fit your stud or joist space so that the insulation fits snugly but does not get compressed. Also look for mineral wool that contains a high percentage of recycled material.




per sq ft


of building




sustainable features A thick layer of mineral wool insulation in your walls and attic can cut your energy bill dramatically by reducing heat transfer between your home and the outdoors. This insulation is durable, highly fire resistant, not damaged by water, and provides good sound dampening.

Polyiso Rigid Board Insulat ion 3-5



per sq ft of wall




what is it? Rigid board insulation made of polyisocyanurate foam, a closedcell foam with a very high insulation value of R5 to R7 per inch. It can also be made into structurally insulated panels, or foamed in place.

what to look for Polyiso insulation boards and structural panels for wall sheathing and roofs. Look for products that use low-toxicity flame retardants like TCPP or better. ~L&H

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Syverson Tile in Fargo. “As a long-term investment, it makes sense, and we see it more in lake homes, where people are willing to make that investment.” Traditionally used for bathrooms, kitchen backsplashes and flooring, tile is now being used in fresh and innovative ways for new construction and remodeling projects. “Popular design shows on TV, along with decorating sites like Pinterest and Houzz, have so much to do with what’s popular right now,” says Jordan Branden, residential sales and design consultant at I’ll Tile & Stone Inc., in Detroit Lakes. “With all the different styles now available, you can ‘color outside the lines’ when it comes to decorating with tile, which is just one piece of the overall decorating picture.” Adam Arnquist, owner of Arnquist Carpets Plus in Alexandria, agrees that more and more people find concepts online before they start visiting tile showrooms.

photo courtesy Mbrico


vidence of ceramic tile dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Chinese dynasties.

Whether it was originally used in practical ways, like building a roof, or in more artistic ways, like decorating tombs, temples or pyramids, ceramic tile has been made in a similar manner for thousands of years. A basic combination of natural clay, sand and water are molded into a shape, baked at high temperatures, and dried out – some glazed and some not. The materials, processes and results have come a long way over those years, of course, but the combination of beauty, practicality and longevity remain. “Much of the tile we use today can last 50 years or more, and it’s fairly indestructible, doesn’t show wear, doesn’t get scratched by pet nails, and is hypoallergenic,” says Koral Busch, branch manager at 60 LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE JAN / FEB 2019

“Many of the innovative ideas for tile that are highlighted on those shows and websites are a result of the availability of more options, colors and sizes,” he says. “Whether you’re trying to make a serious or light-hearted statement, tile has always been associated with a sense of luxury.”

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TILE AS WAINSCOTING OR WALLPAPER A wood or stone look is the first thing you would think of when using tile for wainscoting, and it can create a modern farmhouse kind of style, but Branden says other colors or patterns can be used for different effects. “We’ve used tile for wainscoting, going about three feet up the wall,” she says, “and we’ve seen a lot of different styles used. You can get any kind of look you want.” Instead of wallpaper, paint or paneling, large-format thin slabs of tile are often used as accent pieces, opening up new possibilities from floor to ceiling. photo courtesy Mbrico

TRENDS IN FLOORING One major transformation is the addition of porcelain tile, which is used mostly for flooring. Made from a finer, denser clay than ceramic tile, and then fired at a higher temperature, it is more scratch resistant, durable, and resistant to stains. With new capabilities for layering in colors and textures, wood-effect tile has become very popular. “There are so many different looks out there, and when installed, it actually looks like wood, and it’s durable and easy to clean” says Branden. “If someone wants the rich look of a wood floor, but doesn’t want the maintenance of hardwood floors, almost every display has a wood line in a tile.” The use of 3D printers by tile manufacturers has changed the industry as far as design, according to Busch. “They essentially take a picture of a graphic–like real wood–and then upload it into the printer, cut it into pieces, print it onto the tile, and it looks very real,” she says. “We even carry one tile that looks like carpet.”

photo courtesy Mbrico

Stone-effect tiles have also gained in popularity for both residential and commercial projects. With the harsh winters in the North, in-floor heating is an attractive option for tile floors that Arnquist says they highly recommend to their customers. Whether it’s a classic wood look or a sense of rugged stone or the warm look of a carpet, these tiles are available in all kinds of tones and textures, and can be used throughout the home to complete a design plan or create a mood.


BACKSPLASH TRENDS A kitchen backsplash doesn’t necessarily have to be plain white subway tile anymore. “You can give a fresh new look to a kitchen by creating a herringbone pattern with the tile in a wide variety of color choices,” says Busch. “It’s a new trend that is actually traditional in style.” Adding a border to a backsplash is another way to modernize your kitchen, and Branden mentions that a subway tile mixed with gray has become very popular on the “fixer-upper” TV shows. Arnquist suggests to customers that when doing a remodel, they should wait until the cabinets and countertops are installed before choosing the style and color of the backsplash.

“Tile can make such a strong statement, and it’s better to see the exact tone of the kitchen first,” he says. “It’s really cool when you can bring in the perfect tile backsplash as an extension of your countertop and cabinets.”

SHOWER TRENDS “In new construction, we’re seeing more custom tiles used in bathrooms than in the past,” says Arnquist. “It used to be just the master bath and possibly a tub in the guest bathroom. Now we’re doing a lot more tile in showers, which can be useful and decorative, giving it a custom feel.” In the bathroom, function can be even more important than design, and with custom tile work there are choices with a walk-in shower, including a doorless shower, or a simple glass panel to replace glass doors or cloth curtains. The possibilities are broader and more practical. JAN / FEB 2019 63

Arnquist also sees a trend with tiled showers called a curbless roll-in. Instead of the traditional curb to step over when entering the shower, the tile floor is flush with the floor of the bathroom and then gradually slopes down so the water drains. “It creates a seamless look, and creates a safe entry into the shower for a person of any ability, and if coordinated correctly, shouldn’t have any additional costs,” he says.

TILE SIZE Another big trend that has been happening over the past five years is the size of tile, and one reason is that people don’t want as much grout to clean. “About 15-20 years ago, 8” x 8” was pretty big,” says Busch. “Then 12” x 12” became more popular, and now a more common

IS TILE MAKING A COMEBACK? Most people involved in the industry would say that tile never really went away. It’s just one piece of a home’s big picture, and continues to be a beautiful, practical and long-lasting decorating option for floors, bathrooms, backsplashes and more. As social media trends play a larger role in a homeowner’s selection process, Adam says companies have adapted to that trend by becoming “information and knowledge distributors.”

photo courtesy Mbrico

size is 12” x 24”. Up-and-coming sizes that some manufacturers are introducing include 18” x 36” and 10” x 40”. There are some pieces where an entire shower wall can be tiled without grout.” Less grout means less maintenance, but most grout is now totally sealed, so there aren’t as many issues with the cleaning process.

TILE DESIGN Another reason the larger-sized tile has become an industry trend is that the tile’s size can affect the tile’s design. “If you have a vein running through a 12” x 12”, and then make it a 24” x 24”, bigger is better,” Arnquist explains. “That same extension makes a larger profile and a much more attractive design. We just had a project where we used 3’ x 4’ tiles on the front of a fireplace. It only needed three tiles and turned out great.”


Once they gather data on TV or online, consumers often want to come into a showroom and have someone tell them their ideas are OK. “You can make a statement. With tile. With color. With pattern. Or even with metallics or polishes,” adds Busch. “There are endless decisions to make for getting away from your old ideas about tile and taking a chance on something new.” ~L&H

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Your Questions


Answered By Our Panel Of Experts


Question: What are some of the advantages to a consumer for an in-house mortgage versus one that will be sold on the secondary market? Answer:

Chris Marvel American Federal Bank

In-house mortgages are those that will be serviced by the bank that made the loan. They have greater flexibility in underwriting. Underwriting is the decision-making process that banks go through in determining whether to make a loan. Secondary market mortgage loans underwriting guidelines are very black and white. Banks often err on the conservative side to avoid the risk of having to buy back the mortgage and carry a long-term fixed rate loan in their portfolio.


In-house mortgage loans may allow a consumer more options regarding the property that is secured by the loan, such as a seasonal cabin. In-house loans are served at the bank so you make your payment to the bank; and local staff can answer any questions about your loan. Secondary market loans could be serviced locally, but are more often serviced by larger banks and pooled in with thousands of other loans. Most local banks offer both options and I would recommend making an appointment to meet with an experienced lender to determine the option that best suits your situation. ~L&H


“My clients who have worked with American Federal for their construction loans have appreciated the welcoming environment and professional advice provided by Chris Marvel. The entire staff at American Federal is committed to making the financing process stress free.�

- Dave Erwin, Dave Erwin Construction, Inc.

117 South Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218.739.3377 888.389.3377 66 LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE JAN / FEB 2019



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written by // Danae Branson, Interior Designer Danae Branson Virtual Staging & Design, Alexandria, Minn.

Over the last few months design experts have been talking about what they see as the most interesting and unique design trends that will appeal to the masses for 2019. We will definitely see maintained popularity in marble countertops, mixed metals and wall paper but we may see less and less of monochromatic kitchens, cool greys and accent walls. Whether you are looking to build a new home, tackle a remodel or plan a design refresh, below are some of the hottest design trends you’ll find in the new year.


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1. Eco-friendly design. We’ve heard about this for years, but most design experts agree eco-friendly design will be huge in 2019. People are more concerned than ever about their carbon footprints and it will show in their interior spaces. You’ll see more materials like jute, linen, rattan, rice paper, clay and wood. These materials will contribute to a sustainable design that will offer a peaceful retreat from our crazy lives. Eco-friendly design works well across many design styles such as Boho, French country, Scandi, Hamptons and more! 2. Color! Maybe one of the most interesting design trends will be the increased use of color in paints, fabrics, accessories, rugs, wall paper, appliances and cabinetry. Think primary colors, rich jeweled tones, rich earth tones and colors named after foods. Popular paint colors will be dark greens, such as nightwatch, and colors where the names are a bit more obvious like butterum, cappuccino and chili pepper or rich gold, mallard blue and apricot brandy. Plus, we’ll see a lot of matte black. In fact, design experts have predicted that matte black will become the new grey and you’ll find it on lighting, seating, home décor and bathrooms.



3. Black bathrooms. Yes, those are going to be popular in the new year and I’m not just talking walls, countertops and tile. I’m talking black toilets, too. Kohler has been making black toilets for 90 years and has seen a significant increase in their black toilet sales. They currently have 30 black toilet options, and 40 black sinks.



4. Bold patterns. Patterns are going to be making their appearance on everything from bedding and accessories to wallpaper and backsplashes. You’ll see more florals on wallpaper and oversized geometric patterns on accessories. Backsplashes are no longer going to be monochromatic, you’ll see more graphic tiles and bolder color patterns. 5. Unique furniture. Many design experts are touting that curved sofas, four-poster beds, acrylic accent tables and upholstered dining chairs will be used more frequently. Furniture will now be all about comfort, so you’ll want to lounge for hours. Sofas and dining chairs will be soft and inviting, fourposter beds represent safety and acrylic furniture provides a calming presence. Acrylic furniture doesn’t appear to take up space and it keeps bold colors and patterns grounded.

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6. Mixed metals. Mixing metals has been growing in popularity and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon but the metals people will be mixing are changing. I think we’ll see less brass and rose gold and more chrome and black gold. Metallics will continue to be popular and will continue to appear all year round. You’ll see more people mixing two to three metals throughout a room. 7. Minimalism. Kitchens seem to be the busiest hub in the home and it appears they are going to continue to have clean lines and be free of clutter. You’ll continue to see the absence of upper cabinets, but due to the decreased storage that provides, you’ll start to see the addition of kitchen armoires. Design should be appealing and practical.



8. Bar carts. It appears that the favorite accessory of 2019 will be the bar cart. They can be elegant and glamorous and offer maximum versatility. Use them for entertaining or for themed vignettes. Bar carts come in all shapes and sizes and can be found for every design style imaginable. 9. Hygge. I’ll admit, I had to look this word up…it is the Danish word for coziness. In our crazy world more and more people feel the need for a calm and cozy, almost retreat like feeling in their home. People are starting to focus more on their overall well-being and that is pouring into their interior design choices. With this trend will come earthier pigments, rich warm colors and real or artificial plants.


10. New styles. Mid-century modern infused with art deco is what some design experts are calling the next big thing. You’ll see more of a glamorous and playful look with the marriage of these two styles. Think curves, bold colors and mixed metals. Another new popular style is Boho with a twist. It’s modern mixed with vintage along with the addition of curved furnishings and softer lines. You’ll see layering with patterned fabrics that will be cleaner and with brighter colors. And the most popular design trend for 2019? Drum roll please…just do you! The one thing I think is always on trend is decorating with the things you love and value the most. Whether they are old or new, decorate with what makes you happy and with what you find beautiful. Infuse your own unique personality into your design and you’ll be sure to create a space that you’ll love and cherish for years to come. ~L&H


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s an active family of five, creating memories has always been important for the Reber family. Their decision to own a lake home has ensured the family will be making lifelong memories, together, for years to come.

In 2000, Colleen and Kevin Reber purchased a cabin on the Whitefish Chain and began making summer memories with their children. The A-frame cabin that was built in 1993 provided all the family required of a lake home. The small yet simple layout of the cabin was accentuated with a large vaulted great room that faced the lake with windows that gave a view of the lakeshore. The family enjoyed all aspects of lake life for 17 years, from water sports to the ability to walk to town from their cabin, the tight knit family memories that Colleen and Kevin sought had come to fruition partly from the coziness that can only come from a lake cabin.

As the couple’s children began to start college and move into their respective careers, the Rebers began to reflect on all their cabin had given them and what it could provide in the future. Sam (25), a financial planner, Molly (22), a human resource analyst, and Jack (20), a student at the University of Colorado maximized their school-age years at the cabin. As parents, Colleen and Kevin believe the time together for the first 17 years helped them grow closer as a family, while giving them time to think about exactly what they wanted to change when it was time to remodel. The couple, who love to entertain family and friends, sought to have a lake home that could accommodate large gatherings and provide comfortable and welcoming spaces for their guests. As they planned a new lake home, Colleen and Kevin considered changes they could


“We believe this time together for the first 17 years helped us to grow closer as a family, and gave us time to think about exactly what we wanted to change when it was time to remodel.�

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foresee in their family as their children maybe add to their lives with spouses and families. Searching out design inspiration, the couple utilized Pinterest, Houzz and other social media sites to create visuals they could share with an architect and builder, so the vision they had to create a new foundation of lake memories could be achieved.

upon their longevity in the industry and the exceptional reputation their name holds in the area. The added benefit that Wes Hanson offered was the assignment of an on-site project manager in Shaun ‘Cricket’ Anderson, who provided the couple with constant updates on the build and ensured the project stayed on track.

Seeking to renovate and add to the lake property they love, the Rebers sought out RemWhirl Architecture in 2017. They appreciated the design aesthetic of the firm and the convenient office locations in Crosslake and Minneapolis.

The original plan for the Rebers was to do a light remodel of the cabin while updating structural necessities such as new windows, but it ended up being a complete overhaul and a reimagined family cabin would rise from the original A-frame structure.

The Rebers took these design plans from RemWhirl and submitted them to three builders to obtain bids on the project. Wes Hanson Builders won the contract based

Working with a team of trusted professionals that included Wes Hanson Builders, RemWhirl, and Wendy Boyer


of Brown Cow Design, the lake home renovation was underway in 2017. Communication occurred almost daily from the build site to the Rebers, and the reputation of Wes Hanson Builders and their customer-driven focus was constantly on display as they kept Colleen and Kevin updated on every detail that needed their attention. Wes Hanson Builders valued the input from the Rebers as construction began. Kevin appreciated this flexibility, “Wes Hanson was open to suggestions. They allowed us to choose our own electrician in Vision Electric. Many builders would not have been accommodating to allow this choice.” The project stayed on schedule due in large part to this cohesive collaboration between the project manager, Remwhirl, Wendy Boyer and the Rebers. One of the few must-haves in the remodel, aside from adding more sleeping quarters, was to have a screened-in porch with a fireplace. Reflecting on their family’s use of their original cabin,

Colleen shared, “We love to be outdoors in all seasons and the porch would allow us to eat and relax outside without the bugs and intense sun.” This new threeseason porch, with fixed and motorized retractable screens, is tucked into the home with a fireplace composed of stacked stone and mortared in black to create a place of warmth and gathering for the family.

The couple made additional changes to the floor plan as they looked toward spending more time at the cabin in their future retirement years. A main floor master suite and laundry facilities were added to make one-level living possible. Looking ahead to three children creating their own families, adding an attached garage with living quarters to give space and privacy fulfilled their wish to increase comfortable sleeping spaces for this cabin.

“Wes Hanson was open to suggestions. They allowed us to choose our own electrician in Vision Electric. Many builders would not have been accommodating to allow this choice.” Kevin Reber - Homeowner 81

Taking into consideration the guests they host in their home, the Rebers enlarged the back entry to provide much-needed space for the arrival of company and their belongings. Enhancing the home for guests brought about the creation of a ‘Lake Room’ just off the porch. This new space provides guests with a shower and storage for tote bags and extra towels after a dip in the lake. Sharing the attention paid to this unique space Colleen explained, “Every detail of the Lake Room was carefully planned, especially the area under the stairway.” Having extra space for guests to hang wet towels and feel comfortable making themselves at home in this designated area, gives an ease to entertaining that the previous cabin did not have. As the renovation got underway and the cabin was stripped down to its studs, the Rebers moved most of their belongings into the detached garage and a storage pod that was brought on site. Wendy Boyer of Brown Cow Design was assisted by Molly Reber in helping create the overall look and feel of the home. Wendy explained, “An interior designer can work in partnership as a coach rather than a director with the family’s own design ideas. Molly brought an amazing sense of design style and delivered many

“We wanted it to be artful, with a ‘wink’ to the unexpected to keep it fresh.” Colleen Reber - Homeowner

aesthetic ideas to the table. We worked together as a team to bring the flavor to life, and in the end the cabin felt ‘so them.’” The vision and intention for the renovated cabin was to have a home that was timeless in its structure, but was eclectic and comfortable for its inhabitants. “We wanted it to be artful, with a ‘wink’ to the unexpected to keep it fresh,” shared Colleen. The process of designing was made easier by hiring Boyer, as she implemented her resources and understanding of the Rebers overall vision for their home. Using the visuals and design inspiration from their Pinterest and Houzz files, made making decisions on a timely basis that much easier when there were timeline considerations regarding the build. The kitchen cabinets were purchased from Alpine Cabinetry in St. Cloud, which provided quality local workmanship and ensured that every detail was beautiful. The design plan for the kitchen was to create a layered space of cream cabinetry done in Benjamin Moore Navajo white, wood stained with rustic oak and rustic black stain, a kitchen hutch painted with Sherwin Williams oyster, a sage buffet cabinet and aged brick tile, that when combined would display warmth and promote gathering around the island. Craig Ethen, the operations manager at Alpine Cabinetry who worked collaboratively with the Rebers and Boyer, shared his insight into how they achieved this beautifully blended kitchen. “A combination of our ideas and concepts, along with thinking outside the box, made our three-hour meeting seem like 15 minutes. We had some really fun discussions with

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plenty of laughter and smiles, truly a memorable project with unforgettable people!” Throughout the home, reclaimed white oak wood from Manomin Resawn Timbers of Hugo, Minn., was used and stained in dark rubio. Choosing to install hardwood and highend lighting fixtures in the main hallway were two splurges in the budget the couple agreed set the tone for the entire home.

bedrooms to the creation of a bunk room with reading lights and charging ports, the collaborative team thought of everything. During a walk-through while construction was underway, the Rebers, Boyer and Shaun Anderson brainstormed an imaginative use for an area of unused space, and the alcove daybed was created from their combined efforts.

Continuing to carry out the vision for an eclectic and timeless home, the design plan included having each bathroom tell a unique story and have character all its own. The bathroom cabinetry was ordered from Restoration Hardware and Alpine Cabinetry. The lighting was curated from Shades of Light and Restoration Hardware. By having each bathroom in

the home individually designed, it not only gives comfort and ease to their guests, but the Rebers also make each guest feel special during their stay. Adding sleeping space for family and friends was a top priority, and the Rebers along with RemWhirl worked to create multiple zones to accommodate their company. From the addition of


Colleen was able to give a ‘wink’ to her family history with a pantry that was modeled after the pantry her grandparents had in their home. The design was able to match the metal door plates and the custom built-in storage shelves, so it reflected the fond memories that she had as a child in their home. Each clover leaf metal door panel was sandblasted and painted the same Navajo white as the pantry cabinetry and was artfully back lit with low-voltage lighting.

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Building upon the creation of new memories for the next generation, the Rebers installed a feature to add joy and delight to their young nieces and nephews with the addition of a secret room with hydraulic stairs that lifts to the bunk room, where the children love to stay and play. Adding personal familial touches continues in the decor of the cabin as Colleen displays her father’s vintage water skis at the top of the staircase, and Kevin’s grandfather’s fishing lures are prominently displayed in the main entryway. By incorporating personal touches of their past, the couple added to the vision of creating a timeless cabin that had its own artistic style. The finishing touches of decorating were carefully planned to unite the initial vision of the build with the final product the Rebers had envisioned. The living room is the focal point of family time, and the furniture was chosen to create a comfortable atmosphere for family and friends to gather and relax.

One feature that was important to Kevin was the incorporation of technology into the finished product. Utilizing a previously unused space in the basement area, a new tech cabinet was installed to give direct access to the new sound system, HVAC and security system that can be operated with ease on Kevin’s iPhone, bringing the cabin up to the latest standards of the 21st century. The exterior of the home was designed to stand apart from the existing cabins in the area, by using rustic and warm elements. To complement the environment, the design team chose prefinished fir siding from Montana Timber products. The stonework is a natural thin veneer stone, and the roof is comprised of asphalt shingles and highlighted with rusted corrugated metal from Bridger Steel. Using copper gutters added an unexpected accent to the home, and provides the homeowner with a functional artistic flair that will patina and create its own story as time passes.


Additional storage for the property was created with the building of a WOS (WaterOriented Structure), near the shoreline. Creating this new structure gives the family easy access to all the summer sports equipment the family uses to enjoy lake life. Using the same materials that were used on the cabin gives the property a cohesive and completed look from the water. The final product of the cabin renovation elevated the structure from 2,200-squarefeet to a 5,000-square-foot masterpiece that reflects the original intention of the family to create a home that is comfortable and timeless. The addition gave the homeowners five bedrooms plus a bunk room, six bathrooms, and ample space to make guests feel comfortable during their visits. After embarking upon a yearlong renovation, the Rebers can reflect on their journey while sitting fireside on their new porch. The enjoyment they had for 17 years in their original cabin with their young family building lake memories their children carry with them into adulthood, has been expanded with the remodel. By thoughtfully planning for the future and taking into account the needs of adult children and family and friends who are frequent guests, their new cabin can serve as a location for many gatherings. The Rebers have added to their foundation of family lake memories with this project and can cherish each new moment that is made there for years to come. ~L&H

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This particular stretch of Lake Melissa shoreline has welcomed lake-goers for decades, so the family’s lot boasted many of the benefits of a well-developed lake property – an established community of neighbors, mature trees, a neat, rolling lawn and expansive views of the water. It also featured an obstacle that others who have built on historic lake lots might recognize. “Our biggest challenge was the lot size, which was very small and narrow,” explains bhh Partners’ principal architect Tony Stoll. “Our general goal was that they wanted kind of a charming, cozy cottage and as much square footage as they could squeeze into the site.”


ake lots come with their own histories and quirks, which can present interesting challenges when it’s time to build a new home. When a family that had enjoyed a long history on Lake Melissa contacted bhh Partners in Perham to help them create the home they’d dreamed of, they knew they wanted to use every inch of their lot to make new memories for themselves and their family for generations to come. The professionals at bhh Partners design homes to showcase both the living space itself and its natural surroundings.

“Our general goal was that they wanted kind of a charming, cozy cottage and as much square footage as they could squeeze into the site.” Tony Stoll | bhh Partners

The new lake home would also need to serve two purposes. “They have a long history on Lake Melissa and they wanted to share that tradition with their family,” Stoll continues. “So I think that was an important part of the design, that traditional family lake cottage feel, but maintaining the approach that this could be used as a retirement home in the future.”

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Starting with how the home needs to function, then moving on to adapt those needs to the particular physical space is standard procedure for bhh Partners. But the final result is very specific to each family and each lot. “We focus on how they’re going to live in their home and work on flow and function,” Stoll explains. “Then it’s a matter of discussing the style and what they want the exterior to look like and bringing the two together.” These particular homeowners had done their homework. They’d built before and they knew what they wanted from this space. They also knew what they liked aesthetically and came to Stoll and his design team with a vision. “They wanted a timeless, cottage feel to it,” he says. “They wanted something that looked like it’d been on Melissa for 100 years.” The result is a home that welcomes you with a sense of warmth and charm from the moment it comes into view. When seen from the front, the home looks modest, solid, 92 LAKE & HOME MAGAZINE JAN / FEB 2019

grounded. It conjures up images of grandmother’s house pulled from deep in our childhood memories or as viewed on the pages of a children’s storybook. Contrasting trim and shutters add a timeless touch. The steeply pitched roof, curving stone path and charming arched doorway seem borrowed from a gingerbread house. The weather vane perched on the cupola brings to mind a classic American farmhouse. These classic architectural elements not only establish an aesthetically appealing exterior, they also help solve some of the design challenges posed by a long and narrow lake lot. Historic homes were designed to maximize light and space in cramped quarters. To create a spacious home for a modern family, Stoll and his team looked back to techniques that architects and builders had used in the past. “When (a lot) is narrow, the challenge for us is to not make it look like a trailer house, because you can only make it so wide,” explains Stoll. “They wound up with about 3,400 square feet of living space–four bedrooms and 3.5 baths–which is pretty amazing.

You kind of have to stack rooms. It’s just about tucking all the square footage into the roof line.” Improvements to truss systems allow architects to insert dormer windows beyond the plane of a steeply pitched roof. This allows more useable space on the second story of a home, increasing the natural light and contributing to the historical look of the building. But solving these problems on paper is only the first step. “That’s when you have a good team of contractors to put it together,” says Stoll.

“Once the framing of the house is done, you look back and see the reality of what it is,” says Dave Erwin, custom home specialist and owner of Dave Erwin Construction in Battle Lake. “The architects do an incredible job, but sometimes you can’t see potential changes to the blueprints until it’s actually framed.” Tony continues, “Timely communication and coordinated decision making are just some of the strong points of the partnership between Dave Erwin Construction and bhh Partners. We enjoy sharing clients and creating their dream homes.”

“Timely communication and coordinated decision making are just some of the strong points of the partnership between Dave Erwin Construction and bhh Partners. We enjoy sharing clients and creating their dream homes.” Tony Stoll | bhh Partners

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Most materials for the home were sourced from Merickel Lumber in Wadena. “It is our priority to match products with the homeowners’ exact needs,” says owner Jason Merickel. “We provided pretty much everything in terms of framing, Marvin Windows, roofing, decking, railing, interior millwork, and James Hardie siding.”

basically everything, coordinating with the vendors and the homeowner,” says Erwin. “I’m helping select paint colors, handling final cleaning of the house–kind of the full meal deal,” he laughs goodnaturedly.

“The partnership between myself and Merickel Lumber has been a valued part of my business for decades. I can tell each customer with absolute confidence that Merickel Lumber’s emphasis on timely, professional, and personal service, and quality products will exceed their expectations and reflect the high standard that Dave Erwin strives to meet for each project,” explains Erwin.

“What really impresses me most about Dave are his attention to details and his true professionalism as a builder. He has the consistent ability to manage projects from start to finish successfully. The emphasis he puts on relationships with both the homeowner and his team is what really sets him apart. We are proud to be a part of his team and honored that both the homeowner and Dave put their trust in Merickel Lumber when it came time to build,” says Merickel

A general contractor like Erwin helps the architect bring the homeowners’ vision to life and guiding every phase of the project. “I’ve got my thumbprint on

The building of a home is always a team effort. Many of the most rewarding builds involve a creative collaboration between homeowners, vendors, the general


contractor and architect to make sure each element of the home works in harmony with the others. This particular home offered several opportunities for creative collaboration. “The homeowners contacted me in the middle of the project,” says Christina Mehl of Design Direction in Fargo. “They were very involved in the whole process and since I’m in Fargo and the home is in Detroit Lakes, many times we’d send samples back and forth in the mail making sure we were all on the same page and realistic with our expectations.” “It helped having owners that are experienced with design,” said Stoll. “They are very detail oriented. That was great, because there was a lot of great feedback. We had a great team to conceptualize it and bring it to life.”

“I can tell each customer with absolute confidence that Merickel Lumber’s emphasis on timely, professional, and personal service, and quality products will exceed their expectations.” Dave Erwin | Dave Erwin Construction

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There was no room for an attached garage, so the team decided on a detached garage with additional living space above it for when the family welcomes guests. Then the focus moved to finding additional storage opportunities. “I think the owners really looked at every square foot because we had to,” says Stoll. This laser-like focus on maximizing space led to some novel solutions. “Underneath the stair railing and balusters features a noteworthy component of the home,” explains Erwin. “We partnered up with Shannon Cabinetry in Frazee, Minn., to create pull-out closets. One is for jackets and the others pull-out for hats and shoes. It’s just ingenious. You grab the handle and the large closet on a heavy-duty drawer pulls out into the room. It eliminated the need for a closet by the front door and allowed the customer to have an open staircase leading to the upstairs level of the home.”


While the team demonstrated outside-the-box thinking with the storage system, it showed its attention to detail when tweaking the coffered ceiling in the great room. This striking whiteon-white ceiling, with its grid of beams and recessed panels, imbues the space with striking elegance and timeless appeal. But integrating that classic look with the clients’ needs (ample lighting and a sound system for entertaining) required a series of tiny adjustments to get things just so. Erwin spent hours with the homeowners, “re-designing and re-engineering the floor system to incorporate components of the coffered ceiling, adjusting the placement of lights and speakers, to make sure it looks as nice aesthetically as possible.”

kitchens baths cabinetry countertops flooring tile

Stoll had done his fair share of adjusting in the great room as well. The homeowners craved a big, dramatic lake view from this showpiece of a space. But the great room also needed to contain the main living areas of the home. Particularly, a sleek kitchen created by Calla Lily Designs in Fergus Falls, an intimate dining area, the main living area with its cozy stone fireplace, beautifully understated wood built-ins and small groupings of comfortable chairs in which to read or settle in for an intimate tête-àtête at a party.

Jamie Wallace, CKD

Full Service Interior Design

Calla Lily Designs 218.998.3889 1215 N. Union Ave. | Fergus Falls, MN

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Mehl brought these spaces to life by assisting the homeowners in the selection of the furniture in the home. “We worked with pieces they already had and found new pieces to fill in where needed,” says Mehl. “I scouted the local furniture stores so that when they came to town we could hit the ground running.”

The space (and the home itself) looks elegant and timeless, but the latest technology is hidden in plain sight. Smart Home Technologies in Fargo installed smart blinds throughout the property. Smart home features make life at the lake just a little bit easier. As had been the theme with this build, the narrowness of the lot complicated things a bit. But it was nothing a creative tweak couldn’t solve.

“We pushed the stairway off to one side and made a big window wall to bring daylight into the space,” says Stoll. “That’s where you get that pleasant surprise. That surprise is delayed compared to other lake homes we do on a wider property where you have the advantage of more space.” Stoll likes how the surprise is delayed. “When you see it from the road, it looks small and quaint,” he says. “It’s really fun when you walk into that space and it’s that kind of ‘ta-da’ moment.” This perfectly sums up this unique home on the shores of Lake Melissa. This unusual space manages to be two things at once, simultaneously classic and unassuming but possessing a quiet drama all its own. This home looks like it’s been here for generations, but it’s also surprising and new. And that’s exactly how the team that brought it into being imagined it would be. It will continue to surprise visitors for years to come, precisely as intended. ~L&H

“When you see it from the road, it looks small and quaint. It’s really fun when you walk into that space and it’s that kind of ‘ta-da’ moment.” Tony Stoll | bhh Partners

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weekend getaway more than 11 years ago led Walt and Glenda Bro down the long and winding road to building a home in the rural Vergas area. It began when one of Walt’s patients gave them a gift certificate for a B&B on Spirit Lake. “We arrived late on a Saturday night in the dark,” explains Glenda. “On Sunday morning I wanted to sleep in, but we had to be back in Fargo to teach Sunday school, so we got up early. Had we slept in, we would have missed the amazing views God wanted to show us on the drive back to Fargo. The sun was just coming up, and as we rounded each curve in the road, we saw beautiful colors reflected off the lakes, hillsides and trees. Every pond seemed to be filled with some type of bird – geese, ducks, swans – and we both thought this would be a beautiful place to retire.”

Glenda grew up on a farm in South Dakota, and Walt grew up in Burbank, Calif., but he spent his teenage summer years working on his uncle’s farm in her area, where they went to the same country church. After medical school, residency at Mayo Clinic, and private practice in South Dakota, the married couple moved to Fargo, where they raised their four sons, and Walt worked as an OB/GYN doctor. “I wasn’t sure I would be a very good doctor’s wife, and he told me we would move to a farm when he retired,” says Glenda. “He kept his promise.” Their decision of when to begin building on the property they purchased in Vergas was moved forward a bit early when the city of Fargo bought and demolished their home on the Red River as part of the flood diversion efforts in 2013. “We loved that home, but we decided it was time to move on and start over with a new house and a new style,” says Glenda. “Our dream was to capture the ‘country


“Our dream was to capture the ‘country feel’ of my grandparents’ farmhouse in Cresbard, South Dakota – not to reproduce the exact look or design, but to incorporate the feelings we remember from being there.” Glenda Bro homeowner

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“They own this vast piece of property, so we didn’t have too many restrictions. Their view from the living room is stunning, but this home was also designed and built for comfort and enjoyment.” Hunter Briard | Briard Construction

feel’ of my grandparents’ farmhouse in Cresbard, S.D.–not to reproduce the exact look or design, but to incorporate the feelings we remember from being there.” Set back considerably off the road and standing alone among rolling hills with adjoining farmland, the distinctive gray and white home has a circular driveway and a decorative white picket fence. It all closely resembles the image Glenda photocopied out of a magazine and

provided to architect Kelli Wegscheid of Harmonious Architecture in Perham. “We looked at a lot of homes and pictures, but wanted the expertise of an architect to be sure the house looked right and was structurally sound,” she says. “Once we met Kelli at the Fargo Home Show, there was something about her that we liked right away, and we were ready to move forward.”


Wegscheid was involved from the very beginning, which started with 120 acres of land and that one photo.

A Blank Canvas “I joined Walt and Glenda, and we walked on the extensive property searching for the perfect location,” says Wegscheid. “There weren’t any land issues other than building their access road, so we pretty much started with a blank canvas. We wanted a spot to catch the beauty of their land, and I think they’ve really captured

the most panoramic view of the rolling countryside.” Once they chose the builder, Briard Construction, a small father-son business in Detroit Lakes specializing in custom homes, additional considerations needed to be taken into account. “We wanted the house to face south and be able to capture the sunshine, especially during the winter months,” says Hunter Briard, who acted as the general contractor throughout the construction. “We also had to find the right elevation for the walkout basement, without getting too steep of a hill.”

Since they wanted to be set far back from the road, the best route for the extensive driveway also had to be well thought-out. Halfway down that driveway, they added a large storage building, mostly to house the equipment needed to clear snow and grade the road… and also to store some of Walt’s toys. “They own this vast piece of property, so we didn’t have too many restrictions,” says Briard. “Their view from the living room is stunning, but this home was also designed and built for comfort and enjoyment.”

Designer’s Dream The spacious kitchen is impressive, with plenty of seating, and a laundry room off the kitchen doubles as a craft room. An arched “theme” is carried both inside and out, and wide balconies provide viewing along the back side of the home.

“This house was a dream to design, and we really got to incorporate all of their wishes,” says Wegscheid. “Even the master bathroom is spectacular, with an open layout, beautiful views, a barrel ceiling with cherry wood, and a fireplace built into the wall.” The design and building took almost a year, and Glenda says their prayerful decision to use Wegscheid and Briard as their architect and builder made the entire process more successful. “Kelli helped us make many decisions when it was all still on paper and could easily be changed,” she says. “Working closely with Kelli’s blueprint, Hunter handled all the general contracting work and used his own carpentry crew, finishing the project on time.” Glenda and Walt needed a home they could enjoy now, but they also wanted it to be practical enough so they could remain in it as they get older. With wide hallways and the couple’s personal living

space on the main level, they designed the lower level with their four married sons and eight grandchildren in mind. “We wanted a home where our family could feel comfortable with their own bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs,” says Glenda. “We try to get them all here as often as possible, even though they are spread from Fargo to Moorhead to Bismarck to Vancouver, B.C. We have fun together eating, playing games, and sometimes doing work projects during their visits.”

Surprising Twists One special feature was kept hidden from the grandchildren during the building process until the home was completed. “In the lower level, there is a built-in bookcase on one wall that actually hides the room behind it,” says Glenda. “It’s a fully equipped theater room, but you can’t tell it’s there until you push a special button and the bookcase swings inward like a door. Walt likes to play

“This house was a dream to design, and we really got to incorporate all of their wishes,” Kelli Wegscheid Harmonious Architecture

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hide-and-seek with the grandchildren, and they were pretty surprised when he just disappeared and they couldn’t find him. He was in the hidden room.” Beauty is in the details, and this home is full of beautiful surprises – even when it comes to window coverings for the high arched windows in the south-facing living room. “They wanted blinds on this window, but didn’t want to ruin the arched look and didn’t want to see the blinds,” says Briard. “We came up with a design to build a ‘baffle’ that hides the blinds, which can be retracted with a remote control. It all looks simple and clean and even hides the hardware.” The breakfast nook, which resembles a castle’s turret, is one carryover from the Fargo home on the Red River.


“As you sit at the kitchen table, you can see in almost any direction, and it lifts your spirits just looking out over the farms and rolling hills.” Glenda Bro | homeowner

“We had a sunroom off our kitchen in Fargo and wanted to incorporate that feature in this home,” says Glenda. “As you sit at the kitchen table, you can see in almost any direction, and it lifts your spirits just looking out over the farms and rolling hills. God paints the western sky with an array of amazing colors on some evenings. We enjoy watching eagles, hawks, geese, deer, fox, and occasionally otters.” The lawn surrounding their home is about three acres, but a considerable amount of their land is rented out for farming, so the country “feel” Glenda and Walt desired is captured on a daily basis. “My grandson loves to watch the farm equipment, especially when they are baling alfalfa,” she says. “Some of the land is irrigated, and we all enjoy watching for rainbows, as the sprinklers shoot streams of water in the air.”

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Glenda has also started planting gardens and growing fruits and vegetables. “A man from our church brought us a load of compost to help amend the soil, and my green beans and tomatoes were huge,” she says. Wanting to fit in and have people feel comfortable at their home, they’re doing

more and more entertaining, but also spending additional time together since Walt retired. Plus, Walt has now added a woodworking room in the “shop,” their nickname for the storage shed halfway down the driveway. Glenda says Walt has “lots of projects waiting to be done,” and this year’s project is to put up white fences so they can eventually get horses and a dog.


“We have also been blessed to be able to help with the new men’s and women’s Bible Study Fellowship satellite class in Detroit Lakes,” she adds, “and have met some wonderful people through the class and our church.”

But mostly, they’re both enjoying the solitude, peace and quiet of the area. “When we first moved here, we were awestruck by the night sky and its darkness. You can almost feel the darkness, and on other nights it’s lit up with thousands of brilliant stars. People may wonder why we retired here, but I think God wanted us to be here. He drew us here that early Sunday morning when we drove back to Fargo to teach Sunday school.” ~L&H

Renewable Energy With spray foam insulation and exterior insulation for added ‘R-Value’, this home also has geo-thermal heating and cooling throughout, installed by GEOthermal Solutions Inc. “Walter and Glenda wanted a system that was dependable, durable, and would save them money as they move into the retirement stage,” says Bryce Bjerke of GEOthermal Solutions. It takes electricity to power the unit to provide the heat (at a 350 percent efficiency ratio), so a back-up gas system was installed for emergency in case of power outage.

“Since there are higher up front charges for the construction of the well field system, geothermal heating and cooling may not be the perfect fit for every situation,” he adds. “But when it’s done properly, and it fits the needs of the homeowner like it did in this situation, I don’t think there’s anything out there that’s going to beat it.”

How it Works (from the GEOthermal Solutions Website:

When used for heating, a geothermal system extracts heat from the ground by using the underground pipes. This heat is distributed throughout the building as warm air, usually through a duct system. This method of heating can also be used in water heating. Geothermal cooling is the reverse process of heating. The geothermal system takes hot air from the building and circulates it into the underground pipes, where it is cooled. This cooled air is then circulated through the building, and the process is repeated.

Geothermal heating and cooling utilizes the earth’s core temperature. And no matter the climate you live in, the core temperature of the earth stays constant. A series of pipes are installed in the ground, and transfer ground heat to and from the building, providing heating and cooling. JAN / FEB 2019 111




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rowing up, the Petros enjoyed spending time on the lake with their families. They both love being on the water and feel at home near the lake, so it was not a surprise that when the opportunity to build their forever home on a family lot, they jumped right in. “The property that we built on is the property my husband grew up on,” Anna said. “His parents moved up here from Minneapolis to help with his grandpa’s business.” “They rented this little yellow house that was on the lake and eventually bought it. Their plan was always to fix it up and sell it.” Anna continued, “[However] they ended up buying and moving into the house on the property next door.” After purchasing the new home, there was some debate on what to do with the little yellow house. Was it worth the cost of restoring it? Or was it time to tear it down? It was ideal to keep the lake property in the family, so the Petros purchased the little yellow house and began the process of tearing it down to build their new home. The builders the Petro family chose were the ones that her in-laws had been in touch with when they were considering building themselves.

Her mother-in-law met with Jeremy of Central Construction Inc. based out of Nelson, Minn., after visiting one of their homes on the Vikingland Builders Association Home Tour. Once it was decided that the Petro family would purchase the property and build a home there instead, the homeowners chose to work with CCI. “We liked the houses that they worked on,” Anna said. “They have a great reputation and seemed like really great, stand-up, trustworthy guys.”


As with any large project, it took some time for the plan to become a reality. Between the first sketch in February 2016 and moving in December of 2016, there was a lot of work to be done. During the building process, the homeowners decided to live in their house in town and hold off on putting it on the market until the new house was built. The homes in their neighborhood were selling so quickly that they didn’t want to worry about finding a place to live temporarily.

“We liked the houses that they worked on. They have a great reputation and seemed like really great, stand-up, trustworthy guys.� Anna Petro - homeowner on home builder CCI Construction

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The Petros were very diligent in figuring out what they wanted this home to be for them; what mattered and what didn’t. “I came into it with a list of must-haves, nice-to-have, and a list of things that were commonly important to other people but I didn’t care that much about,” Anna said. “When we hit a point of not knowing what to do, [CCI] always had a couple of ideas.”

“I always felt like I could ask questions, ‘Why this way, what should I do here?’” Anna continued. “It was nice to have perspective.” “They were very helpful, and they were great about providing that opinion without being pushy.” The Petro family also worked with designer Kim Green of Woodland Home Design. “We had heard great things about her,” Anna said. “She was good about understanding why we wanted certain things and designing for the way that we live versus designing for what is going to look good from the road or what is popular.” The 3420-square-foot, four-bedroom home sits on the east side of Lake Geneva in Alexandria, Minn. The front of the home has a covered porch and a window on each side of the front door; an addition the


homeowners made to allow more natural light in the house. The kitchen, as well as the bathrooms, have cabinets from Swedberg Wood Products. The birch cabinets are painted white and have black hardware. They are complemented by the laminate countertops and its river rock pattern with a mix of browns, grays, and blacks. Black, fingerprint-resistant, stainless steel appliances stand in beautiful contrast to the white of the cabinets. There is a large walk-in pantry off the kitchen with custom shelving that provides extra storage space. Off the kitchen is an eating area, instead of a formal dining room, with a table that was built by a sibling of one of the homeowners.

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The flooring throughout the main living area is engineered European oak hardwood. It was important that it holds up under the paws of their 105-pound black lab. Choosing the flooring for the home was a significant step in the process for the homeowners. “Honestly the biggest help for us was Adam at Arnquist Carpets Plus in Alexandria,” Anna said. “He was incredible with helping us feel like we were making good decisions.” “The flooring helps tie everything together, and he helped us find [products] that were going to do that for us.” The great room has vaulted ceilings and extra-large windows that maximize lake views and allow for abundant natural light in the space. The open concept was crucial to the homeowners. “We decided to have small bedrooms,” Anna said. “We wanted to have more space in the gathering spaces, versus in closed off spaces like the bedrooms.” The trim throughout the home is six inches tall and is one inch thick and stands out without being ornate. A sliding door off the great room leads to a 189-square foot deck built of brown-treated lumber. One of the rooms on the main floor that was important to the homeowners to include was the mudroom off the garage.

“Honestly the biggest help for us was Adam at Arnquist Carpets Plus in Alexandria. He was incredible with helping us feel like we were making good decisions. The flooring helps tie everything together, and he helped us find [products] that were going to do that for us.” Anna Petro - homeowner

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In their previous home, they had no entryway which required a person to walk straight into the living room, and it lacked storage space. “We wanted a big mudroom, access to the basement from the garage, and quick access to a bathroom,” Anna stated. “The things we love the most about the house are the things we were most passionate about when we built it.”

“We wanted the house to function for the way we live.” Anna continued, “We are always on the go. All summer long my husband has a golf bag, a baseball bag, and a softball bag ready to go.” “I always tell people, ‘Whatever you are missing in your home, whatever is lacking in the house you are living in now, will become the passion project in whatever future home you are looking for.” The master bedroom has carpet, as do the other three bedrooms in the home, making them much cozier.

One interesting design decision the homeowners made was the layout of the master suite, placing it along one end of the home. Walking into the bathroom from the bedroom you find the large walk-in shower with custom tile and a dual-head shower on the right, followed by a water closet for the toilet. On the left are the custom espresso stained cabinets, with his-and-her sinks, brushed nickel hardware, and hot-tool storage. Off of the bathroom is the walk-in closet, as well as the stackable washer and dryer. The original plan was to have the laundry room in the basement and have hook-ups ready on the main floor for the future, but the homeowners decided to install the main floor laundry and set up the basement laundry when it becomes necessary.


“The things we love the most about the house are the things we were most passionate about when we built it. We wanted the house to function for the way we live. We are always on the go.� Anna Petro - homeowner

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The second bedroom on the main level of the home is currently being used as an office. The lower level of the home, with its 8-foot8-inch ceilings, includes two of the four bedrooms in the house, as well as a large game room area and a family room. Between these two rooms is a door that leads out to a 216-square-foot stamped concrete walkout patio that is directly under the main level deck. The house has an extra deep double garage with side-by-side stalls at the front of the house with doors from Viking Garage Doors. There is also a third garage door on the side which is perfect for easy access to future lake toys or a golf cart.


“We try to be easy to work with every which way possible,” Jeremy said. “If they want to hire us for one little thing, we’ll do one little thing. If they want to hire us for the whole project, we’ll general the whole project.” The home has a great deal of storage. The stairway in the garage leads to a large storage room in the basement. There is also a drop down staircase for the storage above the garage. Jeremy, one of the owners of Central Construction Inc. worked closely with the homeowners. With 25 years of experience in construction services, CCI focuses on giving their customers a result that is a dream come true. They specialize in building custom homes with unique touches specific to the homeowners’ wants and needs.

Jeremy continued, “We pride ourselves on working from start to finish on a project, and managing as much or as little as the homeowner would want.” It is clear the Petro family has created a special place for them to live and grow over the years. “The home being a showpiece from the outside wasn’t necessarily a priority for us,” Anna said. “We wanted to put our money into the layout and the function of the home, and fill it with things that we love.” ~L&H

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WHEN DID LAKE AREA DOCKS AND LIFTS BEGIN? Our company was founded in 1995 by Jeff Rasmusson, on the core principle that if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you.

WHERE ARE YOUR LOCATIONS, AND WHAT AREAS DO YOU SERVE? We have five locations spread across lake country: Brainerd, Battle Lake, Crosslake, Fergus Falls and Pelican Rapids, with 12 full time employees ready to serve you. We also have additional seasonal help in the spring and summer to better serve our customers’ needs. We have served customers in North and South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, the Twin Cities, and we have installed a few systems in Canada as well. The main area we serve is the Central Minnesota region.

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN WITHIN THE DOCK/LIFT INDUSTRY IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, AND WHAT NEW PRODUCTS WILL BE EMERGING IN 2019? A dock used to be a way to get to your boat lift, now they have become their own entertainment center. More accessories and platforms are being added to docks to make them user friendly and an enjoyable space for the entire family. The continuing upgrades in technology for motorized boat lifts has made them easier than ever to operate. We went from hardly selling any motorized lifts, to now having 90 percent of our lifts being motor driven.

hand the options we offer and match our products to the desired effect they want to achieve along their shoreline.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD DOCKS BE REPLACED? If the dock panels become unsafe to walk on, especially regarding the old cedar decking and steel frames, it’s time to upgrade. Or if a customer wants to add interest to their shoreline by spicing things up with a new dock configuration we can help. With the wide array of maintenance free decking options, the dock you purchase today has a longer lifespan thus saving money in maintenance and replacement costs.

WHAT SETS YOUR COMPANY APART FROM YOUR COMPETITORS? Our wide array of decking options gives us the most variety to offer our customers exactly what they might desire. Customers can come into our locations and see first-

If a customer has a specific request for customization, we have a great shop team who can make their ideas come to life. We also offer a line of furniture from Homecrest, and a line of accessories for the dock. The most popular accessory we sell is a flagpole, but there truly is something for everyone that wants to add to their dock experience. We value our customers, and our employees who work on the systems remember the clients based upon the system/shoreline and even the weather on the day of installation. A lake home is the ‘happy place’ for our customers to create memories, and we are grateful to help them add to their happiness.

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WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE ORDER A NEW DOCK IN ORDER TO HAVE IT INSTALLED THE MOMENT THE ICE IS OFF THE LAKE? The sooner the better! If a customer knows they will be purchasing a new system in the spring, we can help start the process now by getting everything ordered and in place by the end of the winter boat show season. As spring approaches and our calendar fills with new clients, the installation days in the spring are the first to fill up. The process to get started on planning a new dock system is easy, just give Donavan a call at 218-205-5082. We like to work with our customers to understand the dock systems and terminology, as well as help them discover how they will use and interact with a new system that fits all of their lakeside needs.

We also have excellent customer service that strives to make our clients dreams a reality, and by using quality products from ShoreMaster we can deliver on their dreams.

WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR PRODUCT THAT YOU SELL? The best-selling dock is the ShoreMaster RS4 with Woodgrain decking and industry exclusive curve sections. This innovative dock lets the customer have a wild imagination with their design, and we are able to make it happen. Your shoreline doesn’t concede to straight lines and perfect right angles - so why should your dock system?

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY THAT YOU LOVE? I love having the ability to work with customers and provide them with their dream dock and lift system. The best part is having customers contact me midsummer or even at a boat show a year after their installation and hear how much they use and love their new dock system.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL DREAM DOCK AND LIFT-SYSTEM? As someone who sells them, I believe in the theory ‘the bigger the better!’ As a user of these products, I enjoy the simplicity and ease that docks offer. A spot for the pontoon, a place for my fishing boat, and a nice platform with dock furniture to enjoy the summer sunsets. Then, I’d be all set to live the dream. ~L&H





















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FEATURED LAKE Size: 1,850 Acres Max Depth: 37 ft. County: Becker Clarity: 9.5 ft. Shore Length: 7.01 mi

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Lake Melissa Becker County

Lake Melissa’s fish populations are similar to those of many central Minnesota lakes. Walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie are all typical angling targets here. A small number of muskellunge are known to be present in the lake. These are undoubtedly immigrants from upstream Detroit Lake, which is regularly stocked with muskies. The presence of a tullibee (cisco) population and a shift from black to yellow bullheads indicate relatively good water quality in the lake. Zebra mussels were discovered in the lake in the summer of 2014 and people recreating on the lake are encouraged to clean, drain, and dry their equipment to prevent the spread of these mussels to other waters. Walleye fry and fingerlings continue to be stocked in Lake Melissa. Pike greater than 24 inches in length have been protected from harvest by an experimental regulation since 1996. In 2011, the regulation was slightly modified in order to allow the harvest of one pike over 36 inches. The regulation’s goals were to improve the size structure of the population and to reduce the number of small pike. Eighteen years after the beginning of this regulation, these expectations are generally being met.

Historic records show that Lake Melissa has the potential to produce large (over eight inches) bluegills. Sunfish of that size have become extremely rare in this lake over the past couple of decades where they were once common. As in many Minnesota lakes, it appears that bluegills are harvested as soon as they reach sizes that are acceptable to anglers (usually about seven inches), preventing the continued growth of larger bluegills. ~L&H

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