The second floor rises

“By the end of this week our house walk-through will be a little less imaginary…” Nancy closed her post a week ago with that line—and she was right! By the time the weekend rolled around a good share of the first floor was framed and floor boards for part of the second floor were in place, ready for the crew’s return today. Standing near the east entry (from where the breezeway will be) we can now look out through the scaffolding to the surrounding bluffs framed by the rough openings of the kitchen, dining and living room windows and door; it’s no longer imaginary at all!


At one point this weekend I caught Nancy daydreaming as she stood in the kitchen, no doubt imagining the canning, dehydrating and freezing we’ll find ourselves in the thick of a year from now; and my own curiosity led me to poking my head up to get a glimpse at what it might look like from a second floor vantage point. We love the views across the valley in all directions and look forward to seeing just how the windows and house positioning draws the outdoors in once all is done—that’s been a design goal from the beginning and we’re anxious to see how it plays out!


Meanwhile, our weekend also included a visit from dear California friends Katie and Tim. They’re a few years into remodeling parts of their home with similar goals in mind, surrounding themselves with integrated gardens of vegetables and flowering shrubs, decorative landscapes, and, yes, photovoltaic panels. Sure, California’s climate means they do things a bit differently than we do here in Minnesota—but our hearts and minds are in the same place, and it was a delight to share our project with them.  

We also spent time over the weekend wrapping our heads around things we learned during a meeting this past week with our new-found flooring and milling friends. As it turns out, the supply of native elm we initially thought would be our primary source for flooring doesn’t measure up to the floor-board standards we had hoped…so instead of thinking floor first and cabinets, doors and trim second, we’ve needed to reverse our thinking. We’ll still have the wood floors we’d intended and the elm will be put to equally good use, but in different ways. So we continue to learn. Thank goodness we’re surrounded by the experienced, creative professionals who are helping us move dreams to reality!  We’ll post more on the woodworking as things progress over the next few weeks.



Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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