The Boathouse Project

We are in Summer’s home stretch, and the Iowa heat and humidity have certainly been oppressive at times! That, combined with a tornado, made this outdoor client project particularly challenging, so we were really excited to finish it last week. Here are some of the pictures and details of “The Boathouse”.

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The details:

-14ft by 26 ft building

-364 sq feet

-10ft 2x4 walls with active dormer

-200 amp electrical service

-8/12 pitch roof with asphalt shingles

We have had several comments that this building looks like it could be a tiny home, and plumbing aside it really could be! The poured concrete walls and polished floors make this building bug and critter free…not just your typical back yard shed! Here’s a peek inside at all the lofted space.

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The 10 foot walls provide a lot of extra space for storage racks or shelving in the future. And the 9 ft tall garage door helps with backing in a large boat full of lake accessories. For the below picture, keep in mind that Adam is 6ft 4in tall!

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We have a couple more outdoor client projects lined up for the late Summer/early Fall, however they are not as labor intensive as this was. It’s always exciting to see a project come together, and this one was no exception! For now, we are on to the next as we need to squeeze out every last day of Summer that we can…( Maybe someday I could have something similar to this boathouse as my very own she shed! A girl can dream! haha).

Unitl next time friends!

Rachael & Adam

The Kitchen Reveal You Don't Want To Miss!

Sometimes there are home improvement projects that linger, for years. This would be one of those projects. Our kitchen was 95% finished for the last two years, all but for some 6 or 8 back splash tiles and decor. Well, since this winter is approximately 15 months long, we had time to finally get a few things done around here and this project was one of them!

A little background info:

the home we currently live in was designed on a piece of notebook paper by my husband. We eventually had to have an architect develop the house plans off of our drawing (because let’s face it, we know nothing about truss systems for roof structures) but the floor plan stayed the same. Now we had previously built additions to homes, and remodeled existing structures, but building the entire home from scratch was a new endeavor. Oh, and did I mention we had never designed a kitchen… (yikes!).

So off we went with our notebook paper drawing to meet a local cabinet maker and have him help us come up with something. He told us what worked logistically for wiring and plumbing, and showed us some basic layouts he had in production. I knew I wanted something different and unique and by the time we left our first meeting I am pretty certain he thought I was nuts.

Fast forward to that next summer, and we were laying tile and painting the walls in preparation for the cabinet maker to bring and assemble the cabinets. I don’t have many pictures from this point in time (maybe because we were literally building our home during the night and working during the day), but this photo below shows you the basic outline of our cabinet system (excuse the contractor lighting and pizza box).

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The next step was to add counter tops and appliances, which then made this kitchen functional. We were on a time crunch, so finishing touches and decorating took the back burner. We just needed our kitchen to pass the final building inspection and we could worry about the rest later.

Originally, I was interested in concrete counter tops but my husband talked me out of it. We cook A LOT at our house, and he was afraid that we needed a stronger material that could take a beating without showing any signs of wear. I am happy to report that after three years of constant use, these quartz counter tops have held up perfectly and have zero imperfections.

We did add a stainless steel back splash behind the stove area pretty early on, and then gradually finished the rest of that wall with subway tile, as you can see pictured below.

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One of the first comments people usually make when they see our kitchen for the first time is that our cabinets look ‘beat up’. Well, I think this is where our custom cabinet maker thought I was nuts, but I wasn’t going to budge on the distressed look. The material is knotty alder, and we chose all of the wood that had the greatest amount of natural knots and ‘imperfections’. Then, combined with black glaze and iron knobs and pulls, this kitchen has the appearance that the cabinets are older or re-purposed, when in fact they are brand new. I know this is a unique look, and it’s not for everyone, but it really came together in the end and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Ok, fast forward a couple of years to present time, and the last of the subway tile was installed over the kitchen sink. During the notebook paper design phase, I had pictured a window for this space but it was not feasible since the garage was on the other side of the wall. I still decided to put a window in this space, but just had to be a bit more creative.

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I found an old farmhouse window at a salvage barn for $5, and I immediately knew it would work for this space. All of the glass was removed, which was perfect since it would make cleaning a breeze. This window frame is very light, and thus I was able to install it easily with command strips. Plus, I didn’t really want to drill into the fresh tile! (yikes!) And while I love our sink, I would have preferred a copper farm sink but that just wasn’t in the budget for this house (maybe next time!).

Here are a couple more photos/angles of our kitchen:

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Well I could go on and on about this kitchen, it really is the focal part of our home and I am so excited that it is finished. This was a huge lingering project that I can finally cross off of our list, all thanks to our epic long winter this year. If you have any other questions about the materials or process, feel free to leave a comment here or catch me on Instagram. As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate your support!

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The 'Great Outdoors' Project

Winter has arrived in full force here in the Midwest, and that means all outdoor projects have to be wrapped up. If Iowa wasn’t such an extreme weather state maybe we could work outside into December, but once the air hoses and tools start to freeze/not function properly, we call it quits for the (outdoor) season.

We did get to finish up one last project for the year, one which completes a series of outdoor renovations at a particular client’s home. This home is situated next to a golf course and has stunning views of the surrounding landscape, however the grading of the back yard and limited outdoor space made enjoying this little slice of heaven challenging.

The projects at this location included a new and expanded deck, new retaining wall and extensive dirt work/grading, as well as a complete overhaul of an existing screened in area to make it weather proof and fully functional addition to their home. All of these renovations were completed by adam and aps construction.


The Raised Deck

Original Deck Photos

As you can see, this deck was functional but small, and showed wear from the elements over the years. In the last picture, you can see the screened in area in its ‘before’ state as well.

New deck photos

This project was completed with cedar boards and aluminum spindles, check out that view!


Retaining Wall and Yard Grading

This part of the project was very important, as it produced level yard space that could then be used for additional structures, fire pit, you name it! Here are a few before/after shots.

As you can see, not much of this part of the yard was usable due to the terrain, but that is no longer a problem!


Screened in porch overhaul

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The final leg of this outdoor project was to update the existing screened in porch/patio area underneath the raised deck. this room was not being used to its full potential, since it was at the mercy of the harsh Iowa weather.

New and improved four seasons room

With new framing, insulation, windows, doors, and stacked stone vinyl siding, this room is now ready for the elements and can be used to enjoy the golf course views and Iowa sunsets year round.

The completion of this project brings our time outside for 2018 to a close, but that doesn’t mean our schedule slows down. we simply transition to more wood working projects, furniture making, and various other items that can be completed indoors. And of course, snow removal, because this is iowa after all!