A Sense of Place

An Iowa cou­ple sticks close to home when build­ing their tim­ber dream house.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - PHO­TOS BY JOSEPH HIL­LIARD

There’s no place like home — just ask Terry Dam­mann who, for the first 54 years of his life, lived in the same quaint farm­house in south­west Iowa. Af­ter his par­ents moved out, Terry stayed on with his wife Deb­bie. That is, un­til some­thing just a lit­tle bit bet­ter came along.

“Our new home was the house that got him to move out,” says Deb­bie with a laugh.

That new home sits on six acres of lake­front prop­erty, just seven miles down the road from their first home. “We had orig­i­nally bought the land to run cat­tle on,” ex­plains Deb­bie. “We built a lit­tle cabin on the prop­erty and peo­ple used it as a camp­site for many years. Af­ter a while, we got tired of try­ing to keep up two places, so we de­cided to build a home and keep up one place in­stead of two.”

The Dam­manns worked with the team at River­bend Tim­ber Fram­ing to de­sign a house that would com­ple­ment the unique, one-with-na­ture lo­ca­tion. “They liked the idea of us­ing a tim­ber frame be­cause it had that nat­u­ral, rus­tic feel that matched their prop­erty,” ex­plains Stephanie John­son, mar­ket­ing man­ager at River­bend.

In ad­di­tion to max­i­miz­ing the views of the stun­ning prop­erty, the

Dam­manns and their de­sign team set out to cre­ate a low-main­te­nance home that fo­cused on long-term ac­ces­si­bil­ity and func­tion­al­ity for the cou­ple and their fre­quent guests. “The de­sign of our Bridge­wa­ter floor plan con­cept was a re­ally good fit for the size of house they were look­ing for, and the style matched the char­ac­ter of their land,” says John­son. “They also liked how the back side el­e­va­tion had so much glass to let in nat­u­ral light and views of the lake.”

While the Dam­manns did use a stan­dard River­bend plan, they wound up mak­ing a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of a two-car garage and a walk-out base­ment that fit per­fectly with the slope of their lot. The mas­ter suite also was ad­justed so that it was more ac­ces­si­ble for the fu­ture. “This will be our re­tire­ment house, so ev­ery­thing we need is on the main level and some­what close to the garage,” ex­plains Terry. “We never have to go up­stairs or down­stairs if we don’t want to.”

The home fea­tures a struc­tural oak tim­ber frame that en­com­passes the liv­ing room, din­ing and kitchen ar­eas, as well as the first-floor mas­ter bed­room. Up­stairs, two bed­rooms and a loft/ of­fice area top off the de­sign, while the

un­fin­ished base­ment space is set up for a fu­ture kitch­enette and bath­room to ac­com­mo­date guests. “We love this house be­cause it’s a place where fam­ily can gather to­gether for vis­its and re­unions, and re­ally be away from it all,” says Terry. “We have a camp­ground here, but we’re sep­a­rated from them.” It’s that lo­ca­tion that Terry says is the best part about the home, while Deb­bie takes pride in the fact that it was such a la­bor of love. “We built this house and we re­ally chose ev­ery­thing our­selves,” she says. “We didn’t have a de­signer and that’s some­thing I feel very proud of. It made the project more af­ford­able — and more per­sonal. We love ev­ery­thing about this home.”

The sid­ing on the home was cho­sen by the own­ers. “I wanted a red house and th­ese op­tions went re­ally well with the other ma­te­ri­als on the out­side of the home,” says Deb­bie. River­bend’s Stephanie John­son adds: “The col­ors are very much in line with the Crafts­man theme of the orig­i­nal floor plan.”

LEFT: The Dam­manns bought the chan­de­lier that hangs in the liv­ing room long be­fore they moved in. “It’s from an old ho­tel,” says Deb­bie.

RIGHT: The place­ment of the tim­bers and the low ceil­ing ef­fec­tively sec­tions off the kitchen area from the rest of the main liv­ing spa­ces.

FAR RIGHT: Up­stairs, two bed­rooms and a loft/of­fice area top off the de­sign. As the Dam­manns age, they’ll be able to stop us­ing the up­stairs spa­ces and only live on the home’s main level.

BOT­TOM: The main-level mas­ter bed­room opens up to the out­door deck that over­looks the lake on the prop­erty.

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